April 30, 2008

Customer Experience Management and Enterprise Architecture

Customer service is so important. We need to architect it in every fiber of the organization. Good customer service is a critical differentiator for organizations and it offers a strategic competitive advantage to those enterprises that embrace it and make it central to their product offering.

DM Review, 25 April 2008, reports that “companies are under unprecedented pressure to optimize the customer experience.”

Customer Experience Management (CEM) is emerging as an increasingly important tool. CEM is the practice of actively listening to customers, analyzing what they are saying to make better business decisions and measuring the impact of those decisions to drive organizational performance and loyalty.”

CEM information should be considered an essential component of the business perspective of the enterprise architecture. CEM should be incorporated into EA planning and governance to accelerate and improve enterprise decision making such as “tailoring products to customer desires to save investment in unwanted innovations.” The overall goal is to provide the customer with world-class service and an overall high satisfaction interaction.

How are organizations achieving CEM?

  1. Chief Customer Officer (CCO)—establishing executive positions that are focused on the customer experience and on earning high marks for customer satisfaction.
  2. Measurement—“putting tools in place that measure the customer experience” and provide feedback to the organization. These tools include customer satisfactions surveys, focus groups, blogs, point-of-sale data/trends, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems that “hold valuable comments from emails, support cases, and online conversations between contact centers and customers.”
  3. Process improvement—using customer feedback and measurement to tune processes, streamline them, and eliminate defects.

Unfortunately, “still at many companies today, the potential of CEM remains untapped.” It behooves the enterprise architects to help drive CEM as a major source of business intelligence and for use in enterprise architecture planning and governance for new investments.

Ultimately, just like the EA end-user is the final arbiter for driving the development of the EA information products (so they are useful and usable), so too the customer is king when it comes to influencing the organizations’ future direction for product, process, technology, and service. If we’re not satisfying our customers, they will find a better supplier to give their business to.


April 29, 2008

Organizational Culture and Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise architecture is about managing change and complexity in the organization. EA establishes the roadmap to evolve, transform and remain competitive in an ever changing world. Part of change involves continually going out there and simply trying—trying to climb the next rung on the ladder; trying to innovate and do something that hasn’t been done before; and generally speaking, trying to do things better, faster, cheaper.

As children, we all learned the old saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” This lesson can apply to both individuals and organizations.

In EA, we set targets that are ambitious. If the targets are too easy to achieve, then they are not challenging us to be our best. So we set the bar high—not too high, so that we fall on our face and break our nose—but high enough, so that we don’t necessarily achieve the target the first time around. We set stretch targets, so that we really are transforming the organization.

How do we keep the organizations focused on the goals and continuously trying to achieve the next big thing?

Well, people like organizations, need to sincerely believe that they indeed can succeed, and they must be dedicated and determined to succeed and achieve their goals.

The Wall Street Journal, 29 April 2008 reports that “‘self-efficacy’ [is] the unshakable belief that some people have that they have what it takes to succeed.”

This is the differentiator between “what makes some people [and organizations] rebound from defeats and go on to greatness while others throw in the towel.”

Is self-efficacy the same as self-esteem?

No. Self-efficacy is “a judgment of specific capabilities, rather than a general feeling of self-worth…there are people with high self-efficacy who ‘drive themselves hard but have low self-esteem because their performance always falls short of their high standards. Still such people succeed because they believe that persistent effort will let them beat the odds.”

“Where does such determination come from?”

Well, there is both nature and nurture involved. “In some cases it’s inborn optimism—akin to the kind of resilience that enables some children to emerge unscathed from extreme poverty, tragedy, or abuse. Self-efficacy can also be built by mastering a task; by modeling the behavior of others who have succeeded; and from…getting effective encouragement, distinct from empty praise.”

Organizations are like people. In fact, organizations are made up of people focused on and working towards a common cause in a structured environment.

Like people, organizations need to believe in their goals and be determined to achieve them. The whole organization needs to come together and rally around the goals and be of one mind, convinced that they can and will achieve success.

Of course, neither people nor organizations succeed the first time around every time. We can’t get discouraged or be afraid to make mistakes. Our organizations need to encourage and promote self-efficacy among their employees so that they will engage in reasonable risk taking in order to innovate and transform.

“It took Thomas Edison 1,000 tries before he invented the light bulb. (‘I didn’t fall 1,000 times, he told a reporter. ‘The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps’).”


April 28, 2008

Creative Destruction and Enterprise Architecture

“The notion of creative destruction is found in the writings of Mikhail Bakunin, Friedrich Nietzsche and in Werner Sombart's Krieg und Kapitalismus (War and Capitalism) (1913, p. 207), where he wrote: "again out of destruction a new spirit of creativity arises". The economist Joseph Schumpeter popularized and used the term to describe the process of transformation that accompanies radical innovation. In Schumpeter's vision of capitalism, innovative entry by entrepreneurs was the force that sustained long-term economic growth, even as it destroyed the value of established companies that enjoyed some degree of monopoly power.” (Wikipedia)

From an enterprise architecture perspective, I find the concept of creative destruction an enlightening concept, in a number of ways:

  1. Two steps backwards—enterprise architecture is not just a forward planning endeavor. Sometimes, to move forward on the roadmap, you actually may have to take a couple of step back. To build new processes or introduce new technologies, you may first have to scrap the old ones or at least stop investing in them. Just like with a physical blueprint, sometimes you can build unto an existing house or modify it, and other times, you need to bring in the wrecking ball (take a few steps back) and build fresh from the ground up. (Of course, at other times you may have to change the wings on the airplane while it’s still flying.) It is on a fresh palette that a painter can create a new masterpiece.
  2. Creativity is the future—enterprise architects should not fear bringing in new ideas, innovation, and creative approaches. Just because something has been done a certain way in the past, does not mean that it always has to be done that way in the future. In fact, stagnation by definition means that the existing processes are doomed to be obsolete and surpassed by others who are adapting to an ever changing environment. Indeed, those enamored with the past can and often are a roadblock to doing things a new way. The old guard will stand up and say, we’ve been doing it this way or that way for so many years; who are you to come in here and try and change it; we know better; you don’t understand our environment. And sometimes, they may be right. But more often than not, the naysayers are fearful of and resistant to change. With ample research, planning, and testing we can develop better, faster, and cheaper ways of doing things.
  3. Change can be radical—Much of EA change will be evolutionary, a planned sequence of steps in process improvement and technology enablement. However, some change will be more radical and revolutionary. Some organizational change requires selling off, closing down, merging, acquiring, or otherwise “destroying the value of established companies” in order to innovate and create something new and better. Like the process of evolution and the survival of the fittest, those companies and processes that are not “making the grade” need to be shut down, discontinued, or otherwise morphed into value-add forces of long-term economic growth.

