In most organization it has been the IT department and the Chief Information Officer (CIO) that has initiated the Enterprise Architecture program with an IT department’s focus. The IT department’s focus is often based on that the IT department wants to clarify how the organization operates (operation model) and makes use of the artifacts that it has collected through the initiating of the Enterprise Architecture program. This often leads to a business to IT alignment process where the
The Change of Focus
The IT focus can in many ways be a good approach to start with; however the IT approach only gives the organization limited possibilities with working with Enterprise Architecture since the rest of the executive team often aren’t responsible or even evaluated on how well the Enterprise Architecture program is performing. This means that they rarely will take the EA program into consideration or assist in making the EA program more successful for the organization. Therefore it can be necessary to force a change of focus.
Replacing the CIO
The necessary change might come through that the organization chooses to replace their current (and often technically minded) CIO with a new CIO that has been engaged with the business side of the organization. This often eases the communication with the executive team and not to mention the Chief Executive Officer. This will eventually bring another perspective to the Enterprise Architecture program. The EA program will go from being IT minded to be organizational minded. This will in time evolve and mature the architecture from being the foundation architecture to become the extended architecture (Doucet et al. 2009).
However then replacement of the CIO is not enough to create the new focus. The focus has to be implemented along side an organizational change program that has to focus on how achieve desired changes in order to gain a competitive advantage or advantages such as agility, assurance and alignment with the goals of the organization. Since there can be a lot of bad will (Bjorn – Andersen & Marcus 1987) towards the IT department within the organization then it is a necessity to alter the organization culture and that can often only be achieved through organizational change programs. To initiate the organizational change program then the EA board, the Coherency Architect and the Chief Architect should address the various stakeholders in the executive group where the primary focus should be to communicate the value (including strategic value) of Enterprise Architecture to them.
The Extended Architecture
The Extended Architecture is characterized by being the advanced step of Enterprise Architecture and by maturing the architecture then the organization will be able to achieve results through that through working with Enterprise Architecture in both an IT context and a business context will make the organization able to know more about its architecture (the way the organization is designed and works (operation model), When doing so then the organization will be able to commit to better governance and decision making.
The assurance through knowing the business processes and the technological platform ensures that the organization will have a chance of applying new business processes that will enable the organization to achieve a strategic advantage.
The Coherency Architect and the EA board should communicate the value of Enterprise Architecture to the executive team. The Executive team should be working with identifying the need for change to achieve to mature the enterprise architecture from the foundation architecture to the extended architecture and communicate the ideas (and benefit of changing) to the executive team. Eventually if the CIO hasn’t been able to communicate and influence the executive team to buy in to the Enterprise Architecture program then the CIO should be replaced. The successor should be a person from the business side so the Enterprise Architecture program is able to change focus.
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Doucet, G. et al., 2009. Coherency Management: Architecting the Enterprise for Alignment, Agility and Assurance, International Enterprise Architecture Institute.