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Updated: 1 hour 8 min ago

The Future of the Mike The Architect Blog

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 20:50

You might of saw the announcement I made that I just joined Gartner. You might be thinking what this means for my blog, right? Well… there will be some changes but I think ultimately they will be good ones. 

Just like with most things, there is good news and the not so good news.

How about we get the bad news out of the way first... So the not so good news is that this will be my last blog post, well at least for the foreseeable future.  I will still keep it alive out here but will not be able to update it.

So this leads to the good news is that I will still be able to share my insights with all of you. I will continue to express myself through Gartner research notes, technology profiles, hype cycles and conferences. Who knows, I may even show up on Gartner blogs as well. While I do love what I have done with "Mike The Architect", blogging on any one platform/persona was never my goal. It’s was simply a vehicle or a means to an end to communicate my thoughts to all of you.

As you might imagine this post is a bittersweet one for me. This closes one chapter and opens another for my public writing to all of you. I have really enjoyed blogging all these years about my observations, experiences and my wild haired crazy ideas. Can you believe it’s been 8 years of Enterprise Architecture blogging? I can't. Goes by fast.

I just want to say thank you to everyone that has subscribed to my blog, provided comments and believed in my guidance. 

Related articles Mike Walker has joined Gartner
Categories: Architecture

Mike Walker has joined Gartner

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 15:42

I’ve got some very exciting news to share with all of you. I have accepted the position of Research Director within the Enterprise Architecture practice at Gartner!

As many of you know that read my blog I often comment on the analyst community and more specifically the leader in that community, Gartner. I have a great deal of respect for not only to research but also the Gartner EA team. I will be joining a stellar team of luminaries that have been providing enterprise architecture guidance for a very long time. It is very humbling to be part of this already high-octane team.

You might be wondering, why did I decide to join Gartner? It was a bit of an interesting discovery for me. I spent my career primarily in two world’s. First as a practitioner space as an enterprise architect or a chief architect and second at a technology vendor in roles such as advisory/chief architect roles. Each of these roles and organizations provided great experiences in their own right and provided me a great deal of experience and enjoyment.

However, when when I looked at Gartner as a possible career choice, it offered a very different value proposition. As a practitioner working for a single company my role and scope of influence was only with that one company with an occasional speaking engagement or blog posting. But even when I did speak publicly many factors limited my ability to provide the candid guidance that I would of preferred to give. This was primarily due to intellectual-property or competitive factors.

With large technology firms I was able to get that broad and pervasive megaphone that allowed me to amplify my message across many companies to maximize the impact that I could have. However there is one major drawback, I work for a technology firm and no matter what you still have some level of accountability for the company’s bottom line or another way of stating that would be to enable the sale of technology. While I personally have avoided having “big evil vendor” pitches there is still a very legitimate perception that there is a technology bias.

So I ask myself a question, is it more important to sell technology or to sell enterprise architecture? The answer was very clear to me. It had been for many years but it's just like trying to remember something that's on the tip of your tongue you know it's there but you can't quite put your finger on it. Once I realized that enterprise architecture was the area passion for me, everything else on the place.

Moving to Gartner is the most logical choice for me given my true passion for advancing the Enterprise Architecture profession, communicating its value and ultimately sharing proven practices. if I wants to advance the enterprise architecture profession. Gartner provides the platform, the breadth of clients, the credibility and none of the technical shackles that you would find at a large mega vendor.

Not only do I think it's a good move for me but I also think I would be good at being an analyst. After all, many of my roles have comprised of an advisory component to customers, writing white papers and speaking at conferences.

As for my existing customers, many of you are Gartner customers. If you still want to continue to engage with me I would really like that!

Related articles Five Take-Aways from Gartner Symposium 2013 Recapping the Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit 2013
Categories: Architecture

Just Released: World-Class EA: Business Reference Model

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 17:47

Check out this new whitepaper from the Open Group in the area of Business Architecture. What are your thoughts on the latest edition in their World-Class EA Series? Does it get The Open Group or TOGAF closer and deeper into the business architecture world? Is the material useful? Love to hear your thoughts.

The whitepaper is entitled Business Reference Model part of the .

