Enterprise Architecture: It Starts With Governance.
While many of us remember when architecture referred to hardware and software, today that term encompasses far more. From processes to organizations, from systems to definitions; it all falls under Enterprise Architecture, and one aspect often overlooked is governance.
Enterprise Architecture is all about documenting how our organizations operate in today’s highly technical environment and how that environment will transform to meet the future needs of the organization. In simple terms, it is a roadmap to transform the organizations IT environment and make it responsive to the organizations needs. A definition of EA that resonates with how can be found on www.CIO.com:
An enterprise architecture (EA) is a conceptual blueprint that defines the structure and operation of an organization. The intent of an enterprise architecture is to determine how an organization can most effectively achieve its current and future objectives.
The governance part of developing EA, starts with key executive sponsorship and establishing the governance process to include all of the stakeholders. Without an executive sponsor who fully supports the EA concept, and active stakeholder involvement, the results sadly will be spent capital and frustration. This is no quick fix, but a journey from discovery through transformation to realization of results. Along the way, the full extent of an organizations environment will be discovered and enumerated and a new environment that is aligned with the organizations strategy will be created. To be successful, the process needs leadership and rules to govern, validate and approve the direction. Without these, the process can easily stray away from the envisioned roadmap.
Using EA to build a roadmap for change and managing the transformation that results are not to be taken lightly, for it entails hard work, long hours and years to accomplish. The results though can be astounding. So, start with the key ingredient, governance, and set a course for success.