Open Group EA 2007: David Linthicum

I’m here at The Open Group Enterprise Architecture Practitioner’s Conference, and will try to blog where I can on the presentations. Right now, I’m sitting in David Linthicum’s keynote, which is on EA & SOA. He had an interesting quote, which was:

Five years from now, we won’t be talking about SOA… It will all be folded back into EA.

There’s some truth to this, but there’s also a lot of risk. One of the issues with EA (and many other efforts within IT), is that it can become disconnected from the project efforts that are going on. The term most frequently used with this is “ivory tower” where enterprise architects are simply viewed as paper pushers that know how to create a lot of PowerPoint slides. One of the side benefits of SOA is that it relates very well to the world of the development projects, with “service” being the point of common language. The enterprise architects may be modeling the enterprise in terms of the services that are needed, and projects can now utilize these models in their project architecture. This is easier said than done, however, as you need to ensure that the reference material containing these models (e.g. a reference architecture) is consumable at the project level. If the only group that can understand your models are fellow enterprise architects, that’s a problem.

So, will SOA be folded into EA as a whole? If EA can ensure that the artifacts it creates are consumable at the project level, then absolutely, SOA will be folded into EA. If EA is not creating artifacts that are consumable at the project level, then we have a problem. You’ll likely still have tension between EA and SOA, and likely not achieve the levels of success that organizations that have successfully bridged the world of EA and the project space. This doesn’t apply solely to SOA. This applies equally to any architectural domain. You may have information architects working on canonical or enterprise data models, performing data quality analysis, etc., but if it doesn’t find a way to become relevant to project efforts, it will exist on an island with continual struggles to achieve the objectives that were set out.

2 Responses to “Open Group EA 2007: David Linthicum”

Leave a Reply


This blog represents my own personal views, and not those of my employer or any third party. Any use of the material in articles, whitepapers, blogs, etc. must be attributed to me alone without any reference to my employer. Use of my employers name is NOT authorized.