Yesterday I read that Gartner predicts most companies are going to block access to social networks. EbizQ posted a very interesting discussion (with very few answers unfortunately) about the In the future, what will be the role of the enterprise architect.
Imagine a company have a complains management process in place with the possibility of catching complains on Facebook, Orkut, Twitter and others, and introduces a new policy blocking access to social network sites. Can enterprise architecture be so dynamic to evolve such complexity, or it will remain like an initial framework to structure a business process in the beginning or when the process is fully overhauled?
This is my opinion:
Enterprise architecture plays a key role in ensuring alignment between processes, technology and the organization, yet I see difficulty in becoming something dynamic because of the continued lack of governance in strategy and business processes.
Enterprise architecture seems to be used for the discovery and definition of processes, but then fails in its evolution. For example: imagine that 5 years ago a company implemented a complaints management process and thought through all the points of contact and applications designed to support the process.
Two years after Facebook becomes massive and other social sites of regional dominance like Orkut in Brazil are a standard where customers complain. The company detects the need to provide an opportunity to capture the negative feedback in the process and integrate this new possibility. Therefore, the architecture has to be revised. Twitter appears and simultaneously the company introduces a new policy of blocking social networks because of the lack of productivity, which means that it needs to be defined who can access social networks to make complaints handling.
Later the company it is a restructuring mode. Some people who once responsible for complaints handling now they cannot access to social networks and it must be open to others who replaced them. Complex isn’t it? Enterprise architecture should be able to evolve all these changes, but I feel that is still used in the initial conceptualization of a particular problem rather than have the capacity to evolve the business dynamics.