The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Enterprise Architecture adoption leads to agility and business efficiency

Enterprise ArchitectureI came across an interview article by Dana Gardner, president and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, with Jeanne Ross, Director and Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Center for Information Systems Research

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the book Enterprise Architecture As Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution, which she co-authored.  It’s a recommended read for Enterprise Architects.

 

In the interview Jeanne Ross shares how Enterprise Architecture and Enterprise Architects can help lead the way to successful business transformation.

 

Some key points from the interview:

 

“high performers in our sample of 102 companies, in fact, had greater architecture maturity.”

 

“there’s a cultural shift that takes place in an organization, when it commits to doing business in a new way, and that cultural shift starts with abandoning a culture of heroes and accepting a culture of discipline.”

 

“One thing you can’t get by spending more money is discipline, and architecture is very tightly related to discipline.”

 

“companies who were best at adopting architecture and implementing it effectively had cost pressures.”  Cost pressures force a company to make tough decisions.

 

“companies are struggling more than we realized with using their platforms well.”

 

A message for Architects is you need to understand how effectively are people in your company adopt the capabilities and leverage them effectively?  “the value add of the architecture is diminished by the fact that people don’t get it.”  “It requires persistent coaching.”

 

“The best architects are listening very hard to who is asking for what kind of capability. When they see real demand and real leadership around certain enterprise capabilities, they focus their attention on addressing those, in the context of what they realize will be a bigger picture over time.”

 

Companies need to ensure their enterprise architecture does not constrain them but instead enables them.  Effective Enterprise Architects can usually see the big picture even when the overall vision is not yet clear.

 

“What ends up happening instead is architects recognize key business leaders who understand the need for, reused standardization, process discipline, whatever it is.”

 

She’ll be sharing more insights at The Open Group conference in San Diego later this month.

MegaTrends, Technology and Planning

I was talking with some of HP’s cloud advisors last week about the technical trends post of a few weeks back and the even higher level view of the future involving megatrends. This illustration has a few of the megatrends I tend to think about when contemplating the impact of technology shifts.

 

MegaTrends.png

 

Any time you think about the future there are the 3 P’s to consider:

  • the predictable
  • the possible
  • the preferred

Megatrends are higher-level trends that are industry and to some extent region independent. They can fundamentally change the direction of how value is measured, across the board. Megatrends are highly probable but have an element of uncertainty - based on the reactions of companies, organizations and individuals, or through wildcards -- those game changers that are impossible to predict. They can also push against each other, just like the conflicts in the consumer space mentioned earlier.

 

When thinking about the trends affecting technology deployment or those affecting your industry, bouncing the requirements and constraints off the wall of megatrends is a good way to start planning for the future. This chart contains a few of the megatrends I consider, you can probably provide a few of your own.

Technologists and technical leadership

I sat in on a TEDx session in Dallas this weekend and one thing I came away with that applies directly to the role of a technical leader/visionary is that unless there are followers, we are not really a leader. This blog tries to discuss technical trends on their impact on business, in a small way addressing this kind of sharing.


To get to the destination of using technology effectively, there are many steps along the way. Accomplishing this is a journey not a destination, because there will always be more improvements possible. Once we have the idea and reach today’s summit, it has to be a round trip ticket, not one-way. The most important part of the journey may be the trip back to our home organization, where we share what we experienced and broaden its impact. To be a technical leader, we need to take the time to bring everyone else along. If we fail at that, the trip might have been interesting and an experience, but we were not really a guide -- just a tourist.

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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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