One final thought. Destruction is a darn scary thing. No one wants to see their handiwork taken apart, brought down, and be forced to start again. In fact, it is hard enough in life to have to build something, but to see it destroyed and have to start again can be maddening. The mere fact of seeing something destroyed is destabilizing and demoralizing. The organization and person asks themselves: who’s to say the next build will be more stable, more everlasting, more productive? Who wants to feel that their time has been wasted on something that is now gone? Who can be so confident that their efforts will ever come again to a substantive and meaningful accomplishment, and one that compares or surpasses to what was? However, this is the clincher of creative destruction—while destruction is enormously painful and undermining to self-confidence, “out of destruction a new spirit of creativity arises.” With a fresh start, an organization or person can build anew and perhaps from the lessons of the past, from the pain of building and destruction, from the processes of working something through and evolving it, a better future can be created. And there is hope for a new enterprise or personal life architecture.


April 25, 2008

Self-Determination and Enterprise Architecture

There is an age old question whether we make our own fate or whether it is predetermined.

For thousands of years, people have turned to prophets, fortune tellers, mystics, and star gazing to try and divine their futures. Yet, at the same time, we are taught that every child has the opportunity to become the President of the United States or an astronaut, or whatever their hearts desire; that laser-like focus, discipline, repetition and determination breeds success. Haven’t we always been taught to always try our best?

Surely, this is one of the irresolvable conflicts that philosophically can never be truly resolved: If the future is already predetermined, then how can we affect it? Further, if our actions can impact the future, then how the future be predetermined?

The way ahead is to work to influence our future, knowing full well that many things are indeed beyond our control.

From an organization perspective, there are no guarantees for the future, so we must take the reins of change, plan and manage it: one way we do this is through enterprise architecture.

In Fortune Magazine, 5 May 2008, in an article entitled, “The Secret of Enduring Greatness,” it states that “the best corporate leaders never point out the window to blame external conditions; they look in the mirror and say, ‘We are responsible for the results.’”

The future of our organizations are not static and so our leadership cannot rest on its laurels, rather we must continually plan for and execute innovation and transformation.

If we look at the largest corporations in America, the Fortune 500, we see that companies rise and fall to/from prominence with almost unbelievable speed. Here are some examples:

  • “The vast majority of those on the list 50 years ago are nowhere to be found on the current list” (only 71 of the original 500 companies from 1955 are still on the list today).
  • “Nearly 2000 companies have appeared on the list since its inception.”
  • “Some of the most powerful companies on today’s list—businesses like Intel, Microsoft, Apple, Dell, and Google” didn’t even exist in 1955 and conversely, “some of the most celebrated companies in history no longer even appear on the 500, having fallen from great to good to gone.”

So if the tides start to turn down for a company, what are they to do—simply accept their fate, and perish like so many of those that came before them or do they fight to survive, knowing full well that they may not or will likely not succeed?

I say we fight to survive—we plan and execute change—we transform, and we live to fight another day.

“Just because a company stumbles—or gets smacked upside the head by an unexpected event or a new challenge—does not mean that it must continue to decline. Companies do not fall primarily because of what the world does to them or because of how the world changes around them; they fall first and foremost because of what they do to themselves.”

One example is IBM that stumbled in the late 1980’s in relying on what was becoming commoditized hardware, but transformed themselves in the early 1990’s to a software and services juggernaut. Similarly, Apple transformed from a niche computer manufacturer to a consumer electronics dynamo with their innovations such as the iPod and iPhone.

Essentially it comes down to the ability of the organization to manage change and complexity (as John Zachman stated) to adapt and transform, and we do this through enterprise architecture


Implementing IT Governance

IT governance is often implemented with the establishment of an IT Investment Review Board (IRB) and Enterprise Architecture Board (EAB); but to get these to really be effective you have to win the hearts and minds of the stakeholders.

Here are some critical success factors to making IT governance work:

  • Management buy-in and commitment—this is sort of a no-brainer, but it’s got to be said; without senior management standing firmly behind IT governance, it won’t take root and IT projects will continue to fly under the radar.
  • Prioritizatuion and resourcing—EA, IT Strategic Planning, and IT governance compete with IT operations for resources, management attention, and prioritization. More often than not, many not so savvy CIOs value putting some new technology in the hands of the end-user over creating strategic IT plans, developing transition architectures, and implementing sound IT governance (they do this at risk to their careers and good names!)
  • Policy and procedures—IT governance needs a firm policy to mandate compliance to the user community; further the procedures for users to follow need to be clear and simple. IT governance procedures should integrate and streamline the governance processes for authorizing the project, allocating funding, conducting architectural reviews, following the systems development life cycle, managing the acquisition, and controlling the project. End-users should have a clear path to follow to get from initiating the project all the way through to close-out. If the governance mechanism are developed and implemented in silos, the end users have every reason in the world to find ways to work around the governance processes—they are a burden and impede timely project delivery.
  • Accessibility—Information on IT governance services including the process, user guides, templates, and job aids needs to be readily available to project managers and other end users. If they have to search for it or stick the pieces together, then they have another reason to bypass it all together.
  • Enforcement—there are two major ways to enforce the governance. On the front end is the CIO or IRB controlling the IT funding for the enterprise and having the authority to review, approve, prioritize, fund, monitor, and close down IT projects. At the back-end, is procurement; no acquisitions should pass without having demonstrated compliance with the IT governance processes. Moreover, language should be included in contracting to enforce EA alignment and compliance.
  • Cultural change-Organizations need to value planning and governance functions. If operations always supersede IT planning and governance, then both business and technical stakeholders will feel that they have a green light to ignore those functions and do what they want to do without regard to overall strategy. Further, if the culture is decentralized and governance is managed in silos (one manager for SDLC, another for EA, yet another for requirements management), then the processes will remain stove-piped, redundant, and not useable by the user community.
  • Communication plan—the governance process and procedures need to be clearly communicated to the end users, and it must address the what’s in it for me (WIIFM) question. Users need to understand that their projects will be more successful if they follow the IT plan and governance processes. Those are in place to guide the user through important and necessary project requirements. Further, users are competing for resources with other important IT projects, and user will benefit their projects by making the best business and technical case for them and following the guidelines for implementing them.


