Welcome!

SOA & WOA Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Sergio Varga, Andrew Phillips, Lori MacVittie

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Java

SOA & WOA: 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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. 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 development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...