See the whitepaper description below:

Business architecture is being used to design, plan, execute, and govern change initiatives throughout public and private sector entities. An architectural approach can systematically highlight the most effective state for a given environment, and then define how change can be effected within acceptable benefit, cost, and risk parameters. A key challenge to this approach is the consistent definition of the organization and where it needs to be, and in response this White Paper introduces a comprehensive reference model for business. The Business Reference Model (BRM) can be applied to both private and public sector organizations alike, and gives complex organizations a common way to view themselves in order to plan and execute effective transformational change.

It is envisaged that the introduction of a BRM into a transformation planning exercise will increase collaboration across the business, increase awareness of organizational opportunity and risk, and facilitate more holistic business investment; all of which culminates in an improved and more sustainable working environment leading to a better working world.


Find the whitepaper here:

Categories: Architecture

Texas AEA Summit Recap

Sun, 04/27/2014 - 20:07


Wow, what a great event.  It’s been a month since the first the event and we are still getting  a great deal of feedback on the value of the event. Thank you to all of you that attended. 

With close to 125 attendees for this first time summit of the Texas Association of Enterprise Architects we couldn't of asked for a better turnout. We had attendees from multiple sectors, multiple Texas cities (Dallas, San Antonio and Houston) and from other architecture associations that decided to show up. As an example, we've had the San Antonio Enterprise Architecture Association come to our meetings along with IASA. At this event we had the good fortune of having the IASA Austin chapter president and an IASA marketing person so support for what we are doing at this summit. What I want people to take away from this is that the Texas AEA is open to all architecture professionals regardless of affiliation or level of experience. All are welcome.


IMG_1271   IMG_1291   IMG_1269


The theme for the summit was centered all around real world practitioner stories, Keeping EA Real. I think we did that with our excellent speakers in the real world stories from the trenches.

However, don’t just take my word for it. Check out all the great social media activity on the event at hashtag #TexasAEA



All of the presentations from the day are available on the Global Association of Enterprise Architects portal under the Texas Chapter. All you need to do is login and and the presentations freely available to you. We also recorded the sessions and looking to find a way of sharing those with you as well.

This summit may of been very different compared to traditional conferences that you may be used to. The day was split into two major sections. The day started out with a traditional conference format with keynote speakers and sessions lots for more of a one-way dialogue. We had Jeanne Ross and John Zachman as the headliners for the summit followed by 20 minute TED style customer case studies. These were rapid succession get to the point sessions without any of the fluff. I think this was extremely valuable.

After lunch and the second half of the summit was built to be more interactive similar to what you would find at in an conference. We kicked off the second half with a panel from the TD style presentations from earlier in the morning. This was built to be interactive serving the questions of the audience. From there we went into open space/uncomfortable style roundtables. At the beginning of the conference we had voting on which topics they wanted to discuss at the roundtables. Those that got the votes the highest were nominated as the roundtable that people want to. After the roundtables we recaps the entire day and went directly to the social event afterwards. Again to facilitate meaningful conversation amongst enterprise architecture peers.

Bellow is a further break down of the conference. I don't cover every point that was made but more the salient points that resonated with me that I would like to share with all of you.

Morning Sessions

Welcome address

The day started off with myself kicking off the day in the welcome address. I talked about our vision in charter for the Texas chapter. This included some things we'd already discussed in our first meeting but for the sake of the new attendees we wanted to go through the full vision of the Texas AEA.

There's also some highlights that we discussed as well. Namely the current state of the chapter. Month over month our chapter doubles in size.


The chapters only been around for three months. What this teams me is the there is an enormous amount of demand for what we're doing here for the EA profession at least here in Texas. With both potential and non-members of the AEA, the attendance has shown us an overwhelming amount of support for what we're doing. As an example we usually find of the typical audience one fourth of the audience is non-members with a month over month growth rate seeing that those very non-members transition into members.


image Another important announcement is around professional development. The AEA will be supporting the ability to issue credits for activities you do through the AEA. So if you go to a summit, present at a monthly meeting or collaborate through the portal these all generate credits for you to demonstrate all the great things you've been doing in the year profession. Keep in mind this only applies to Open CA and not skills-based certifications like TOGAF. This is taking certification to the next level of maturity that gives people the credit where credit is due.


Along with professional development credits, a related announcements is around actual certification. Here in the Texas AEA we have several Open CA certified enterprise architects. With that we are planning on creating a mentorship program to help those that want to achieve their open sea certification. Along with us we been granted the ability to hold certification boards as well. We will be the first AEA chapter to do this. Very exciting news!


