Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, XebiaLabs Blog, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT

Microservices Expo: Article

Enterprise Architecture: Hope Or Hype?

Getting EA from Hype to Hope to Reality

Hype cycles are common in many markets. For technology markets, Gartner® has established a five-phase hype cycle used since 1995 to track a new technology from its trigger phase to the point where it has become widely demonstrated and accepted. For many technologies, these hype cycles typically span anywhere from three to ten years.

When a technology breakthrough gains momentum with the press and possibly launches a product, that particular technology gets triggered. This describes the first phase of the cycle. In the second phase, expectations for that technology are inflated because of a few over-enthusiasts pledging unrealistic paybacks. When these paybacks are not obviously realized, the press walks away from that technology, leading some of the enthusiasts to drop out in the third phase. The enthusiasts who remain on board continue to utilize the technology during the fourth phase and find boundaries within which that technology can be practically utilized. Finally, in the fifth phase, the utilization of that technology within these boundaries is widely demonstrated and accepted.

I have seen several technologies go through these hype cycles. Some of the now widely accepted technologies that traversed through these five phases include Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Linux, XML, Knowledge Workplace, and B2B CRM. These bring back a few memories for many of us. Today, we are going through the second phase of the hype cycle for Master Data Management (MDM), Social Networking Software, Smart Grid technologies, and Cloud Computing.

The hype on Enterprise Architecture (EA) started ever since the Zachman Framework was defined in 1987, and it still continues after three decades. Now in 2009, which phase of the Garner hype cycle does EA find itself in? Believe it or not, there was never a hype cycle created by Gartner specifically for EA. Greta A. James, a research Vice President at Gartner focusing on EA, will tell you that EA is a program, not one technology. Under the EA umbrella we find several hype cycles including Application Development, Application Integration & Platform Middleware, and EA Tools.

If a hype cycle for EA did exist, with thirty years under its belt this topic would have been well adopted by many organizations, and the role of EA probably would have been well accepted within these organizations. Unfortunately, this is not the case. For 2009, Greta has predicted that more than half the existing EA programs are at risk and will be discontinued in the near future. Remaining ones that survive this economy, per Greta, will struggle with framework and information management problems. Many of my friends who didn’t already get cut are now hoping that their EA departments won’t be eliminated.

Why have Hope in the midst of so much Hype? Did we miss the boat on reaping the rewards from the thirty-year hype? Let’s look at other sections of IT. If the Operations department is cut, we know that systems will be on the floor. If Business Intelligence is cut, we know that customers will scream for reports and analytics. If Application Development is cut, we know that new functionality cannot be built to keep the business moving forward. A friend of mine who is the CIO of a company going through a Chapter 11 still keeps scaled-down versions of these departments. But if EA is cut, who will feel the pain?

Changing Hype first to Hope and then to Reality requires us to go back to basics and investigate the purpose of EA. Gartner defines EA as: “Enterprise Architecture is the process of translating business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change by creating, communicating and improving the key requirements, principles and models that describe the enterprise’s future state and enable its evolution.” From a tactical perspective, lots of goodies are embedded in this definition.

Translate Business Vision and Strategy
To successfully implement the EA function, we need to ensure that the EA group has a dedicated staff that understands the business. For example, in a publishing company architects need to understand their media products whether they’re books, print magazines, or online magazines. They need to understand how the company makes money through these products. Architects need to become familiar with the business terms and the company’s underlying business processes. Then they need to understand where the business wants to go in the current year in contrast to the company’s objectives for the previous year. Using this expertise, architects need to put together relevant programs to move the organization forward using technology as the vehicle.

Create Key Requirements, Principles, and Models
There must be a different EA staff that brings these programs down to reality through the Program Management Office (PMO). Key requirements need to have a basis of underlying EA principles. These can include strategic principles about the company’s cyber security environment or tactical principles about how EA gets embedded into Change Management. To successfully create these requirements, a set of base architectural models is needed. These models must be specifically tailored for the organization, with direct linkage provided to the blueprints of core systems.

Describe Enterprise Architecture’s Future State
Describing the future state requires the involvement of a few EA staff members with strong technical expertise. They need to understand the current state and define the future. We need to limit these future state objectives to a handful of items to make sure they get the necessary attention. Additional technical details about the future state can be embedded into technology roadmaps and standards. If the main objectives aren’t limited to no more than a handful, though, the purpose of EA and its objectives will get lost.

Enable Enterprise Architecture’s Evolution
The evolution of an organization’s technical capabilities requires well defined, well organized, and well managed technology proposals. This can be achieved only by creating well defined standards, clear lines of communication on why these technology standards are in place, and a well managed process for technology governance. If we are ready to implement a technology law, we need to make sure that there is some staff on EA dedicated to processing the requests for waivers and providing the necessary reasoning for such standards.

In conclusion, when these simple principles are followed, Hype becomes Reality and the term Hope will no longer be needed. When Enterprise Architecture is able to prove that it can bridge the business vision to IT’s tactical operations, its function will no longer be Hype and EA staff members will no longer need to Hope they won’t be cut. Enterprise Architecture will become an organization without which the company will feel the pain just as it would if other departments within the IT organization were cut.

More Stories By Nagesh Anupindi

Nagesh V. Anupindi, Ph.D. is an expert in Enterprise Architecture and IT Strategy and helps turn around EA organizations that aspire to find their sweet spot. Nagesh is currently serving in Information Technology at Frontier Airlines. Prior to that, he was the Chief Architect & Director of Enterprise Architecture for Xcel Energy. He graduated from the Univ. of Rhode Island and the Indian Institute of Technology. His comments and opinions are his own and do not represent those of his current or past employers. Email: [email protected]; Website: www.Nagesh.com; Blog: myITstrategy.blogspot.com.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Get deep visibility into the performance of your databases and expert advice for performance optimization and tuning. You can't get application performance without database performance. Give everyone on the team a comprehensive view of how every aspect of the system affects performance across SQL database operations, host server and OS, virtualization resources and storage I/O. Quickly find bottlenecks and troubleshoot complex problems.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. In the eyes of many, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery. In this presentation, attendees learned about the: The transformation of IT to a DevOps, microservices, and container-based architecture What are containers and how DevOps practices can operate in a container-based environment A demonstration of how ...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2017 New York. The 20th Cloud Expo and 7th @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Internet to enable us all to im...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great t...
Application transformation and DevOps practices are two sides of the same coin. Enterprises that want to capture value faster, need to deliver value faster – time value of money principle. To do that enterprises need to build cloud-native apps as microservices by empowering teams to build, ship, and run in production. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Neil Gehani, senior product manager at HPE, discussed what every business should plan for how to structure their teams to delive...
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Phil Hombledal, Solution Architect at CollabNet, discussed how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, showed how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningful f...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, discussed how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galera MyS...
IT leaders face a monumental challenge. They must figure out how to sort through the cacophony of new technologies, buzzwords, and industry hype to find the right digital path forward for their organizations. And they simply cannot afford to fail. Those organizations that are fastest to the right digital path will be the ones that win. The path forward, however, is strewn with the legacy of decisions made long ago — often before any of the current leadership team assumed their roles. While it’s ...
As we enter the final week before the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in Santa Clara, CA, it's time for me to reflect on six big topics that will be important during the show. Hybrid Cloud: This general-purpose term seems to provide a comfort zone for many enterprise IT managers. It sounds reassuring to be able to work with one of the major public-cloud providers like AWS or Microsoft Azure while still maintaining an on-site presence.
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his session at @DevOpsSummit 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, showed how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that enables everyone fro...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.