>In enterprise architecture, we routinely plan for new information technologies and not enterprise anything. In fact, what we now interpret as the federal mandate for “enterprise architecture”, the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 really mandated not enterprise, but “IT architecture”. Here, architects didn’t typically develop enterprise (or common) solutions, but rather stovepipe solutions per customer demand. I would call this Enterprise Architecture 1.0.
As enterprise architecture evolved, we saw it mature in its implementation and expand beyond pure technology into the realm of business process reengineering and improvement. This manifested itself in the Federal Segment Architecture Framework of 2008, where we now looked to solve business, not IT, problems for logical business segments of the organizations. This is Enterprise Architecture 2.0.
However, even at this level of maturity, it continued to be somewhat rare to find enterprise architecture that looked at how we are transforming people, organizations, culture, and society itself. This is now beginning to be demonstrated in the architecture using social media and the larger implications of widespread information sharing, collaboration, and broader citizen participation. I would propose that this larger view of, and larger participation in, enterprise architecture is the next evolution and represents Enterprise Architecture 3.0.
Interestingly enough, I read in ComputerWorld, 18 May 2009, an article that took just such a enterprise architecture 3.0 view, called “Are Computers Transforming Humanity” by Mary K. Pratt.
Note, it’s not that these types of articles have not appeared in the past, but rather that they were not as frequent and this thinking not as endemic to the everyday IT planning discussion as it is becoming today.
The article states: “We’ve always had the introduction of new technologies that transform and move society in new ways. It changes our interactions, our sense f the world and each other…what individual and cultural transformations do, new computer technologies portend.”
Here are some of the EA 3.0 trends I gleaned from the article that are starting to manifest in people, organizations and society:
Convenience weighing on privacy—We can plan for new technologies (for example, mobility solutions that yield “quick answers and fast transactions”) to continue that advance of convenience and challenging traditional privacy concerns. As the article states: “what we let hang out there has changed.”
Reaching across all boundaries—new technologies will continue the miraculous feat of breaking down organizational and societal stovepipes. “One of the things that is different today isn’t that we can just act collectively very quickly, but we act across heterogeneous groups.” Plan for IT to reach across boundaries globally (and even inter-galatically, in the not too distant future).
Digital narcissism—technologies are enabling people’s self-indulgent practices where they often use social media tools to “reinforce and further rationalize overblown esteem for their mundane opinions, tastes and lifestyle choices.” We web 2.0 tools like blogs and twitters and social media everyone can have their own soapbox to evangelize from.
Multi-tasking galore—with the constant barrage of new technologies and communications from them, we are forced to multi-task like never before. “Studies have found that the amount of attention many of us can devote to a single specific task is about three minutes—15 minutes at most.”
Learning by doing—“Why should we memorize facts and figures when search engines, databases, and increasingly powerful handheld computing devices make them instantly available?” What we used to have to memorize, we can now just do the look-up for.
The implications of moving and maturing to Enterprise Architecture 3.0 are exciting and will have us thinking long and hard about the implications of what we do in and with information technology well beyond anything we have done before with IT for individuals, units, or line of businesses.
The changes from IT are broader-based than before and we need IT leaders who can plan and govern these larger scopes. Recently, This was evident with the appointment by President Obama of a federal CIO and CTO to oversee the extraordinary shifts in how we can and will use technology going forward in our nation and with our partners globally.