Jeanne Ross: Enterprise Architecture State of the Union


Jeanne Ross opened up the conference with her keynote. Unfortunately she was in Paris this week but delivered the next best thing, a prerecorded message just for us!

Jeannie continue to describe the evolution of her research at MIT Sloan. The message that sticks out most of my mind is really centered around a change in mentality that enterprise architects need to adopt. Jeanie cover this, and I wholeheartedly agree, enterprise architects should stop trying to have their customers try to understand exactly what they do. Rather, we should be focused on what our customers want rather than having our customers understand exactly what and how we execute the end deliverable for the end customer.

I keep it as simple as this. If I hire a plumber 2 o'clock a drain at my home, I don't want to understand how to be a plumber I just want my drink the unclogged. But in this scenario, enterprise architects as the plumber, we're trying to give a schematic of the drain systems and discuss optimization in tolling over a set of blueprints that myself as a consumer doesn't fully understand and respect the S can't have any informed opinion on. It's just a waste of time and energy. I think EA is having a big opportunity here to change their mindset.


John Zachman: Enterprise physics 101


Next up was John Zachman. Just being in Zachman's presence is extremely humbling. After all, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. And he seems to be the perfect EA. Not because he started this whole thing in I'm a bit starstruck but he has the ideal demeanor and personality traits of the ideal Enterprise Archtect. He has the ability to greatly influence a room while also checking the ego at the door. I was pleasantly surprised on how humble he really was.

John took us through his latest thinking on the Zachman framework. He discussed how the past couple years he has really learned a great deal about enterprise architecture. This was through a colleague of his based in India that was building a set of EA consultancy services around the Zachman framework. By exercising the framework broadly like this exposed quite a few things that were considered before.

He explained to the group the philosophy behind the Zachman framework. Essentially it's ensuring that you're asking all the right questions to make sure that you have a complete understanding of what is to be architected. So John borrowed from the 6 interrogative's that fully complete a story: who, what, when, where and why. With this, that and explained that his framework really wasn't an EA framework but rather an ontology. Personally, I couldn't agree more. You can see you post here on this topic.

imageAnother important point that John made was in a similar vein as Jeanne Ross. He chose just to think about EA profession and how we been conducting ourselves. Well Jeannie focus on the interpersonal or sauce skills Mr. Zachman looked at it from the perspective of what we do as enterprise architects. You know do that he used was comparing what we do to either a manufacturer or in engineer. John's point was that we call ourselves or contrast we do with engineers but reality we can Dr. sells more as manufacturers. Meaning that there isn't much that is truly engineered and thought through with great detail and rigor but rather we are more supply line manufacturers crunching out widgets.

This is a very interesting analogy and one I don't fully think is easily understandable however I get the incident and agree with it. If you've heard me talk you know that I talk about architecture versus implementation. This is essentially what Mr. Zachman is talking about here. Architecture is all about planning, designing and engineering. The things we do after Architecture are all about executing meaning we going bill or in John's terms manufacture.

After getting some fundamental framing on how are conducting ourselves in this profession in a bit of setting stage for what's next, John went through his ontology or what is commonly referred to as the Zachman framework. He referred to it as the periodic table of elements for enterprise architecture it has all of the fundamental elements of what we need to do in enterprise architecture. What how I refer to it, it's a measure of completeness. But it's up to you to figure out the right questions to ask and how to implement this tool. It's not predicated that every box gets checked off or all questions get answered that's where your judgment comes.

When John talks about the usage of the pure a table for enterprise architecture he talks a great deal about how to compose an implement it. It's so he draws analogies from the chemistry world. He challenges us to think about using those foundational elements versus what he refers to ask composite. Already prefabricated or combined foundational elements of the Zachman framework to make business decisions. His assertion and I agree is that when we do that mean heritage whole set of constraints or objectives that we know me know he's trying so for. So my take a step back and looking at all the foundational elements might be a really good thing. However keep in mind having composites isn't entirely a bad thing in my opinion, however you want to make sure that you understand all the characteristics of it.

The last and final messages that John sent was around misconceptions of the framework. Mr. Zachman made it very clear that his framework was never intended to operate on its own. It is merely an ontology.

Again, Thank you to the attendees

Categories: Architecture

Updated Speaker Lineup for The texas Association of Enterprise Architects Summit

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 18:28

 Texas Association of Enterprise Architects Summit Mike Walker

Space Limited -- Register Now!

