Collaboration is becoming a new enterprise standard. In the face of the disruptive challenges pending from the Nexus of Forces, successful transition to the maximum utilisation of strategic information technology is a priority for many organisations. Collaboration enables the enterprise to leverage the strengths of all its parts to increase the chances of success while reducing or eliminating process overlap and resource redundancy. Shared awareness of issues through collaboration encourages trust and builds confidence in individual group members and synergises the collective response to problem resolution. Responding effectively to the challenge of the Nexus of Forces is beyond the capacity of any individual part of the enterprise.
Gartner says that by 2016, 30% of enterprise architecture (EA) efforts will be supported, as a Business and IT collaboration, a 21% increase from 2011.
Betsy Burton, a vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner said in a 2011 Press release “Organizations that do not focus EA on their business strategy and on collaborating with business leaders will be greatly limited in their ability to deliver substantial business value. To achieve business outcomes and to drive business change, EA value must be collaboratively developed and supported within the context of the business direction, strategy and future vision."
People support what they helped to create and the organization's enterprise architecture plays a key role in the transition to this state.
It is no surprise that in the current atmosphere of technology change that collaboration in the enterprise architecture work space is growing. In its Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker for 2014 IDC shows that the software market grew by 5.5 percent in 2013 and that the Applications market segment -- which accounts for half of total software revenue -- collaborative applications and content applications stood out with CAGR of 10%. This growth is being driven by the adoption of enterprise social networks and team collaborative applications.
A very recent article in SD Times, reports from the 2014 Collaborative Development trends report by the Linux Foundation that collaborative development is on the rise. Nearly half of business managers surveyed said they got involved in collaborative development because it allows them to innovate and/or help transform their industry.
A common reference frame that allows individuals to understand what the goal is, and their contribution and role in achieving the goal, is at the heart of any change, whatever it may be.
The NASCIO (National Association of Chief Information Officers) Enterprise Architecture and Governance Committee, conducted a study in 2012 called “What Makes Collaborative Initiatives Work?” and sounded a call to action for the promotion of enterprise architecture best practices for organizing and managing multi-jurisdictional collaboratives. The rationale was that, “If enterprise architecture is essential to managing a single enterprise’s complexity and ongoing change, how much more important in the more complex circumstance of a multi-jurisdictional “enterprise.” collaborations.
Widely accepted standards help foster product interoperability and system architectures that mitigate risks, simplify and reduce delivery time and yield a stronger ROI as global industries such as healthcare, retail, utilities, telecommunications and other sectors continue rapid modernisation programs.
Interoperable system architectures that share a common language and interfaces at a hardware, software and system level are essential for successful global industries.
In turn interoperability supports collaboration, - engaging as many aspects of the organization as possible in problem solving, depends on the flow of ideas and the socialization of people, who would otherwise be siloed. Using tools such as Enterprise Architect stakeholders can effectively collaborate on projects by understanding who is working on specific project tasks, what roles are to be filled and who has responsibility for the various aspects of the project.
Different team members and stakeholders must be able to input information that is relevant to their roles and activities and that is useful to the other members of shared projects. This implies the necessity to capture this information in a model that is available to all team members overcoming their geographical limitation. The emergence of new ideas, or innovation, through collaboration, has been commented on extensively. A single idea can lead to breakthroughs and competitive advantage. The idea of one person can be used by many others who can make small refinements or improvements to the idea or spark completely new ideas. These in turn become the normal as creativity destroys long accepted convention.
Enterprise Architect offers specific functionality for sharing projects in team-based and distributed development environments. Projects can be shared through network deployment of model repositories, replication, XMI Import/Export, Version Control, Package Control and User Security.