Business Enterprise Architecture Modeling (BEAM)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Longer and Broader

When people ask what Enteprise Architecture is all about, I tell them there is a short answer and a long one. The short answer is that it is about getting business and IT people to thing "longer "(over longer time periods) and "broader" (across business units or enterprises). The long answer involves two or three weeks. The simple answer is not as simple (or easy) as it sounds. It is very easy to focus on the immediate, this week, this month, this quarter. Every thing in our culture emphasizes right now. But big things require that we think years out into the future, often 6 to 10 years out into the future at a minimum. Other industries, especially utilities, project their networks far into the future. IT needs to do the same thing.

Thinking more broadly is also one of the thing that EA teaches. Business processes often span multiple business units, increasingly multiple organizations. e-Business and e-Government require people to think creatively about the ultimate customer. What does the customer want?What would make the most sense? All of questions create new kinds of e-Biz e-Gov applications and it is also the kind of thinking that needs to take place if you're going to get into real Service Oriented Applications.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

"Why Should we do EA?"

One of the most difficult thing about Enterprise Architecture is explaining and defending it. "Why should we do EA?" a lot of IT people say, "We've gotten along without it for decades, why do we need it now?"

The answer to that question is that as new problems arise, new solutions are required. Large IT organizations have gotten more complex and more interrelated both within their organizations and without. In the end, EA is about "mapping" and "mining"--mapping the IT territory, and mining the potential riches provided by the IT data and infrastructure.

Like an iceberg, most IT assets are below the waterline. Unless we have a true 3D picture of the our IT environments, we will have increasing problems managing them.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Microsoft and Groove

It was announced this morning that Microsoft had purchased collaboration tool provider Groove for an undisclosed amount of money and that Ray Ozzie, the founder of Groove and the original brains behind Lotus (now IBM) Notes would become Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft, reporting to Bill G. himself.
I was wondering when something would happen in the collaboration website world. For the past few years, we have been using both eProject and Groove on a number of our projects. eProject is a web based collaboration site, where Groove is a peer-to-peer tool. Each one has strengths and weaknesses. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft plans to integrate Groove with its SharePoint Server.