With the popularity and as we come closer to the event on March 20th seats become more limited. To be sure you have a spot in the audience to listen to luminaries like John Zachman and Jeanne Ross along with our local Enterprise Architects in the Texas area proving thought leadership that you shouldn’t miss. Make sure to RSVP soon. Space is limited and admission is first come first served.

Come join us at the Austin Renaissance in the Arboretum on March 20th, 2014 from 8:00am to 5:00pm with an evening social from approximately 4:30pm –7: 00pm. Costs of the event are highly subsidized by our sponsors for a low cost of $50.00 for members of the AEA and $100.00 for non-members of the AEA.

 RSVP for the Texas Association of Enterprise Architects Summit Mike Walker


Updated Agenda for the Day

We have an action packed agenda!

 Texas Association of Enterprise Architects Summit Mike Walker

Venue and Lodging Details

The summit will be held at:

RENAISSANCE AUSTIN | 9721 Arboretum Blvd | Austin, TX 78759

Making Reservations

We have negotiated discounted room rates at: $189 per room per night plus applicable tax and service fee. You have until Friday, March 14th before the discount expires. Please make your arrangements before then.

Booking Website:


Categories: Architecture

Register Now for the Texas Association of Enterprise Architects | Summit

Sat, 03/01/2014 - 19:28

 Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA Summit Mike Walker  Austin Texas

1st Texas Association of Enterprise Architects Summit!

Designed by Enterprise Architects, for Enterprise Architects this summit provides an opportunity to discover the latest approaches and innovative ideas in Strategy, Enterprise Architecture and Business Architecture.

This full day event is different than most. Shifting the focus from a speaker only event to a mix of presentations and collaborative sessions with highly relevant and proven practices that are applicable to the issues Enterprise Architects face today.

Featured Speakers

 Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA Summit Mike Walker  Austin Texas Jeanne Ross     Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA Summit Mike Walker  Austin Texas John Zachman

Jeanne Ross          John Zachman



Come join us at the Austin Renaissance in the Arboretum on March 20th, 2014 from 8:00am to 5:00pm with an evening social from 5:00pm – 8:00pm. Costs of the event are highly subsidized by our sponsors for a low cost of $50.00 for members of the AEA and $100.00 for non-members of the AEA.

 Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA Summit Mike Walker  Austin Texas RSVP



We have an action packed agenda!

 Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA Summit Mike Walker  Austin Texas Agenda

Venue and Lodging Details

The summit will be held at:

RENAISSANCE AUSTIN | 9721 Arboretum Blvd | Austin, TX 78759

We have negotiated discounted room rates at: $189 per room per night plus applicable tax and service fee.


Categories: Architecture

Open Group Enterprise Architecture San Francisco Conference 2014 Recap

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 23:01

 Mike Walker Open Group Conference San Francisco Recap Keynote Business Architecture TOGAF

The other week, The Open Group kicked off their signature Enterprise Architecture Conference in San Francisco. I always enjoy these conferences as it allows me to connect with seasoned and high caliber peers in the Enterprise Architecture community. However, these events aren’t just fun and games for me it’s an opportunity to make an impact on the profession. I had an action packed week that included the following:

  • Presentations. I had the privilege of co-presenting the morning keynote [abstract here] with one of my clients and a thought leader in the area of Business Architecture. Wrapping up the morning the AM keynote presenters got on a panel to discuss future trends and technologies.
  • Standards. I spent a half day on the overall next version of TOGAF and then another two full days leading the Business Architecture workshops to advance Business Architecture within TOGAF.
  • Lots and lots of conversations. Great dialogs with EA’s. I have to say, I learn something new every time I go to one of these conferences. 

Like others in the recent past the Open Group has taken on an industry focus for these quarterly conferences. The goal here is to provide a much tailored experience to EA’s in those specific industries. This time around it was Healthcare. Like most of these conferences there was a broad international representations from nations such as: UK, US, Columbia, Philippines, Australia, Japan, Netherlands, Germany, South Africa and many others.

The Open Group has posted two summaries are well, I would suggest taking a look at them. I wasn’t going to duplicate much of what they covered since they did such a good job. See below:

Conference Announcements

Even though there was a vertical focus the Open Group did cover additional areas around the profession of EA, forward looking views on the industry and architecture topics like big data and cloud.

