Information technology (IT) related projects, just like traditional design and construction efforts, are team activities. A variety of individuals and talents come together for a project and combine their efforts to produce a system or application. IT projects of a material size also are renowned for their relatively low success rate. While some of this can be attributed to the complexity of the undertaking, the root cause of many failed projects is leadership.
Enterprise architecture is the organizing logic for IT and business processes reflecting the integration and standardization requirements of a firm's operating model. This definition of enterprise architecture recognizes that IT is tightly embedded in organizational processes and that the critical role of architecture is to ensure the desired level of business process integration (sharing of data across business units) and business process standardization (implementation of the same business processes across business units).
The Role of the CIO. With IT representing about 70% of all capital expenditures, estimated in total at over $1 trillion dollars per annum, CIOs are expected to “run IT like a business,” maintaining specialized skills and expertise in:
Enterprise architecture moves out of the back room and into the limelight in 2005. The intersection of three immutable forces — compliance, privacy, and regulatory requirements; an increase in application and infrastructure outsourcing; and continued pressure from business concerns to both cut costs and deliver increased value — will elevate conversations about architecture within the organization. Unfortunately, politics, staffing, and overblown processes will prevent most organizations from taking advantage of the opportunities presented.