For Who The Heck is Enterprise Architecture Not?

Thinker Practitioner

While thinking of ideas discussed in this blog, have been probing the tenants that creates the fundamental characteristics of the system such as :-

  • Division Of Labor – the most important idea that revolutionized industrialization and for rise of capitalism
  • Commodiitization vs Specialization
  • Production of cost by Economy Of Scale by Division vs Multiplexing (manual vs automation)
  • Holistic vs Reductionist
  • Organic vs Inorganic (natural dichotomy)
  • Autonomy (increased self sufficiency) vs Corporate Sovereignty
  • Natural Selection leading into Adaptive vs Self Regulation leading into Generative
  • Centralization vs Polycentrism; and Federation
  • Simplicity vs Complicated (not to be confused with Complex System)

The above premise must be used as background in probing the discipline EA – which is essentially a System Theory being an integrative of several disciplines such as sociology, economics, business management, information technology etc

Defeating Cognitive Bias and Instant Gratification

Basically have been battling within my head why this discipline Enterprise Architecture went so whacky in the corridors of corporates. I think all the below discussed stuff are symptoms. The core reasons I think is basically in the deviant behavior that corporate culture tends to promote driven by short term gains. Lets call this deviant theory (Corporate) Anomie a concept developed by Emile Durkheim, a French sociologist, who introduced this concept of Anomie in his book The Division of Labor in Society, published in 1893. Later expanded in the book Suicide published in 1897. Emile Durkheim is considered as the “father of sociology”.

1. Not for those Not solving Systemic Concerns

Enterprise Architecture (EA) as a discipline is engaged to solve problems within systemic context. Where the (a) challenge of realizing business strategy by enabling relevant business capabilities (b) delivered by set of tactical objectives (operational) achieved by (c) making informed and decisive investments in technologies. When such systemic concerns are not being addressed, then EA is overkill. EA while it strives to solve macro concerns it does so by aligning well designed several sets of micro objectives.

2. Not for those who lack appreciation for Order and Maturity 

Generally, EA as a discipline is better desired when an enterprise strives to scale order of maturity to manage complexity by rational means. To develop organizational skills, a decisive competencies framework is desired.

3. Not for those who cannot deal with Abstraction

EA is not for those who have not trained their mind to think in abstraction. Especially those who find themselves comfortable in dealing with physicality and forms will require head wrenching exercise to hone mind to develop abilities to deal with varieties of abstractions, while representing them with varying semantics that help in  delineation, thus leading into layered representation in terms of a framework.

“Separation of Concerns” is one such technique that achieve delineation by introduction of semantics and eventually it also helps in the design of EA Framework.

EA is not for those, who in abstraction find it difficult to delineate contextual from conceptual; and conceptual from logical and logical from physical.

4. Not for Reductionist; instead suited for Holistic Thinkers

EA is not for those who are only reductionists in approach and who think everything in the world can be reduced to simple set of objects or objectives. EA is not necessarily Cartesian and certainly not for linear thinkers. EA is not about immediately discovering implementation; in fact it is delayed gratification by introducing decisive rationalizing process before subjective strategy turn into executable objective actions yielding the best business results by leverage.

5. Not for those who pursue Transformation without Goals

Although EA might help manage both organic and inorganic growth of an organization; by itself it is a disciple dealing with inconsistencies owing to structure and mechanism found within and their impact on transformation augmenting enterprise growth

6. Not for those who pursue merely Functional Goals and NOT be concerned with Ecosystem’s Harmony

EA is not a mere IT role, especially a difficult role for those who have worked only in the areas of IT infra and in delivering such services. EA is not limited only to physical layer.

EA is not for those who find it difficult to distinguish business strategy from business architecture; business architecture from application architecture; application architecture from technology (infra) architecture. And, importantly EA is an overarching and all encompassing meta-architecture inclusive of all those levels of architecture that holistically represents an enterprise in relevant abstractions.

Architecture is a holistic sum striving to achieve systemic balance by aligning function, performance and cost

Math and statistical although important, those approaches alone are not adequate to envision future capabilities for an organization. Likewise advents in technology alone do not necessarily prove transformative. Knowledge of IT architecture by itself is not transformative. Instead, EA as a discipline  requires to integrate Architecture, Capital Planning and Program Portfolio Management. All these brought together by productive Governance; even then the challenges of future remains fleeting.

