We have the frameworks. Plenty of them: Zachman, IEEE STD 610.12, FEAF (Federal Enterprise Architecture), and now an updated TOGAF (Open Group Architecture Framework) you can find more about at (http://www.opengroup.org/togaf).
We know what to do. All of us know what should be done and have a pretty good idea of how to do it. For example see what the GAO has institutionalized in their view of our profession in the publication labeled “A Practical Guide to CIO Council – Federal Enterprise Architecture. February 2001, Version 1.0 “.
Why do it?
Now comes the hard part. How about a business case for investing in this discipline? Expressed in terms ordinary business people can understand. I have yet to find (I have looked) a really compelling piece of work that can express quickly what impact EA would have across five essential elements every business leader understands and manages to on a daily basis:
– cash flow
– margin (profitability)
– customer (responsiveness, intimacy, and alignment)
I’m guessing this is because we are all technicians at heart. I have also come to believe this is essential to having our peers in the business understand our value proposition. I remain convinced this discipline can (done properly) enable significant improvements in each of our organizations. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome, encourage all of us in this profession to evaluate and think carefully about what our real value is – as business people first, then as trusted advisors and partners to our business and IT colleagues alike.