Enterprise Architecture’s Identity Crisis: A Caution Sign for the EA/IQ Partnership
The professions of Enterprise Architecture and Information Quality have a potentially rewarding, symbiotic relationship. But that relationship may be threatened by a trend the author has observed within, and on the periphery of, the Enterprise Architecture world.
That trend takes the form of a growing identity crisis: In the beginning it seemed that outsiders didn’t know who we Enterprise Architects were; now it almost seems that we ourselves don’t know who we are. Who is one and who is not one? Almost every job title now has the word “architect” added onto it. Does anybody care?
Yes! The author cares, for this reason, among others: When so many job titles are called “architect,” there is confusion between Enterprise Architects and everyone else. Everyone who examines at least one aspect of an enterprise (e.g., the data, or the systems, or the business processes) is likely to be considered an Enterprise Architect. But the true Enterprise Architect looks at the whole, well… enterprise.
In the same way, Information Quality permeates many, if not all, aspects of an enterprise. In order to take advantage of all the synergies between Enterprise Architecture and Information Quality, Information Quality professionals need to seek out and interact with true Enterprise Architects, who have the full picture of an enterprise, in addition to working with the data architects and data modellers.
Kathy Sowell is a recognized leader in Enterprise Architecture, having been the principal author of the Department of Defense’s original architecture framework, the C4ISR Architecture Framework (later renamed the DODAF), and a principal developer of other frameworks for Government and Industry. She has been named one of the five Pioneers of Enterprise Architecture by the Society for Information Management.
She retired from The MITRE Corporation, where she performed a leadership role in Enterprise Architecture for many Government clients. Her expertise has been tapped by NATO Headquarters, the Australian Ministry of Defence, Canadian corporations, the Danish Embassy, the Swedish military, and State and local governments. She is a frequent speaker at EA conferences.
For five years she served as a curriculum developer, Technical Director, and Director of the DoD Division of the Federated Enterprise Architecture Certification Institute (FEAC).
For the past several years her SowellEAC program has been providing Enterprise Architect Certification through her company, Custom Enterprise Solutions, and National-Louis University.