This is the next blog in the continuing series of interviews with top-echelon and renowned professionals. In this blog, I interview Brian Cameron: Professor and Executive Director, Center for Enterprise Architecture, Penn State, Founder FEAPO – Part 2 of 2 interview series.
Brian Cameron is Executive Director of the Center for Enterprise Architecture and Professor of Practice in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University. Within the College of Information Sciences and Technology, he works with a wide portfolio of companies on a variety of consulting engagements, ranging from systems integration projects to enterprise architecture planning and design. Through his academic work, Cameron has consulted with organizations such as Avaya, AT&T Wireless, Raytheon, Accenture, Oracle, EMC Corp., NSA, U.S. Marine Corps, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and many others.
His primary research and consulting interests include enterprise architecture, enterprise systems integration, information management and storage, and the use of simulations and gaming in education. The main focus areas for his teaching efforts are on senior-level capstone enterprise integration, enterprise architecture, and information technology consulting & storage architecture courses. Dr. Cameron is currently developing new curricular materials for enterprise integration (through funding from NSF), including a textbook to be published by Wiley & Sons Publishing. He has also designed and taught executive education sessions for senior IT executives. Session topics include Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Business Process Management (BPM), Strategic Alignment of IT & Business Strategies, IT Governance, and IT Portfolio Management.
Dr. Cameron is TOGAF and Zachman certified and has developed an extensive background in the DoDAF, FEAF, and Gartner frameworks. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Center for the Advancement of the Enterprise Architecture Profession and Business Architecture Guild, the founding president of the Federation of Enterprise Architecture Professional Organizations, a co-chair of the Academic Alliance Committee for the Special Interest Group on Enterprise Architecture for the Industry Advisory Council of the US Federal Government, and a member of the editorial review boards for the Journal of Enterprise Architecture, the International Journal on Cyber Behavior, Psychology, and Learning, the Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management, the Journal of Information Systems Education, and the International Journal on E-Learning.
Dr. Cameron currently leads corporately funded research efforts in the following areas: service-oriented architecture and business process modeling, risk analysis and management of enterprise systems integration projects, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation best practices, enterprise storage & information management architecture design, and performance measurement for Enterprise Architecture.
Link to More information on Brian
Link to Information on Introduction to Enterprise Architecture course
To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link
This is the second part of a two part interview series: Part 1 focuses on FEAPO and Part 2 focuses on the Penn State EA initiative, both led by Brian.
Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic
Brian outlines his background, consulting work, and his areas of interest and research with regards to his work at Penn State.
What motivated you at a young age to get involved in science and computing and in these related areas?
"....I've always been interested in technology and in organizations and have always thought I was somebody who was fairly adept at connecting the dots and observing what I see going on around me...."
You are a top researcher in enterprise architecture (EA). Can you define EA?
"....There are many methodologies and frameworks that organizations follow for enterprise architecture that have their roots in the IT area. These organizations are actively working to adapt these methodologies and frameworks to align all parts of the organization with the business strategy, not just the IT area...."
If the audience is interested in seeing the nature of your work and want to access it on a periodic basis where should they go?
"....We are in the process of launching the website for our new Center for Enterprise Architecture....It will be found at http://ea.ist.psu.edu...."
In 2011 at international conferences and forums where you are invited to present, what key content will you deliver to the audiences and how will they benefit from your research and insights derived from your leadership and consulting roles?
"....I will be discussing our new Center for Enterprise Architecture at Penn State, the related research and educational programs, and also a new organization that I am helping to form called the Federation for Enterprise Architecture Professional Organizations (FEAPO) that's attempting to bring together most of the EA-related professional associations...."
You will also be speaking at the first World CIO Forum. You will also be releasing some research as a speaker at the World CIO Forum; can you discuss some of the research that you will be releasing?
[Editor’s note: For more information go to: www.worldcioforum.com; Call for papers; WCF news in the IFIP Newsletter ].
"....We are in the process of releasing some White Papers and academic research articles on research we conducted this past spring and summer in conjunction with a number of EA industry associations and Gartner. There were 2 major focus areas to the research....One is on framework usage....The second part is on EA value measurement and how organizations are measuring and communicating the value of their enterprise architecture initiatives to the organization...."
Why should leading researchers and IT executives want to participate in the World's first CIO Forum to be held November 1 - 4, 2011?
"....This is going to be a great venue for the presentation and discussion of key issues of importance to researchers and executives from across the globe...."
You founded the EA initiative and the Center for Enterprise Architecture at Penn State. How did this EA initiative get started?
"....The EA initiative began as a connection of several data points through my prior and current industry experiences, and the continued active involvement I have had in industry and consulting in the industry....As EA has shifted to be recognized as a strategic component of the organization and then the alignment of IT and business planning, it needs to support and evolve as a profession to have educational programs for these type of individuals. I've heard repeatedly of a call for more formalized research with academia...."
What are the vision, mission and goals of the EA initiative?
"....To advance the discipline of enterprise architecture by creating new research, knowledge, educational programs that showcase a partnership between academia and industry...."
Why are so many significant organizations involved with your Center and how are they contributing? What value do they receive from contributing?
