Enterprise Architecture and Sustainability

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Stuart Boardman, Senior Business Consultant, KPN Consulting, The Netherlands; and Ed Harrington, Senior Consulting Associate, Conexiam, Canada

Enterprise Architecture and Sustainability

Stuart Boardman, Senior Business Consultant, KPN Consulting, The Netherlands; and Ed Harrington, Senior Consulting Associate, Conexiam, Canada

Sustainability is not just about carbon footprint and it's certainly not just about that nice CSR badge on your website. It's a basic concern of every enterprise, starting with the question of how sustainable the enterprise itself is. Wikipedia describes “sustainability” as “the capacity of a system to endure and remain functional and productive over time”. Will your Enterprise, your Extended Enterprise be able to adjust to an increasing rate and scale of change and still “remain functional and productive”, achieve its purpose - retain its identity? Can it take a knock and bounce back again (repeatedly)? These are concerns every enterprise architect should be addressing.

But no enterprise is an island and, in the steadily diverser value chains in which most enterprises operate, the sustainability  (environmental, social and economic) of the wider world becomes a pre-requisite for that of the enterprise itself. So that needs to be a concern for enterprise architects. Dealing with a multiplicity of stakeholders, complexity of causes and effects and with uncertainty around every decision, requires systems thinking. That's a skill good EA's bring to the table. But it's in the science around sustainability that systems thinking has become most advanced, so there's much we can learn from that field too, use in our enterprises and contribute back to the world.

In this presentation, we'll go into the arguments more deeply and look at some of the thinking that has emerged out of the sustainability movement (and before that from the field of cybernetics). We'll show how this should be applied to EA. But more than anything else, we want to engage the audience in an ongoing dialogue, which will help us all to find ways to make a difference, because "theory is gray my friend but green is the tree of life".

Key takeaways:

  • Understand the relationship between Enterprise Architecture and Sustainability.
  • Learn why the Enterprise Architect needs to consider Sustainability as a core element of their “To-Be” Architectures.
  • Learn how YOU can participate in a continuing conversation on Sustainability.

Stuart Boardman is a Senior Business Consultant with KPN Consulting where he leads the Enterprise Architecture practice and consults to clients on Cloud Computing, Enterprise Mobility and The Internet of Everything. He is Co-Chair of The Open Group Open Platform 3.0™ Forum and was Co-Chair of the Cloud Computing Work Group’s Security for the Cloud and SOA project and a founding member of both The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group and The Open Group SOA Work Group. Stuart is the author of publications by KPN, the Information Security Platform (PvIB) in The Netherlands and of his previous employer, CGI as well as several Open Group white papers, guides and standards. He is a frequent speaker at conferences on the topics of Open Platform 3.0 and Identity and more recently on Sustainability.

Ed Harrington is a Senior Consulting Associate with Conexiam, a Calgary, Canada headquartered consultancy. He also heads his own consultancy, EPH Associates. Prior positions include Principle Consultant with Architecting the Enterprise where he provided TOGAF and other Enterprise Architecture (EA) discipline training and consultancy; EVP and COO for Model Driven Solutions, an EA, SOA and Model Driven Architecture Consulting and Software Development company; various positions for two UK based companies, Nexor and ICL and 18 years at General Electric in various marketing and financial management positions. Ed has been an active member of The Open Group since 2000 when the EMA became part of The Open Group and is past chair of various Open Group Forums (including past Vice Chair of the Architecture Forum). Ed is TOGAF 9 certified.



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