The dark secrets of enterprise architecture

Architecture matters too much to entrust to a framework or methodology. But don’t worry: Not having a methodology isn’t a problem; it’s a liberation.

The dark secrets of enterprise architecture
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Want to decrease IT costs without increasing technical debt? Enterprise architecture is a good place to start. Want to improve business/IT integration? Enterprise architecture promises to be the tool of choice. How about establishing a more streamlined and effective business? One guess as to where you should look first.

And therein lies a paradox: Improving architecture can drive significant improvements, but the frameworks and methodologies that are supposed to help you improve your company’s architecture rarely live up to their promises. Instead they turn the EA function into an ivory-tower white-paper factory that emphasizes deep, abstract conceptualizing over practical action.

After 30 years of trying to make this work, why do so many attempts at EA fail? The reasons are dark secrets few are willing to acknowledge. How dark? Being metrics minded, I’ll use Ansel Adams’s zone system which ranges from 0 (black) to XI (white).

A word of warning: The darkest secrets come last.

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