The State of EA: Is 2010 The Transitional Year?

In my role as Editor-in-Chief  of Architecture and Governance I recently had the opportunity to discuss the near-term future of EA with my fellow analyst and colleague-in-EA, Alex Cullen of Forrester Research.  During the webinar we discussed topics ranging from executive perceptions about EA to specifics on how organizations approached EA.

Consistent with EAdirections research and our client experience I find that organizational perceptions and biases about EA can span a wide range.  Each company and even each person/role within a company can have a different take on what EA is, what it does, how it influences their organization and the value it brings. Implementation models vary accordingly.

The good news is that there is almost always an improvement path available for any baseline set of perceptions and biases.  The key is to perform a thorough diagnostic and create an improvement plan customized to the mix present in the organization.  For those organizations that are ready, this is the year to step up to embrace business and information architecture.  It is worth noting that doing so isn’t just an exercise in building more, or better or different models.  Progress in improving the reach and impact of the EA program is a trust building exercise.  For those that are not yet able to immediately integrate BA and IA into their EA approach, the EA team members should use this year to expand their business acumen and to build a stronger relationships with key business side personnel.  For those teams that are unable to reach directly into the business, they must earn enough trust from the IT executives so that they will provide the necessary introductions.  Building the trust, and demonstrating value, is a multi-dimensional activity.  With patience and a willingness to experiment, many organizations can end 2010 further ahead than where they started the year.