>Tower of Babel and Enterprise Architecture


“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech…and they said, go to, let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven…and the Lord said…the people is one and they have all one language, and this they begin to do, and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do…[and he] confounded their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from then upon the face of all the earth.”

Am amazing story from the Torah (Bible)!

As an enterprise architect, some lessons that are striking to me are the following:

  • LEXICON: When everyone has a common language or lexicon (something we strive for in EA), “nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”—i.e. with a common enterprise lexicon, data standards, and mechanism for discovery and exchange, we can do great things and our imagination is the limit.
  • EA PLANNING: When everyone functions together (“the people is one”) to undertake a tremendous task (such as building a city and a tower), they can really get things going. As the adage states: there is power in numbers. From an enterprise architecture standpoint, when the enterprise is unified in its planning and governance, they can achieve amazing business and technical feats.

A major question that I am left with is…

Why is G-d displeased when people work together, communicate (the same language), and undertake to follow their imagination (have a vision) and achieve great things (“build a city and a tower”)?

From a religious didactic stand point, I understand that G-d wants us to be humble and not think that we have any real power to take on these tasks without him! And that we have to recognize and worship him (where all power and vision ultimately comes).

From a User-centric EA perspective, the ideals of unifying the organization towards common business and technical plans, goals, standards, solutions, lexicon, and so on, helps us build a better, stronger organization that can achieve great things (as long as we always remember that we are doing HIS bidding).

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