Enterprise Information Architecture

We all know that enterprise architecture is a strategic-level synthesis of business and technology information to drive enhanced decision-making. To develop the EA we must build out the individual perspectives, such as performance, business, information, services, technology, security, and human capital. This blog focuses on one of those, enterprise information architecture.

Enterprise Information Architecture (EIA) is the strategic-level information architecture for the organization.

Note: Information refers to both information (processed data) and data.


The overall goal of EIA is to provide the right information to the right people anytime, anywhere.



The federal mandate in law enforcement is the Intelligence Reform and Prevention Act (IRTPA) of 2004. Further, The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has developed the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) Implementation Plan in 2006 and the Department of Defense created the Net-centric Data Strategy in 2001.

Common Sense:

We need information to perform our mission/business function and processes: we can’t do without it! Moreover, in an information economy, information is power and information is currency.


Developing the enterprise information architecture is an outgrowth of developing the business, data, and system models to understand the business processes, the information required to perform those, and the systems that serve up the information.

According to the Federal Enterprise Architecture, Data Reference Model, there are three parts to developing your information architecture.

  1. Data Descriptions—identify what your information needs are.
  2. Data Context—determining how the information is related.
  3. Data Sharing—developing the mechanisms for discovering and exchanging information.

Data Descriptions is the semantics and syntax. It involves developing your “data asset catalogue” and the metadata. This includes developing a lexicon or data dictionary with harmonized terms and schemas to describe them, as well as tagging the data. This helps define what the terms mean and identifies the rules for arranging them.

Data Context is the relationships. It includes categorizing the information using taxonomies and ontologies. It includes developing models, such as entity relationship diagrams (ERDs) to identify entities or information objects (and their attributes or properties) and associating them.

Data Sharing is the transactional processes. It entails the decomposition of information exchanges (in an Information Exchange Matrix or in a Information Exchange Package Description, IEPD) to determine the provider, the consumer, the trigger, the frequency, the media, the security, and so forth for each type of transaction. This phases also includes developing information repositories/registries, information sharing access agreements, and other mechanisms for sharing the information, such as portals, web services, enterprise service bus (ESB), and so on.

In the end, EIA is about transforming the organization: Culturally, from information hoarding to information sharing; from a business process perspective, optimizing information flows and usage, and in terms of governance, managing information as an enterprise asset.


Customer Service and Enterprise Architecture

Good customer service is worth its weight in gold and indeed, many people are willing to pay extra for this.

In fact, I would venture to say that most of us are usually willing to pay extra if we know that the customer service will be there to protect our purchase or investment.

The Wall Street Journal, 25 April 2008, introduces a new book called “The Best Service is No Service” by Bill Price and Dave Jaffe that discusses what real customer service is all about.

How bad is customer service these days (despite all the technology)?

“When calling an 800 number, we expect to find ourselves in voice-response hell. We dutifully follow instructions to key in a 10-digit policy number—only to be asked by the customer-service rep for the same darn number. Waiting on hold for 25 minutes? Well, that’s what speakerphones are for.”

How have companies responded to calls for better customer service?

“There is more to helping customers than picking up the phone within three rings or emailing within 24 hours.” And these measures are often gamed; here are some examples:

  • “At one company, where managers imposed a target ‘average handle time (call time) of 12minutes, phone calls miraculously shortened to just under 12 minutes: As the 12-minute mark approached, agents simply said whatever it took to get the caller of the phone.
  • The call center at another company hit on the idea of reducing the number of phone lines so that the excess callers simply got a busy signal-and went unmeasured.”

“In other words: don’t just ask how long it took to help the customer, ask how often the customer needed help and why. The goal is to avoid the need for a customer to contact the company [about problems] in the first place.”

The authors contend that the goal for good customer service is for there to be no need for customer service—i.e. the customer is happy with the product or service being provided and there are no problems and therefore, no complaints. This to me sounds akin to Six Sigma and the quest for zero defects.

And if zero (or close to zero) defects are not the reality, then good customer service is about finding out the “root causes” of the problems and solving them, not just appearing responsive to the complaints, but doing nothing to ensure they don’t happen again.

Good customer service is a strategic competitive advantage, and organizations should include improvements to this area as a goal in their plans.

From a User-centric EA perspective, good customer service is like a sister to User-centricity. We put the user/customer/stakeholder at the center of the organization’s value proposition.

We are here to serve the user and that should mean more than just paying lip service to them. It must mean that we continuously improve processes, products, and service and make the end-user experience zero-defect, problem and hassle free.


April 24, 2008

IT Roles Are Changing and Enterprise Architecture

These days, everyone likes to think that they are an architect and the ways things are going, soon this may become a reality.

ComputerWorld, 7 April 2008 reports that “New IT titles portend a revolution in IT roles.”

“Don’t expect to be part of an IT department. As a 21st century technology professional, your future—and most likely your desk—will be on the business side, and your title will likely be scrubbed of any hint of computers, databases, software, or data networks.”

Technology is being down-played and business requirements are in focus. This is good EA and common sense.

“IT is no longer a subset specialty. It is integrated into whatever work you’re trying to get done…IT is being disintermediated, but in a good way. It is being pushed farther up the food chain.”

IT is no longer being viewed as a mere utility to keep the network up, email running, and the dial tone on. Rather, IT folks are being seen as full partners with the business to solve problems. YES!

“No one know s exactly what to call these positions, but they definitely include more than pure technical skills. ‘If you’re a heads-down programmer, you’re at a terrible disadvantage.’”

The CTO of Animas, a web hosting company stated: “Outsourcing, globalization and the cost reduction for WAN technology all work to eliminate the need for systems administrators, help desk people, or developers. We don’t want developers on our staff for all of these technologies. We pretty much have kept only business-savvy people who we expect to be partners in each department and to come up with solutions.

Solving business problems requires the ability to synthesize business and technology and let business drive technology. Hence, the new glorification and proliferation of architects in today’s organizations.

David McCue, the CIO of Computer Sciences Corp. says “You’ll see titles like ‘solutions architect’ and ‘product architect’ that convey involvement in providing the product or service to a purchaser.” Similarly, the CIO of TNS, a large market research company, stated: “everyone is either an architect or an engineer.”

“Although job titles for all of these emerging roles have yet to be standardized, the overall career-focus seems pretty clear: It’s all about business.”

