How To Select An Enterprise Architect For Your


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How To Select An Enterprise Architect For Your

  1. 1. How to Select an Enterprise Architect for your Company A Management Guide draft
  2. 2. What is Enterprise Architecture In its simplest terms, enterprise architecture is the process of aligning a business's strategic vision with its information technology. It connects different business units for synergistic communication and collaboration, creating a more seamless customer (or end-user) experience. The enterprise architect, of course, is instrumental in this process.
  3. 3. Rising Importance of the EA Role Creating the "master plan" Make recommendations that affect systems design, resource allocation, processes and organizational structures The EA is the master architect of the people, process and technology mantra
  4. 4. What Does an EA Do? Establish Goals & Expectations Fix broken processes? Remove bureaucracy? What is the EA's authority? What are the deliverables?
  5. 5. What Does an EA do? The answer depends on who you talk to... At some companies, the position emphasizes technology, as in the planning of company-wide systems. Core Objective: ensure that all new software and hardware meet standards and work together Better: by having him or her focus on the technical viability of product solutions while determining their economic value to the business Result: improved IT ability to make better business decisions while considering benefits, risk and the effects of new technology implementation With vendors pulling and tugging on IT organizations, EAs have to be a shield for that" "A voice of reason."
  6. 6. The Four C's Enterprise architecture focuses on four crucial C's: connection, collaboration, communication and customers Imagine needing to manually log onto five different systems to create and track an order, or putting in 20 hours researching a project because you didn't know the information already existed in another department. These situations result from fragmentation and siloed thinking; the goal of enterprise architecture, on the other hand, is to create unity.
  7. 7. EA Goals IT that enables business strategy today and tomorrow "The 'tomorrow' part is especially important" Map, define and standardize technology, data and business processes to make that possible Understand the business strategy Must have both a macro and micro view Guide individual projects translate into an architectural approach - macro view focusing on successful delivery within the macro view Transform tech-speak into the language of business solutions, and determine the technology needed to enable business strategy
  8. 8. Key Ingredients Enterprise architect's role is that of the city planner, since he also provides the road maps, zoning, common requirements, regulations and strategy-albeit for a company, rather than a city. This role is increasingly important as enterprise architecture itself becomes more important. Bridging silos Equal parts technology expertise and business savvy, today's enterprise architects are connecting silos and enabling the enterprise vision myriad of qualities. An enterprise architect needs solid technology knowledge, you must be really great at business, both generally and specific to your industry.
  9. 9. Drawing the Map - more skills Figuring out what systems to map and connect, how best to accomplish this and how to get relevant parties on board does not come easy That is why the enterprise architect has become a key player in bringing to life the enterprise vision. You have to be able to describe an IT project as a business solution, not in terms of the cool technology involved. Another crucial skill is the ability to see from various viewpoints, and to understand the implications for the customer, for the business and for all its units. The architect must enable future visionary strategy, while being pragmatic enough to execute the tasks of the day. These are not easy feats to accomplish, which is why great enterprise architects are in demand.
  10. 10. What does it mean? The field of enterprise architecture has moved away from reactive one-off projects to becoming an increasingly structured field. With the government's formalization of enterprise architecture after the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 and its increasing prevalence in the private sector, participants are discussing what components enterprise architecture comprises and how to develop best practices. "Only in the last couple years are people converging about what [EA] means," says Gene Leganza, vice president at Forrester Research.
  11. 11. The New New Role - EA's Roots Enterprise architecture's roots are in the desire to serve what is best for the enterprise versus the individual department or project. Enterprise architecture gained traction from the bottom up. The first big projects were typically CRM or ERP ventures. Unable to share information via e-mail, because of incompatible e-mail systems in the same company Each department thought it needed its own brand of PC, even its own network or security system. "People lifted their heads and thought, maybe it's more important to be able to work together rather than me having the 'best.'"
  12. 12. SOA vs. EA Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is often spoken in the same breath as enterprise architecture, as if SOA is a crucial component of enterprise architecture. This is not the case: SOA is one possible tool at an enterprise architect's disposal, one that may or may not make sense, depending on the situation. Plenty of organizations are interested in enterprise architecture but not SOA SOA is something towards which most companies will evolve
  13. 13. Searching Out Opportunities for Reuse Enterprise architecture requires looking for whatever is reusable, such as opportunities for standardized technical platforms and access to shared data. It is the overarching architecture that guides business, data, information, technical and network architectures. "As we look at current trends, we see companies taking a step back and saying, We want everyone to have access to product or customer files and have the same definitions," says Jeanne Ross, principal research scientist at the MIT Center for Information Systems Research.
