EA interview featured on Forrester.com
by Stephanie Koons, writer/editor for the College of IST
Business leaders and organizations are increasingly turning to the evolving science of enterprise architecture (EA) to stay competitive in today’s global economy. However, there are still no accepted standards or a defined career path for EA-related professionals. Dr. Brian Cameron, founding president of the Federation of Enterprise Architecture Professional Organizations (FEAPO) and executive director of the Center for Enterprise Architecture at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), recently conducted an online interview with a representative for a global research and advisory firm in which he discussed the efforts to professionalize and advance the field of enterprise architecture.
“As enterprise architecture continues to evolve, many organizations are searching for guidance on establishing career path for their employees. Enterprise Architecture is a relatively young profession and currently there are few agreed upon standards for training and education.”
The interview was featured in a blog post on Forrester.com, “Lack of EA Career Path Hinders Hiring, Certification and Development Choices,” on on Jan. 23, 2013.
Forrester provides proprietary research, consumer and business data, custom consulting, events and online communities and peer-to-peer executive programs. Cameron has been asked to be a regular contributor to the blog, and the initial installment generated about 1,500 reads in less than 24 hours. In the interview with DeGennaro, Cameron discussed “efforts to bring together all major organizations to collectively advance this profession.”
Enterprise architecture is the process of translating business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change by creating, communicating and improving the key requirements, principles and models that describe the enterprise’s future state and enable its evolution. By integrating the various dimensions of an organization, an enterprise architect takes a company's business strategy and defines an information technology system to support that strategy.
The purpose of the Center for Enterprise Architecture (EA), which was established in January 2011, is to gather intellectual resources across Penn State to address open and important research concerns and questions that span the design, functioning and governance of contemporary, information-driven enterprises.
In April 2012, the College of IST launched the first Master of Professional Studies (MPS) program in EA in North America and the first online EA master’s program in the world. In addition, a supportive option for undergraduates was rolled out at the beginning of the fall 2012 semester.
“Two of our goals at the Center for Enterprise Architecture at Penn State are to help EA (over time) become more of a mainstream academic discipline and to assist in the evolution of EA into a ‘real’ profession (on par with established professions such as accounting and engineering),” Cameron told DeGennaro in the interview. “To be honest, we have quite a way to go before either of these goals is achieved.”
FEAPO, which launched in January 2011, is an association of professional organizations whose members have an active interest in the practice and professionalism of enterprise architecture. The purpose of FEAPO is to provide a forum to discuss cross-organizational activities to standardize, professionalize and otherwise advance the discipline of EA.
According to Cameron, FEAPO is working on a number of initiatives to advance the field of enterprise architecture. The members are developing a standard definition of EA for Wikipedia, and will be hosting a summit that will focus on establishing a common career path and structure for the profession.
“The next five years are going to be big for the profession,” Cameron said.
While some companies offer EA training and certification programs, he added, the Center for Enterprise Architecture is the only institution that offers a graduate degree in EA.
“We’re filling a need that no one else has picked up on and is addressing right now,” Cameron said.