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The Importance of Architectural Strategic Thinking in the Enterprise

In the complex world of modern business, getting mired in the minutiae of individual projects creates a narrow focus, often pushing the overarching strategic objectives of Enterprise Architecture to the back seat. Consequently, organizations risk building systems that may address immediate needs but cause significant architectural friction down the line—be it in performance, rigidity, or adaptability to new market dynamics. This post aims to illuminate the pitfalls of a "race to a solution" approach. It offers actionable recommendations for maintaining a balanced, strategic orientation in Enterprise Architecture while not losing sight of solution-based priorities at the Application Architecture level.

Pitfalls of the "Race to a Solution" Mentality

  1. Short-Term Gains, Long-Term Pains: The urgency to deploy quickly often leads to sacrificing comprehensive evaluation of scalability, interoperability, and extensibility. This creates a technical debt that accumulates interest in the form of future complexity and rework.

  2. Lack of Alignment with Business Strategy: A rushed approach usually bypasses the necessary alignment between technology and business strategy, causing missed opportunities and inefficiencies.

  3. Rigidity in Systems: When architecture is not thoughtfully designed with a future state in mind, it becomes increasingly rigid and challenging to adapt to new technologies or business models.

  4. Siloed Thinking: In the race to deliver, teams often work in silos, implementing solutions that may not be compatible or easily integrated with other parts of the business.

Recommendations for Strategic Architectural Planning

  1. Establish a Strong Governance Model: A governance framework can ensure that architectural decisions align with the overall business strategy and are compliant with enterprise-wide standards.

  2. Perform Architectural Assessments: Periodic assessments can identify potential bottlenecks, redundancies, or misalignments before they become critical issues.

  3. Adopt Composable Architecture: Composable architecture enables modular components that are easily replaced or upgraded, reducing long-term costs and increasing adaptability.

  4. Balance Enterprise and Application Architecture: While Enterprise Architecture should align with long-term business strategy, Application Architecture should focus on delivering optimal solutions for specific projects. Both must coexist harmoniously for a genuinely effective strategy.

  5. Invest in Skillsets and Training: With the rapid evolution of technology, it's imperative that architects and related professionals keep up-to-date with trends and best practices in both strategic thinking and technical skills.

  6. Leadership and Culture: Executive leadership should cultivate a culture that values architectural strategy as a long-term investment rather than a cost to be minimized.

In conclusion, while the urge to "just get it done" is often overwhelming, especially in today’s fast-paced environment, a disciplined approach to Enterprise Architecture can offer companies a significant competitive advantage. By avoiding the pitfalls of short-term thinking and embracing strategic planning, organizations can ensure a flexible, scalable, and aligned architecture meets immediate needs and adapts to future challenges.

Evan Schwartz, Chief Enterprise Architect at AMCS Group and Founder of, is a thought leader in this space, guiding enterprises to align their technology and business strategies effectively. For more in-depth articles and insights, visit

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It seems, more often than not, that doing what is easy is more common than doing what is right (even if it causes more problems than it solves). Do you have any suggestions on recruiting a champion to help 'fight the good fight'? Can there ever be an argument persuasive enough to convince a decision maker to do what is best (in the long run) when they appear addicted to choosing the 'quick fix'?

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