Having a clear understanding of an organization's technology landscape and how technology can help achieve business goals is crucial in today's rapidly changing business environment. To ensure alignment between technology and business strategy, organizations need an Enterprise Architecture (EA) group. An EA group is responsible for defining and managing an organization's technology architecture, making sure it supports strategic goals. In this article, we'll explore the importance and benefits of building an EA group and provide guidance on how to establish one within an organization.
Where to Begin
When it comes to building an EA group, it's important to start with a clear understanding of your organization's business strategy and goals. This will help you identify the technology capabilities that are needed to support those goals and develop a roadmap for building out your EA capabilities.
Defining Strategic Goals
Defining strategic goals is a critical step for any organization in achieving its long-term success. Here are some common steps that companies take to define their strategic goals:
Once you have a clear understanding of your organization's strategic goals, you can begin to identify the stakeholders who will be involved in the EA group and define their roles and responsibilities. This may include business leaders, IT leaders, architects, and other key stakeholders.
Next, you'll want to develop an EA framework that outlines the principles, standards, and guidelines that will govern your organization's technology architecture. This framework should be aligned with your organization's strategic goals and should provide guidance for technology teams on how to develop and implement technology solutions that support those goals.
Some Examples or EA Frameworks are the following:
The most popular Enterprise Architecture (EA) framework is the Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF). There are a few reasons why TOGAF is so widely used:
I am really not sure how to start this blog. This one is different from all my previous blogs about technology. To be honest, I’m feeling a little scared, but I feel like this will be cathartic for me and maybe, in some way, reach someone going through what I did. So, with a deep breath, here I go.
Let me start with a bit of background. Before covid hit, I was very active in different tech communities. You see, I love what I do, and I love technology. I love to learn and share new ideas with others. I love to teach and mentor. I love seeing the impact on someone’s career that I may have played a small part in shaping. I love interacting with other peers within the industry and learning from them. I have made many friends through these communities.
One in particular that I am passionate about is the VMware User Group or VMUG. I have had the honor of being a leader in this community for ten-plus years now. VMware reshaped my career path, and I’ll never forget the first time I was able to dive into their virtualization platform back around 3.x. Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t meant to be a VMware kiss-butt blog, but the impact they had on my career drove a deep excitement to share what I was learning with others in this community, and the same can be said today. This passion was felt within the community, and we grew. At one point, I led multiple VMUGs within Central New York and blogged at every chance I could.
Others noticed this passion, and I took on a new role as a pre-sales architect. I could now speak to customers about this passion and so many others. At one point, I even took on the role of Citrix User Group Leader and Veeam User Group Leader. I was onsite with customers almost daily and planning the subsequent community events with my peers.
While at Sirius, now CDW, I took on the VMware Technology Brand Owner role. I traveled all over the country, teaching pre-sales engineers, post-sales delivery, and client executives about our strategy and how to grow their VMware business. I loved every minute of it. I felt alive and passionate, and I felt valued.
My family at home supported me, and when I was home, I made the most of my time with them to ensure they felt valued. I have some of the most amazing children. My oldest loves horses: my middle son lives, eats, and breathes hockey. My youngest daughter lives on Jesus and sugar. She never walks but dances her way through life. My Wife is a literal saint. I couldn’t do what I do without her tremendous support and encouragement. You must be wondering what in the world my point is. Brandon, it sounds like life is peachy, and everything sounds great. You have a successful career and a healthy family.