May 3, 2023 | Blog | 4 minutes

Evolution of Enterprise Architecture in the Era of AI

Suresh Jayaraman

Chief Enterprise Architect

Having observed the role of Enterprise Architecture throughout my career, from the late 1990s to the current era of cutting-edge enterprise demands in the field of AI in 2023, I can confidently affirm the substantial evolution and growing significance of Enterprise Architecture. I have seen it empower organizations to successfully undergo digital transformation, witnessed enterprises achieve their strategic goals, and bridge business objectives and IT.

Today, in the era of AI, Enterprise Architecture transcends addressing an organization's current business objectives and extends towards anticipating the organization's future requirements in an increasingly digital and data-driven landscape.

At its core, Enterprise Architecture has always been the practice of aligning an organization's business strategy and goals with its information technology infrastructure. It has always focused on blueprinting the design and implementation of technology solutions that support an organization's objectives.

So, how has it evolved to meet the challenges of the current era of AI?

How has it become all the more significant now?

How can Enterprise Architecture enable Enterprises to adapt to AI?

Before jumping to perfect answers that even a GPT can provide, I would like to rewind my memory lane for a more pragmatic answer, and I would like to do this in two parts:

Part 1 Evolution of Enterprise Architecture in the Era of AI: A Career Journey and Practical Insights

Part 2: How Navikenz Enterprise Architect team helps our customers adopt AI?

Part 1: Evolution of Enterprise Architecture in the Era of AI: A Career Journey and Practical Insights

In 1997, while I was busy building Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs) and distributed com solutions during the .com boom, the origin of Enterprise Architecture began to rise and gain traction with the emergence of The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) and Full Environmental Assessment Framework (FEAF). When the field of information technology provided the capabilities to automate business processes, organizations began to invest heavily in technology. The need for organizing information systems, implementing distributed computing systems, and enabling communication between disparate systems were the prime problems that Enterprise Architecture focused on solving.

The SaaS product I was working on in 2001 demanded a technology solution that could scale rapidly, handle large volumes of traffic, and provide a seamless user experience. Enterprise Architecture enabled that with grace. It provided a way to ensure that the technology infrastructure was aligned with the business goals and could support the demands of the online marketplace.

Then came the emergence of mobile devices. On top of the core mobile solution, my customer needed to develop a consistent user experience for their banking customers across different platforms and integrate with existing IT systems. Very soon, the need to scale for rapid mobile adaptation became a growing need.

Enterprise Architecture played a critical role in addressing all these needs by providing a framework for developing and implementing responsive and adaptive solutions to the needs of the mobile era. It also provided a standard for integration solutions that could handle the complexity of integrating mobile applications with back-end systems. By taking a holistic view of the organization's IT architecture, Enterprise Architecture helped organizations to develop mobile solutions that could leverage existing systems and data, rather than creating siloed solutions that would be difficult to integrate with the rest of the IT infrastructure.

Cloud computing also began to gain traction during this time, and Enterprise Architecture had to adapt to support the migration of enterprise applications to the cloud. The challenges posed in cloud transformation were multifaceted for the different organizations I had consulted. While legacy systems were rusted enough to touch and demanded a complete re-architecting to work in the cloud, data migration was altogether an uphill task with the volume and complexity involved. Security posed a lethal combination of challenges including mindshift adjustment, compliance and regulatory, and technology solutioning.

My guiding lights during several cloud migration programs were the fundamental Enterprise Architecture principles:

  • Alignment with business goals
  • Modular design
  • Standardization of technology platforms and tools
  • Prioritizing security and compliance from design
  • Agility to respond to changing conditions

In Part 2 of this blog series on the Evolution of Enterprise Architecture in the Era of AI, we will delve into the practical insights and experiences of the Navikenz Enterprise Architect team. With the rapidly changing landscape of technology and the increasing demands of businesses to incorporate AI, the role of Enterprise Architecture has become even more significant. In this blog, we will explore how Navikenz helps its customers adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by AI through the lens of Enterprise Architecture. We will examine the approach, tools, and methodologies used by Navikenz to enable successful AI adoption and integration in organizations.