Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Everything I know about Enterprise Architecture I learned from Charlie's Angels

Some things naturally come in groups of three; primary colors, broadcast television channels, and Charlie’s Angels to name a few. A case could be made that there were five Angels, one of which was a sister of another, so maybe that makes four and a half. Possibly I know too much about bad ‘70s television - no doubt because there were only three channels.

Enterprise Architecture comes in three flavors; Business, Information, and Technology. Business is like the attractive, smart Angel. It all about capability and forward thinking. Business Architects are really challenged to ensure that the other Angels, er Architects, are aligned and able to deliver the value that Charlie, er the business, needs.

Information is the Farrah Fawcett of Architecture and is way too hot for anyone to ignore. You’ll see a lot of pop and sizzle in the Information Architecture business right now and for good reason. Most organizations have voluptuous data repositories just busting out all over, held in place with the skimpiest threads of control. Architecture ensures that we can see everything we need to see, without overexposing areas of sensitivity.

Technology Architecture is neither as glamorous as the Angels of Business nor as sexy as Information, but it has depth, nuance, and facets that one can wistfully admire into extended evening hours. Heaven knows, we’ve all spent a night or two unraveling the mysteries of taboo code.

Architects have to wear many uniforms, play many roles, and engage with many constituents from executive management, to project managers, to programmers in the course of developing a strategy that works both today, and advances the long term vision of the corporation.

Of course, we have to look great while doing all this! By now I’m sure you’ve figured out why some of us only appear in silhouette. I mean, I couldn’t even compete with Bosley.

Like Charlie’s Angels, the three agents of Enterprise Architecture work together to ensure that all factors are brought to bear on behalf of our customers, employees, shareholders, and communities. I think this pretty much proves that the reason I watched shows like Charlie’s Angels as a youth was for their educational value.

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