As architects, we all know the importance of context. The right architecture for one context – say, an organically growing company – doesn’t work for a company growing by acquisition. The right technology strategy for a medium-size American company doesn’t work for a China-based one. 

Well, the context for enterprise architecture itself is changing. We’ve got The Age Of The Customer forcing companies to transform outside-in. We have what is called technology consumerization – our business users have access to ever more powerful technology solutions independent of IT. We have digital-fueled business disruption, as described in James McQuivey’s book, Digital Disruption. And all this is driving the demand for greater business agility – the ability to quickly sense and adeptly respond to new opportunities and threats in their context.   

What a great opportunity for enterprise architecture programs! But this is only possible if they shift from a focus on cost to a focus on opportunity, change from controlling to enabling technology, and adapt their practices to the need for quickness with “just enough insight.”

If your EA program has seized these opportunities, made the changes, and is helping your business thrive, I’d like to invite you to submit your story for the InfoWorld/Forrester Enterprise Architecture Award.

We’re looking for EA programs that have taken on these trends of customer-centricity, tech consumerization, digital disruption, and business agility and have found a way help their business be successful. There are many ways in which EA can show this: partnering with business transformation efforts, developing road maps for their customer experience strategies, implementing zoned architecture to give business more innovation autonomy – the list is long.

This will be the fourth year for the Enterprise Architecture Awards program. Past winners have ranged from global banks to government ministries, from American Express to USAA, and from Hong Kong to Moscow by way of Minneapolis, Minnesota. These organizations have become a rich source of best practices and a demonstration of what a high-performance EA program is capable of. As with past years, submissions will be judged by your peers: heads of successful EA programs, including previous winners. 

Has your EA program demonstrated success in this new context? Then share your story with us!