Enterprise architecture projects no longer left to IT alone, Gartner finds

Other key managers starting to take more EA responsibility

The task of managing and designing enterprise architecture is no longer seen as the job of IT alone, according to analyst house Gartner.

The majority of EA practitioners have shifted their focus to their business' strategic vision, it found. According to Gartner, by 2016, 30% of EA efforts will be supported as a collaboration between business and IT, up from nine percent earlier this year.

"The discipline of EA has passed a tipping point where practitioners are moving beyond applying EA to IT alone, either in aspiration or in actions," said Gartner analyst Betsy Burton.

Gartner said several trends have helped to spur this evolution, including:

-An increased ability for business users to lead and make technology decisions, with or without IT

-A continued CIO view that IT strategies must be closely related to the business's strategic priorities

-Increased management pressure on EA to demonstrate business value, due to the economic downturn

-Continued growth and emergence of several new practices and disciplines that are focused on enabling EA practitioners to better communicate and collaborate with business leaders

"Enterprise architects need to assess their own aspirations, their senior management's expectations for EA, and the type of IT service management (ITSM) they are operating under in order to understand the opportunities and constraints on their ability to collaborate with business leaders," said Gartner analyst Philip Allega.

Gartner said organisations will increasingly support their EA efforts with people reporting into different parts of the organisation. A virtual reporting structure is fine, it said, as long as team members are all working together, "based on a shared vision and charter, and are being measured based on this shared vision".

With this scenario, it is important to have one person working as the "chief architect" - guiding, facilitating and leading the virtual team on a coordinated effort, said Gartner.

More information on Gartner's EA research is contained in the "Beyond the Tipping Point: EA is Strategic" report. Gartner's Enterprise Architecture summit in London takes place on 9 to 10 May.

Now read Gartner Symposium 2010: CIOs face uncertain times

This story, "Enterprise architecture projects no longer left to IT alone, Gartner finds" was originally published by Computerworld UK.

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