Why should companies have an Enterprise Architecture (EA) team? Ask yourself the question if you should have a centralized business strategy team? If the answer is yes then you should have an EA team and it is the same thing as your business strategy team.
What does a business strategy team do? They basically do those projects your senior leadership hires firms like McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Bain, … for. The team is on a constant mission to help improve business operations. This could be done thru process improvements, product/services changes/additions or business acquisitions.
So what does EA have to do with this? Simple, EA consists of BUSINESS, Application, Data and Technology Architecture. And they all are dependent on each other going from left to right. E.g. Application Architecture depends on your Business Architecture; Data Architecture depends on your Application Architecture; Technology Architecture depends on your App and Data Architecture. These architectures all have to be aligned for your business strategy to work.
So can’t I just do the business architecture as it comes first and then involve those tech guys/gals to do the rest? Yes, if you are starting a business from scratch. Unfortunately, that only happens once in the life of a company. Otherwise, you have existing processes, applications, data and technologies to take into account. No-one can afford to throw out the old just because they want to make some business changes. And this is where it gets very tricky and you will most likely make expensive or fatal missteps if you don’t think this through from business all the way thru tech.
If I just have my senior line leadership do my strategy do I still need EA? 1. Yes, 2. You’re making a mistake. I’ll elaborate on (1.) in a future blog. I will not comment on (2.)