The theme for Day 1 was Evolving EA to Architect the Business, and the plenary session presentations in the morning brought together well-respected enterprise architects from several differing industries. President and CEO
of The Open Group, Allen Brown, opened the conference with 30 seconds of silence, dedicated to those members
of our ‘global family’ affected by the recent natural disasters in Japan and the United States.
An Enterprise Architect in the Land of Architects and Civil Engineers
Peter Edwards, Olympic Delivery Authority (Associate Director, IT & Communications Consulting, Arup)
Following a brief introduction from Mr. Brown, Mr. Edwards began his plenary speech by likening the enterprise
architect to both a city planner and a symbolic bridge – between the worlds of business and technology. Mr.
Edwards continued by familiarizing gathered members with the work of Arup, current projects he is working on, and
those that he has worked on in the past: Projects such as Heathrow Terminal 5, the Chinese Olympic stadium, and the iconic Sydney Opera House. As well as static buildings such as these, Mr. Edwards explained that Arup is
engaged in more dynamic projects like the design of transport systems, smart cities, and renewable energy systems,
as well as water sanitation projects in the Third World. All of these projects, he explained, have had their own innate
complexities, but also shared other sets of complexity.
Mr. Edwards gave the example of the London Olympic Village, which he said shared many of the same challenges
and considerations as the City of London; concerns such as the availability of clean water, of electricity, of cost
consideration, of security, and so forth. Newer projects also have had to contend with the influx of data and
information; and of course, like a city, any construction project has to contend with multiple stakeholders.
Mr. Edwards then went on to talk about how we define an enterprise architect, discussing the differences between
enterprise architects and their traditional namesakes, as well as the definition laid down by TOGAF®. He referred to
Frank Lloyd Wright’s definition of an architect – ‘the master of the know-how’ – and commented that there was a
similar expectation today of the enterprise architect. They are expected to have the ‘know-how’ of technology.
So what about an enterprise architect in the construction industry? These architects, Mr. Edwards explained, are
tasked with helping senior decision-makers to make the best decision possible – whether strategic, tactical,
financial – and provide a technological context. Their role is to provide clarity of thought and communication,
interact with and understand technical people, but not necessarily be ‘technical’ themselves (although an up-to-date
technical knowledge is important). Like any enterprise architect, he said, an understanding of business needs is key.
Mr. Edwards went on to discuss the differences between the domains of the built environment, once the sole
responsibility of the traditional architect, but now increasingly shared between architects and enterprise architects.
He gave a high-level overview of the use of TOGAF® and ArchiMate® at Arup, before underlining the importance
that the metrics measured by architects are in line with business needs.
One framework will not fit all, no matter how good it is. Frameworks can be great sources of inspiration but have to
be tailored to the job at hand. Mr. Edwards gave examples from the London Olympic Park.
Concluding, Mr. Edwards turned his outlook to the future: which aspects will be important to the enterprise architect
of tomorrow? For one, security – not traditionally an area for the enterprise architect to consider although it is
increasingly becoming so. Things are also getting smarter: smarter cities, energy, and transport systems; and this is
all down to the increasing availability of data. Information will be a river of change, he said, and there will be big
benefits for those who can make use of it in real-time.
For his final comment, Mr. Edwards turned his attention to the Cloud, which he called a “game-changer” for enterprise architects. With all Cloud's legal, technical, and financial ramifications and considerations, the enterprise
architect will be ideally placed to assist organizations in the move to the Cloud. In Mr. Edward’s words, the future of
enterprise architecture is very bright.
Bridging the Gap Between Architecture and Strategy
Bill Brierley, Practice Director, Enterprise Architecture, TRM Technologies, Canada
Bill Brierley, a practice director of enterprise architecture for TRM Technologies, gave an enlightening speech on
how the Canadian government is connecting the divide between architecture and strategy.
Like Mr. Edwards, Mr. Brierley began by looking at how we can define enterprise architecture. It is, he said, an
inherent structure of the enterprise; a language for articulating structure and a collective design discipline. Design
too, is an important consideration.
He went on to define strategy and explained that we should view enterprise architecture and strategy as the connection between language and design. The enterprise architect should not be viewed as the master of the
strategic vision, but as the facilitator of that vision to others so they can reach a consensus.
