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Enterprise Architecture Versus the CIO

        posted by , June 14, 2011

Enterprise Architecture has the potential to provide IT transparency — highlighting inefficiencies and opportunities for optimization.

Every IT organization has individuals who would prefer to leave IT inefficiencies lurking in the dark. Sometimes this includes the CIO.

Enterprise Architecture and Business

Enterprise Architects need to build relationships with the business. After all, business architecture is one of the four domains of Enterprise Architecture.

Enterprise Architects who engage the business usually share the results of their analysis. It is hardly realistic to ask for business input without giving something back.

Enterprise Architecture offers the business IT transparency — a simplified business view of IT.

Enter the CIO

The Enterprise Architecture team usually reports to IT — often directly to the CIO. The CIO may appreciate EA's ability to:

document the current state of architecture (cross-silo views)
identify opportunities to address key pain points
align IT strategies and roadmaps with business strategy

Some CIO's may feel comfortable sharing such information with the business — others may not.

The Perils of Business Architecture

The days of Enterprise Architects trying to understand business goals and strategy with second hand information are numbered. Enterprise Architects need to connect with the business to be effective.

EAs who engage the business are entering politically charged territory — they may find themselves at odds with IT staff or even the CIO.

Some organizations are ready for IT transparency and others are not — EAs need to be consider political realities as they drive IT-business alignment.

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