Gartner Webinar – Five Ways the CEO Can Use EA to Support the Business

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been” – Wayne Gretzky. Hockey quote used to illustrate EA also used by one of the suppliers at the JISC FSD meetings last week – is this becoming the quote for EA/SOA? To demonstrate that EA value is about helping the CEO to make choices today that will get the organisation to where it needs to be tomorrow.

Overall not a bad webinar – but not a lot new either. Main points:

  • EA has been too narrowly focussed – not just about technology management & standards. Terminology doesn’t help – enterprise can be seen as = central control; architecture = static/monolithic.
  • A lot of the usual stuff about EA promoting IT/Business alignment
  • Should help the CEO to become a ‘future impact specialist’ (?) – analogy used was understanding the impact of too many beers on Friday night on activities planned for Saturday. Didn’t really seem to work for me.
  • The CEO should challenge the EA function (if there is one!) to play a role that makes a difference within the business itself. My comment: the EA function should challenge the CEO to invite it to play a role etc…
  • The EA function must resist inertia & uncover a strategic role that optimises business today. Bit of a mouthful but a good point – have to demonstrate value now, not ‘when the EA is complete’
  • Chief Architects must help the organisation see the effect of today’s decisions on future state

& then some answers to questions raised:

  • How do you sell the value of EA thinking? Noted that there has been a reinvigoration of EA because of the need to  understand efficiency opportunities and futureproof the business. Need to somehow achieve a measurable financial impact & demonstrate how EA helps decision making – tied to Governance.
  • How to convince the CEO that EA is needed? Never use the term EA – well, can’t disagree with that. Suggested that should discuss what it feels like to make effective decisions – can’t disagree again, using EA to understand what we’re doing & work out how to do it better/more effectively sounds like a reasonable value proposition!

& at that point I gave up as there was too much static on the audio!

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