Based on my experience, I see a need for companies to ensure that EA function carries out the following essential responsibilities quite well:
- EA should adopt governance standards such as COBIT from ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) or other equivalent ones that focus on IT/ Business alignment and business stakeholder satisfaction when it comes to service levels provided by IT. Periodic administering of such questionnaires to multiple business stakeholders from each LOB (Line of Business) is critical to develop a balanced view across the organization.
- Pain points derived from healthy conversations around business priorities and IT/ Business alignment should help drive the EA agenda and annual planning process. This can help ensure that everything EA does is relevant to the business context and promotes IT/ Business alignment.
- Companies, both big and small, have to innovate these days to catch up or stay ahead of competition or capture new markets. So it is imperative that EA act as an enabler of disruptive innovation. As the next millennial generations start to enter workforce, there are disruptive trends such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) that will change the way IT departments will work and there are other future of work trends that will change the way companies will engage with consumers. EA should pick its focus areas carefully and work with various stakeholders to incubate such innovation projects. If there are other mechanisms that have already been established by a company to foster disruptive innovation, EA should help facilitate and monitor those mechanisms. This will go a long way in keeping EA relevant.