7. Not for those who think Taxonomy suffices to represent EA and NOT Ontology

There is distinct semantics used to represent each of the layers (“separation of concerns”). Semantics introduces dimensionality to the architecture layers and they cannot be represented with limited set of semantics in limited dimensions. Each layer that is semantically different from the other requires transformation in planning and design to discover the opportunities in each layer. Ontology plays an important role in developing and assimilating ideas leading into discovering creative transformative opportunities. EA is not for those who tend to reduce everything into simple 2D representations in the hope that simplified versions help manage complexity better.

8. Not for those who are Programmatic in Approach and Not Practitioners 

Not for those who do not understand what disposes them to be credible management consultants. Furthermore, also not for those management consultants who have not gained appreciation for structure, semantics driven architecture and mechanism within; and their role together in systemic transformation, functional modernization and economic optimization.

Consultants are those who have gained immense multi-lateral experience in the industry in variety of areas especially in conducting transformation, modernization and optimization related activities. Generally individual gains such experiences driven by motivation to solve large fleeting problems those are systemic in nature. Not by pursuing opportunities where sole motivation is revenue generation no matter what.

Practitioners develop insight by assiduously probing the problem and complexity. The skills do not develop overnight. It is not swashbuckling nor shooting through the hip. It is developing opportunity by being proactive and intense probing.

There are no Outliers (myth destroyed by  Malcolm Gladwell )

“””A common theme that appears throughout Outliers is the “10,000-Hour Rule”, based on a study by Anders Ericsson. Gladwell claims that greatness requires enormous time, using the source of The Beatles’ musical talents and Gates’ computer savvy as examples.[3] The Beatles performed live in HamburgGermany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time, therefore meeting the 10,000-Hour Rule. Gladwell asserts that all of the time The Beatles spent performing shaped their talent, and quotes Beatles’ biographer Philip Norman as saying, “So by the time they returned to England from Hamburg, Germany, ‘they sounded like no one else. It was the making of them.'”[3]Gates met the 10,000-Hour Rule when he gained access to a high school computer in 1968 at the age of 13, and spent 10,000 hours programming on it.[3]“””

9. Not for those who provide professional expertise as Contractor and NOT as Practitioner

It is not a contracting role – In theory contracting assumes that the client understand the requirement and they control the way project gets executed. This is obviously flawed approach.

Generally those who have thrived only in delivering IT services of operational nature are not the candidates for conducting management consulting, since most of their career has been delivering IT solutions and services for a requirement determined by the client and their consultants.

10. Not for those who do not value Professional Integrity

Importantly EA is a Practitioner Discipline introducing high standards emphasizing on quality in rendering and most importantly professional ethics promoting the desired ethos for organization’s evident growth and maturity. The results of EA achieves transparency, accountability and line of sight driven by “structuralism” striving to achieve “order”.

11. Not for those who build career around Tools and NOT around Discipline Integrating Science and Art

EA is not a discipline that can be developed by building career around tools. Tools by themselves do not create Art and neither advances Science. EA is integrative of architecture, capital planning and program management. All these driven by corporate governance.

12.Not for those who engage merely in IT Operation and Implementation

EA is integrative of strategy, operations and implementation

13. Not for those who DO NOT Develop Enterprise Transition Plan and Operating Model (must skill for EA)

14. Not for those who think EA and Solution Architecture are synonymous

 15. Not for those obsessed with Dominance and NOT Balance

EA cannot help organization achieve balance and sustainability without Governance

16. Not for those who engage Masquerading Solution Facades and Intellectual Contrives 

EA improves “Loss of Innocence” while it DEFEATS Solutions that do not align with context.

 17. Not for those who think Service Oriented Architecture, Correlation Architecture, etc by themselves constitute EA

 18. Not for those who merely think Strategy alone and NOT Innovation help create Newer Opportunities

Innovation to create newer opportunities while achieving higher order in capabilities and business sustainability are key to ensure system harmony against the challenges of existing and ensuing complexities.

List for NOT’s can be endless….