Wise CIOs are changing their focus from day-to-day technology operations to strategic business issues. That’s the sweet spot where value can be added by the CIO.

Enterprise architecture and IT governance are the CIO’s levers to partner with the business and plan their IT more effectively and to govern it more soundly, so that IT investments are going to get the business side, the biggest bang for their buck.


April 23, 2008

Activity Monitoring and Enterprise Architecture

When you log on at work, many of you probably—know it or not--click on an acknowledgement that you consent to monitoring of your activities.

When you are working, your time and your “privacy” are not really your own!

Organizations routinely conduct various sorts of monitoring include network monitoring, intrusion detection monitoring, and now more and more, monitoring of employee activities online. This is an important part of the organization’s technical and security architecture.

  • Network focused--Network monitoring describes the use of a system that constantly monitors a computer network for slow or failing systems and that notifies the network administrator in case of outages via email, pager or other alarms. It is a subset of the functions involved in network management.”
  • External focused--“An intrusion detection system (IDS) is used to detect several types of malicious behaviors that can compromise the security and trust of a computer system. This includes network attacks against vulnerable services, data driven attacks on applications, host based attacks such as privilege escalation, unauthorized logins and access to sensitive files, and malware (viruses, trojan horses, and worms).” (Wikipedia)
  • Internal-focused--An activity monitoring tool, according to ComputerWorld Magazine, 7 April 2007, “monitors all activities on an end-user’s system to make sure that no data or computer usage policies are violated. If a violation does occur, the agent issues an alert to the company’s security team and begins collecting data for further review.”

While we all can understand the need for network monitoring and intrusion detection systems, many find internally-focused activity monitoring, a put-off, a display of lack of trust in the employees, or a violation of our privacy.

However, companies do actually have much to fear from their employees—especially the disgruntled or corrupt ones:

CyberDefense Magazine, August 2004, reports in “Beware of Insider Threats to Your Security” as follows: “Gartner estimates that 70% of security incidents that cause monetary loss to enterprises involve insiders…[that] recent FBI statistics show that 59% of computer hackings are done internally…[and that] a source inside the United states intelligence community stated that more than 85% of all incidents involving the attempted theft or corruption of classified data involved an individual who had already been thoroughly vetted and been given legal access to the data.

According to ComputerWorld, activity monitoring tools “features a video-like playback feature that lets security administrators view precisely what a user was doing before, during and after a policy violation was flagged. That can help the admins determine almost instantly whether the violation was an accident or the result of deliberate action…[Additionally, other tools] keeps an eye on all internal network traffic for sensitive or inappropriate material…[or] monitor database activity and check for improper access and other abuses.”

“Because the software [tools] can quickly correlate log even from practically every IT system, it also serve as both a “real-time alerting system and an after-the-fact forensic tool.”

Related products can actually be set up to quarantine a computer, when a policy violation is detected.

The architecture for monitoring the network and internal and external threats is becoming ever more sophisticated. While according to ComputerWorld, Gartner estimates that “less than 30% of Fortune 5,000 companies have installed such [activity monitoring] tools,” we can expect many more to adopt these in the near future.

These tools are vital in today’s information-rich environment where confidentiality, availability, and integrity are the backbone for our enterprise decision-making.


April 22, 2008

“Consumerized” IT and Enterprise Architecture

“Ergonomics (or human factors) is the application of scientific information concerning objects, systems and environment for human use…Ergonomics is commonly thought of as how companies design tasks and work areas to maximize the efficiency and quality of their employees’ work. However, ergonomics comes into everything which involves people. Work systems, sports and leisure, health and safety should all embody ergonomics principles if well designed. The goal of ergonomics and human factors is to make the interaction of humans with machines as smooth as possible, enhancing performance, reducing error, and increasing user satisfaction through comfort and aesthetics. It is the applied science of equipment design intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. The field is also called biotechnology, human engineering, and human factors engineering.”

“In the 19th century, Frederick Winslow Taylor pioneered the "Scientific Management" method, which proposed a way to find the optimum method for carrying out a given task… The dawn of the Information Age has resulted in the new ergonomics field of human-computer interaction (HCI). Likewise, the growing demand for and competition among consumer goods and electronics has resulted in more companies including human factors in product design. (Wikipedia)

Despite all the talk of ergonomics, we’ve all had the experience of getting a new IT gadget or using a new IT application that necessitated that we go through reams of instructions, user-guides, manuals (some 3-4 inches thick), and online tutorials, and still often we end up with having to call in to some IT support center (often in India these days) for walking through the “technical difficulties”.

Not a very user-centric architecture.

Well finally companies are waking up and factoring in (and designing in) ergonomics and a more user-centric approach.

The Wall Street Journal, 22 April 2008, reports “Business Software’s Easy Feeling: Programs are Made Simpler to Learn, Navigate.”

Many vendors have ‘consumerized’ their corporate software and online services making them easier to learn and navigate by borrowing heavily from sites such as Facebook or Amazon.com. They have also tried to make their products more intuitive by shying from extraneous features—a lesson learned from simple consumer products such as Apple Inc.’s iPod.”

Other vendors are developing products using “user experience teams” in order to build products that are user-friendly and require minimal to “no formal training to use.”

David Whorton, one of the backers of SuccessFactors, an online software company, stated: “We’ve moved into an environment where no one will tolerate manuals or training.”

Similarly, Donna Van Gundy, the human resources director for Belkin, a maker of electronic equipment said: “Employees just don’t want to be bothered with training courses.”

The bar has been raised and consumers expect a an intuitive, user-friendly experience and a simple user interface.

Go User-centric!!


April 18, 2008

10 Obstacles to Enterprise Architecture

Here is an interesting list of 10 obstacles to the enterprise architecture from a colleague and friend, Andy Wasser, Associate Dean, Carnegie Mellon University School of Information Systems Management:

  1. Lack of Senior Management [Commitment] Support
  2. Inability to obtain necessary resources (funds, personnel, time)
  3. Business partner alienation
  4. Internal IT conflicts and turf issues (no centralized authority)
  5. Lack of credibility of the EA team
  6. Inexperience with enterprise architecture planning or inexperience with the organization
  7. Entrenched IT team [operational focus versus strategic]
  8. Focus on EAP methodologies and tools [rather than on outputs and outcomes]
  9. Uncertain payback and ROI
  10. Disharmony between sharing data vs. protecting data

This is a good list for the chief enterprise architect to work with and develop strategies for addressing these. If I may, here are some thoughts on overcoming them:

1-4,7,9: Obtain Senior management commitment/support, resources, and business/IT partnership by articulating a powerful vision for the EA; identify the benefits (and mandates); preparing an EA program assessment, including lessons learned and what you need to do to make things “right”; developing an EA program plan with milestones that shows you have a clear way ahead. Providing program metrics of how you intend to evaluate and demonstrate progress and value for the business/IT.

