Enterprise Architecture is a very logical approach for helping organisations develop plans for the future that ensure the organisations long term success. However, the problem is that organisations are not always very logical. There are lots of dimensions to this:

  • Many organisations are highly networked and an approach such as EA will not succeed. Decision are made based on emotions and through charm and charisma – think of an organisation full of arts graduates as opposed to a bank with lots of maths and science graduates.   I am of course generalising to make the point.
  • Enterprise architecture has to break down the barriers and create converged solutions.  Standard processes, IT systems, roles, and data standards.  Business unit managers see this as a direct challenge to their autonomy and will often not welcome enterprise wide initiatives.
  • Putting in corporate solutions is costly and requires investment to make the long term savings that converged solutions offer.  This logic is difficult to sell especially to project managers and business leaders what want immediate benefits and prefer a ‘just do it ‘ approach.

The job of an enterprise architect is not an easy one and it’s as much about understanding people and their motivation as it is about understanding technology.