He went on to speak about strategy maps and in particular the Kaplan Norton, before providing some useful criticisms of strategy maps in general. These included analytical constraint, value bias, intentional bias, and analytical imprecision.
Next were some key questions to consider for business strategy. These include:
- Who are we serving? (The service context)
- What effect will it have on the enterprise? (The strategic logic)
- What capabilities are needed? (The operational context)
Mr. Brierley closed his speech by explaining that stakeholders and enterprise architects must work together to
create a common language. Strategy, he advised, is only good as execution, and enterprise architecture is crucial to
ensuring a successful execution.
Leveraging Enterprise Architecture for Federal Strategy
Hind Yousef Al Youha, Director, Strategic Planning Performance, Ministry of Economy, United Arab Emirates
Taking a break from her honeymoon to talk at the Conference, Hind Yousef Al Youha gave an interesting explanation
about her background as an auditor before going on to address the unique capabilities and challenges faced by the
UAE Ministry of Economy (MoE).
She explained that a pragmatic approach to enterprise architecture helps transform the concepts driving the value
of enterprise architecture and, similarly, the performance of the MoE. Enterprise architecture is essential to obtain
excellence, she said, regardless of organization. It also provides an overall holistic view of organizational strategy
which can be linked with government strategy, and translated into lower-level initiatives, methods, and measures.
Ms. Yousef Al Youha went on to discuss the benefits of a definition repository. This is where all definitions, strategy,
KPIs, and roles, etc. are defined, and can be accessed by all employees as a point of reference. As a
communication tool it assists change management, allowing directors to see the current stage of implementation
quickly and easily mapping process across the organization.
World Class EA
Mick Adams, UK Leader, Global Architecture, Capgemini
Chris Forde, VP Enterprise Architecture & Membership Capabilities, The Open Group
The first double act of the conference, Mick Adams and Chris Forde led an interesting discussion inviting audience
participation when covering industry trends and challenges that architecture capabilities face globally. Using The
Open Group “World Class EA” as a reference point, Mr. Adams and Mr. Forde went on to summarize the key
challenges for IT organizations, starting with the need for enterprise architecture to consider effective ways of
managing continuous change.
A recent Work Group study looked at breaking down the common key drivers across different industries. Mr. Adams
and Mr. Forde explained the findings of the study: four common, cross-industry themes, including customer and
product-centricity. They went on to talk about the capabilities of World Class EA, the guidance for IT functions, and
the benefits of their approach, including growing customers and shareholders.
So what does World Class EA look like? Mr. Forde and Mr. Adams suggested that if enterprise architecture is working, it will be explicitly seen in the organization’s annual report. However, it’s also important to communicate the
mission of enterprise architecture to those who may be unfamiliar with it.
Opening the questions up to the floor, they were asked what would the minimum or the lowest form of enterprise
architecture look like? The answer: It depends on the organization in question. Just because a company has finite
resources, doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a strategy in place.
Following the plenary sessions, attendees had the opportunity to attend track sessions. Tracks focused on:
- IT Professionalism and the Architecture Discipline
- EA as a Business Discipline
- EA and Business Strategy
- Cybersecurity and E-Crime
Using a Live Architecture Environment to Control and Optimize Decision-Making Across a Complex
Richard Whittington, CTO, The Salamander Organization, UK
Jim Bennett, The Salamander Organization, UK
Richard Whittington began by explaining that for any large organization or program, balancing the portfolio of capabilities presents significant challenges. It’s hard to get right, he stated. Most ‘good’ examples are said to be ‘balanced’. But it isn’t as simple as that. In the MoD, they use the term ‘balancing apples and Wednesdays’ because
in the reality of business you might be trying to balance very different things, such as trying to balance future
investment in aircraft with friendly diplomatic relations with another country.
He continued by illustrating the different levels of an organization and why, however you define or split them, it’s
important to have a line of sight through these levels and how they connect together. Only by doing this can you
reach ‘decision effectiveness'.
However, in many instances a traditional architecture approach is not enough to connect these assets in the portfolio. Organizations require a range of methods more commonly associated with business intelligence, like
clever reporting and risk management. You need an apparatus that blends these together to make architecture-driven
Mr. Whittington and Jim Bennett went on to give contemporary examples, such as the MoD logistics services portfolio, delivering resources to troops out on the front line. These not only allow the organization to view the
current level of performance, but also to look at the current priorities and future spend.
