Wednesday, October 13, 2010

EA's need to understand money and be prepared to change

I do not know what to make of some central Enterprise Architecture functions who do not seem to appreciate the need for transformation or have a grasp of economics. Transformation is about changing how we do things. Economics must ultimately drive all EA activities i.e. a strive for business value, and understanding of cost alternatives etc. Or more accurately they have academic understanding they advocate for others but are relucant to apply to themselves.
These functions will happily create a central repository of information about the enterprise that is critical to executive decision-making and optimal excecution of initatives. Yet they persist seeking to create artefacts from this repository e.g. documents, PDFs rather than just let others in the enterprise directly access the information and keep it up to date themselves.
When asked why they don't provide access they cite cost of providing access and that people are used to getting documents and don't want to change.
I recently examined the cost issue. I calculated that the cost of providing direct access to accurate online information that can be drilled down in to, and dynamically visualised. I then equated that cost to the cost of the people's time. It showed the cost for access or visibility is less than the cost of 1 minute of the person's time. The cost to provide people the ability to interactively update the data (and then do what if) would cost perhaps 2-3 minutes of the person's time.
So clearly any rational analysis would suggest cost is not the issue, which leaves us just with the business change issue i.e. changing people's behaviour.
So frequently we have people earning 6 figure salaries who either don't seem able to work out that for the cost of 1-2% of their cost they could do a substantially better job; or don't really care about how good a job they do.

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