Master the Art of Enterprise Architecture with the Game of Tetris

By Kedar Patwardhan, Founder-Director, Sucoso Services Pvt. Ltd

Are you a captain of the corporate ship leading it to sail towards new corporate milestones, to sustain through disruptive technology forces or to manoeuvre swiftly along uncharted business routes?

Then you must consider engaging an advisor who has mastered the game of Tetris to help you accelerate your journey towards desired goals, respond to and capitalise on technology disruptions, and navigate through your strategy map holistically. Yes! You have heard it right. Just for namesake, let’s call this master of Tetris ‘Enterprise Architect’.

As in the game of Tetris, organisational leaders are tasked to grow, sustain and expand their businesses in constrained environments by building system of systems comprised of people, processes, technologies and data. Sub-systems essentially come into existence with different forms and sizes. But, the more integrated and boundary-less resulting systems evolve, the more businesses can grow, the longer they can sustain and the wider they can expand. Moreover, the more challenging targets organisational leaders set for their organisations, the more dynamic constrained environments become.

A master of Tetris champions the art of controlling the placement of tetrominoes to avoid fragments. He/she achieves this by first comprehending the constrained environment holistically and then by swiftly arranging, adjusting and assembling tetrominoes to form a seamless structure. Similarly, an Enterprise Architect champions the art of governing the design of system of systems to avoid fragments. He/she achieves this by first analysing both intrinsic and extrinsic organisational constraints and then by agilely organizing, adapting and composing sub-systems to form a seamless enterprise structure.

Nevertheless, finding such masters who are not only groomed in holistic systems thinking, but also equipped to agilely capitalize on disruptions and to influence the direction through acquired wisdom rather than organisational power is a difficult thing for many. Not surprising: With inadequate advisory support on Enterprise Architecture, organisational leaders are often found complaining about “Architectural Paralysis”.

A well-groomed Enterprise Architect brings in disruptive technology change management expertise, wider industry perspective and pragmatic approach to help you tackle business challenges of digital era. Below I provide three characteristics one should look for in an Enterprise Architect in the context of Digital Transformation:

Planner for open source hybridisation:

Firstly, as more and more technology innovations in Digital space are driven by the open source movement, an Enterprise Architect should be well versed in planning and designing for open source hybridisation – a co-deployment and integration of open source software products alongside proprietary software products without impacting enterprise performance, business continuity and security.

Advisor for big data exploration:

Secondly, with data driven solutions fuelling the innovations within organisations, an Enterprise Architect should be able to provide steer on the polyglot persistence and multi-model database technologies, analytics algorithms and data governance frameworks for Big Data exploration – a mining of dark data to produce actionable business insights and decision assistance.

Strategist for cloud-based servitisation:

Thirdly, as cloud based services are increasingly transforming business models, an Enterprise Architect should be able to devise strategies, define patterns and suggest methods for cloud-based servitisation – an application of cloud computing to create innovative business services, consolidate applications and modernize data centre infrastructure.

Furthermore, Enterprise Architecture as a discipline should not be considered as a one-off change project, but as a continuously improving operational exercise with repetitive cycles of definition, validation, growth and change with integration as its central agenda.

Kedar Patwardhan is Founder-Director of Sucoso Services Pvt. Ltd. and an avid researcher in strategic change management and enterprise engineering. His uncanny ability to revive troubled projects and initiatives with simple and inclusive approaches earned him a reputation of prolific change agent on a global stage.

He holds a master’s degree in technology change management from Lancaster University Management School and bachelor’s degree in engineering in addition to several professional accolades including TOGAF accreditation to his credit.    @theopengroup