There’s always some debate on the value of enterprise architecture, and particularly whether it deserves any real focus on it.
I have definitely been in the pro-EA camp, having been in the role for 10 years.
With anything you wish to sell, it’s handy to have an “Elevator Pitch” ready.
For those unfamiliar, an elevator pitch is a short, enticing dialogue you have ready in the event that you share an elevator with an influential executive [see my tweet below on Elevator Pitches].
EA Elevator Pitch
Enterprise architecture is a strategy that directs investment across business and technology changes to help design the enterprise that best delivers value.
A well-defined enterprise architecture helps you to make better decisions through understanding the company’s goals, operations, information, application and technology assets as a set of logical portfolios.
This is important because strategies only succeed where there’s an alignment and relationship between the assets that support it.
Enterprise architecture as a strategy can save you money through standardising and optimising what’s currently available.
But enterprise architecture’s real value-add is enabling success by design – not by chance, experience, so-called best practice, or gut feel.
I wrote this pitch in around 2009. Even with more experience, I still have the same thoughts around EA benefits.
My views have changed though on the appropriate focus to place upon EA, and the future of it.
To be clear, it’s not dead. All enterprises will continue to have an architecture.
The way to design it appropriately is just increasingly becoming more pragmatic and led by communities on the ground, rather than towers of ivory in theoretical clouds.
EA lost a lot of ground building itself into a so-called specialisation or discipline through academic exercises. Part of the solution is to demonstrate value, and for us all to get our hands dirty.
If I was an executive I'd take the stairs to avoid any chance of an elevator pitch.
— Ryan B (@rbrink77) April 22, 2014