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Pull Together or Fall Apart - Startup Culture and EA Adoption

Introducing an enterprise architecture (EA) that enables digital business strategies poses challenges for startups. In this article, I discuss how a startup’s culture plays a part in overcoming these difficulties, outline the steps involved in adopting an EA framework, and show how implementing an EA practice can help such businesses evolve.

On Startups and Strategy

Startup culture focuses on time to market and business agility. The perception is that time to market is vital to staying competitive, and founders are usually so busy formulating their business and product strategies that they do not pay attention to aligning their culture to the vision. This disconnect often leads to an inability to execute on such strategies because behaviors are the enablers of the strategies and are required for any change initiative to be successful. Without shared values, beliefs, and teamwork, people cannot come together to execute strategic objectives. Enterprise architecture defines the process needed to align the culture with the strategy. Establishing an EA capability within a startup ensures that, through its culture, people, and processes, the organization can implement its formulated strategy.

So how can you execute on a strategy that ensures that your startup will survive in five years? An effective strategy will promote innovation while ensuring coherence across the enterprise. Founders and executives often realize the need for standardized processes to achieve this unity and company maturity later on. But an EA can provide this standardization and value if founders integrate it as part of their firm’s culture from the outset. This involves organizational design, which must jibe with the core values that define the business vision. Such integration could be the difference between being a successful company or a failed startup five years down the road…

This article is published in the Cutter Business Technology Journal.

Read the full article here.