Why I tend to write this blog post today, as ..often it is seen that architects produce large-scale but largely unhelpful business capabilities. Also the work of enterprise architects is lost in the fray as capabilities go unused and money is wasted.Here are few of reality bites from my 22 years of industry experience in Architecture World ~
An Architect’s Pride : I alter client’s IT’s goal to enable the business side to do better.
Well, enablement is our traditional view of the role of IT. Particularly when we think in terms of enterprise architecture, we build capabilities, such as access to data and solid underlying platforms, that allow us to reuse systems and business processes, and these capabilities basically enable the business ~ it’s certainly been the claim of most enterprise architecture initiatives – as we build out better architecture the idea is you’ll be able to get to the data that you need to make the decisions you need to make, and you’ll be able to make them better. You’ll have automated business rules and you’ll have single systems that are shared.
The bottom line is that most organizations are disappointed once the enablement is there, and instead of saying, “Great! We’re enabled. Let’s get going,” there’s a tendency to say, “Well, yeah, but it doesn’t quite do-this ” Or, “Yeah, we want to do that but that’s not quite the way we want to do it.” There’s just this futzing around, basically, after it’s in.
In last 22 years at different role as DA to SA to EA, my sense is that architects should give that up. They should stop saying, “Our goal is to enable,” because there is insufficient business value that comes from saying, “We’re going to enable business.” There’s an assumption that architects get to hand this stuff off – “We built capabilities, now it’s your job.” . Architects are going to have to take on greater responsibility and/or concern for the exploitation of capabilities.
What are companies actually doing in the real world ? What pressure do they place on the enterprise architect?
Companies mostly feels Architects aren’t obviously going to be the people that exploit [IT and business capabilities]. They just have to be thinking ‘’exploitation.’’ What I’ve learned from these great companies is that people – particularly senior-level people – identify opportunities for exploitation, a readiness to exploit. That puts pressure architects to not necessarily trying to develop sophisticated, complete, large-scale capabilities, and instead respond to the moment.
While EAs are joining a pure hardware supplier or application provider and related service companies even after realizing the fact that Business – IT (IT comprises of Web, Application, Data, Middle ware, Infrastructure).What change they bring with limited capabilities or ORG they represent ?
Are they real EA in first place ?
Whether Architects should or shouldn’t focus on building large-scale business capabilities?
The idea for architects around exploitation is to put in little things that people can start using immediately and to recognize from those little things what needs to be done next.
The thing that doesn’t change is that architects still think big. They still think about the major capabilities the organization needs. But what changes is that instead of saying, “Okay, here’s the two, three, four, five-year project to get this all in,” they must say ~
“What can we do in a very short period of time to get people to start using this, and to build towards the capabilities that we want?”
An example from my engagement: A large BFSI company in South Asia XYZ , built up thousands of products and all of their systems were organized around finance products. And what they realized is that was not how they were going to ever satisfy their customers. They wanted to know their customers and the customers’ products, not this XYZ Company [view of] products and all the customers that bought it. If you want a single face to the customer you think of the customer as the center of universe, not the product. Now, that’s a huge transition – to say, “I’m going to fix that. I’m going to change my capabilities so instead of knowing products I’m going to know customers.” You basically turn your company upside down. And what did was the CEO said, “I want a dashboard. I want to come to the office every morning and know how we’re doing in our different customer segments.”
And, of course, I am saying, “Okay, well, we’ll work on that.” And all i offered him a five man-month project proposal of design and implementation for a system. And it turned out it was brilliant because, of course, once he got it he started to recognize what he needed even more, he started to recognize what did and didn’t work about the dashboard.
Today meanwhile [the enterprise architects] are starting to build out this capability of knowing the customer, but they’re building it very incrementally as the capability is being exploited, as it’s being used, and that’s what’s defining the next thing that needs to be built. It’s not this big global vision. That’s the real difference. So the short message i can give to fellow architects is …