Call for entries: The 2013 Enterprise Architecture Awards

Does your company have an enterprise architecture initiative worth celebrating? Then submit your nomination for the 2013 InfoWorld/Forrester Enterprise Architecture Awards

We've reached a rare moment of clarity in the IT industry. Over the past couple of years, as the economy slowly recovered, it has become glaringly obvious that the paradigm of the all-powerful IT department is faltering.

At the heart of this shift is the consumerization of IT, a trend that has much broader implications than employees simply bringing their own mobile devices to work. Not just individuals, but entire lines of business are increasingly turning to outside providers -- for SaaS applications in the cloud, for big data analytics, for app dev services, and more -- without the explicit consent of the IT department. In some cases, it's at the expense of the IT department's budget.

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Into this new landscape steps the enterprise architect, whose unique business-technology discipline will be recognized by InfoWorld and Forrester Research in the fourth annual 2013 InfoWorld/Forrester Enterprise Architecture Awards.

Since 2010, Forrester Research and InfoWorld have sought out exemplary enterprise architecture programs and highlighted their triumphs. Last year, we also began enlisting the help of the Penn State Center for Enterprise Architecture, one of the premier academic organizations in the field. For a look at previous Enterprise Architecture Award winners, which include such household names as American Express, Procter & Gamble, and Wells Fargo Bank, see the main Enterprise Architecture Awards page.

It will be fascinating to see how many of -- and to what degree -- this year's entries reflect the new consumerized nature of IT. On the one hand, the option to go beyond internal IT resources gives the enteprise architect a freer hand in drafting business-driven solutions. But the very nature of consumerization resists control, raising the risk of redundancy and, even worse, a return to the siloed architecture that enterprise architects have been working to overcome since the discipline was born.

In any enterprise initiative, creating frameworks within which various parts of the business can exercise self-determination has always worked better than misguided attempts at rigid control. IT is opening up, and smart enterprise architects will recognize new opportunities to ally themselves with business, free of excessive procedural constraints practiced by traditional IT.

Whether or not your enterprise architecture initiative maps to this new trend, we welcome your nominations. The bottom line is outcome: We seek enterprise architecture programs that are business-focused, strategic, pragmatic, and deliver tangible value to the business.

Does that sound like your enterprize architecture program? Then go directly to our nomination form. The deadline for this year's nominations is June 30.

As in the past, submissions will be judged by your peers: leaders of successful enterprise architecture programs, including previous winners. This year's winners will be announced in September. Best of luck!

This article, "Call for entries: The 2013 Enterprise Architecture Awards," originally appeared at Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.