Mike Walker Publishing on CIO.com and HP Discover Performance Blogs

Mike The Architect Blog: Mike Walker Publishing on CIO.com

Some of you may of noticed from a few of my tweets recently that my posts were coming from a few different sources. This wasn’t a mistake or a “fake” Mike Walker running around but a deliberate approach to my publishing.

After a lot of thought and consideration I decided that I have been covering a broad range of topics on www.MikeTheArchitect.com with topics ranging from the discipline of Enterprise Architecture, executive level content and even some Solution Architecture. Some of which is good and in alignment with the core EA topics of www.MikeTheArchitect.com but others a bit broader and loose in alignment. This is combined with my broad range of interests and activities as a strategic advisor that exposes me to a wide range of experiences and insights that I like to share with all of you. 

To make my content a bit more digestible and tailored to you I want publish to the appropriate sites so you get what you need.  As a result I will be publishing on these three sites:


Mike The Architect Blog: Mike Walker

Mike The Architect

I will continue publishing to “Mike The Architect” with Enterprise Architecture proven practices, guidance, news and insights.


Mike The Architect Blog: Mike Walker Publishing on CIO.com

CIO.com Enterprise Forum (http://www.enterprisecioforum.com/en/blogs/mikejwalker)

I plan on publishing content suited for CxO’s, executives and other business leaders here.


Mike The Architect Blog: Mike Walker Publishing on HP Discover Performance

HP Performance Discover Blog(http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/1414875)

This will be a resource for IT leaders looking for strategic insights and best practices to define, measure and achieve better performance.




A Different Open Group Enterprise Architecture Conference in 2013

Mike The Architect Blog: A Different Open Group Enterprise Architecture Conference in 2013

This year the Open Group is doing something very different with their conference from previous years, they are verticalizing. Smart move. With all the talk about business centric Enterprise Architecture this is a smart direction on the Open Group’s part. This get’s us one step past just “talking about the business” generally without any application but to the heart of each set of concerns that businesses have.

The conference will be held in Philadelphia on July 15-17, 2013 with Member Meetings  set post conference on July 18, 2013. If this conference of interest the early bird registration ends May 31, 2013.  To register go here. In line with the conference The Open Group is also giving delegates at our conference in Philadelphia the opportunity to combine the three day conference with some additional training events on Thursday 18 July and Friday 19 July called Professional Days. Looks to be some good deals from partners on training on the following topic areas:

About the Event

The first two days of the summit will focus on Enterprise Transformation issues concerning three core vertical industry sectors: Finance and Commerce, Government & Defense, and Healthcare. Day three will offer more detailed workshops and tutorials on business, professional development and technically focused topics.

Below are the additional topics areas:

Recapping the Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit 2013

Mike The Architect Blog: Gartner Enterprise Architecture Conference 2013

It has been a few years since I have attended this event but this year I had the great opportunity to go to the Gartner Enterprise Architecture Conference. This year it was held from 20 – 23 May in National Harbor, MD.

Gartner presented its latest research from the past year, recommendations and best practices from their many years of research. This year was a record breaking year for Gartner with an all time high of attendance. With year over year growth, this shows not only the value of this conference but also of Enterprise Architecture. Another point of note is that the majority of the practitioners represent the financial services and healthcare verticals respectively. These two industries continue to show strong support for EA.

Building on several research notes and toolkits, Business Outcome Driven Enterprise Architecture was the theme for this year. The theme builds on the notion that Enterprise Architecture should continue to evolve out of the IT Architecture centric approach (only focusing on technology or applications) and move into a top-down centric approach. I couldn’t agree more.

While this isn’t a necessarily a new concept, it was certainly good to see Gartner continue to push this. I believe it’s the right direction for EA as I am sure most of you do too. I talked about this in my keynote at the Open Group Conference in 2011.  I like Gartner, talked about what the future of EA may look like. It’s eerily in line with my keynote presentation called, The New World of Enterprise Architecture. Below are the characteristics of that new EA:

Mike Walker's Blog: The New World of Enterprise Architecture From IT Architecture to Enterprise Architecture

There are more descriptions of Enterprise Architecture as a whole but these are the key characteristics of the new world of Enterprise Architecture.

  • Enterprise Transformation – EA is now and in the future focusing at the enterprise level and emerging out of the project and program level. This is necessary change to get the proper breadth to ensure that solutions are aligned to the business objectives but also maximized for the whole of the company rather than a specific function or business unit.
  • Innovation for Growth – Enterprise Architects will provide innovation services to the enterprise by distilling key market trends from a business and technology perspective. An example of this is the effect that mobility or cloud computing has on specific business models.
  • More than Technology – EA is often confused with IT architecture but EA is much more than technology and primarily focused on providing value for the business.
  • Meaningful Business Partnerships – We use the words align business to IT. For EA’s it’s much more. EA’s must partner with the business. This means we don’t just distill a set of goals and objectives but we work with the business to rationalize, challenge, propose and aid in the business transformation activities. 
  • Corporate Sustainability – EA’s play a key role in ensuring the long term success of the business through the enterprise capabilities and solutions we enable. Companies will start to use EA as an insurance policy once we are able to prove this model in a consistent way.
  • Drive through Emotional Intelligence – This is a key theme for enterprise architects. It allows EA’s to have the social and emotional intelligence to lead an organization from these key characteristics.


