Fear not. This post isn’t another attempt in the seemingly endless quest to produce a concise definition of “enterprise architecture”.
Enterprise Architects are a strange breed. I’m not sure there’s another profession where there is such fervent debate about what the profession is and what its practitioners actually do.
I’m not sure there’s any need for such debate. Enterprise architects know what it is – we live it every day – so there’s no real need to define it. So I can only surmise that a definition is needed to explain to people outside the profession what we actually do. And that’s where the problems start.
A business person asks an enterprise architect what he/she does and out comes an explanation that usually involves words like: governance, model, blueprint, design, plan. Faced with such an abstract definition, a business person will be thinking “That’s great, but what’s the point of all that?”
When I’m asked what enterprise architecture is, I give this 30 word explanation:
Enterprise architecture is really about “IT investment strategy”. The enterprise architect’s core function is to work out ways of getting the greatest return out of the organisations IT investments.
It’s that simple. That’s the end game. Everything else we do is a means toward this end.