Message of the Month: Breakthrough Architecture for Greater Business Value Faster

Enterprise Architecture’s value is fundamentally linked to enabling better-informed decisions faster for modernization and transformation initiatives.

GenAI can help immediately to fill in nearly ubiquitous knowledge gaps to better integrate Business and Information/Data Architecture domains with Application and Technology ones. However, machines cannot make this happen. Highly skilled and results-driven architects and engineers must be on the front line of the integration and operationalization of the insights that GenAI can contribute (including with ever-sharper refinement of “Prompt Engineering’ to best exploit AI’s potential).

Successful EA practices going forward require what I’ll call Breakthrough Architecture Prowess (BTAP) prowess – as opposed to AAU (Architecture as Usual).

BTAP will require great business and technological intelligence, intensity, and agility. It must be built upon the synergistic engagement between Digital Transformation leaders and a fusion of Architecture and Engineering partners. Strong analytical and communication skills will be imperative to enable the best blend of business strategy, design, engineering, and operational competencies.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with organizations that have the right idea, combining Architecture and Engineering (A&E) under the strategic umbrella of Digital Transformation. However, they are handicapped by the lack of standardized methods and modeling approaches across their domains and the barrier of not being permitted at present with GenAI. This resorts in what one may call a “Word Salad” of pompous-sounding propositions, but no vision or roadmap. In fact, a lot of “flailing” is what I often see in these cases.

My recommendation for a strong foundation for such new imperatives remains to build on customized approaches captured in ever-more-mature workflows and enriched with the use of an effective metamodel to help describe organizational entities and relationships in a more consistent and standardized way. In the near term, I still strongly recommend baby steps with TOGAF and ArchiMate training, but for a much wider swathe of roles than just the predominantly IT ones.

The case studies and use cases for such foundational training should absolutely include ones addressing the challenges raised in this article; otherwise, the training will be just academic and lead to a dead end. After such a practical foundation of method and modeling, mentoring is highly recommended for one year to continue progress. Short training courses alone will never lead to BTAP. Contact us for more information and a plan.

Authored by Dr. Steve Else, Chief Architect & Principal Instructor