5,6,8: Build credibility for EA planning, governance, and organizational awareness by hiring the best and the brightest and train, train, train; getting out of the ivory tower and working hand-in-hand in concert with business partners; building information products and governance services that are useful and usable to the organization (no shelfware!); using a three-tier metamodel (profiles, models, and inventories) to provide information in multiple levels of details that makes it valuable and actionable from everyone from the analyst to the chief executive officer; looking for opportunities (those that value EA and want to participate) and build incrementally (“one success at a time”).

10: Harmonize information sharing and security by developing an information governance board (that includes the chief information security officer) to vet information sharing and security issues; establishing data stewards to manage day-to-day issues including metadata development, information exchange package descriptions, discovery, accessibility, and security; creating a culture that values and promotes information sharing, but also protects information from inappropriate access and modification.


Disaster Preparedness and Enterprise Architecture

There are several disaster preparedness exercises that test and train our government and private sector partners’ ability to respond to incidents that could have catastrophic consequences. These exercises can be supported by a robust enterprise architecture; here is a brief description followed by a sketch of how EA can support disaster preparedness.


“Top Officials (TOPOFF) is the nation’s premier terrorism preparedness exercise, involving top officials at every level of government, as well as representatives from the international community and private sector. Thousands of federal, state, territorial, and local officials engage in various activities as part of a robust, full-scale simulated response to a multi-faceted threat.” [Exercises have tested responses to chemical, biological, and radiological attacks.]


Cyber Storm

“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) successfully executed Cyber Storm, the first national cyber exercise Feb. 6 thru Feb. 10, 2006 [and a second biennial exercise was conducted in March 2008]. The exercise was the first government-led, full-scale cyber security exercise of its kind…Cyber Storm was designed to test communications, policies and procedures in response to various cyber attacks and to identify where further planning and process improvements are needed.”


Government Computer News, 14 April 2008 reports on the Cyber Storm II exercise in which DHS “hosted federal, state, local, and international government agencies along with more than 40 private-sector companies” in these “high-stakes war games.”

Carl Banzhoff, the vice president and chief technology evangelist at McAfee summed it up as follows: “when the internet burns to the ground, how are you going to get updates?”

The goal was to test communication coordination and partnerships across sectors.”

Bob Dix, the vice president of government affairs at Juniper Networks said that “the greatest impediment to sharing information still is trust.”

Whether the preparedness tests are for terrorism or cyber security, the essence is to test our ability in preparing, preventing, responding, and recovering from security incidents. This involves building capability for uninterrupted communications, information sharing, and coordinated response.

How can enterprise architecture support disaster preparedness?

  1. Requirements—EA can capture strategic, high-level requirements from mission areas across the many functional areas of homeland security and weave these into a core map of capabilities to build to. For example, we have a requirement for system security that is mandated by law and policy, and securing our communications and infrastructure is a core capability for our information systems that must be executed. The weakest link in security has the potential to jeopardize all components and their response capability.
  2. Planning—EA analyzes problem areas and uncovers gaps, redundancies, inefficiencies, and opportunities and uses these to drive business process improvement, reengineering, and the introduction of new technologies. Improved business processes and enabling technologies can enable integration, interoperability, standardization, modernization, and information sharing that can enable a better prepared homeland security infrastructure. For example, identifying shared mission communities and building information sharing and collaboration among stakeholders in these improves our preparedness abilities.
  3. Governance—EA brings the various stakeholders to the table to vet decisions and ensure sound business process improvement and IT investments. Governance involves sharing information, building trust, and making decisions towards a unified way forward. For example, through the DHS Enterprise Architecture Board (EAB), the CIOs of all components can collaborate and engage in developing targets that will lead to implementation of best practices and standards across the Department that will improve overall efficiency of all components.

Of course, EA is not the be-all and end-all for preparedness, but it provides critical elements of requirements management, planning, and governance that contributes to disaster preparedness.


Fear, Greed and Enterprise Architecture

Fear and greed can have a huge influence on our decision making processes. Rather than making rational, informed decisions, we are driven by fear and greed and herd mentality to do stupid things.

Irrational decisions driven by fear and greed are the antithesis of rational, well-thought out decisions driven by enterprise architecture planning and governance.

In an interview with Fortune Magazine 28 April 2008 (and on a day of teaching students from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business), Warren Buffet stated: “when people panic, when fear takes over, or when greed takes over, people react just as irrationally as they have in the past.”

Similarly, in The Wall Street Journal 18 April 2008, an MIT financial economist, Andrew Lo, stated: “You have to understand the mechanism of how fear and greed impact market decisions.”

Fear and greed are affected by our endocrine system. According to Andrew Lo, “for better or for worse, biochemistry makes money go to our heads. ‘We need to understand that physiological aspects of brain behavior really impact financial decisions.”

Testosterone is the hormone that makes us irrationally exuberant, confident and greedy, and another hormone, cortisol, causes us to feel fear and gloom.

Do these hormones and the resulting emotions we feel impact our decisions and behavior?

Your bet!

“Among males and females, testosterone is a natural component in the chemistry of competition…it enhances persistence, fearlessness, and a willingness to take risks. Among athletes it rises in victory, and falls in defeat. “

Endocrinologists have identified “the ‘winners’ effect,’ in which successive victories boost levels of testosterone higher and higher, until the winner is drunk with success—so overconfident that he can no longer think clearly, assess risk properly or make sound decisions.” On the opposite side of the spectrum, “too much cortisol, secreted in response to stress, might in turn make them overly shy of risk.”

In the face of fear and greed, decision making is impaired and becomes irrational. Decisions are no longer driven by the facts on the ground or by judicious planning or sound governance that comes with disciplines like enterprise architecture. Instead, people become slaves to their hormones and emotional effects.

In Fortune Magazine, Warren Buffet warned against falling into the fear/greed trap of decision making. He stated: “I always say you should get greedy when other are fearful and fearful when others are greedy. But that’s too much to expect. Of course [at a minimum] you shouldn’t get greedy when others get greedy and fearful when others get fearful.”

