December 21, 2007

Strategy and Enterprise Architecture

In the book Translating Strategy into Action, by Duke Corporate Education, the authors provide numerous insights into strategy development that are applicable to User-centric EA.

  • Strategy is hard—“As managers, the combination of more information, a faster pace, greater geographic reach, greater interdependence, and elevated scrutiny means the environment we manage and the problem we face are increasingly complex.” The EA strategy is hard to develop, but even harder for today’s overtaxed managers to quickly and simply execute.
  • Strategy is a differentiator—“Strategy is about being different and making choices…it outlines where and how a company will compete [or operate]…it provides direction, guidance, and focus when you are faced with choices.” The EA is a differentiator for where and how the organization will operate.
  • Strategy is purpose—“Creating strategic context for your team creates a greater sense of purpose by connecting what they are doing to the bigger picture.” The EA sets up an alignment between IT and business and establishes context and purpose.
  • Strategy must be adaptable—“Strategy will always be in a state of flux and should be adaptable to today’s fast-paced environment.” The EA must be flexible and adapt to a changing environment.
  • Information is king—“Implementing a strategy requires managers to move from data acquisition to insight. How managers make sense of information is what will set them and their companies apart.” In EA, information is captured, analyzed, and catalogued for developing strategy and enabling decision-making.
  • Always start with a baseline—“Strategy translation and execution always entails moving from where you are to where you want to be. Without an honest and incisive analysis of where you are, this journey begins on faulty ground.” In EA, you’ve got to have a baseline in order to get to your target.
  • Think capabilities—“The more important step is to focus on building the capabilities necessary to achieve these [strategic action] steps, and ultimately the intended vision.” EA should help you define and develop your operational and technical capabilities and competancies
  • Embrace change—“Get comfortable with change. Continue to learn how to adapt because the degree and pace of change is increasing. Your firm’s strategy will change, maybe not in major ways, but always in subtle and important ways.” EA requires that the enterprise is open to change, not for change’s sake, but for adapting to changes in our environment.

Enterprise architecture is a strategic, big picture endeavor. It involves developing the baseline, target, and transition plan. The EA is the enterprise strategy and blueprint for bridging information requirements with IT solutions. EA is the CIO’s strategy for meeting mission requirements.


1 comment:

icecool said...

Nice summary of the book. Though i don't have any knowledge about EA, its a good read on strategy.