If something’s hard to do, then it’s not worth doing – Homer Simpson

EAS General

The above quote from Homer Simpson could be applied to a lot of people when they consider embarking on Enterprise Architecture for their organisation.  Luckily, I’m not one of them!
In principle Enterprise Architecture isn’t hard at all.  I was trying to explain what I do to a friend of mine who is a builder/runs a swimming school and he couldn’t really understand the issues.  It seemed inconceivable to him that an organisation could have little understanding of the applications they are running and all the links between them; or no understanding across the organisation of the business strategy and what changes this would require from the business and IT communities; or be running two applications that actually do the same thing; or have two processes that achieve the same result.
This, of course, is symptomatic of the difference between a small business and a large global organisation, but it highlights that in principle Enterprise Architecture is a no brainer.  You simply need to understand the processes that your people are going to perform to achieve your business strategy, the applications that will assist them, the information that the people and applications will require and the underlying technology that will allow the applications to run.  Once you have this understanding, making adjustments, whether to streamline your business or because of a change in your strategy, is easy.
Of course, in practice ‘doing’ EA is never easy, and the ‘understanding’ element is only part of the equation.  Even if you understood all the elements listed above, achieving the ‘control’ required to manage change is still a significant challange.
Nonetheless, contrary to Homer’s advice, even though doing EA is hard, it is definitely worth doing.

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