Enterprise Initiatives

This blog focuses on Enterprise IT topics such as Enterprise Architecture, Portfolio Management, Change Management, Business Process Management, and recaps various technology events and news.

One of the many hats that those of us who are responsible for IT strategy and Enterprise Architecture wear is the evangelist hat. My IT organization has many exciting strategies and initiatives in action today such as....

  1. SOA/BPM implementation
  2. Creating an official Open Source strategy
  3. Leveraging Web 2.0 technologies to improve communication
  4. Moving towards agile development
  5. Implementing portfolio management
Being in a leadership and architect role, I have to luxury of researching newer technologies (although I do most of it in my "free" time at night). I am not tied to production support which would distract me from my responsibility of "Driving innovation for tomorrow". Many of the people within IT who will be contributors to the above initiatives and recipients of the benefits have a full plate day in and day out and do not have the luxury of having the depth of knowledge on these topics. As a matter of fact, many are far out of touch with what these technologies are and what benefits they can bring to the organization.

Today we had a day long strategy session to go over our OGSM (Objectives, Goals, Strategies, and Measures) for 2008. Our strategies are broken up into four areas and I own the one called "Architecture and Technology". When we got to my section I started talking about Web 2.0 tools like blogs and wikis and received many chuckles when I recommended that we embrace these technologies. When discussing Open Source strategies I needed to emphasize that this is more the Windows vs. Linux. This is about taking a cost effective approach to providing IT and the business with tools and products to enable people to get their jobs done effectively. Instant messaging is another topic that came up. There is still caution and concern about the downside of enterprise instant messaging. I call it the fear of the unknown which is similar to most IT shops first impression of unleashing the internet to their employees.

What became obvious to me today is that for these initiatives to have any chance to succeed, the architecture and technology strategy team is going to first have to spend some time educating the masses on what these technologies are, what the business benefits are, and what the impact will be to our day to day jobs. We must become evangelists, thought leaders, and teachers. For most of the folks in IT, they need us to break down all of the terminology and research into a practical, "Reader's Digest" version that they can consume and understand without interfering with the mounds of work that they are responsible for delivering. One great way of communicating this is through a blog from the architecture and technology team. We will also have to hold various presentations to sell these ideas in both directions. All of these initiatives require a change in behavior which makes educating and communicating the most critical success factors for delivering success.


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My favorite sayings

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there"

"Before you build a better mouse trap, make sure you have some mice"