While it’s not completely brand new, it doesn’t have to be as this notion is still maturating. With all the business driven EA industry research, articles and guidance out there it’s tough to calibrate what is working and what isn’t for some time now what Gartner has provided a great deal of evidence behind this continuing shift in Enterprise Architecture.

The evidence of this shift, as Philip Allega points out is that 1.1 trillion dollars of IT spend is influenced by Enterprise Architects. Philip challenged the audience to see how much each of us can continue to affect that pie.


The salient points from the conference includes:

  • EA Matters – Attendance and customer case studies shows that EA does matter and it is alive and well. It is continuing to evolve and hit rough patches but we are still seeing business value in pursuing.
  • Think like Your Business – If you think like them, you will get them what they need to be successful. All EA’s and even IT is part of a business ecosystem all dependant on each other with a role. Focusing on the ultimate business outcome will ensure you are providing value back to the the overall business and not talking in business speak just for the sake of it.
  • EA’s Should "Tried and True" Techniques – EA’s will continue to use traditional tools such as roadmaps to manage the change with trends like big data
  • Emerging Markets – With Brazil, Russia, India and China or BRIC make up a total of 29% of the worlds GDP. EA’s have a unique position to enable these very complex ecosystems. For more on my views on this check out a post from ‘09 called, “Is Architecture Different Based on Where You Live?
  • Risk and Compliance – The world is flat or at least flattening. With this world economics and government policy matters to you.
  • Disruptive Technology Continues to Surprise Us – With emerging disruptions like Gamification, they continue to challenge and grow the enterprise. The trick now is to understand the concept of disruptive forces and create models to manage it to then harness the innovation.  Gartner predicts that by 2015 40% of global 1000 companies will use gamification as a strategy.

2013 Conferences Mike Walker will be Attending

Mike The Architect: 2013 Conferences Mike Walker will be Attending

For those conference goers out there I wanted to let you all know that I will be at a few US based conferences this year. There may be a few more later in the year but this is what I know for now.

Like many others, I have really enjoyed discussing EA topics, debating the latest trends and frankly, learning from you. Earlier this year I had a great time talking to many of you at the Troux World Conference. That’s the real highlight for me.

If you are attending the event listed below and want to have a meet up please direct message me on Twitter @mikejwalker.

Here are the events I’ll be at for the next few months:

I will be presenting at the Open Group Conference but not at HP Discover (missed the submission window!) and Gartner.

Again, looking forward to seeing you!

The Business Model Canvas: Know Thy Business

Mike The Architect Blog: Do you Really Know Your Business? As Enterprise Architects we drive to maximize value in our companies. With most EA teams residing within an IT area under a CIO we can find ourselves bogged down by the technology weighing down on decisions. The challenge with that is one of context. Without understanding “Why” we are solving a problem will most certainly inhibit the value in which is achieved.

So the question is, do we really know our business before we make architecture decisions? What tools do we use or don’t use to understand the business model?

I was happy to see Alexander Osterwalder  publish on the Harvard Business Review blog a post titled, “A Better Way to Think About Your Business Model”.  Certainly take a look at this. His post provides some high-level information on why it’s important to use the model. If you find value in the model as I do, you will want to pick up his book, Business Model Generation. Personally I like the hard copy best given it’s so visual. There is also an iPad app that you can get that works really well too. You can find it in the Apple App Store here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/business-model-toolbox/id431605371?mt=8 

As I eluded to above, I have found a lot of value in this tool. It is one that I’ve been using for quite some time now. It’s a brilliant model that helps you dissect what your business is. The data itself isn’t rocket science. It’s the conversation that it triggers which drives the value. I often apply this in workshop like sessions rather than one off data collecting exercises.


Mike The Architect Blog: business model canvas


WARNING: While it can allude to, the Business Model Canvas does not tell you why your business has been built in the fashion it has. This is within strategy oriented methods and models.

The business model canvas can really help you to understand your business. What is nice about it is that the questions can be applied at multiple levels. You can apply it at a corporate level or apply it to a business unit.

As an example of this, I applied it to an already established enterprise architecture organization. I used the model to assess the organization on its “health”. Asking those business oriented questions forces us to think as if we were a business unit, and that’s not a bad thing. The results were quite amazing because it got the right level of conversation and thinking going to evolve the overall value proposition.


About the Business Model Canvas

If your not familiar with the Business Model Canvas below is a two minute overview of the Business Model Canvas, a tool for visionaries, game changers, and challengers. The business model canvas — as opposed to the traditional, intricate business plan — helps organizations conduct structured, tangible, and strategic conversations around new businesses or existing ones. Leading global companies like GE, P&G, and Nestlé use the canvas to manage strategy or create new growth engines, while start-ups use it in their search for the right business model. The canvas’s main objective is to help companies move beyond product-centric thinking and towards business model thinking.



Find out more at http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com