Pretty much everyone understands how huge economies of scale can be realized through pooled, shared resources, as opposed to the fragmented, dedicated variety. But this reconfiguration also changes the relationship between IT and business. With separate technology resources for each business initiative, ROI was easy to determine and the lines of responsibility were clear. Today, new methods must be in place to provide business visibility and IT accountability -- and enterprise architects are the best candidates to lead in this endeavor.
At the same time, today's enterprise architects are in a good position to determine which services are appropriate for internal IT to provide and which workloads would be better handled by a commercial public cloud service. In straddling business and IT, enterprise architects can provide an objective assessment of whether a SaaS application, an IaaS provider, or even consumer-grade mobile technology might be more suitable than a home-grown solution, so that internal IT can focus on more appropriate initiatives.
In times of accelerated change, the vantage point of the enterprise architect is more essential than ever. We're happy to be able to honor outstanding EA practitioners with the 2011 InfoWorld/Forrester Enterprise Architecture Awards, and we hope you find their examples useful.
This article, "Enterprise architecture to the rescue," 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.