Included in that were a series of announcements:


My Presentations

 Mike Walker Business Architecture Keynote Open Group Conference San Francisco Recap

I had two presentations both of which were recorded and available for on-demand viewing.

  1. Business Architecture the Key to Enterprise Transformation
  2. Future Technologies Panel

Business Architecture the Key to Enterprise Transformation

With enterprises being bombarded with emerging and disruptive technologies such as cloud, mobile, social and information, it can be difficult for organizations to really understand how leverage these new opportunities that present themselves. To do this, Business Architecture is the key to setting the right strategy for these new opportunities. By leveraging this discipline with Enterprise Architecture we can better quantify and qualify these opportunities to ensure we are maximizing value for our companies. In this session, we will explore the current landscape along with proven and leading practices in Business Architecture. The session will be concluded with how P&G leverages Business Architecture in their Enterprise Architecture practice.


 Mike Walker Business Architecture Keynote Open Group Conference San Francisco Recap

On Demand Video

 Mike Walker Business Architecture Keynote Open Group Conference San Francisco Recap

Presentation Available


Useful Links

Categories: Architecture

Texas Association of Enterprise Architects February Meeting

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 16:52

 Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA

SAVE THE DATE: Next Meeting is Thursday February 27th 5:30 – 8:30 at Abel’s North

Our First Event Was a Hit, Thank You!

 Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA

Wow... I am humbled and inspired by the amazing turnout by all of you. This is truly amazing. Through talking with most of you I was inspired by your passion for wanting to build out a professional organization. What even furthered that commitment was one forth, yes a forth of you came from other cities in Texas. What commitment for our local EA community!

 Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA  Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA  Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA

For more photos of the event see our Flickr site here:


February 27th: Monthly Meeting

The meeting will take place on Thursday, February 27th, 5:30 – 8:00 at Abel’s North. This meeting will be a great opportunity for you to get plugged into the local architecture community along with an introduction to the Texas AEA Chapter.


  1. Welcome
  2. Updates and Announcements – Mike Walker
  3. Open Group Conference Recap – Mike Walker
  4. Special Interest Groups - Dave Gibson and Venkat Nambiyur
  5. Social

To join RSVP here.

 Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA

Abel’s North Austin

4001 West Parmer Lane

Austin, Texas 78727

(512) 835-0010

Note: Abel’s used to previously occupied by Cool River and is behind other buildings and you should look for It’s a Grind coffee shop and turn into that small shopping plaza to find Abel’s.

Categories: Architecture

So Many Different Views, So Much Business Architecture Confusion

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 18:13

 Business Architecture There certainly is no shortage of opinions in the industry around business architecture. This spans from what it is the definition of Business Architecture to how one would implement followed by the skills and competencies needed to successfully execute.

It can be overwhelming for anyone that is new to this space. Wrapping your mind around the fact and fiction is lengthy and sometimes down right frustrating. This is mainly due to where the Business Architecture discipline is at. I discuss this further in my post, “Business Architecture Ready For Prime Time”.

The second largest contributor to this is all the different views and opinions coming from the marketplace at large. From vendors to consultancies to analysts and even people like myself that blog about such topics and all of these positions are coming at the problem from a different angle.

Can it be more difficult?  Hopefully I can help.

How Do I Better Understand Business Architecture

Before we get into the weeds it important to understand a few things.

There isn’t necessarily a who’s right and who’s wrong solution here. I think of the problem of understanding Business Architecture positioning as a matter of perspective. Let’s assume all have the best intentions but have a certain set of biases, constraints, incentives and motivations. While there is more drivers, these are the major ones.

So to better deal with these dynamics I suggest using a mental frame for thinking about these contrasting and or conflicting opinions. When I look at the this market, I segment where the opinions or positions are coming from. I then look to understand the motivations for their opinion and start to form a classification mechanism so it's easier to understand their perspectives.

 Business Architecture Vendor COnsultant Analyst Standards Persectives Mental Framework

As shown above you will find such an activity. What you see below is how slice and dice the major voices in the business architecture world. I carve off 4 major perspectives that include:

  • Analysts
  • Standards Bodies
  • Vendors
  • Consultancies

There is a problem with the model…

You will notice a very key source missing. That would be the actual end organizations accountable and responsible for this effort. While there are pockets where this perspective is represented, this voice is largely missing. I would assume this is due to the fact that they are too busy adding value in their organizations rather than just talking about it at conference or on a blog.