It is important to remember, said Mr. Whittington, that we are not building architectures for architects, but for end
users, for military program managers, etc.
When establishing an enterprise business architecture, it’s important to fully understand the metamodel; the different
inputs, and what technologies are these inputs changing? What is the impact if the organization were to speed up a
project, slow it, or cancel it? How does this affect business outcomes?
Mr. Bennett explained that dashboards are used to bring together key metrics in one place, illustrating the resource
mix, the costs, and other key measures. Behind this top layer, architects can drill down into more detail.
Architectures don’t stand still, and with online applications like dashboards organizations can get feedback in real time.
Therefore, architects have the advantageous position of having a unique insight into the different moving parts of a
Aligning Strategy & Execution using Enterprise Architecture
Abdallah El Kadi, CEO, Shift Technologies, Dubai
CEO of Shift Technologies Abdallah El Kadi addressed the Conference explaining that in order to align and evolve
strategies, we first have to understand the ecosystem. We have to have an honest view of our organization; who we
are, what are our strengths and weaknesses. He referred to the familiar SWOT analysis which is used to define the
key themes and drive the strategy. Enterprise architecture translates an organization’s business goals into a series
of implementable initiatives.
Mr. El Kadi spoke of how operating models have evolved over time, from the 1980s, where they were largely internally focussed. The ecosystem, he said, is constantly evolving. He went on to concentrate on strategic planning
and how we define the direction of an organization.
According to Mr. El Kadi, enterprise architecture has a very important role to play in how organizations understand
their investment. It translates strategy into a set of initiatives, and provides the foundation of analysis for which
initiatives need to be altered to meet the business goals.
Next, he gave a short background of Shift Technologies, the Dubai-based company of which he is CEO. At Shift, he
explained, there are 100 consultants doing enterprise architecture, and this is due to a significant business appetite
for external enterprise architecture consultancy. There has been significant growth for enterprise architecture and
this is expected to continue.
Using the parable of the blind men and the elephant, Mr. El Kadi finished by explaining that enterprise architecture
allows businesses to see the bigger picture; or, in the case of his analogy, the ‘whole elephant.’ This is because
enterprise architecture integrates many different components and many different stakeholder perspectives into a
single version of the truth.
Enterprise Architecture Education & Research in Higher Education
Brian Cameron, Professor of Practice and Director of the Enterprise Architecture Initiative, College of Information
Sciences and Technology, Pennsylvania State University
Brian Cameron, professor at the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) at Pennsylvania State University, has been producing highly employable and sought-after graduates since 2009. He explained that while
many have recognized the emergence of enterprise architecture as a critical discipline within industry, higher
education and academia have been much too slow in creating educational programs to address this growing area
of importance. Brian continued to say that in response to feedback from corporate and government stakeholders,
the College of IST is planning the following EA-related initiatives:
- The creation of undergraduate curriculum focused on enterprise architecture (this will be the first undergraduate major in EA in the country; students will be given a solid foundation in business, technology,
and EA methods and practices and will have the opportunity to focus on several areas of specialty)
- The creation of a new online Professional Masters program with a focus in enterprise architecture
- The development of a research center with a focus in enterprise architecture
- The development of a professional certificate series for early career EA professionals
In the short-term, the enterprise architecture ‘foundation course’ has been successful, with graduates highly sought-after in the employment market. However, Mr. Cameron's longer-term goal is to see enterprise architecture become
much more of a mainstream academic discipline.
He went on to give a detailed overview of the undergraduate and master educational activities, as well as providing
further detail of the professional development educational activities (set up with the assistance of Oracle, PwC, and
The Open Group) and the university’s enterprise architecture research program. Globally, he explained, there hasn't
been much a research community for enterprise architecture academia, but it is the university’s intention to create
Current research activities include developing:
- An enterprise architecture lab
- An enterprise architecture glossary meta-analysis
- An enterprise architecture competency model meta analysis
- An enterprise architecture career path development research study
Mr. Cameron concluded by talking about the Federation of EA Professional Organizations, which had its first meeting in June 2010 and was established to prevent duplication of enterprise architecture frameworks. Members
will be meeting again in June to discuss their initial findings.