The first task of the enterprise architect is hard enough: To create a rational framework for change that reflects deep understanding of both business goals and technical capabilities. But with everything in flux and thanks to a roller-coaster economy and an unprecedented wave of technology disruption, the job is even tougher.
That's one reason we feel this year's Enterprise Architecture Awards will be more significant than ever. Since 2010, Forrester Research and InfoWorld have collaborated to seek out exemplary enterprise architecture programs and celebrate their success. This year, I'm happy to announce that the Penn State Center for Enterprise Architecture -- one of the premier academic organizations in the field -- has joined with InfoWorld and Forrester and will be using the 2012 winners as the basis for their continuing research on effective enterprise architecture.
[ Has your organization demonstrated outstanding practice of enterprise architecture? Tell us about it! | See last year's winners of the InfoWorld/Forrester Enterprise Architecture Awards. ]
As in previous years, we're in search of enterprise architecture programs that have had substantial impact on the organization. Past winners include such household names as American Express, Procter & Gamble, and Wells Fargo Bank; large-company divisions such as Bayer Healthcare; and government institutions such as the Singapore Ministry of Education.
But every year brings a new context. This year, it's become clearer than ever that the wind has shifted toward the consumerization of IT, which has profound implications for enterprise architecture. Any top-down view of the enterprise tends to assume control over technology and business processes. Yet in many organizations, that control is giving way to the empowerment of business users who are no longer willing to wait for IT to develop or adopt new technology -- and instead are jumping on mobile applications and public cloud services to get the job done.
Alex Cullen, a Forrester vice president and director of its enterprise architecture practice, lays out a strategy for IT to deal with this new reality in "Shifting from Rules to Guardrails," which encourages IT to develop a more flexible style of governance and take advantage of user empowerment to increase business agility.
Although profound, this cultural change is only one of many challenges enterprise architects face. The bottom line is the outcome: We seek enterprise architecture programs that are business-focused, strategic, and pragmatic -- and deliver tangible value to the business.
Do you feel your enterprize architecture program qualifies? 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 peers -- heads of successful enterprise architecture programs, including previous winners. The winners will be announced in September. Best of luck!
This article, "Call for entries: The 2012 Enterprise Architecture Awards," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog, and for the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.