…although I’m not sure whether anybody will be reading this. I can’t believe it’s nearly a year since I last posted here…
*flaps a cloth around and sneezes at the disturbed dust*
I first started this blog to help analyse and codify my thinking and that’s probably the reason I’m back again. You see, I’m in a bit of a rut at the moment, wondering whether this enterprise business architecture journey we’re all on is actually the right one.
Are we on the right train? Is the track headed in the right direction? Should we actually be on a train at all, or would we be better off on a ship?
That’s all a bit nebulous and you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. To be fair to myself, I’m not sure either – that’s why I’m back at the keyboard to try and work it through.
I think I can distil my concern down in the following two paragraphs.
On one hand we have simulations like economic models of supply and demand, or efficient portfolio investment models. Simulations tend to be more dynamic and predictive; if you do this, then that is likely to happen. This prediction is commonly where their accuracy starts to break down because, inevitably, the real world is more complex than the simulation. Nevertheless they have enough “truth” or provide enough insight to be fundamental to the business world. There is no question of whether managers trust them or believe them; they are simply taken as implicit facts.
On another hand (I reserve the right for my metaphor to have more than two hands should that be required in future) you have architectures. In keeping with their construction parentage, they are a largely static picture of “how the world is now” or “how the world will be in future”. They can allow users to develop their own insights but those insights are extrinsic to the architecture picture. There is no reactivity that allows you to change a what-if parameter and see the result. Unlike the simulations they are not taken as gospel fact and we are struggling to get business managers to engage with them.
Architectures are, without a doubt, useful but my worry is that, unlike the simulations I referred to, their insight is not immediately apparent or useful to business managers. Are we right to be on the architecture train, frantically laying tracks in front of us as we explore?
Or would be be better off on the simulation ship?
This is, I think, the question that is bugging me. It’s going to take more than one post to work this through so please bear with me. It may well be that this isn’t the right question but hopefully that too will become apparent as we go. If there is anyone out there still reading, please feel free to chip in with your own thoughts.
Disclaimer: I’m very aware that by using “simulation” for the insight version and “picture” for the architecture version I could be accused of pejorative language and of defining the terms to suit my own argument. That is definitely not my intention. My intention is simply to create a distinction between a reactive (dynamic?) model and a largely static one.