’Whichever route you choose, remember that EA is a path, not a destination. EA has no value unless it delivers real business value as quickly as possible. One of the most important goals of any EA is to bring the business sides & the technology side together so that both are working effectively towards the same goals”. (http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearningcapital/enterprisearchitectures/liverpool.aspx ).
We interviewed Mark Blowers from OVUM Butler’s group to capture his views on Enterprise Architecture.
EA has several definitions and many have their own interpretations. How do you view EA from an educational institution perspective?
An approach which can help educational institutions understand the current situation and provide agreement and visibility on the way forward. Educational organisations are increasingly finding funding coming under pressure which leads for the need to look for efficiencies, which is difficult if you don’t have the visibility and understanding of where you are now and can not compare alternative solutions.
‘’EA is interesting in theory and hard in practice ‘’ what’s your opinion regarding this statement? Can you please suggest some best practices that are applicable for educational institutions?
Historically many organisations have not gone about EA in a pragmatic way focussing on the initiative rather than the deliverables for the different stakeholders. would suggest that EA is an iterative process with frequent delivery of useful viewpoints.
Measure and communicate success
Leadership role in strategy and service delivery
One architecture multiple views
Iterative creation of enterprise architecture
Development of a framework
Supported by use of intelligent tool
Senior management support
Focus on speed of delivery
No need to model the entire enterprise
Be aware of people aspects
Allow solutions without architecture input
Drivers for EA
What are the main operational, tactical and strategic adoption drivers for EA?
Main drivers include:
Better strategy execution
Improved decision making
Ability to manage change effectively
Faster solution delivery
Evolve simpler environment
Do you see a shift in EA projects becoming more business focussed rather than IT focussed?
Not sure a shift. Successful EA focussed on both enterprise and IT – deliverables (viewpoints) are applicable to both. Although many organisations start from an IT perspective as that is easier and evolve to include the enterprise.
EA projects are strategic in nature rather than to fulfil short term needs. Do you agree to this statement? Have you come across any business that has implemented EA to fulfil short term goals?
No. EA is strategic in nature but this does not preclude it from being used for tactical projects. Number of instances where EA used to identify cost efficiencies.
How do you see the relevance of EA for educational institutions? Do you see a need there?
Most educational institutions (especially higher education) are large enterprises with the same issues as businesses, therefore EA very applicable. Would envisage that there are the same requirements.
Can you provide an example on how an educational institution has benefited from EA?
Have public sector examples but not come across an educational example.
How do you see EA adoption in forthcoming years to come? – Main challenges and drivers?
Recent Ovum survey indicated that ¾ of organisations have adopted EA. Expectation is that adoption will continue and that EA will become an accepted, and more important, a relevant approach within most organisations.