Last year, I did a presentation on the need for a more agile approach to architecture, where the whole approach needs to become more business-centric and less about the underlying technology. Concepts like:
- Time to action
- Value vs. expense
- Experimentation and continuous change
are at the core of this discussion and the need to inform so that the business feels enabled to take action. This perspective reinforces the changes needed for architecture in a world of automation change.
In that presentation, it talked about what needed to change but not necessarily how organizations need to go about doing making the change. Like any good architectural approach, there needs to be some level of current situation analysis. What’s the goal? What do we currently have? How well does it support that goal?
But there also needs to be some real questioning of the status quo. Why does the process work that way? What value do those involve play? What new tools and services are available?
I posted on the diginomica blog the other day that there is a shift underway that all products are turning into platforms for deeper relationships. This can only happen if you question where the business generates value. There is more to the enterprise architecture (like TOGAF) than what most traditionally thought.
Just like with agile development approaches, there will always be a bit of waterfall in an architecture approach, but at the core needs to be a close relationship with the business – it’s the businesses architecture after all. Part of the governance and focus needs to be on increasing flexibility, so keeping the rigor without the rigidity.