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Why Enterprise Architecture is Poised to Boom

        posted by , November 23, 2010

I'm going to let you in on a few little secrets.

In the not too distance future there are going to be a helluva lot of enterprise architects. There will also be plenty of business architects, security architects, information architects and integration architects.

The CIO role will be divided into 3 or 4 CXO level positions. Chief Architects are going to be Chief Architecture Officers who report to the CEO.

Infrastructure (IT) architects, programmers and DBAs will go the way of the assembler programmer — people do program assembler but how many assembler programmers do you know?

The Growth of Architecture

Did you ever notice there seem to be a lot more architects than their used to be?


This isn't due to IT title inflation.

There's a fundamental need for more architects — this will only accelerate in the future. The biggest challenge for most organizations is not shipping more code into production. It's dealing with integration, data and security issues.

As organizations become more serious about process outsourcing, enterprise social media, SaaS and cloud infrastructure — the need for architects will spike dramatically.

The CIO Role

The importance of IT to business profits has been on the rise for the past 40 years. This trend is likely to continue.

The CIO role has become too complex for any mere mortal to handle. As technology becomes the business — the responsibilities of the CIO will be divided into several positions.

Given the rising importance of architecture — one of these positions with surely be a Chief Architecture Officer.

The New Competitive Advantage

The argument against IT decentralization usually goes something like this:

Organizations will never abandon in-house applications because that's their competitive advantage.

Going forward, it's pretty clear this argument won't hold water.

In the near future, competitive advantage will be primarily driven by an organization's ability to interweave third party solutions (SaaS mashups etc.) — to quickly and efficiently meet business demands.

Demise of traditional IT professions

If SaaS and cloud outsourcing take off in a big way:

There will be less organizations running data centers. In fact, competition may reduce the number of data center operators down to a few dozen global companies.

Global infrastructure will be run on a handful of cookie cutter technology architectures.

A lot less people will be writing code and administering databases.

A lot more people will be integrating things and architecting information flows.

I Could Be Wrong

I could be wrong — in fact, it's unlikely I have it exactly right. However, the writing is on the wall — there are dramatic changes awaiting IT organizations. Enterprise architecture will surely be key to the transformation.

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