Friday, September 13, 2013

Enterprise Architecture - a term that could be abandoned

This ( posits that we "cannot even agree on what architecture is". 

While I don't think this true in a broader sense, I do agree in the context of EA (and in fact IT).

I don't think it true that we not agree on what architecture is. Architecture is a fairly well defined discipline in the building industry. I trained as an Architect. It is fairly well understood what it means.

I do think it true that the IT industry has a poor understanding of the function EA. This is because the term is anachronistic, and does equate to the "Architect" in building (equating more to City/Town Planner). By anachronistic I mean it was coined in a very different era of IT - when there was typically only a single system, often a single language, etc - as if there was a single castle (not a city).  I would also suggest Solution Architect's - who do equate more closely to the role of the Architect in building - are not clear on their role. This is because many are by background SW engineers, they think SA is really just SW engineering. Like a carpenter (electrician, bricklayer etc.) thinking Architecture is about is about carpentry.

In the this context I would suggestion the description provided in the item is an example of the flaw i.e. Architecture is not systems per se, though systems are encompassed. We would be better to abandon the term EA - and instead of the:
-  E word say: "business", "product", "process", "system", "software", "services", "assets" etc.
-  A word say: "design", "planning", "asset management", "governance", etc.

If we were really smart we would look at mature industry i.e. building and use that as a reference model and relate our concept to that - so we would understand our equivalents (see

It reminds me of other anachronistic terms e.g. fraternize - which has little to do with being brotherly; presently - which has little to do with now; etc.

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