2021年是数字转型计划加速的一年，倒逼组织的业务战略发生许多转变。企业架构师比以往任何时候都更面临在快速变化的业务环境中重新确认其价值、角色和体系结构的挑战。The Open Group全球EA副总裁兼亚太地区总经理、企业架构师协会(AEA)首席执行官Chris Forde先生应邀出席Wipro高层对话，深度探讨数字时代的企业架构师如何进行角色转换，帮助企业布局数字化转型之路。
The Open Group全球EA副总裁兼亚太地区总经理
Chris Forde加入The Open Group之前曾在美国运通公司（American Express）担任战略和架构副总裁，带领信息技术团队开发客户服务能力。Chris兼任企业架构师协会（Association of Enterprise Architects）首席执行官，在企业架构领域有丰富的管理经验和专业知识。作为The Open Group架构论坛的成员代表及论坛Chair，他在2007-2009年为推动TOGAF®成功问世发挥了重要作用。
To be effective in the current digital age you need to change behavior and upskill. That entails recognizing and demonstrating where you, your specialization, and practice add value.
The architecture practice may be symptomatic of what ails the enterprise, or it could be a beacon of light leading the way, typically everyone is in the transformation boat together, some are rowing and some are passengers, some are navigating, and some are hanging on.
Being a platform based Enterprise is essential but, your platform is not enough, you must consider your ecosystem.
In this complex ecosystem platform world you need a supply chain view of digital product delivery.
One day in 2018, I learned on social media that the practice based on classic architecture references such as TOGAF no longer meets the business needs in the era of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. At that moment, I was sitting at the quarterly meeting listening to a speech on how the world's leading investment service provider Moody's was undergoing a business driven, EA supported activity based on coincidentally TOGAF to develop and improve its machine learning capabilities. While you don’t see artificial intelligence in TOGAF series standards, but it doesn’t stop Moody's from choosing to adopt open standards for its business innovation. In the digital age, enterprises need to see what is the booster of development and what is the stumbling block to progress.
So given the trends taking shape as organizations expand their business transformation efforts, how can individuals and organizations be prepared? What are the renewed priorities of enterprise architecture? Enterprise Agility, or enabling an enterprise to operate in an agile manner and innovate rapidly. Here’s a list of the characteristics of agility which is pretty clear and simple: Alertness, Accessibility, Decisiveness, Swiftness, Flexibility. I highlight Flexibility here to emphasize the needs to change your operational model, the needs of your business and customers.
请注意，这些特性适用于企业的所有方面，而不仅仅是软件开发或IT组织。来自The Open Group的O-AA®标准指出，企业的数字化转型和敏捷性在进行变革的组织中是不可分割的。这一观点的相关性已经在诸如Society Generale、Michelin、Fidelity、埃克森美孚、富达投资、米其林、Autodesk、雷神公司和Comcast等进行了实验、认证和实践。在探索开放标准及其参考架构的过程中，你可以了解更多路径和选项，及时发现问题，预先认识到组织和自身在转型时需要反复做出决定的转变场景。
Notice these characteristics apply to all aspects of your enterprise, not just your software development pipeline or the IT organizations. The O-AA Standard from The Open Group states that digital transformation and agility for an enterprise are inseparable in organizations undertaking change. The relevance of this viewpoint has been experimented with, compared, contrasted and confirmed and implemented (to one degree or another) in companies like Society Generale, Michelin, Fidelity, Exxon Mobile, Autodesk, Raytheon and Comcast as examples. In exploring open standards material you will find paths and options enumerated such as the transformation dimensions, questions that arise, and transformation scenarios that you as an Architect and your organization will need to decide on perhaps repeatedly.
Kiran M. R.
At the same time, enterprise architecture in the digital age needs to cope with changing trends and needs, and constantly extend and update its core capabilities, including coordinating end-to-end enterprise solutions in the case of complex technology; Streamline its architecture team; Develop user-friendly enterprise architecture tools to support dynamic integration within the enterprise system and visualization of business capabilities. In addition, technology debt, cost reduction and resilience remain the top themes related to enterprise architecture capabilities.
So it’s great to aspire to those Agility characteristics but what is your macro situation? Situationally, different types and levels of process and structure are needed for different levels of an organizations growth maturity and complexity. As architects, we must navigate and provide guidance and information for decision making appropriate to those levels, and, also pay attention to helping organizations move between levels of growth.
