Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Opinion: How to Tell Whether to Fire your Enterprise Architect

Opinion: How to Tell Whether to Fire your Enterprise Architect

In a post to his Infoworld weblog, Bridgewerx CEO David Linthicum suggests there's a huge difference between "the traditional enterprise architecture crowd" and those who assess the value of SOA. He recommends a company might be in need of a new Enterprise Architect if the answer to any of the following questions is "no":

  1. Has somebody compared the current architecture with best practices in you industry, looking to spot issues that need correcting, such as the architectures inability to align and keep us with the business?
  2. Has somebody done a ROI analysis of the value of SOA, or other approaches for that matter, for the current architecture and reported it to management?
  3. Do you have a complete service-, semantic-, and process-level understanding of your enterprise?
  4. Do you have a common abstract model for key elements, such as customers, sales, inventory, transactions, etc?
  5. Are systems well integrated and communicate in real time where needed?
  6. Can you change your architecture to accommodate business changes at the speed required by management and the marketplace?

Predictably, this has led to a large number of reactions, for example from XML guru Uche Ogbuji and Mark Nottingham. Mark, who used to chair the W3C's WS-Addressing working group while working for BEA and is now at Yahoo!, expressed his opinion as follows:

I think that most “enterprises” (whatever that means) do need a shake-up, and maybe some new blood. But not to buy into an ever-more-complex stack spoon-fed to them by the big vendors…

SOA consultant Richard Veryard disagrees all the blame can be put on the vendors:

I think David Linthicum raises some good points in his post, but I don't agree with his conclusion that you should fire enterprise architects who don't appreciate SOA. It is probably true that some enterprise architects don't deserve that job title - but it's not because they don't appreciate SOA but because they actually aren't very good enterprise architects in the first place.

Rate this Article