Rather than optimizing decision making, our fears and greed destabilize our ability to think clearly and rationally. When this happens, we need to rely more than ever on our enterprise architecture target and plans and on our governance processes, so that we stay focused on our goals and path to them and not be sidetracked by, as Alan Greenspan stated, “irrational exuberance” or irrational fears.


Requirements Management and Enterprise Architecture

Requirements management is critical to developing enterprise architecture. Without identifying, understanding, and rationalizing the organization’s requirements, no meaningful enterprise architecture planning can occur.

“The purpose of Requirements management is to manage the requirements of a project and to identify inconsistencies between those requirements and the project's plans and work products. Requirements management practices include change management and traceability.”

Traceability is the identification of all requirements back to the originator, whether it be a person, group, or legal requirement, or mandate. Traceability is important to ensure alignment of end products with the origination of the requirements, prioritization of requirements, and determining requirements’ value to specific users. Traceability should ensure that requirements align to the organization’s mission (intended purpose) and its strategic plan. (Wikipedia)

How is requirements management done?

  1. Stakeholders—identify program/project stakeholders.
  2. Requirements—capture, validate and prioritize stakeholder requirements.
  3. Capabilities—analyze alternatives and plan for capabilities to fulfill requirements.
  4. Resources—ascertain resource needs for capability development
  5. Activities—perform activities to develop the capabilities to meet the requirements.
  6. Measures—establish measures to demonstrate requirements have been met.

How does EA bridge requirements and capabilities?

Enterprise architecture captures strategic requirements—high-level mandates or needs. It uses this to establish an integrated set of functional requirements areas or cross-cutting categories of requirements. These drive strategic capability development to meet mission needs and achieve results of operation. Strategic capabilities are reflected in the enterprise architecture in the target and transition plan. This is used to evaluate proposed new IT projects, products, and standards to ensure that they align to and comply with the EA.

EA is the glue that binds sound IT investment decision making to strategic requirements and technical alignment.


April 17, 2008

Port Security and Enterprise Architecture

[This Blog is based entirely on public information and represents my views alone and not those of the U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, or other Federal agency.]

Maritime and port security is critical to this nation, particularly after the events we witnessed on 9-11.

The largest border for the United States is our coastline at 95,000 miles. Moreover, there are approximately 361 major ports (according to the Council on Foreign Relations). Securing the maritime border is the purview of the United States Coat Guard (USCG), for which I have the privilege to work, and securing the ports is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Justice, and state and local law enforcement.

National Defense Magazine, April 2008, reports that “under project SeaHawk [a pilot project], port security officials during the past three years have developed the software, sensors, and communications infrastructure needed to maintain a 24/7 watch on this regional port [Charleston, S.C.]—the sixth largest in the United States.”

From an enterprise architecture perspective, the keys to the success of SeaHawk are business process integration, information sharing and collaboration.

Before SeaHawk it wasn’t uncommon for the different agencies with jurisdiction in the port to duplicate their efforts, said CAPT Michael McAllistar, Coast Guard sector commander and Charleston’s captain of the port. “’My boarding teams would run into Custom’s boarding teams at the bow of a ship.’ Today, boardings are carried out in a more efficient manner that allows the different agencies to make better use of their limited resources.”

The Safe Port Act of 2006 calls “for the creation of similar operational centers at ‘high priority’ ports by October 2009.”

National Defense Magazine identifies the many components comprising the successful architecture for port security:

  • Advance Notice of Arrival— provides the captain of the port the information of ships due to arrive, their cargo, and their people 96 hours in advance.
  • Automated Identification System (AIS)—“is a beacon that transmits the ship’s identity and bearing.”
  • Radar—tracks the ship as it approaches.
  • Law Enforcement Dossier—law enforcementUSCG, CBP, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—compile a dossier that identifies whether any of the crew have criminal records, “whether a ship recently changed ownership or flags, and whether it has been caught with contraband before.”
  • Risk Analysis—vessels of interest are color coded and tracked and decisions are made whether to conduct a boarding by USCG and/or CBP or “dispatch CBP canine units that specialize in either drugs or explosive detection.”
  • Cameras—“as the ship approaches the port, it is captured by long- and medium-range electro-optical and infrared cameras.”
  • Hawkeye System—“combines the data from cameras, radar, and AIS into a common operating picture [COP]. If the ship suddenly veers off course that would raise a red flag.
  • Wall of Knowledge--“like most modern operation centers, all these cameras, sensors, and tracking systems are displayed on a series of monitors spread across a wall”.
According to the article, one of the architectural challenges is standardizing the technologies and business processes for the various ports, given the challenge that “each port is different” in terms of geography and law enforcement risks (for example, some ports, like Charleston, emphasize port security while others, like in Florida, have a higher risk factors for drugs and illegal immigration). SeaHawk has been successful in this standardization with an 85% solution—“the information software portal has already been adopted by the Coast Guard’s captains of the ports.”

In the future, we can all look forward to seeing SeaHawk rolled out to other major ports, enhancing the security of our nation.


Don’t Get Put Out To Pasture and Enterprise Architecture

When an organization and its people don’t meet the needs of their users, they are sidelined; users will get their needs met elsewhere. It’s the nature of competition and the free market. And as enterprise architects, we need to make sure that our organizations are always meeting our users’ needs. The target architecture must reflect changing consumer tastes, needs, desires, and requirements.

The Wall Street Journal, 29-30 March 2008, reports that in India, milkmen, who used to be respected and productive civil services, have been put “out to pasture.”

In Mumbai, 300 milk delivery drivers show up for work each day, only to sit idle for their eight hour shifts—they read, nap, or play cards or sudoku. “The state government lost its monopoly on milk and consumer tastes changed. But because Indian work rules strictly protect government workers from layoffs,” the workers remain in a perpetual state of limbo.

In 2001, “private careers with higher quality milk swiftly won customers [away from the government dairy] by delivering milk to doorsteps [instead of to curbside milk stalls like the government milkmen did].”

Once the customer got the taste of the better milk and more convenient delivery, they “swiftly deserted.” The bar had been raised and now the consumers wanted, no demanded, the better product and service.

In the past, milkmen “lived in government housing near work, retired with a pension and often passed their jobs to their sons. ‘We enjoyed doing our work because it was a public service. Time flew by.”

But the government milkmen don’t meet the consumers’ needs anymore and now “most of the deliverymen, plus around 4,000 other dairy workers statewide” are on the “surplus list.”

