Essential Architecture

It’s good to see other architects making their argument for the relevance, importance, and necessity of enterprise architecture. This post from Steve Else is another voice talking about essential architecture.

I’m with Steve. He makes the point that enterprise architecture continues to be a phrase that is defined and redefined, although I think there is a broad consensus on this.

And Enterprise Architecture is certainly essential: I would go a step further, to say that if you have an enterprise then you have an enterprise architecture (see my LinkedIn Post: Enterprise Architecture Isn’t Optional). The essential nature of EA was also one of the main themes in Enterprise Architecture – the Eight Fundamental Factors, which was first published in 2003. The Essential Project was conceived in 2000.

He goes on to say:

my vision is that those involved with leading business transformation will, in the not too distant future, concede that architecture work is essential for coherent business transformation, especially to evolve with increasingly clarity of the bigger picture — of the Architecture Landscape — and how one significant change in building blocks impacts other ones in the scoped “enterprise.”

The only thing that I would add is that enterprise architecture is essential – not just for business transformation – but for any complex, large-scale change, transformation, or paradigm shift that involves fundamental changes to the underlying architecture of man-made things.

I cover a lot of these ideas in the following YouTube video, and in more detail in two of my on-line courses – What is Enterprise Architecture, and Enterprise Architecture – Why we need it (both include lots of free preview videos).

What do you think? Is EA essential? Is it true that enterprise architecture isn’t optional? Should the techniques and discipline of EA apply in a much broader sense – to all types of complex architectural-level change?