…N. Is Certainly for System Thinkers


Cellphone based Micro-finance a transformation at grass-root level

Dichotomy accompanies the process promising  human Emancipation

Technology fueling micro-economics proposes to promote transformations at grass root level. Most importantly such a development is expected to augment self-determination for the marginalized. But the lurking danger is, the technology vendors are the investors for whom nothing matters but the ‘profit’ alone. Inherently, such scheme of things is bound to lead into dichotomy in the good intended purpose in the context of progress. Especially that accented for the poorest of the poor. Hazarding this danger, there still exists respite and an opportunity for the marginalized to seek expedited financial assistance, while acknowledging that for every transaction that a poor person affects, there exists a percentage to be paid to the investor. Careful harkening is begged, when Shylock is in the business of opportunity. That means to extract ($$$$) pound of (for) flesh. Poor’s man predicament is rich man’s opportunity.

Nevertheless, after dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s; for the needy who can afford a cellphone and is in productive vocation, it could prove to be Upwardly Mobile!

Upwardly Mobile

India is the fastest-growing mobile communications market in the world. The rural poor are rapidly adopting phones, so the technology could become a platform for providing banking services. Sanjay Swamy, CEO of the mobile-payment platform mChek, talks about the potential.
Video by David Talbot Edited by JR Rost

Bailout is (was) an Attempt to Saddle a Dead Horse

A Metaphor for Proffering a Dead System as a Solution

A Metaphor for Proffering a Dead System as a Solution – Pls Buy Picture from Devian Art


Fast-forward Forbes reports dismal growth in small business sector

2013 March – from above link 

<<Since big companies largely have recovered, and government employment has grown, at least at the federal level, clearly the real problem lies with the poor performance of smaller, and most critically newer, firms. In the past, young businesses bailed out the economy and spurred innovation. Yet today fewer than 8% of U.S. companies are five years old or younger, down from between 12% and 13% in the early 1980s, another period following a deep recession.>>

Also I am tempted to add that big business in their own motivation for fortune increase are also cause for demise of many small businesses. The coveting democracy and capitalism often times corroborate  at the cost of destroying free enterprise, while advancing their own schemes, as we have seen in awesome Movie Tucker – The Man and His Dreams


Elusive Enterprise Darwinism (Nov 2008)

By saddling a dead horse the system cannot be changed. Resurrection is not change and it is best left to those who are above humans. The system pertaining to human will ever remain in the bondage of life and death. And, this system is governed by entropy. By merely doling out money to dying mechanisms newer mechanism do not appear. Only when a non-working system dies by a process of generative transformation newer system emerge. Bailout has the hazard of creating cancerous areas in the system. Studying programmed cell death it is evident that nature has desired that divine ‘death by design’ a willing suicide be a necessary intervention for regulating organism’s life-cycle. As the older mechanism dies it imparts newer properties and characteristics to the emerging mechanism. In the newer mechanisms the older parts that prove not to be useful to the newer function become the vestigial organs and they die. If the older mechanism is forced to perform in the newer paradigm requiring completely newer set of rules, they create stress within the existing structure and eventually the system will implode.

Some of the bail out money could have been directly be invested in the lower denomination who are suffering, while allowing for some of the institutions to undergo its natural decay. It must be borne in mind what bailout means to different sectors. Manufacturing sector and such employs more blue collar workers, while the Service sector employs more white collar workers. Among the two, it is the blue collar who are more in denial and it is these people who work tireless to render the system more economic.

Rising Like a Phoenix

Rising Like a Phoenix

What has to rise is not the dysfunctional economic system, but the existing mass with newer modes of making a living and a just-ful process of compensation. All most all the corporates have turned into a feudalistic system giving rise to machiavellian personalities that is useful to only handful of the masses. The hedge funds etc were to be used as instruments to an investment that would protect one from the future fluctuations.  Instead, it was deviously turned into instruments to be used for investing in abstract and complicated risks.

Change is difficult and needs bold moves from the masses. In the past land reform occurred and the feudalistic system was removed by passing land reform act ‘ land for the tiller’.  Moving forward, more such systemic development needs to occur especially newer economic system has to be planned that accelerates the micro-finance  distributing small and quick money that promotes small businesses.  What is needed is a syndication mechanism that promotes development at the grass root level. Furthermore, stringent rules have to be put into place that governs individual contracting. The existing laws are full of holes that exploits the vulnerable individual contractors. In this 21st century any notion of emancipation is a far fetched concept. But certainly there will be CHANGE as it has always happened. It is an entropic property of the system in which dwells both order and disorder. When change happens it will be a ‘step function’ – ferocious, fast and ruthless.

