New Focus Of EA: Preparing For An “Age Of Agility”

Alex Cullen
Vice President, Research Director
April 6, 2012

 

    I just recently had a conversation with Peter Hinssen, one of our keynote speakers at Forrester’s colocated CIO Forum and EA Forum in Las Vegas (May 3-4) and our EMEA CIO Forum and EA Forum in Paris (June 19-20). 

   Peter is both a dynamic speaker and a provocative thought-leader on the rapidly changing relationship of technology, business, and “the business function called IT.” Here’s a short summary of this conversation — and a preview of what he will be talking about at our forums.

 

On “The New Normal”:

Technology has stopped being “technology,” and digital has just become “normal”: We’ve entered the world of the “New Normal.” The rate of change of the technology world has become the beat to which markets transform. But the rate of change “outside” companies is now faster than the internal velocity of organizations. But how will companies evolve to cope with the changes as a result of the New Normal? How will organizations evolve to respond quickly enough when markets turn into networks of intelligence?

What this means for IT:

The focus of IT in the past has been on implementation. IT departments were created to implement new technology to help the business. That is no longer enough. The New Normal is forcing IT to shift drastically towards innovation.

But it’s not enough to have bright people come up with bright ideas. You have to reconstruct your organization, your company, to be agile, nimble, and above all fast enough.

At the same time in the New Normal, we see an explosion of information. Information is the new currency. Information is the new oil. We produce more information than ever before, and we have to gather more information than we can manage. It’s not just the information inside our companies, but the vast amount of information that is being generated OUTSIDE our companies by our customers that we have to understand.

The consequence for IT is that IT will have to transform itself entirely to keep being relevant for our companies. IT will have to reinvent itself for the New Normal.

Do we need a new EA?

Absolutely. The focus of the old EA was on technology standardization. The focus of the new EA will be on preparing for an age of agility. The old focus of EA was on providing solutions that were “built to last.” The focus of the new EA will be on providing solutions that are “designed to change.”

To my readers: What do you think? Do you see signs of this shift to the New Normal? Or do you see more signs that IT and EA functions are struggling with this shift — perhaps failing to make it? Reply with your thoughts here — and join us at Forrester’s Enterprise Architecture Forum 2012 (Las Vegas, May 3-4) or Forrester's Enterprise Architecture Forum EMEA 2012 (Paris, June 19-20)!

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