Walking the Model

The image above is a high-level representation of how to split the different perspectives that you may encounter using the model that I’ve created.



This perspective is interesting as it does have some very unique qualities to it. It’s important to really understand the drivers behind the position asserted here. Analysts got through a very rigorous vetting process and they are very good at what they do, analyze the market space. They are not practitioners(anymore) and have very little “skin in the game” when it comes to actual results with end customers. However, they have one very strong attribute that trumps other perspectives, their rich data and hypothesis or predictions they make with that data. This data is a vital aspect to the decision making process.

  • Time Horizon of Guidance: Past 1 year to 5 years in the future
  • Perspective: Broad Industry Thought Leading 
  • Context of Guidance: Prediction Based
  • Can be used for: evidence of a position, understanding the market landscape, understanding your peers in the industry and general advisory


Standards Bodies

Often times when looking at the perspectives of a standards body you are looking at one in which is the most grounded in the day to day reality. The goal of most standards bodies is to articulate practices that are proven in the industry. This is what I refer to as the “safety net”. As an example, The Open Group currently has 465 company memberships that represent HQs in 38 countries! Each one of these companies has a say and a vote on what gets ratified as a standard. That is one great vetting process.

  • Time Horizon of Guidance: Past 5 years to 1 year future
  • Perspective: Broad Industry Proven Practice
  • Context of Guidance: Evidence Based
  • Can be used for: practical implementation, provides a safety net or "insurance policy" for making decision on what has worked for customers world-wide, faster time to market on standards and reference architectures



Another unique perspective here is that of our vendors. While this isn’t always true, most times it is, vendors base their opinions on the ability to drive services and products. After all that’s their business. I find that this perspective isn’t bad or wrong it’s actually a very good one as it can connect the broader more ethereal perspectives back down to reality with implementable tooling.

  • Time Horizon of Guidance: Past 1 year to 3-5 years in the future
  • Perspective: Thought Leading based on enabling a capability. Usually technical in nature.
  • Context of Guidance: Immediate and Near Future Market Needs
  • Can be used for: advice and tools for automation, deep coverage of a functional or capability area



Consultancies are similar to vendors in many regards with one small tweak, I usually find that services companies don’t share their opinions in detail. This is largely to their business model. They monetize their knowledge (intellectual property) and services. So if you do hire a services / consultancy firm I personally find extremely high quality material but you have to purchase it to get a hold of it.

  • Time Horizon of Guidance: Past 5 years to 2 years in the future
  • Perspective: Proven practice and some leading practice (largely depends on the type of consultancy)
  • Context of Guidance: Evidence based in the context of a specific offering by the firm
  • Can be used for: evidence of a position, understanding the market landscape, understanding your peers in the industry and general advisory



Hopefully with this mental frame it helps reduce the confusion in the marketplace. You probably noticed that I didn’t give you my personal opinions on specific perspective areas or sources, I don’t think that is productive as each of those sources has it own set of drivers for making those assertions. Rather than doing that I would rather arm you with the tools I use to form my opinions so that you can do the same. 

I find that it helps me in the following ways:

  1. Keeps me Calibrated. Keeps me a sanity check when I’m reading material so that I can properly consume the information I am reading.
  2. Go Deeper. I know what questions I need to ask myself or to the perspective that is sending messages my way. That allows me to ask the right questions to form my own opinion.
  3. Ability to Rationalize. I can better classify information and thus use it more effectively
  4. Effective Communication. I can more effectually use the information in my communication to my peers, customers or partners
  5. More Effective Decision Making. By understanding these perspectives I can leverage the information in a fit-for-purpose way thus reducing the risks of mistakes and mishaps.
Categories: Architecture

Business Architecture Ready For Prime Time

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 22:30


It’s probably no surprise to all of you that there has been a significant amount of talk about Business Architecture in recent years. Just coming back from the Open Group Conference in San Francisco it was one of the key topics for practitioners. However, with all the buzz, is Business Architecture really ready for prime time? This is a real and very legitimate question.

Separating fact, fiction and pure buzz is an important data point for Enterprise Architects. We all but learned our lesson from similar buzz worthy topics like SOA and Cloud. So needless to say, diverting energy into unproven spaces or trends is a very risky business. EA’s must continually add value back to the company and must be very judicious with their time. Most EA departments if not all that I talk to, just don’t have time to experiment on trends or fads.


