One way I often explain the central purpose of EA is with the following mantra: “EA enables better-informed decision making for accelerated value.” This certainly applies in a major way if EA reforms itself around the power of GenAI. If it doesn’t, EA as a discipline could disappear, so EA is indeed at a dramatic crossroads, an indisputable inflection point. Let’s briefly explore the why and how of a potentially symbiotic relationship between EA and GenAI that could lead to an entirely different positioning of and role for EA in organizational transformation.
Taryn Southern (https://www.youtube.com/tarynsouthern), at the recent Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo in Orlando, Florida, made a compelling case for seizing new opportunities with the concept of a Creative Synthesis made up of Motivation, Inspiration, and Artificial Intelligence.
Before looking at the full potential of all emerging dimensions of AI capabilities, a focus on GenAI is the critical first stage for breakthrough problem solving possibilities dealing with the EA Landscape.
First, consider the many EA perspectives that one needs to consider when architecting change in the EA Landscape:
Imagine all the variables that would need to be considered for an “Impact” or “What if” analysis for any change in the EA landscape. Well, this is what EA has essentially promised it could do if given the right repository/modeling tools. Of course, it cannot realistically comprehensively deliver on such an intensive data management and analytics quest – it is just too complex for traditional EA skills and tools. There are just too many moving parts only vaguely tracked. Well, now inject EA with GenAI – for starters, just GenAI, not all the other variations of emerging AI applications. Now I can more confidently see a way forward to tackle such analyses, noting that breakthroughs in data and application architectures will be essential and now rapidly becoming possible (think of a Digital Twin created and maintained by AI).
Consider the following 2 slides from the above-mentioned Gartner event:
As an Enterprise Architect, I think that, with GenAI we now have the “horsepower” to re-imagine what EA can do to truly help enable “better-informed decision making to accelerate business value. The new EA will have AI and Machine Learning as its best two tools to ultimately be its “best self,” with GenAI being the interface and robust data and application architectures being the platforms.
Authored by Dr. Steve Else, Chief Architect & Principal Instructor