“The dairy used to deliver around 250,000 gallons of milk each morning. Now it sends less than a quarter of that, delivered by private carriers, since the milk trucks were sold.”

One milkman stated: “We want work. Just give us something to do and we will work 10 hours a day instead of eight. I really miss my truck.”

The lesson is clear for organizations and their workers: deliver exceptional products and services to your customers and meet their every realistic need or they will go elsewhere (to the competition) and you will soon be joining the Indian milkmen and missing your delivery truck.


April 15, 2008

“I Am Legend” and Enterprise Architecture

Sometimes, when we architect change, we can make mistakes and people and organizations end up getting hurt.

In the movie I Am Legend, mankind architects a way to use a virus to kill cancer—seemingly, the cure that we’ve all been hoping for; but something goes terribly wrong and 90% of the world ends up dead, while another 9% end up as zombie cannibals feeding off of the remaining 1% of the population that is immune to the virus.

“Viral diseases such as rabies, yellow fever and smallpox have affected humans for centuries…Examples of common human diseases caused by viruses include the common cold, the flu, chickenpox and cold sores. Serious diseases such as Ebola, AIDS, avian influenza and SARS are caused by viruses…The ability of viruses to cause devastating epidemics in human societies has led to the concern that viruses could be weaponized for biological warfare.” (Adapted from Wikipedia)

So is there such a thing as a good virus?

Now scientists have architected, they believe, a way for viruses (bacteriophages) to kill bacterial infections (hopefully, not a repeat of the I Am Legend plot!)

MIT Technology Review, 15 April 2008, reports that “in the fight against infection, viruses take up where antibiotics leave off.”

Superbug bacteria infects up to 1.2 million patients a year in the U.S., particularly in hospitals where bacteria can spread from countertops, stethoscopes, and catheters.

Scientists have developed “nylon sutures coated with bacteriophages—viruses, found naturally in water, that eat bacteria while leaving human cells intact.”

Bacteriophages were used in World War II to treat soldiers with dysentery and gangrene, but this was soon overcome by rising interest in antibiotics. But “it takes time to get new classes of antibiotics onto the market, whereas bacteriophages can be easily isolated from environmental sources such as sewage water.”

How do the bacteriophages work?

“In water, these natural born-killers are extremely effective at eating up bacteria. The virus binds to bacteria and injects its DNA, replicating within its host until it reaches capacity, whereupon it bursts out, killing the bacteria in the process.”

What is the advantage to using bacteriophages?

“Antibiotics are broad-spectrum, and for certain bacterial strains, it’s easier to use bacteriophages if you know exactly which bacterium is causing the infection. You can target one strain, and it wouldn’t affect any other bacteria that may be protecting cells.”

Aside from sutures, how else might bacteriophages be applied?

They can be incorporated into sprays and creams.

Additionally, bacteriophages, aside from use in fighting bacteria, may be useful in detecting bacterial infection.

From an enterprise architecture perspective, the baseline for fighting infection has for many years been through antibiotics. Now, the target architecture includes viruses that can kill the bacteria. However, as in the case of the virus that is supposed to help cure, but instead causes a lethal epidemic, there is always the potential for things to go off course, when we architect change in the enterprise.

Catastrophic consequences from change can occur for example, when we make changes to products, processes, people, and technologies in organizations. These can result in unintended consequences like defective products, inefficient processes, accidents to employees, and failed IT implementations to name just a few.

The point is that enterprise architecture is not a bacteriophage or antibiotic cure-all. As architects, we need to be cognizant of the risks inherent in change (as well as in maintaining the status quo) and manage change thoughtfully, carefully, and with an eye toward risk management all along the way.

The last thing we want to be is Lieutenant Colonel Robert Neville (in the movie I Am Legend) left as the last healthy human along with his trusty dog in New York City and possibly the entire world.


April 14, 2008

Honda and Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise architecture helps to define, structure, and govern the business processes and enabling technologies of the organization. It packages this into an identification of the as-is, to-be, and transition strategy. EA is a methodology for planning and governing.

Some companies though, such as Honda, function more by a seat-of-the-pants approach than by EA.

Fortune Magazine, 17 March 2008, reports that “the automaker’s habit of poking into odd technical corners sets it apart—and gives it a big edge on the competition.”

Honda is a huge, highly successful company. “Since 202 its revenues have grown nearly 40% to $94.8 billion. Its operating profits with margins ranging from 7.3% to 9.1% are among the best in the industry. Propelled by such perennial bestsellers as the Accord, the Civic, and the CR-V crossover, and spiced with new models like the fuel-sipping Fit, Honda’s U.S. market share has risen from 6.7% in 2000 to 9.6% in 2007.”

What is Honda’s secret to success?

The wellspring of Honda’s creative juices is Honda R&D, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor.”

"Honda R&D is almost the antithesis of EA’s planning and governance."

Honda R&D “lets its engineers, well dabble,” so much so that even the president and CEO of Honda says “I’m not in a position to give direct orders to the engineers in R&D.” Honda gives a lot of latitude to its engineers to “interpret its corporate mission” to the extent that their engineers have been known “to study the movement of cockroaches and bumblebees to better understand mobility.” R&D pretty much has free rein to tinker and figure out how things work, and any application to business problems is almost an afterthought.

This “more entrepreneurial, even quirky” culture has helped Honda find innovative solutions like fuel cells for cars that are “literally years ahead of the competition”. Or developing a new plane design “with engines mounted above the wings; this has made for a roomier cabin and greater fuel efficiency.”

At the same time, not having a more structured EA governance approach has hurt Honda. “When Honda launched the hybrid Insight in 1999 for example, it beat all manufacturers to the U.S. market (the Toyota Prius came six months later). But while the Prius looked like a conventional car, the Insight resembled a science project; it didn’t even have a back seat. Honda halted production in September 2006 after sales dropped to embarrassing levels. Toyota sold more than 180,000 Priuses last year.”

Honda is learning its lesson about the importance of planning and good governance, and now, they “tie [R&D] more closely to specific business functions” and “as a project approaches the market, the company is asserting more supervision.”

R&D and innovation is critical, especially in a highly technical environment, to a company’s success; however even R&D must be tempered with sound enterprise architecture, so that business is driving technology and innovation, rather than completely doing technology for technology’s sake.