Being a platform based Enterprise is essential but, your platform is not enough, you must consider your ecosystem. The “market reality” is that for sometime Customers and Prospects have had real time choice and feedback mechanisms at their fingertips. That shift continues to accelerate, both in BtoC and BtoB side. People today EXPECT to engage with their friends or acquaintances or colleagues.They EXPECT services integration. They EXPECT what they want when they want it how they want it where they want it. Typically it is impossible for most companies to meet all these demands alone. In a 2021 Accenture Insights Report, 77% of executives surveyed indicate their technology architecture is critical to or becoming critical to the overall success of their organization. In this composed ecosystem platform world you need a supply chain view of digital product delivery.
A central tenet of agile digital transformation is taking an “out side in” view of determining what a customer wants and how they want to do it, and mobilizing the business and technology to meet those needs. Fundamentally there is a virtuous circle of value implicit in this customer focused viewpoint, and a recognition of some market realities. This a customer and product aware, software enabled and data driven circle, supported and enabled by the latest available technology. To spill it out, the typical customer view entails retail shopping, trip planning, food delivery, social media, among others. While the Employee view might be a Mine Manager, Drug Research Scientist, or Climate or Oil Exploration Scientist.
Now the “flip side” of transformation is Optimization. Optimizing operating efficiency is pretty valuable bread and butter stuff to shareholders, tax paying citizens and owners of private companies. Operating effectively on the right things helps your current business and potentially opens a funding path to new investments and growth areas.
Why is this “at the same time” context important? It is because architecture, in all its specializations, is relevant both when business is going well and when it is not. Also the world and your current business likely does not stand still while you transform. So Architecture is about dealing with difficult problems, it is about driving value while doing two very difficult complex things at the same time, transforming and optimizing, by simplifying them, and helping to maintain focus on the path to value in the organization.
Here is an illustration of an evolving trajectory from “Winters” to “Springs” of EA. Each winter and spring From the 80’s to present day has largely lead to growth in this profession. There are going to be more winters as we move forward. So the question is: how will new technology impact your business practice and architecture?
A recent McKinsey survey, to be published by the International Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA), refines the core issues that business leaders need to consider in the digital age. On the question “what attracts exceptional talent in the EA Practice?” The third-highest ranked incentive and the biggest gap is education of staff, highlighting the importance of opportunities for professional development. Here’s a suggestion to put in place mentoring and coaching from those with strong stakeholder engagement skills. Mentoring and coaching is a key characteristic for later consideration, an expectation you have of certain types of partners. Here’s another our recent survey by TOGAF also focusing on the digital capabilities and agile practices and design thinking. One of the key is to simplify EA and make it more consistent, readable and usable.
For your Enterprise and For Yourself as an Architect，you need continuous learning, adjustment and adaptation based on your enterprise culture and your own development.
Organizations considered digital leaders with intensifying expectations for their architects as Digital Practitioners, that is to deliver on business and operating Model changes with technology as an enabler, at pace. These expectations are starting to look like a call for a superhero. “Architecture” as currently done is really a set of specializations, not a hierarchy. These specializations constitute a profession, with related practices. Knowing who is qualified in what areas and how to engage them or obtain a referral is a characteristic of a profession. To quote Antonio Banderas’ character in the Steven Soderburgh movie “Haywire” “I prefer me doing my job better than somebody else doing my job.” To be effective in the current digital age you need to change behavior and upskill. That entails recognizing and demonstrating where you, your specialization, and practice add value.
Kiran M. R.
Yes, successful enterprise architecture is collective success, not individual heroic deeds. Enterprise architecture is not a fixed combination of functions, but a collection of expertise that is constantly updated according to the matrix needs of the market.
Thus, as an architects going through the transformation, you need to cut through the myths, and cliches, make stark assessments to get to the reality of your architecture practice, knowledge, skills and experience, competencies required for your company and yourself. Shifting the perspectives and mindset doesn’t mean throwing the babies out of the bath water, but being real in term of practicing enterprise architecture. The architecture practice may be symptomatic of what ails the enterprise, or it could be a beacon of light leading the way, typically everyone is in the transformation boat together, some are rowing and some are passengers, some are navigating, and some are hanging on.
So wrapping up now. Even when you orienting your internal practice based on value delivery and have exceptional talent in the team you will be facing significant external competition and pressure. Competition for talent is fierce, as always a choice has to be made what capabilities to keep internal and what to externalize. The range of skills that may be considered part of the Enterprise Architect role today and moving forward includes the disciplines needed for management consultants who design business and operating models. The O-AA standard incorporates these disciplines including strategic marketing and marketing research, User Experience, Design thinking, Lean Product and Process Development, Enterprise Architecture, organizational sociology, Software architecture, among others.