Capitalizing on Complexity and Uncertainty

Darren Dalcher, one of my colleagues at Cutter Consortium, has written an Advisor about “The Third Knowledge Revolution: Learning to Live with Uncertainty” (Cutter login required) that has a lot of relevance to enterprise architects.

My experience, research and client work shows that knowledge is one of eight fundamental factors that we need to include in EA practice. Why do we need to include knowledge as a factor?

Partly because we rely on the knowledge of an army of subject matter experts to be able to understand something as complex as an enterprise architecture. Without the personal knowledge of these people we could only “know” about the factual aspects of EA – we would be dealing with architectural components, structures, and behaviors without any knowledge of the human context in which they are used.

But we also need to include knowledge because increasingly our world is complex and uncertain.

Darren includes a link to a CEO survey, conducted by IBM. It dates from 2010, but it is very much still valid today:

“A 2010 survey of 1,541 CEOs conducted by IBM reveals that the key challenge facing global organizations is addressing complexity. The CEOs identify a world that is volatile, complex, and ever more uncertain, with 79% anticipating an upsurge in these features. The majority of respondents have serious doubts about the ability of their organizations to manage in such a future but would seek to build such capability.”