The Forrester / InfoWorld Enterprise Architecture Award recognizes EA programs that are positioned to provide lasting value to their organizations. For 2013, they are looking for programs that have taken on the trends of customer-centricity, tech consumerization, digital disruption (of which I have written a lot), and business agility, and have found a way to help their business be successful. This award is not for a specific project or technology implementation, except where that shows an excellent EA program.
As of this writing I do not know the final outcome, I only know which of the 36 candidates made the first cut down to 11 semifinalists, and which of those 11 made my top three. Actually, I know less than that as the names of the organizations are hidden from the judges.
What I wanted to do here was call out the description of one of the candidates to give you an idea of where I see the value of Enterprise Architecture and its proper role in an organization. One of my picks had this description in their application:
EA established credibility in the strategic planning space after successfully architecting critical projects and was moved into the office of the CEO reporting to the Transformation Management Office (TMO). EA was also renamed to Transformation Architecture Office (TAO) as recognition of its importance in defining the transformation footprint.
How cool is that!!
First, EA should be considered a planning discipline, not a project review, operational catch-all, or a technology-centric uber-geek think tank.
Secondly, the whole entire value proposition of EA is to enable transformation from the company which is, to the company which is desired.
The Holy Grail of Enterprise Architecture is to have it aligned with the very top of the organization, and you can’t get much higher than the Office of the CEO. Lastly, EA is about transformation, and combining EA with the Transformation Office is brilliant.
They got my vote!