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     ZACHMAN ARCHIVES ...
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The Issue Is THE ENTERPRISE

by John A. Zachman

In the Information Age, the characteristics we understand to-date are complexity and change.  The customer wants a product specific to his or her specification ... a custom product.  The customer is a market of one.  And the customer may not even know what they want until they want it and then they want it now ... immediately.  And, if you can't produce to those requirements, click!  They get a new supplier.  Once again, it is a global market and very easy to switch suppliers.

The question is, what is your strategy to accommodate orders of magnitude increases in complexity and orders of magnitude increases in the rate of change?  And, this is not an IT issue.  The question, Chief, is not whether this is happening or not ... it IS happening.  The question is, what are you going to do about it?

This is the point of taking the time to develop the characteristics of the Information Age.  The characteristics we know of at this point in history are complexity and change.  To address complexity and change requires a shifting strategy to assemble-to-order which, from an Enterprise perspective, means managing an inventory of parts that can be assembled into more than one Enterprise, that is, Enterprise Architecture.

The issue is NOT an Information Technology issue.  It is not about building and running systems.

The issue is not even a classic Management Consulting issue.  It is not simply about developing strategy, solving management problems, or implementing a management system (governance).

It is about engineering the Enterprise — ENGINEERING the ENTERPRISE to accommodate extreme complexity and extreme rates of change so it does what you want it to do and so it can be changed dynamically (assembled-to-order) to maintain its viability in a complex and dynamically-changing Information Age environment.

Seven-thousand years of history clearly establishes that the only known strategy to address complexity and change is:  ARCHITECTURE.

If the object you want to create is sufficiently complex that you can't see it in its entirety at the level of definition required to create it, you will have to describe it ... ARCHITECTURE.

Once the object is created, if you ever want to change it, the basis for making changes is the descriptive representations required to create it ... ARCHITECTURE.

The key to complexity and change is ARCHITECTURE.

In my 1998 article, "Enterprise Architecture:  The Issue of the Century," I argued that the Enterprise that can accommodate the concepts of Enterprise Architecture will have the opportunity to stay in the game ... and the Enterprise that cannot accommodate the concepts of Enterprise Architecture is not going to be in the game.  I might observe that a lot of Enterprises have been falling out of the game of late.

This raises the question, "What is Architecture ... and, specifically, Enterprise Architecture?"

This column can also be viewed on John's blog — presented here, with permission.



standard citation for this article:
John A. Zachman, "The Issue Is THE ENTERPRISE," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 18, No. 1 (Jan. 2017), URL:  http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2017/b890.html  

January 2017
The Issue Is THE ENTERPRISE
By John A. Zachman


October 2016
Strategy Spectrum for Enterprise Engineering and Manufacturing
By John A. Zachman


July 2016
The New EA Paradigm
(4) The Assemble-to-Order Pattern

By John A. Zachman


June 2016
The New EA Paradigm
(3) The Provide-from-Stock Pattern

By John A. Zachman


May 2016
The New EA Paradigm
(2) The Make-to-Order Pattern

By John A. Zachman


April 2016
The New EA Paradigm
(1) Expenses and Assets

By John A. Zachman


March 2016
The Information Age: (3) Powershift
By John A. Zachman


February 2016
The Information Age: (2) The Third Wave
By John A. Zachman


January 2016
The Information Age: (1) Future Shock
By John A. Zachman


December 2015
Defining Enterprise Architecture: Economics and the Role of I.T.
By John A. Zachman


November 2015
Enterprise Physics 101
By John A. Zachman


September 2015
A Historical Look at Enterprise Architecture with John Zachman
By John A. Zachman


August 2015
Cloud Computing and Enterprise Architecture
By John A. Zachman


June 2015
The Zachman Framework Evolution (Part 2)
Special Guest: John P. Zachman


May 2015
The Zachman Framework Evolution (Part 1)
Special Guest: John P. Zachman


April 2015
Architecture is Architecture is Architecture
By John A. Zachman


April 2013
John Zachman's Concise Definition of The Zachman Framework
By John A. Zachman


November 2004
The Zachman Framework and Observations on Methodologies

 

November 2003

Framework Fundamentals: Frameworks, Reference Models, and Matrices

 

August 2003

Framework Fundamentals:  A Dialog With John Zachman

 

June 2003

Framework Fundamentals:  Miscellaneous Enterprise Engineering Concepts

 

April 2003

Framework Fundamentals:  Framework Fundamentals:  Level of Detail is a Function of a CELL

