Real-world Enterprise Architecture trends

This comes from Leo de Sousa, an EA in Australian Higher Education who asked the Shared Insights EA Network to provide ideas about what EA trends they were seeing. My take: leading organisations get EA and are figuring out how to link it to other important IT governance-related practices, but this is still a sparse…

On not being subservient, part 2

Via Steve Jones, here’s another story that perfectly encapsulates the power of realising that a partnership approach between IT and business can drive real improvements in the return that you get from IT investment. In short: Steve’s associate (working in IT) found that a project he was responsible for wasn’t getting the business buy-in that…

On not being subservient

One of the the themes that came up time and time again in our interviews for the book was the importance of getting out of the mindset that the IT organisation is in existence to blindly serve requests from the business. Neil M dealt with this one a little in his last post. And now…

Nodding about nodding dog alignment

I just came across Steve Jones’ post, Nodding dog alignment – the perils of aligning to people not business, in which he points out the sad reality that many IT organisations which believe they are aligned with the business aren’t actually delivering value. Why? Because they are aligning with the wrong things. Instead of focusing…

Two UK retailers decide to do without IT Directors

Just saw this story, courtesy of my colleague Martin Atherton (co-worker of book authors Jon Collins and Dale Vile). Martin asks: are these companies’ IT departments moving from being “suppliers” to “slaves”, or from “suppliers” to “integral parts of the business”? My hunch is the former, given the retail sector’s on-off successes with IT investments…

On IT architecture and gardening

James Tarbell has this great post, responding to one of the people we’ve interviewed in our research, James McGovern. James T calls out some very insightful similarities between architects and gardeners. My favourite: “You can get hung up on understanding the big latin words/technical terms or focus on requirements to achieve a result”.

Getting the right focus for IT Governance

I’ve long been a fan of Nick Malik’s blog – and indeed it was his blog that led me to ask him if he’d be happy to be interviewed for the book. In this post Nick nails quite a few aspects of IT governance, and explains how they fit in the context of embarking on…

Does IT matter

In this post Andrew McAfee at Harvard Business School has a detailed discussion about the impact of IT. He concludes with the following question: What’s the correct way to think about IT’s effects going forward: diminished competitive significance because the technology innovations are being absorbed, or sustained significance because IT has moved industries into permanently…

Healthy signs for IT-business alignment

McKinsey has just published the results of a survey of 72 senior IT executives in the US (free subscription required for the full article) which investigated IT strategy maturity. The majority of respondents believe that they are successfully aligning IT strategy with business needs. What’s particularly gratifying, in light of the principles we outline in…

Zachman Framework != Enterprise Architecture

I was talking earlier on to one of the people we interviewed for the book, outlining the main findings and getting some feedback. One of the main topics we focused on was the nature of Enterprise Architecture, and what characterises EA work “done right”. The person I was talking to relayed a conversation they had…

What characterises a service?

A couple of weeks ago I was party to another event, this time hosted by IBM. At short notice I was asked to facilitate a session on defining services, which was interesting in the extreme as it very quickly became clear in the earlier sessions that there was no clear definition of what a service…