  14. 14. A Wholistic Vision Ability to engender a more holistic vision in others is important Applies to projects that have limited business value, save for the one department or unit that wants it. This aspect of human nature is a main challenge for enterprise architects, "The business unit wants XYZ, but ABC is better for the enterprise." ABC may even be more expensive or may take longer, but because it's for the greater good, it's a better investment to make. What's best for the enterprise versus the individual-that is always the issue
  15. 15. Be Proactive - UPS Story When the company was building its package-tracking application, senior IT executives looked beyond the immediate need and decided that UPS should have only one package database ever UPS decided that IT should run its operations in a highly standardized, reliable, cost-effective manner always Instead of designing and delivering a single package- tracking application, UPS delivered access to a single package database and a low-cost operating environment that the company continues to reuse to support new applications
  16. 16. What Makes a Successful Architect To be successful, an enterprise architect must not only connect with senior business managers but with the rank- and-file IT staff as well. Being perceived as imperious can sabotage enterprise architects, according to Ryan Plant, himself an enterprise architect at Interbank FX, which makes technology for trading foreign currency online. In smaller or midsize companies, the enterprise architect is typically one of the highest-paid IT professionals, which can cause some friction among employees. And usually the EA works closely with the CIO—an influential place to be.
  17. 17. More EA Qualities An enterprise architect has to guard against getting too far removed to the management echelons and losing touch— and influence—with the technologists who design and code systems, Plant says. In other words, as much as an architect must build relationships with those outside IT, he also must maintain good relations with those inside IT who can make business plans into technology realities. To keep those connections, he advises, architects might consider hosting brown-bag lunches and inviting application coders, designers and integrators to talk about a topic of their choosing. The architect can present on it and lead a discussion afterwards.
  18. 18. EA Qualities continued "You're showing people that you're thinking about things within the context of what they're working on and you're thinking in terms of how they work every day," he says. "It's an education session and it's a marketing tactic." People go back to work thinking they've learned something and can approach the architect in the future, he adds. Tick-off programmers by handing down standards via e-mail and a rap of an invisible gavel, and standards will be circumvented, Plant says. "Without the ability to execute, architects are going to constantly struggle with justifying their existence."
  19. 19. Importance of Communication "The essence of the job is about improving communication between the people with the problems and those who would solve them," says Leon Kappelman, cochair of the Society for Information Management's enterprise architect working group. Believers such as Scottrade CIO Ian Patterson use the enterprise architect (EA) position in part to bring the IT group close to the internal customer. At the $1 billion brokerage, CEO Rodger Riney recently suggested to Patterson to send some EAs to User Summits with customers—people who trade stock online—to learn directly what services they want, Patterson says. "They get firsthand knowledge of what customers are saying" to translate into IT projects, he explains.
  20. 20. Siloed View The siloed view on projects may come in the form of "I want to use this package" or "I want to build this application" Take a step back, Try to understand what problem the proposed project will solve. Is there already a solution that covers the proposed area being researched? Does the proposed project fit into the wider picture? Structurally, business units are silos-and therefore often have a limited view-but the enterprise architect ensures that the pieces of the wider-picture puzzle fit together
  21. 21. An Illustration Some projects use data that nobody else in the company will be interested in, while other projects use data that are useful and relevant to everyone in the company. It is the enterprise architect's job to figure out how to make the latter type available to the rest of the company, and one part of that task is creating compliance standards For example: who owns this data? Who should receive permission to access this data? What is a customer? For the marketing department, after-sale department, finance department, the definition of customer is totally different, even though they refer to the same person
  22. 22. The Blueprint Before a new project can be started, each technology area must review a proposed project to ensure it fits into the overall strategy Enterprise architects, for all their vision and forward thinking, need two feet solidly planted in today's work, the ability to execute that work-just enough at the right time-and the insight to know when goals are too lofty or unworkable
  23. 23. Synergy In other words, you need synergy An appropriate word to apply to enterprise architecture itself. Enterprise architecture is not about IT serving the business needs. It is about IT and the business working together to turn a company's vision of greatness into reality. And the enterprise architect can be instrumental in making that happen.
