I had the pleasure to join my old colleagues from Yesser and GOSI in the First National Enterprise Architecture Conference. and I especially enjoyed the presentations both done by Professor InKyu Kim and Dr.Steve Else.

Pro. Kim who is the lead consultant for National Enterprise Architect Team in Korea dived into Korea’s experience in establishing the EA practice and adapting the practice across the public sector. Also, they are acting as a centralized governing body for every IT project in the public. So even with the smallest project initiative, requesting a budget must first be approved by Kim’s team and later on must pass again for full approval. And before even submitting the project the public sector must be compliant with the architecture framework that was developed and standardized.

I personally don’t like their approach to EA cause they are more establishing governance through the framework, but let’s be frank how else would you force a government agency to adopt best practices. And as far as I know, this is what Yesser is planning to follow in governing the outrageous IT spending in the government sector here (as Eng. Adel said, the budget for IT projects in the last 5 years was 20 billion Riyals).

Among the slides shown by Prof. Kim a one that caught my attention and that is Korea’s e-Gov v3.0 vision.

The vision was simple: The Happiness of Korean People. Such a simple sentence and yet conveys powerful ideas and concepts. As I am mimicking Korea’s GEA team and following this vision, I am imagining all of my work is not about cost saving or bringing new interoperability to the government, I will not be working to standardize the government IT practices or educating the public sector. No, I will be placing the happiness of all the Korean as my guiding mission and principle to wake up every day and going to work. This vision is just great at all layers.

Now from the conglomerate experience from Korea, we jumped to Dr. Else who has long years of experience in adapting and consulting EA practices across all business in the US; from the bureaucratic government to the top 500 fortune companies. And to be frank, I felt Dr. Else presentation much much better for the government agencies locally as he just cut the bullshit about EA and jumped directly to aligning EA objectives with the Enterprise capabilities and business goals (hello Gartner!). He was focusing on how EA is failing in its current market understanding and the need to change and becoming more lean and agile in an age where businesses are accelerating with no slow-down in the near future. And after the presentation, I had the pleasure to talk to him about my current position at CyTech and how EA will be evolving and getting some advice from him. And he gave me a chuckle when threw a low blow to Korea’s experience and how benefit realization arrives too late in the everchanging businesses.