April 13, 2008

Strategy and Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise architecture develops the organization’s IT strategic plan and influences its business strategic plan. In order to do this, EA itself must have a strategic roadmap.
Harvard Business Review, April 2008, states that “companies that don’t have a simple and clear statement of strategy are likely to fall into the sorry category of those that have failed to execute their strategy or, worse, those that never had one. In an astonishing number of organizations, executives, frontline employees, and all those in between are frustrated because no clear strategy exists for the company or its lines of business.”
Elements of a strategic plan
What are the elements of a strategic plan?
  1. Mission— “why we exist;” this is the purpose of the organization
  2. Values—“what we believe in and how we will behave”
  3. Vision—“what we want to be
  4. Strategy—“What pour competitive game plan will be; this includes the following: A) Objectives—what we want to achieve: goals and objectives B) Scope—“the domain of the business; the part of the landscape in which the firm will operate.” C) Advantage—the means or initiatives that define how you will achieve your objectives; “what your firm will do differently or better than others,” defines your competitive advantage.
  5. Balanced scorecard—“how we will monitor and implement that plan” A strategic plan for EA
    According to the American Management Association, the mission statement defines what the ultimate purpose of the organization is. It tells who you are, what you are, what you do, who do you serve, and why do you exist.
    The mission statement takes the form of: The [blank] is a [blank] that [produces blank] for [blank] to [help blank].
    For example, the mission statement for enterprise architecture:
    The [enterprise architecture program] is an [office of the CIO] that [develops information products and governance services] for [the employees of ABC organization] to [improve decision-making].
    The values of EA are: driving measurable results, aligning technology with the business, information-sharing and accessibility, service interoperability and component reuse, technology standardization and simplification, and information security.
    The vision of EA is to make information transparent to enable better decision-making.
    The strategy provides the conceptual way you will pursue your mission and vision.
    Defining the objective, scope, and advantage requires trade-offs, which Porter identified as fundamental to strategy.” For example, a growth or market size strategy may obviate profitability, or a lower price strategy may hinder fashion and fit. The point is that an organization cannot be everything to everybody! Something has got to give.
    So for example, in EA, we must trade off the desire to be and do all, with the reality that we must focus on entire enterprise. Therefore, we distinguish ourselves from segment architecture and solutions architecture. In EA, we focus on strategic outcomes and delegate line of business architectures and systems architectures to the lines of business and solution developers.
    Finally, EA implements a balanced scorecard by instituting mechanisms for monitoring and implementing its plans. These include performance metrics for both information products and governance services.
    In sum, to get a meaningful EA plan in place, we have to answer these fundamental elements of strategy for the EA program itself.


April 12, 2008

Robot Swarms and Enterprise Architecture

In the not-too-distant future, battlefield engagements will involve swarms of robots overcoming traditional warfighters.

This notion is no longer only the domain of Hollywood writers and producers for movies like iRobot, Battlestar Galactica, and the Terminator. The vision is becoming a reality and potentially a devastating one for our adversaries.

The Gulf Times, 8 April 2008, reports: “Robot Troops on the March.”

Now ground, air, and sea-based robots of all kinds are playing an increasing role in warfare. Pilotless robots are used for reconnaissance, targeting, and missile guidance. Some of them can even destroy targets. Ground-based robots are used for mine clearing and breaching barriers. Many of them are armed and can be used in warfare in high-risk urban environments."

“There will be a time when robots will become the best value for the money. When this happens, a couple of battalions will be able to destroy an enemy tank division.”

What’s the vision or target architecture for robots to fight?

“Each robot will be armed with two-guided missiles and a machine gun [or two]. Equipped for a total of 1,200-2,400 robots controlled by 200-300 operators from a distance of several kilometers, these two battalions will be able to inflict heavy losses on enemy divisions, and destroy most of their tank and infantry combat vehicles.”

Similarly in the air and at sea: “enemy aircraft will be destroyed not by fighters, but by [swarms] of pilotless flying vehicles controlled from flying command posts.” [And] “Nuclear-powered submarines…will encounter the massive use of relatively compact underwater robots capable of carrying torpedoes.”

What are the primary benefits to robotic warfare?

  1. Minimal loss of human life, at least on the robot side of the battlefield
  2. Minimal financial cost in losing relatively inexpensive robots.
  3. Stealth and precision of robots

What are the major limitations?

  1. Robots do not have “high-level artificial intellect” that enables prompt reactions to ever changing situations. “This is why remote controlled rather than fully autonomous robots are used.”
  2. Robots’ optical systems are inferior to the human eye-brain coordination.

I find this target architecture for the military to be on one hand fascinating and on the other hand frightening.

The potential of robotics for both helping and hurting people is enormous.

ComputerWorld, 12 April 2008, reports that "Robots are really an evolution of the technology we have now...they are evolving into something you will engage with and will serve you in your life somehow."

Robots can work on the assembly line and produce the goods we need to survive; they can work jobs that are dangerous and dirty; and they can provide caretaking tasks and alleviate suffering and the physical demands on people. David Levy, a British Artificial Intelligence specialist even goes so far to predict that by the year 2050, humans will have not only emotional relationships with robots, but even love and intimacy. (OK, this is a little extreme!)

At the same time, robots are inanimate machines, without dictates of conscience or emotion; they can kill people or destroy things without hesitation or remorse. The clincher is that both these potential uses for robots (good and bad) are in the making and will come to fruition. The potential benefits as well as devastation to humanity are enormous.

Reflecting on this, I believe that EA plays an important role in ensuring that IT projects (like robots in warfare) are implemented with careful thought as to the potential consequences and managing the risk of these.

How can EA help with this?

Robots are a target architecture with commercial and military applications. Robots can be used in both positive and negative ways. In a sense, robots are like nuclear energy, which can be used to power the country or for developing weapons of mass destruction.

These targets architectures need to be planned and governed effectively to ensure safety and security. Through planning you develop the requirements, use cases, and develop the technologies, and through governance you make certain that they are implemented responsibly and effectively.

The EA functions of planning and governance are mutually reinforcing and self-correcting. EA plans are a strategic information asset for enhancing governance, while IT governance is the enforcement mechanism for EA plans. In this way, governance can be a counterbalance to planning, so that plans are thoroughly vetted and rationalized. Through governance, we enhance the organization’s decisions and plans and ensure that they are making the “right” investments, that they are wisely selected, implemented, and controlled.

So for example, with robotics, the planning element of EA provides the goals, objectives, and strategies for robotics in the target architecture, while the governance aspect of EA would ask relevant questions about the benefits, risks, strategic alignment, and architecture and ensure a clear way ahead.

EA planning is strategic, while EA governance is tactical.