Refer Following Article Why Demise of Ill Conceived Business Should Fall:-

Economics: – The Enterprise, Autonomy for an Enterprising Individual, Sovereignty and Road to Fiefdom

Article by – Srinidhi Boray

Anti- Thesis to John Galt from Atlas Shrugged. Was  John Galt part of Wall Street meltdown? Nope. Could he work towards Health for All through Collective efforts. Nope. He, then can be Apple, that which has no real systemic benefit to mankind’s alleviation, although is the wealthiest (2012). Nope, maybe …probably…in such hesitation….men….mind….and machine..of what higher cause can they ever serve. Many such perplexing questions has been pondered timeles !!!

Also, much misunderstood and much flouted are habeas corpus and one’s prerogatives in the context of an individual, enterprise (collection of individuals) and sovereignity.

An enterprise presumes that it has a behavior. Meaning there is an input of resources, it is processed and then there is an output. All these works against the competition for a commercial company and for the government against the shrinking budget. Overall the behavior of the enterprise is measured by outcome, which is a cumulative and analytical result of the input, the process and the output. All these together perform under the system. Lets call it Sovereignty. It is the sovereignty which introduces the policy and the logic for the system to behave in a certain way. Mostly guided by the socioeconomic criteria.

In the past century there have been two starkly different Sovereignty Systems. One was based on Keynesian Economics developed by British economist John Maynard Keynes – The general Theory of Employment, Interest and Money . Thiswas very popular post world war for nearing three decades. In the Keynesian theory, the sovereignty played a dominant role by constantly regulating the market diminishing the role of  individual businesses. Meaning macroeconomics preceded microeconomics. During this time there also existed another theory proposed by Friedrich August von Hayek. The economics theory lead by  Hayek contrasted that with Keynesian by arguing for lesser intervention by the sovereignty and unleashing the creative individuals in the market place and allowing for market to correct by itself by process of self-regulation. In contrast to Keynesian economics Hayek laid more emphasis on microeconomics & de-regulation rather than sovereignty determined macroeconomics. As an anti-thesis to Keynesian economics, Hayek published ‘Road to Serfdom’. This publication iconoclastically argued that the Keynesian economics inevitably would lead into serfdom (cartoon representation). Hayek’s economics influenced the era beginning with Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. It was based on Hayek’s theory that globalization was fiercely sought.

For any Enterprising Professional, it is difficult not to acknowledge that in either of the economic theories, Fiefdom was thriving at its hilt. In Hayek era the intrusive state of the Keynesian was replaced by domineering Oligarchy business houses in which domineering and Machiavellian managers manipulated and schemed non-existing business market to advance their own careers . The effect of both the state and oligarchy on the enterprising and ethical individual was to stifle. Although in the Hayek, the individuals certainly did thrive, but then the ‘economy of scale’ lead the small businesses subsequently  to become behemoths and introduce hegemony into the system where creative individual went into oblivion.

Coming back to Enterprise behavior, it can be concluded that the dysfunctional behavior in either of the economics era, was introduced by  the chicaneries that underpins fiefdom. This led to eventual doom in the Wall Street. Today we have both the systems intermingled as evident by the bail out plan and one should wonder with a  shudder about the amok run that is to compound, should fiefdom be allowed un-arrested.

Also, it is but evident that pluralistic framework is emerging where both Keynesian’s sovereign led macroeconomics and the Hayek’s free enterprise microeconomics are blending to form a heterogenous system The sovereignty provides the macrocosm while the individual ingenuity provides impetus to the dynamic microcosm. This means as an Enterprising Individual, one needs to incorporate inclusive perspectives where both the macro and micro coexists, as not being disjointed, rather both being deterministic of each others behavior. ‘Implicate Order’ provides basis for such a scheme of things. And, ‘Syndication’ as a mechanism will prevail providing the needed impetus to the grass root level.

Few years later after writing the above article, came across this soul searching documentary by Jamie Johnson, lineage of Johnson and Johnson family. He talks about 1 Percent who control pretty much everything in America. Very well made and well intioned documentary. In the documentary After hearing President Bush pay tribute “To a hero of freedom – Milton Friedman, he has used a a brilliant mind to advance a moral vision”, Only thing that is left to said is this, now an individual is a soul lost forever in the concrete wilderness of capitalistic corporate that democratic government we create protects. Continue to remain in a straight jacket, at least for now, autonomy for an individual is cause lost forever.