Whether the appropriate technological foundation is laid in the beginning or later, the enterprise architect plays a critical role in the relationship between business and IT. As businesses transform to adapt to changing markets and economies to ensure their competitive position, the enterprise architect must also evolve in order to bridge the gap between business objectives and IT. A quote from Machiavelli’s The Prince resonates in this context, “He who has not first laid his foundations may be able with great ability to lay them afterwards, but they will be laid with trouble to the architect and danger to the building.” While Machiavelli was referring to an analogy between building architecture and organized government, I feel the same concept applies to today’s global business environment. Enterprises may have solid foundations, but in some cases they may be too solid - which presents a barrier to transforming the business to maintain or improve its competitive capability.

How can a company maintain or increase its competitive advantage? In order to do so, companies need smart and attainable business objectives and strategies in place from which to develop a solid IT foundation. Only then will they have the ability to function at maximum capacity across the enterprise and keep themselves afloat in the competitive landscape.

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