Recently I had to provide a reasoning why an established organization would need an Enterprise Architect. At first I thought ‘How do I start explaining what the advantages are to have a full integrated Enterprise Architect role within the organization?’
We all know how important an Enterprise Architect is, but it is very difficult to measure the value. So I started with a short history of Enterprise architecture, from non existing through IT focused, to how it has grown into the role it is now, very business and strategic focused. Once I had that concept it was easy to write down the business, technology and overall benefits.
• Developing and communicating a broad understanding of the business, a confirming enterprise-self-realization that is clear and concise.
• Identifying and mitigating potential risk in selected paths of action or investment, thereby reducing unintended consequences.
• Clarifying business priorities and identifying core competencies, enabling the enterprise to confidently assign key resources to projects, and leveraging top talent for critical needs.
• Creating a practical and efficient means to manage information technology portfolios, rationalizing existing systems and projects to gain significant cost reductions, and helping to remove waste and redundancy in information systems deployments.
• Aligning technology investments and assets to project initiatives that demonstrate direct support of business goals, competences, and needs.
• Identifying, classifying, representing, developing, and accumulating in an accessible portfolio – architected, highly reusable technology assets.
• Identifying and mitigating potential impacts of proposed solutions, services or changes, thereby addressing all areas affected in the design and negotiation of new or updated solutions, reducing the exposure to the risk of unintended impacts and degradation.
• Enterprise Architect is essential as the enterprise grows because the enterprise architect is the only objective entity in the organizational structure that collects data about the enterprise and synergizes it into activities supporting the enterprise purpose.
Once you can explain each of those points in detail to the stakeholders, it is not difficult to let them see the value of a full integrated Enterprise Architect within the organization.