Most organizations have a dedicated Enterprise Architecture department that supervises the whole systems architecture. This involves overseeing IT infrastructure and business processes, as well as establishing technology processes in business units to increase the effectiveness of product and service delivery. But not all organizations agree on what is the best way to manage enterprise architecture.
Some claim that only empowered EA leaders can lead to good management. Others are focused on measuring IT performance and adjusting systems and processes as needed. So what is the best approach?
Until now, there has been little agreement, but the business and IT survey conducted by the team from Henley Business School is here to help us find the answer. Here are some of the best practices for effective EA management: 1. The Enterprise Architecture Organization Should Reflect the Organization of Business
The enterprise architecture department exists to regulate business processes - the nature of its work is to assess and account for different process and system requirements across the organization. This is the best position to supervise and aid implementation of proposed changes to the IT architecture.
Some organizations, however, have decided to divide responsibilities for EA among various business units. The main reason for doing so lies in the low synergies between the business units. Per example, there is no need to harmonize the processes between a construction company and a bank, both owned by the same financial holding company. In fact, trying to do it would only result in lower efficiency and increased expenses. 2. The organization Should Be Clear About Who is Responsible for EA Decisions
When it is time to implement new technology or procedure, most organizations tend to bring all important partners to the table. The upside of this approach is the fact that all perspectives are heard. But, in the case of disagreement, those around the table will simply blame the enterprise architecture department and absolve themselves of any responsibility - especially if multimillion-dollar IT replacements are at stake. To discourage these accusations, organizations need to clearly state who is accountable for architecture-related questions. Usually, that is the chief architect of the enterprise architecture department and he has the final word on any changes related to technology standards. 3. The Enterprise Architecture Department Should Closely Cooperate with The IT and Business Organization
As software developers and system architects work on complex frameworks, the success can hinge upon many independent details. While enterprise architects are occupied with making sense of these details, they often find themselves isolated from the rest of the departments. Typically, the result is a detailed system with tons of boxes, labels and dotted lines which are extremely hard to interpret by IT and Business sectors. To make sure that the business can function properly with its new architecture and that the IT organization is able to support it, the enterprise architecture needs to cooperate closely with both by including them into the process and translating complicated EA plans into understandable action plans. 4. The Organization Should Give Approval Rights to the EA
Many organizations believe that the impact of enterprise architecture department
is limited to larger corporate activities. Organizations should give enterprise architecture more responsibility for some big-picture decisions such as - improvement of new IT projects or changes to the technology infrastructure. The greater responsibility - the EA department will attract more talents needed to manage architecture efficiently. 5. The Organization Should Utilize One Tool for The Architecture
Managing complex enterprise architecture is hard not because there is a lot of elements in the system, but because of the connections among those elements. To manage these connections properly, the enterprise architecture management has to deploy one reliable model for operations and one consistent management tool throughout the entire organization. Conclusion
Successful Enterprise Architecture management depends on many factors, but this list should enable businesses to improve it without any additional costs.
keywords: enterprise architecture management, ea management, enterprise architecture