  24. 24. Ensuring Backward Compatibility? Build the database so that it can gradually evolve and is built in line with actual business needs Define metadata from both an internal and external standpoint Make the definitions dynamic enough so that the architecture can evolve along with business needs Build systems in such a way that everyone helps implement that common view
  25. 25. Getting Started Introduce the EA to key players in the organization ASAP Provide assistance in avoiding political minefields Time to play "bad cop"
  26. 26. First Steps First, explain why the company created this position Provide examples of past problems that you believe could have been avoided with a good enterprise architecture. If you can cite examples that are not confidential, this list is also a great tool for interviewing candidates. Define business purpose what does the company do and how does it make money Define the key business initiatives Relate initiatives to expectations for the EA
  27. 27. Next Steps You cannot know what you don't know, which is why you are hiring an EA in the first place A key deliverable should be to create a high-level design of all the current systems and the integration points currently in place. It should include a set of recommendations by the EA that incorporates the business goals. For example, if cutting expenses is a high-priority goal, then the recommendations may be related to modification of hardware infrastructure as well as changes in the current to IT operations size and processes. Your EA is simply a reflection of the goals of the business.
  28. 28. Potential Problems Potential problem: building a common database of dealers or customers (or rather the impression of having a common database) How do you connect a plethora of companies' dealer and customer databases? The most important question isn't the obvious one, How do you create a common database? what really counts is how you get there. One option, the self-contained, static approach, is creating an intensive research project to find the ideal database, build that, then migrate all systems to it. That's not ideal.
  29. 29. Certification Programs A growing number of certification programs are being offered Greater need to standardization the skills Sign of maturing industry Sample Programs Carnegie Mellon Open Group Open Group Architecture Framework certification IT Architecture Certification (ITAC) Groups & Associations Association of Open Group Enterprise Architects Further the profession and to enforce standards of excellence
  30. 30. Benefits of Certification A step in the right direction Two main benefits: Creates standard competencies, making architecture less of an art and more of a well-defined process. Sets a minimal level of quality When hiring architects, organizations face the issue of making sure the candidate is right for the organization. Once the architect is hired, they need to make sure the person is familiar with the architecture of the organization. Many good developers and senior developers call themselves architects, but being a developer and being an enterprise architect are not the same thing. Don't try to find all qualities in a single person, since it's better to create teams of complementary skills.
  31. 31. Other Considerations Easier to teach the right IT person business skills than it is to teach technology to a businessperson While enterprise architects may come from either side of the business, they tend to come from the technology side, such as a leader in application development. The enterprise architect role itself is a gateway to multiple positions, including CIO, CTO or a role that is more strictly business focused
  32. 32. How Do You Know You Got It Right When technology infrastructure lines up with business projects like musicians in a marching band, you know you have a good enterprise architect on staff. But will you keep him when it's time to start handing out pink slips? You will if you can make the case for this hard-to-define but critical IT position. An enterprise architect, or team of them, creates a model— usually with graphical software, but paper will do—of how your company works including: business processes and the related technology, a common vocabulary for IT and non-IT people to use for communication The goal is a little thing called alignment.
  33. 33. Working in Concert Achieving that impressive lockstep between business and IT takes time and practice; The EA is key to aligning business and IT, which in these recessionary times is more important than ever. The job of an enterprise architect is hard to master and sometimes hard to nail down. Now, amid an economic downturn, a position like that—without concrete and measurable financial value or, typically, any direct reports—can be difficult to justify when the board of directors demands companywide layoffs. Yet don't let those obstacles induce you to cut the enterprise architecture job automatically when you must reduce staff, experts warn. You could dig your company a bigger hole.
  34. 34. The Voice Not only that, but an enterprise architect must be a voice that many kinds of people can understand, says Tim Ferrarell, CIO and senior vice president of enterprise systems at W.W. Grainger, a $6.4 billion distributor of heavy equipment. The ideal EA "can think at a strategic level and all the way down to the operating level and understand how to move up and down that chain of abstraction," "And know how to deal with conflicts and trade-offs." says Ferrarell Gain the confidence of the senior leadership team Execs must believe that the enterprise architect comprehends how the company works, where it wants to go and how technology helps or hinders Then effective working relationships can bloom.
  35. 35. Grainger Story In 2006, Grainger went live with a companywide SAP project—20 SAP modules and 30 additional applications that would touch 425 locations. To help guard against what could go wrong in a big-bang cutover, Ferrarell took his team of about 20 enterprise architects off their regular jobs and assigned them to design and integration roles on the SAP project. The SAP implementation was such an all-encompassing program that it made sense to re-purpose the enterprise architects into key roles in the project. Their broad business and technical knowledge made them very valuable team members, says Ferrarell.
