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Big Architecture for CEOs

Architecture for CEO's

We've been having a great GovEA Conference this year- no shortage of good speakers, exhibits and vendors.

I had the distinct pleasure of introducing my long-time friend and colleague, Scott Bernard who has been the U.S. Federal Chief Enterprise Architect for the last several years.

Scott was gracious enough to come to my 80th Birthday Gala in Universal City last year to speak to a room of folks who who came there to celebrate.

As usual, it was great being with him, however I wanted to make a comment on something he said during his keynote address at the conference.

I've been saying for a long time that Enterprise Architecture should be about just that: ENTERPRISE Architecture. For the most part, I never get any pushback about that concept, however because of the sheer amount of inertia that has made EA all about building IT models, it is difficult to get people to change their behavior.

I've also been saying for some time, that Enterprise Architecture should be the way to get at solving General Management problems and in that, to be able to store the "primitive" (enterprise knowledgebase) assets in order to diagnose enterprise (General Management) problems and present prescriptive alternatives, moving the whole architecture discipline from that of a trade to a profession (click here for that discussion). I don't care if the problem is revenue production, product innovation or application rationalization... any typical "pain points" that Executives face daily.

Scott said something very interesting in his keynote address: he used the term "Big Architecture," and stated that "Big Architecture looks at the whole Enterprise in all aspects." He followed it up with a discussion about getting EA in front of Executives and thus validating that we don't need more models in EA, but a profession that actually adds value to the Enterprise. In essence, Scott was talking about "Big Architecture for CEOs."

There are many of us who understand that this is precisely the original intent of Enterprise Architecture, however I thought this "re-branding," if you will, might be coming at a good time and just also might be a very good way to encapsulate the benefit that Enterprise Architecture actually has if we can get it in front of the right people.

We have found time and time again, that the CEOs who embrace the ideas of Enterprise Architecture, or "Big Architecture," are able to move with agility through the high rates of complexity and change that characterize today's environment.

Thanks to Scott for his many years of contributions to this community and for the continued push to let the world know that Enterprise Architecture, or more appropriately "Big Architecture for CEOs," contains many of the answers that so many are searching for.

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