Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a comprehensive framework used to manage and align an organization’s business processes. Information Technology uses EA to align software and hardware, as well as manage the people, operations, and projects in a business. Basically it is used to control an organization’s overall technology strategy.
Your Enterprise Architect is responsible for ensuring that all of your IT decisions are made with an awareness to the impact of every decision on the entire organization. It is the Enterprise Architect who helps an organization avoid uninformed investments in a technology.
Why is the investment in time and money into developing and supporting EAimportant to your business?
- Long-Term Planning – Most companies have a tendency to be short-sighted when it comes to technology investments. An Enterprise Architect will have the discipline to plan technology projects based on many years, hopefully preventing short-term mistakes.
- Prevent Silos – People often build solutions based on their personal preferences and needs, and an Enterprise Architect will help guide the business toward solutions that benefit the entire company, through guidelines, standards, and a high-level view towards all existing processes.
- Understanding Technology – As discussions about technology progress across the enterprise, one role is to make sure questions are answered and all of corporate management learn the basics about technology is a consistent and friendly way.
- Cost Savings – When a business involves an Enterprise Architect in their technology decisions, it is much more likely that poor decisions will be detected sooner in the decision process, leading to fewer poor buying decisions are wasted effort in researching solutions that don’t fit into long-term IT decisions.
- Align IT – As the business evolves, having an Enterprise Architect involved in the early planning stages will help identify processes that might need changing to adjust to the new business goals or processes. This should provide adequate lead times to help make IT more agile and flexible to quickly changing business needs.
- Standards – One of the things an Enterprise Architect can provide is a set of standards that help drive technology decisions around any new technology. These standards can help eliminate invalid or poorly designed products or solutions, as well as drive custom development, adherence to recent technology trends, and product testing requirements.
- Audit and Compliance – Compliance is usually something that is only to of mind during an audit. An Enterprise Architect can bring the discussion about how a solution will maintain compliance during the initial evaluation of the product instead of while the auditor is asking questions during an annual audit.
- Innovation – Having someone that is constantly looking at technology trends and is aware of business objectives and weaknesses can help identify projects that can solve business problems while helping the business leverage technology solutions to a business advantage.
- Accountability – When you are getting advice from sales people or consultants on a best practice or preferred solution, an Enterprise Architect can be a powerful resource to evaluate the solution for reasonableness. They can also be a great resource for technical interviews or weekly technical planning sessions.
- Cutting Edge – Somebody needs to know about a new technology and have time to understand how that new trend or product can be helpful to the business. An Enterprise Architect can be a great resource for investigating new technology because they will best understand what is in place today and where the weaknesses exist.