I choose the above picture from the Matrix Reloaded movie and yes, he is The Architect. The reason for choosing him is because there is a serious resemblance between The Architect and an Enterprise Architect (EA). The Architect was running sixth iterations of The Matrix in order to get the perfect one and in a similar fashion, the Enterprise Architect is running cycles of a business solution, starting a new cycle every time the business is having an issue or is diverting from the initial parameters.
Unfortunately, in Australia the perception of what is the role and the attributes of an Enterprise Architect is not the right one, and here is my dilemma: Should I accept an Enterprise Architect role answering to the IT Director? After careful consideration, my answer will be no, because a yes answer will negate the very definition and role of an Enterprise Architect. The EA and his team should answer to the CEO or the Board of Directors not to the IT Director (or CIO).
What an Enterprise Architect does? Amongst other things, he/she will look and analyze your business as a whole, will assess the issues and determine the business needs and will come up with a business solution for the future. To implement the business solution and reach the future state, the IT has to be aligned to the business needs and goals and now, the EA Team (Data Architect, Application Architect, Infrastructure Architect, Network and Network Security Architect, Mobility Architect) will design specific solutions for each mentioned domain in order to achieve that goal.
When the whole solution is designed, reviewed and approved, the IT components (data, applications, infrastructure, network, security etc.) can be implemented by the IT Department or by a third party entity based on the needed skills and qualifications.
I strongly believe that the Australian businesses’ CEOs and Board of Directors, need to be informed and educated regarding the concept of Enterprise Architecture and the role of an EA via seminars, articles papers published in CEOs magazines etc. Only when they know what an EA is and how the Enterprise Architecture framework can help a business, only then the full benefits of such a methodology will determine rapid business growth, flexibility in a challenging market and the back end of modern and very adaptable IT.
I will close with the memorable words of The Architect: “Hope, it is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness!”
PS For more details about the subject, or having me as a consultant: firstname.lastname@example.org