Panel Discussion:
 Cathedral vs. Bazaar.
Does architecture result in ROI or Overhead?

The most discussed topic around is how to justify ROI on architecture investment. In fact, most of architects are currently burning their mid night oil to churn out excel sheets and power points to sell the idea of architecture benefits to their respective managements with little or no success.

The real challenge with architecture adoption is that the IT people are recommending it. Unfortunately, anything recommended by "IT people" or "techie" is taken with pinch of salt.

One of the senior manager in Sydney, commented, "The justification of ROI on architecture is like justifying the investment on my kid's education". This may sound an extreme case of pro architecture group. But, the point he was trying to bring out that yardstick should be clearly defined to differentiate between ROI on investments vs ROI on creating assets. We need to look at the architecture related investments as one resulting in long term " assets" vs. short term "quick & dirty" gain.

A civil architect can easily ask "show me a building without good architecture surviving in any part of the world". Even if you have the best of breed steel frames, concrete, wooden frameworks, cements or bricks, it's not a guarantee of a good structure in absence of architecture. Similarly, having a team with great programming skills, programming models & framework, and tools is no way to guarantee the success of systems in both short term and long term.

What are the typical IT architecture related investments? Some of the key areas of investment would include training, tools, creating architecture artifacts, refining process, repository, management & governance, metrics & compliance. Additional investments are required for transformations between views of the enterprise architecture, the solution architecture and the technical architecture of the system ensuring traceability of architecture constraints and requirements to implementations.

The bigger issue is who will be more eager to fund an architecture initiative? Is CEO or CFO? While the tenure of a CEO is around 3-4 years, the typical tenure of a CFO is around 7 years or more. Does it mean that CFO is more likely to appreciate the value of architecture? But, may be it's the CEO who will feel the pain of lack of business and IT alignment and ask for setting the architecture team?

Agenda for discussions:
The panelists will share organizations specific experience towards the following issues:
  • Is it possible to measure architecture ROI on project basis? Or is it only applicable on a long term, multiple projects, portfolio basis.

  • Architecture is a powerful tool for CFOs to mitigate risk in long term? Or is it a strategic tool for CEOs for market competitiveness?

  • What are some of the tangible and intangible benefits of architecture?

  • How do we measure architecture benefits such as:
    o Modifiability
    o Risk Mitigation
    o Avoiding Technology Obsolescence

  • How easy to estimate the investments on series of "current", "intermediate" and "target" reference architectures

  • Does ROI calculation is just a value-based approach to implementing enterprise architecture when the team is first being formed. And it may not have a serious long term concerns?

  • How easy to calculate
    o If the current architecture is meaningful and adding value to the organization?
    o How might architecture be modified so that it adds more value to the organization?
    o Readiness of the architecture to support what organization wants to accomplish in the future?

If you thought, these are some of the issues that constitute 3% of your daily stress (based on the assumption that your current IT induced stress level is 3.4%), you may like to listen to some of the key people and how they are working around to address some or most of the issues (discussed above) in the panel discussion.

Remember, several organizations that have been successful with their architecture initiatives have done so without spending much on ROI calculation. They just felt that having a proper structure is fundamental to survival of their burgeoning IT systems and of course survival of organizations as well. Remember the slogan, JUST DO IT …;-).

See you at the conference!

Panel comments by Mr Sunil Dutt Jha,
Chief Architect & CEO, iCMG
Panel Moderator

Note: If you have any specific issue, which you would like the panelists to address during this session, please send your comments to Ms. Gowri

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Key Tracks
  Legacy Transformation &   Modernization
  QA & Testing - Architecture   Issues
  Architecture & Project   Management
  IT Management & Governance
  Enterprise SOA
  Enterprise MDA (Model Driven   Architecture)
  Enterprise Architeture

Speakers Include:
  Credit Suisse
  DHL Europe
  Reliance Industries
  AON Hongkong
  act Consulting
  Perot System

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