Enterprise Architecture (EA) was created to provide structure and transparency to the complex world of IT. However, theorists have created additional complexities in Enterprise Architecture by designing Frameworks that are difficult to understand and impractical to implement. In this book, Nagesh and Gerry help turn around Enterprise Architecture organizations. They introduce a simple IDEA Framework that is based on common practices and investments within IT organizations. The Ten Deliverables presented in this book bring structure and clarity to IT organizations of any size, from 10-1000.
This book is not an ivory tower work; it is actionable, applied Enterprise Architecture. It is also a healthy dose of EA "tough love." If you want to know why EA fails, read the second chapter. It is introspective, and it does not blame external forces (the "not-my-fault" syndrome). In fact, it hardly mentions technology. To be fair, the Nagesh and Gerry do recognize external influences; however, these influences are viewed as risks that must be managed.
Most corporations focus on this year's budget, investments, and rewards. The same focus rolls downhill to the Information Technology department. If the IT department has not successfully communicated the budget and managed to spend it within the limits (±10% variance), everything else may seem irrelevant. With this in mind, Nagesh and Gerry started looking through current IT systems and IT assets to understand (a) where the current funds were being invested, (b) how these investments jelled or were mandated because of the previous investments that had been made by IT, and (c) how the company's business priorities aligned with future technology needs, including the need to meet compliance requirements. Considering and discovering the answers to these three questions led Nagesh and Gerry to develop a definition of Enterprise Architecture that was based on technology investments - Investment Driven Enterprise Architecture (IDEA) Framework.
The purpose of the IDEA Framework is to provide guidance on how the corporation's future technology will be drafted and communicated. Its method is to utilize actual systems, hardware, people, and business functions in order to establish boundaries within which the IDEA Framework will work. The structure of the IDEA Framework differs from that of many frameworks because it consists of key deliverables that fit into day-to-day activities, and it accommodates an enterprise-wide strategic plan. It also provides for the much-needed interaction between these key deliverables and facilitates contributions from key stakeholders across Business Units and the various IT departments. In essence, the IDEA Framework takes the key deliverables, stakeholders, and organizations, and demonstrates how they dynamically function together.
About Nagesh V. Anupindi Ph.D.
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Published December 22, 2011
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