  36. 36. Granger continued... Grainger's senior business-side managers knew these architects and their business savvy firsthand, he explains. The trust was there, which helped get IT the intense cooperation needed during and after the complicated launch. Their architects played a significant role, not only in shaping the need for completion of the ERP project, but in ensuring its design would enable their business requirements. The SAP project succeeded, Ferrarell says, in part due to the institutional knowledge and business-IT translation skills the EAs brought to it.
  37. 37. Granger Now that the SAP implementation is stable and perking along, Ferrarell is putting the architecture group back together. One of the first tasks for the team is to help business groups identify what new services they want to offer customers and scope out what the IT requirements would be, he says. The job of their architects is to align business strategy, operational model design and systems design to help support Grainger's multi-channel strategy, he adds. Ferrarell hires enterprise architects from outside Grainger, but the best usually come from within because they have institutional knowledge, he says. Despite the bad economy, he's filling these jobs. "This is an absolutely pivotal position."
  38. 38. Sony Other companies, though, have to be convinced of the enterprise architect's criticality. Sony Pictures Entertainment launched an enterprise architect role modestly in 2002, focused at first on technology issues only, says David Buckholtz, vice president of planning, enterprise architecture and quality at the media company. Sony Pictures Entertainment didn't even have a corporate-wide IT department until the late 1990s, Buckholtz says after growing through acquisition in the 1980s and 1990s, such as the acquisition of Columbia TriStar movie studio (The Karate Kid and Ghost Busters) and the acquisition of Merv Griffin Enterprises (Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy).
  39. 39. Sony continued... "We're in a creative industry and people made a lot of decisions on their own," he says. Hence, no central IT until relatively recently and no strong belief in the importance of central IT, he says. Buckholtz was hired from General Electric to start an enterprise architecture team because Sony Pictures wanted more efficiency and savings from IT, he says. At first, he concentrated on classifying existing and future technology investments. Categories include technologies in development where Sony is doing proofs of concept; technologies in pilot; current and supported; supported but older versions; those headed to retirement; and those that are obsolete and no longer supported except "under extreme duress," Buckholtz says, laughing.
  40. 40. Sony continued... He began this way to demonstrate that IT could be businesslike: investing well, conscious of risk, planning for the future. "This is how you plan enterprise architecture when you don't have business support yet. We had to build up to that." Once the architecture group has the enterprise IT house under control, it can look for ways to work with different business technology groups to build credibility beyond bits and bytes, he says. One technique Buckholtz used was to install architects in different business groups to work on projects on business turf but using IT's budget. A free trial, in a sense.
  41. 41. Sony continued... By 2005, Buckholtz's group had started a high-profile project with the digital media team to map out how Sony Pictures would digitize content for downloading to mobile phones and other devices. the digital media group continues to use that road map today. "It was not a group off somewhere, passing down standards." As the economy tightens, Sony Pictures must make its distribution chain as efficient as possible. EAs continuously reinforce to business-side counterparts the expected returns on IT projects as the temptation to cut spending grows. "We make sure we close the loop and quantify hard-dollar costs and benefits for the CFO,"
  42. 42. YRC Example YRC Worldwide has formal enterprise architects on staff. The higher up anyone climbs in CIO Michael Rapken's IT group, the greater percentage of time is expected to be spent on what he calls "account management" with business colleagues, which are largely EA skills. They include assessing and planning potential projects together with business departments, making sure technology standards are met and business conditions satisfied. His team is rated each year on how well they build relationships with business counterparts, among other things, through an annual internal customer satisfaction survey IT hands out to the rest of the $9.6 billion transportation company. But evaluation also comes through personal feedback. "You can tell who's being a success by whether I hear compliments about them," he says.
  43. 43. EAs Make Good CIO's Score one if in the enterprise architect you recognize the makings of a good CIO Small or Medium-Sized Company: CIO often does much of what an enterprise architect usually does at a large firm. Large Company, the enterprise architect becomes its own career path, and one that can be just as strategic as a CIO's CIO: The Ultimate Architect - One often-discussed vision of the future of the CIO profession has the technology caretaker part of the job being outsourced entirely, with the strategy parts remaining.
  44. 44. Additional Information The Rising Importance of the Enterprise Architect The Four Stages of Enterprise Architecture Enterprise Architect Enterprise Architect = Scenario Planner How Enterprise Architecture is Changing Everything Including the CIO Role CIO Magazine Society of Information Managers
  45. 45. Work in Progress To be released in chapters, edited, assimilated as new sources are available. a guide for organizations trying to understand the shifting demands imposed by globalized market forces. Global Enterprise Architect
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