Who Wins and How Does Enterprise Architecture Help?

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Who Wins and How Does Enterprise Architecture Help?

In business, the winner is typically the innovator or the most optimized at what they do. For instance, Facebook innovated their way to fame while Toyota optimized. What if enterprise architecture (EA) could enable both in their organization? While much of the world is still struggling with service-oriented architecture (SOA), and most have not explored DevOps or Scrum, those are business capabilities EA can bring to their IT environment and to the rest of the organization. EA can also bring the notions of federated IT and business-capability-as-a-service to the organization, and then shift their role in the organization to program manager (PM) those business capabilities. Rather than “owning” or offering EA as a service, the EA team would orchestrate automating and innovating business capability, and creating and maintaining the IT federation.

How does Scrum and DevOps relate to the big change I suggest? With DevOps and Scrum, the teams that create solutions maintain them for life. With Scrum, a team has everyone that is needed to walk a business capability from end-to-end, regardless of where they are in the organization. The team offers the solution or business capability as a service (to the rest of the organization), providing end user support and maintaining/evolving the service. If a group, as part of a line of business (LOB) or as part of the IT group wants a new capability (for internal use), they sell the idea and get it funded, write the epics, pull a development team together, and, as a single unit, deliver and maintain the solution for life. As for the DevOps portion of transformation, the teams don’t hand code over to a separate IT operations team that maintains and patches the applications, platforms and servers, as well as provide support and manage trouble calls. All of those tasks fall to the PM team that creates the service. From an operational perspective, there is no patching in DevOps, only standing up an entirely new production environment. As patches or changes to the solution are needed, a new environment is stood up and traffic gradually shifts to the new environment. The current version and the previous version are maintained and any older environment is returned to the bit bucket in the sky. While there is still an IT operations team that owns the all-up environment, the individual systems for business capability are fully owned and maintained by the team that creates it.   

If another team want to leverage the IT capability the PM team is providing, the hosting PM team provides self-service content, and sets up a ticketing system to support their solution. The team is responsible for making sure the solution scales to meet capacity, meets the operational level agreements (OLAs) they set, and is continuously improved with new features and functionality. If the team needs help with the IT operations function, they can open a trouble ticket/request with the IT Operations service. Introducing the idea of micro-services, the team that owns the business capability owns the IT systems associated with their business capability. IT Operations team own the major systems of record that other services integrate into, and as part of their service, provide the support needed to enable the other teams to be effective in operating their IT solution.            

Think of it as turning all business capability into a service catalog and organizing business/IT capability by the group responsible for the function. In this environment, care and feeding of the desktop and productivity environment would fall under human resources (HR) or the Chief Operating Officer’s (COO’s) Program Management Office (PMO) function. The legal team would own the internal legal IT environment, and each Line of Business (LOB) would own (or leverage existing) what drives their business processes. Where there are systems of record that require special attention, the EA team would determine who maintains the system. For instance, the EA team may decide (and get support) for the customer relationship management (CRM) capability belonging to the marketing and sales team, or for the centralized IT team to take ownership as part of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) capability the CIO owns.

Let’s be disruptive. It’s in our nature…   


Andy Ruth
SEI Mentor
Apprenticeship Program