 

February 2003

Framework Fundamentals:  Responding to Questions from the OMG

 

May 2002

Enterprise Quantum Mechanics (Part 2)

 

March 2002

Enterprise Quantum Mechanics (Part 1)

 

January 2002

"What" Versus "What"

 

November 2001

Security And The "Zachman Framework"

 

September 2001

Fatal Distractions (Part 2)

 

July 2001

Fatal Distractions (Part 1)

 

May 2001

You Can't "Cost-Justify" Architecture

 

March 2001

Conceptual, Logical, Physical:  It Is Simple  (Part 2 of 2)

 

January 2001

Conceptual, Logical, Physical:  It Is Simple  (Part 1 of 2)

 

September 2000

Building The Enterprise - An Infusion Of Honesty

 

July 2000

All the Reasons Why You Can't Do Architecture or ("We Has Met the Enemy and He Is Us")

 

May 2000

Enterprise Architecture Artifacts vs Application Development Artifacts (Part 2)

 

March 2000

Enterprise Architecture Artifacts vs Application Development Artifacts (Part 1)

 

November/December 1999 & January/February 2000

Enterprise Architecture: Issues, Ingibitors, and Incentives


July/August & September/October 1999

Packages Don't Let You Off The Hook

By John A. Zachman


January/February & March/April 1999

Life Is a Series of Trade-Offs and Change Is Accelerating!


November/December 1998

"Yes Virginia, There IS an Enterprise Architecture"


July/August 1998

Enterprise Architecture:  Looking Back and Looking Ahead


January/February 1998

The Framework for Enterprise Architecture (The 'Zachman Framework') and the Search for the Owner's View of Business Rules

 

 

 about . . .

 JOHN A. ZACHMAN

 

John A. Zachman is the originator of the “Framework for Enterprise Architecture” (The Zachman Framework™) which has received broad acceptance around the world as an integrative framework, an ontology for descriptive representations for Enterprises. Mr. Zachman is not only known for this work on Enterprise Architecture, but is also known for his early contributions to IBM’s Information Strategy methodology (Business Systems Planning) as well as to their Executive team planning techniques (Intensive Planning).

Mr. Zachman retired from IBM in 1990, having served them for 26 years. He is Chief Executive Officer of his own education and consulting business, Zachman International®.

Mr. Zachman serves on the Executive Council for Information Management and Technology (ECIMT) of the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) and on the Advisory Board of the Data Administration Management Association International (DAMA-I) from whom he was awarded the 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award. He was awarded the 2009 Enterprise Architecture Professional Lifetime Achievement Award from the Center for Advancement of the Enterprise Architecture Profession as well as the 2004 Oakland University, Applied Technology in Business (ATIB), Award for IS Excellence and Innovation.  In August 2011,  he was awarded the Gen. Colin Powell Public Sector Image Award by the Armed Services Alliance Program.

Mr. Zachman has been focusing on Enterprise Architecture since 1970 and has written extensively on the subject. He has facilitated innumerable executive team planning sessions. He travels nationally and internationally, teaching and consulting, and is a popular conference speaker, known for his motivating messages on Enterprise Architecture issues. He has spoken to many thousands of enterprise managers and information professionals on every continent.

In addition to his professional activities, Mr. Zachman serves on the Elder Council of the Church on the Way (First Foursquare Church of Van Nuys, California), the Board of Directors of Living Way Ministries, a radio and television ministry of the Church on the Way, the President’s Cabinet of the King’s College University, the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Citywide Children’s Christian Choir, the Board of Directors of Heavenworks, an international ministry to the French-speaking world and on the Board of Directors of Native Hope International, a Los Angeles-based ministry to the Native American people.

Prior to joining IBM, Mr. Zachman served as a line officer in the United States Navy and is a retired Commander in the U. S. Naval Reserve. He chaired a panel on "Planning, Development and Maintenance Tools and Methods Integration"  for the U. S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. He holds a degree in Chemistry from Northwestern University, has taught at Tufts University, has served on the Board of Councilors for the School of Library and Information Management at the University of Southern California, as a Special Advisor to the School of Library and Information Managementat Emporia State University, on the Advisory Council to the School of Library and Information Managementat Dominican University and on the Advisory Board for the Data Resource Management Programat the University of Washington. He has been a Fellow for the College of Business Administration of the University of North Texas and currently is listed in Cambridge Who’s Who.

 

 

 

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