So what does this mean for Business Architecture?

 Mike Walker Defining Business Architecture. TOGAF 7 Illistration of Business FocusI believe that business architecture has been one of those topics that has always been here but has gotten very little attention until now. Seemingly  Business Architecture seems like a new discipline but it isn’t. In a previous post titled, Defining Business Architecture  I talked not only about what is business architecture but also some history around it. What I talk about is how Business Architecture is actually been here for quite some time. You can find evidence of it in the beginnings of the EA frameworks. While “true” EA was in its infancy so was Business Architecture component of it. During that time most things that occurred in the technology space were mostly just that, technology focused. I believe that for many reasons that was the correct thing to do based on where we were at in our industry, limited maturity of our discipline, our capabilities that we could offer and the rudimentary and basic profile of the technology landscape. Simply put…

Crawl, Walk and Run.


Enterprise Architecture Evolution… How do we get to Running?

Times have certainly changed and so has IT and along with it EA. This industry has matured and along with that maturity comes more sophistication. Up-leveling what we do has a goal of bringing more value to our customers.  What we have found is that delivering context-less technology widgets are just not delivering the right level of value to add to the capabilities of our businesses.

With all this said, I believe that Business Architecture is still at the beginning of its journey. I do think that we have come a long way with establishing the need and the value but there is still a great deal of work to be done to get Business Architecture formed as a fully standard practice. We see this be just looking back, from largely ignoring it in 2000’s to shifting that in the 2010’s and  addressing it as a key focal point of EA.

So if we look at some common mental frames for calibrating where we are at out where things are at in the industry we could use Geoffrey Moore’s, Crossing the Chasm as a way to gauge where we at. And if I look at that model I would say you were still in the chasm however we are quickly coming out of it.




So what is that me, it means that we are seeing evidence of organizations outside of early adopters and innovators actually using Business Architecture to solve real-world problems in the next class of individuals and organizations are for two as the early majority. We're starting to see a lot of this in the industry.

But also let’s talk a look outside my anecdotal points with the customers and look at what we see from the analyst community as well. We see strong evidence of this as well. As an example,  Gartner conducted a double blind 2011 worldwide survey and a 2012 survey of EA summit attendees in the US and Europe, Gartner finds that the vast majority of organizations are focusing their EA efforts on how they can drive business value (including IT), not just on driving IT decisions.


Source: Gartner (2012): Gartner Hype Cycle 2012

Based in the above shows that Gartner finds that 67% of organizations are either: starting (39%), restarting (7%) or renewing(21%) their EA efforts. By the way, they also note that they know that many of the organizations that state that they are "starting EA for the first time" are actually "restarting" because we have talked to them in the past - it is just that the current EA leaders don't know that there previous efforts.

The analyst are the only ones reporting on this activity. We have independent bodies of knowledge that have sprung up that are continuing to try to crack this business architecture did not. A couple of the most popular ones include:

  • BABoK
  • BizBoK


And of course behind that comes vendor practices and boutique consulting practices.

With this flurry of activity from real customers, vendors, analysts and standards bodies alike, Business Architecture is very real and is a discipline within Enterprise Architecture that needs some serious focus.

Categories: Architecture

Come see the Business Architecture Keynote from Mike Walker Keynote at the Open Group Conference

Sun, 02/02/2014 - 19:52


Myself and Mark Dorfmueller from P&G will be discussing the world of business architecture at the Open Group Enterprise Architecture Conference in San Francisco [event program]. This will be followed by a panel discussion of industry experts that Mark and I will be on. The panel will discuss future technologies.


Business Architecture the Key to Enterprise Transformation

Mike Walker, Enterprise Architect, Hewlett Packard
Mark Dorfmueller, Associate Director Global Business Services, P&G

With enterprises being bombarded with emerging and disruptive technologies such as cloud, mobile, social and information, it can be difficult for organizations to really understand how leverage these new opportunities that present themselves. To do this, Business Architecture is the key to setting the right strategy for these new opportunities. By leveraging this discipline with Enterprise Architecture we can better quantify and qualify these opportunities to ensure we are maximizing value for our companies. In this session, we will explore the current landscape along with proven and leading practices in Business Architecture. The session will be concluded with how P&G leverages Business Architecture in their Enterprise Architecture practice.


If you can’t attend you can still tune into the Live Stream [here]

Categories: Architecture