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Who Should Enterprise Architecture Report To?

        posted by , July 01, 2011

Enterprise Architecture has a lofty mission: to align IT and business. In most organizations the EA team does not have the power or influence to achieve this goal.

Where should EA fit into an organization? This is a open question within the Cx0 and EA communities.

IT Director

It is fairly common for the EA team to report to a IT director / managing director.

pros: encourages the EA team to rely on collaboration with IT and business groups.

cons: other directors may see EA as intrusion into their concerns, lack of leverage with both IT and business, EA not visible to business and CIO.

CIO

It is also fairly common for the Chief Architect / EA team to report to the CIO.

pros: leverage with IT, EA visible to IT management.

cons: EA may lack leverage with business, CIO may be sensitive about IT transparency.

COO / CFO

It is rare for the EA team to report to business executives. However, there is increasing interest in enterprise architecture from Cx0 level executives.

pros: allows EA to focus on business architecture, enables IT-business alignment.

cons: collaboration with IT may breakdown.

CEO

It is rare for the Chief Architect / EA team to report to the CEO.

pros: enables IT-business alignment, drives business architecture initiatives at the Cx0 level, helps to give IT the executive focus it deserves.

cons: EA becomes a watchdog — collaboration with both business and IT may breakdown, perils of central planning.

Integration of IT and Business

It might be too much to expect one small team to drive IT-business alignment — no matter who they report to.

For the past 20 years the importance of IT to business has been on the rise across all industries. It is time to rethink the separation of business and IT into distinct departments. Perhaps the days of enterprise architecture are numbered.


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