"....I think we are exploring something whose 'time has come' and for the most part has been unrecognized by academia in North America. Global competition and the recent financial crisis have caused organizations of all types to look for ways to become more efficient, effective and agile. More and more organizations are looking at enterprise architecture as the discipline needed to achieve these long term organizational transformations...."
There are many corporations and organizations worldwide interested in this initiative. What specific value is it going to give to these companies and organizations?
"....There really isn't much in that area in academia but there's a huge demand for those types of individuals who have a good foundation in business enterprise technology, enterprise architecture fundamentals, and good experiential components...."
What are the components of your EA initiative?
"....Four major components....An undergraduate component....Masters education....Professional development....Research component...."
Why did you create two new degree programs and what value do they deliver?
"....Undergraduates with a solid foundation in enterprise information technology and business with good understanding of enterprise architecture and enterprise integration fundamentals along with good experiential components are very much in demand....The Masters program is designed for the working professional who desires to enhance his or her prospects for greater leadership positions, positions of responsibility in an organization...."
Of what value is your certificate series?
"....Our Introduction of Enterprise Architecture certificate is designed to be the first exposure to foundational enterprise architecture concepts and practices...."
What do you hope to accomplish with your EA Research Center and how will others benefit from this research?
"....The overarching vision for the Center is advancing the discipline of enterprise architecture by creating new knowledge, and that showcases a unique partnership between academia and industry....The Center itself is designed to be multi-disciplinary and very inter-disciplinary...."
How is this work at Penn State unique and clearly differentiated?
"....We have distinct and deliberate ties between the research and education missions of the Center and our group of participating organizations is unlike any I've seen anywhere in the country...."
How does the EA initiative benefit and provide value to various stakeholders: industry, governments, business, clients, employers, academia, society, computing, the profession, the computing professional, and internationally?
"....I believe that we are providing the needed steps and programs for the continued maturation of the discipline of enterprise architecture....Enterprise architecture is an area of great interest to corporations, governments and non-profit organizations around the globe and I believe that our model will be replicated at other universities over time...."
What are the next steps for your EA initiative in 2011?
"....We hope to formally launch our online Masters program, undergraduate programs, and a few new professional development offerings in the next year, as well as to kick off new research projects...."
Can you profile the roadmap for your EA initiative into 2015 and then beyond?
"....In Education....vibrant enrollments in our undergraduates and Masters programs and to the development of a portfolio of Professional development offerings....In Research....growing to eventually support 6 or more concurrent research streams in our Center and actively publishing and presenting with our government and corporate partners ...."
In terms of EA what are your top recommended resources and why?
"....Presently, professional resources for enterprise architecture are not plentiful....Gartner and Forrester Research....Architecture and Governance magazine....CIO magazine....Attending the Open Group, Gartner and Forrester Enterprise Architecture conferences....Journal of Enterprise Architecture....Journal of Enterprise Transformation....One of our goals is to help create an academic research community and better academic outlets for enterprise architecture related research...."
Brian shares some stories from his work with the EA initiative.
How will your EA initiative tie into IP3? [see www.ipthree.org for more details]
"....IP3 has done a great job helping to define international standards, professionalism in IT and their goals are very much aligned with the goals of our Center for Enterprise Architecture and we will work very actively with IP3 to help increase the stature and professionalism of enterprise architecture and the stature and professionalism of the IT community as a whole...."
In terms of enterprise architecture, what 3 questions would you ask and then what would be your answers?
"....What barriers do you see to enterprise architecture becoming a more mainstream academic discipline?....What do you find most rewarding about the work that we are doing in enterprise architecture?....What advice might you give a colleague considering a similar program?...."
Please share key consulting roles you had in the past and important lessons you learned from each role that would be of high value to the audience?
"....Getting the foundation in place and doing the right planning is crucial in all areas not just in enterprise architecture and in enterprise systems....Another lesson is that we in enterprise architecture don't necessarily always need to reinvent the wheel, we need to look at and pull information from other disciplines and other areas of technology that we can then further adapt to our needs in EA...."
Please share best practices that you have documented from your work?
"....If there is one best practice that I could share with your audience I would say it is to listen and observe what is going on around you and to put yourself in a position to connect dots...."
Brian can you talk about your current consulting work and your goals moving forward?
"....I'm exploring the measurement of value measurement and maturity, processes and goals for enterprise architecture...."
What specific attributes contributed to your success?
"....I'm a middle child and if you study middle children they tend to be the consensus makers and mediators and I believe without these qualities this initiative wouldn't have gotten very far...."
What are the major challenges for the computing industry and for EA as a profession?
"....Many organizations are in the process of creating career paths for different types of EA professionals but the profession in general is very fragmented....We are in the process of forming a group to help solve this fragmentation problem and increase the coordination and collaboration between the different EA professional associations...."
You choose the areas – provide your five top predictions of future trends and their implications/opportunities?
"....I'll do my predictions for the EA field since that's the focus of this interview...."
If you could sum up your life experiences with career tips for the ICT professional, what would be your tips and the reasons behind them?
"....I'd go back to my comment about putting yourself in a position to connect dots and observe carefully and act upon the dots that you've connected. That's essentially how I generated ideas around the EA initiative...."