Enterprise architecture must focus on business value

Jack Vaughan

The discipline of enterprise architecture (EA) has grown in recent years, but practitioners still need to take care not to pursue purity of architecture to the detriment of business objectives. That is among the take-aways from a conversation with Forrester analysts Mike Gilpin and Randy Heffner.

Gilpin and Heffner spoke with as they prepared for Forrester's upcoming Enterprise Architecture Forum 2009.

EA must focus increasingly on business value, said Forrester's Heffner.

There are different types of architects, he said. You see architects in the trenches who want to take IT to the next level, yet there are others that IT managers must watch to make sure they are not "naval gazing."

"EA standards are good when they add business value, as opposed to the 'ivory tower EA view,' said Heffner. In this view, the architects' notion is 'if we establish an EA, it will in itself set a value,' according to Heffner.

This suggests a trend toward 'elevating architecture,' added Forrester's Mike Gilpin. "People want to step up to another level of business value," he said.

The EA issue will be front and center at Forrester's upcoming Enterprise Architecture Forum 2009 (Feb. 10-11) in Miami, Fla. The state of business architecture practices, SOA governance metrics and the use of SOA with semantic technology are among a host of topics. On hand, as well, will be the man behind the Web phenom "Greg the Architect"; that is: Dan

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Ziman of Litium Technologies. Ziman will look at the social role of the enterprise architect.

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