activecarbon - Blogs of Hao Wang

Over the years, occasionally abashed, I’ve been compelled to explain what enterprise architects (ea) do and what is an Enterprise Architecture (EA). Depending on who is asking, my answers diverge. It is not being evasive, but simply my trying to ring to the different bells that are tuned differently.

Among some of my analogies was this one: asked to design a team sport that involves sticks, numbers, circles, squares, balls, arms, and legs, enterprise architects would give us the game of baseball. Not sure whether I successfully erased any curiosity, my answer often invoked laughters. To make it succinct, “An enterprise architect’s job is to harmonize components into a system.”

To more serious inquirers, I quoted Larry Wall, the brainy philosopher behind the development of the computer language PERL. He said “There’s more than one way to do it”. Even though he said it way before the age of texting, the followers created the short hand of TMTOWTDI anyway, which could make today’s 14-year-olds dumbfounded.

My remake of Larry’s TMTOWTDI for Enterprise Architecture has become “For every political problem, there is a technology solution”. The reverse is true as well. “For every technology problem, there is a political solution.”

Another quote from Larry Wall is “Easy things should be easy and hard things should be possible.” For this one I did not even bother to tailor for enterprise architects. I advise that every ea ensures such a discipline in practice.

Therefore, the first three rules for enterprise architects are:

Rule #1: An enterprise architect’s job is to HARMONIze Components into an System (HARMONICS).

Rule #2a: For every political problem, there is a technical solution.
Rule #2b: For every technical problem, there is a political solution.

Rule #3: Easy things should be easy and hard things should be possible, says Larry Wall.

(to be continued)



  1. Warm congratulations on being selected as our new SUNY System CIO. Look forward to working with you. All the best, Steve

  2. Dr. Wang, look forward to meeting you once I return to Albany on the 25th. Best, Steve

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