Tuesday Feb 8th is EA Day for the Adelaide architecture fraternity (register here if you’re interested, it’s at the Florey Lecture Theatre in the Medical School North Building off Frome Road from 8am), and there’s a few practitioners speaking – both consultants and customers – so there should be some good material. Not unusually in Adelaide, five of the speakers are people I’ve worked with!

The event is being sponsored by Oracle via their IT Strategies program – and I feel the two-edged nature of the sponsorship. On one hand, sponsorship is often the easiest way events like this can be held, but in the case of enterprise architecture particularly, the involvement of a software vendor is paradoxical for those of us who believe EA is NOT about the technology (particularly middleware, as in this case) but about the business.

EA isn’t about which enterprise service bus or messaging system to implement – it’s about understanding the inevitability of business change (whether you start it yourself or it’s inflicted on you by the environment you’re operating in) and being prepared to not only survive it, but take advantage of the new opportunities that are likely to be thrown up. Well applied, EA will have a significant effect on which technology (if any) is most likely to achieve the outcomes your business wants, roadmap the relative priorities for technology implementation, and provide implementers with a set of guiding principles as governance. But treating EA as a technology issue is putting the cart before the horse, with, at best, hilarious results; at worst unmitigated disaster. 

So – thanks to Oracle for helping out; and thanks for restricting the “vendor perspectives” to a couple of sessions!