Risk is an inherent part of an organization’s life cycle. It is found within all departments, at all stages of growth, and is a factor for all employees, regardless of position or generation.
An enterprise architecture is rarely if ever successfully implemented in its entirety in a single project; it is generally implemented incrementally, as a succession of individual business solution projects or coordinated solution programs. How one thinks of architecture critically affects the ability to govern the implementation of these solutions.
The primary purpose of enterprise architecture (EA) governance is to ensure that an organization’s IT investments are closely aligned with business goals and processes, so that limited IT resources are allocated to areas of highest impact on organizational performance. While the overriding concern of EA governance is the effectiveness of the IT investments, the EA program itself needs to be governed as well, since an incorrectly developed EA could adversely impact the IT investment decisions that are based on it.
Given increasingly large, distributed, and heterogeneous application and infrastructure landscapes, standardization is getting particular attention from enterprises and their enterprise architecture management (EAM) initiatives. It has become even more essential in today’s economic times, where enterprises are forced to cut costs wherever possible. For these challenges to be overcome in an enduring way, EAM needs to build upon a defined process for managing a standards portfolio.
Standards Management: An Integral Part of EAM
The recent inclusion of “Cloud computing and Cloud/Web platforms” by Gartner in the list of top 10 disruptive technologies for 2008–2012 will continue to increase awareness of Cloud and SaaS computing solutions and offerings among enterprise IT decision makers. As James Staten, principal analyst at Forrester Research, puts it, “If you’re a large enterprise, somebody in your organization is using Cloud computing, but they’re not telling you.” The same applies to SaaS.
Today’s CIOs face a ticking clock: Every year, according to one estimate, between one-quarter and one-third get the boot. Using the higher rate, that’s a turnover of 50 percent every 21 months. Not much of a honeymoon for them, and a deeply destabilizing fact for the rest of the organization.
Though there are no definitive answers, IT industry watchers have identified one problem that seems to run rampant among IT leaders—a lack of “vision,” meaning long-term strategic business thinking.