As mentioned in a previous post, I decided at the last moment to go to the TOGAF Munich enterprise-architecture conference. Kind of a wild one-day dash – up at 3:30am; 100kms there and back to Stansted; two hours each way on Ryanair to Salzburg; 300kms there and back Salzburg-Munich; back in Colchester at just before 1:00am – and not exactly cheap (a whopping £170+tax conference-fee for what was in effect just one afternoon), but I hope will be worth it in the long run. If nothing else, it was very good news to see a big shift in perspective about the nature and role of enterprise architecture, such as in these almost throwaway remarks by Len Fehskens, the Open Group’s ‘VP, Skills and Capabilities’:
The conventional wisdom is rapidly becoming that Enterprise Architecture is more than Enterprise IT Architecture.
- There’s a lot more to an enterprise than its IT; IT budgets represent about 2% of revenues.
- An increasing number of enterprise architects believe that the rest of the enterprise, often generically referred to as “the business”, should be architected as well.
To address the architectures of things outside the domain of IT, we need a concept of architecture that is not technological, and that is expressed in nontechnical language.
(Full link to Len’s talk Re-Thinking Architecture is here, but may require login.)
Considering how much so many people in ‘the trade’ (though not Len himself, I’ll hasten to add) have put me down, mocked me and a whole lot worse, for saying such things over the past few years, I’ll admit it is perhaps a little galling to see this now described as “the conventional wisdom”… But hey, the message is getting through. At last. At last.
So can now we actually get down to doing this, as a profession? Can we at last get the tool-vendors to give us some tools that will actually work for this purpose? And perhaps can those of us who’ve been stuck out there on ‘the bleeding edge’ for so damn long now get some help and support in doing so? – and perhaps, just perhaps, even some respect for the work we’ve had to do to get this profession to break out of its utterly inane IT-centric rut? :bleakwrygrin:
A slightly wary sigh of relief: hey ho. But yeah, good news. Worth the trip for that alone.