Hoist by their own petard

A great discussion last night, with A Certain Well-Known Architect Who Asked To Remain Nameless, about my previous post on Microsoft EA’s ‘breakthrough’.

One related point provided us both with a certain amount of bleak amusement. Microsoft EA have just ‘discovered’ that ‘business-architecture’ doesn’t mean ‘anything not-IT that might affect IT’, it really does mean ‘the architecture of the business’. The Open Group belatedly ‘discovered’ the same fact late last year – just too late to include it in TOGAF 9. (I’d been hammering them about this for several years now, and even up until late last year most of them had dismissed me as some kind of nutcase. Oh well…) The same with Gartner and Forrester and the other big analyst-firms and big consultancies: they’ve all ‘discovered’ business-oriented architecture somewhen in the past couple of years.

But the catch is that they’ve all spent the past decade insisting, loudly, to everyone, everywhere, that enterprise-architecture is all about IT, and really only about IT. Hence the recruitment-industry thinks ‘enterprise’-architecture is solely about IT; the trade-journals think it’s only about IT; even education and training think it’s only about IT. And most executives now think it’s only about IT, too.

So along come all these supposed ‘enterprise’-architects, who’ve just ‘discovered’ business-oriented architecture. And they now need to talk with executives about business and business-architecture and business-strategy, at business-level, far beyond IT. The response from the executives: “But enterprise-architecture is just IT, isn’t it? That’s what you’ve always told us. So it’s just detail-stuff – no interest to us…”

So having spent a decade trying to convince everyone that ‘enterprise’-architecture is only IT, all those previously IT-centric types now face another long uphill struggle trying to convince everyone that it’s not. Whilst no doubt somehow trying to pretend that they themselves haven’t been inanely myopic and absurdly wrong about the real nature of their own industry for all of that time.

“For ’tis the sport to have the enginer / hoist by his own petar[d]”: would be amusing if all that darn stupidity hadn’t caused so much damage, but there ’tis… 😐

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