Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS)



Brian Cameron Founding President FEAPO
Nick Malik Principle Microsoft EA

This week, Stephen Ibaraki has an exclusive interview with Dr. Brian Cameron and Nick Malik.

Dr. Brian CameronDr. Brian Cameron is Executive Director of the Center for Enterprise Architecture in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Cameron is also the Program Director for the new Master of Professional Studies in Enterprise Architecture. Cameron actively consults with a wide variety of corporations and government bodies such as: Accenture, AT&T Wireless, Avaya, Boeing, EMC˛, Lockheed Martin, National Security Agency (NSA), Oracle, Raytheon, U.S. Marine Corps and many others.

Dr. Cameron has designed and taught a wide variety of graduate and executive education courses, both online and face-to-face, in areas including enterprise technology strategic planning, strategic alignment, enterprise technology leadership and decision making, information technology innovation, enterprise architecture, enterprise integration, portfolio management, information technology governance and many others. He is consistently ranked as a top teaching faculty member for professional audiences.

Dr. Cameron's accomplishments have led to invitations to speak internationally in venues that include the White House Conference Center, The World CIO Forum, The Office of the CIO of the U.S. Department of Defense, The National Association of State CIOs and many other professional organizations and corporations. Dr. Cameron received the Career Achievement Award in 2011 from the Network Professional Association (NPA) for efforts related to the founding of the Federation of Enterprise Architecture Professional Organizations (FEAPO), the building of the Center for Enterprise Architecture, and associated service to the profession. Past recipients of this award include: Tadao Saito, CTO of Toyota; Joseph Sifer, Senior Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Ted Thompson, CIO of the American Red Cross.

Cameron is a member of the Professional Education Standards Committee of the International Professional Practice Partnership (IP3), a member of the Global Industry Council (United Nations Affiliated), a member of the Board of Trustees for the Center for the Advancement of the Enterprise Architecture Profession, a founding board member of the Business Architecture Guild, the founding president of the Federation of Enterprise Architecture Professional Organizations, a founding member of the MITRE Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge Governing Board, a Co--chair of the Academic Alliance Committee for the Special Interest Group on Enterprise Architecture for the Industry Advisory Council of the U.S. 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.

Additional information can be found at:

Nick MalikNick Malik is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, blogger and innovator in Enterprise Architecture and Business Architecture. Co-author of three books and a popular speaker at conferences, Nick brings his 32 years of high-tech experience to bear as he creates Enterprise Architectural models and solutions to the CTO of Microsoft IT, his current employer. Developer of a number of novel methods in Enterprise Architecture, including the Enterprise Business Motivation Model and the Minimal Sufficient Business Integration method, he strives to improve the maturity and professionalism of the practice of Enterprise Architecture worldwide. Nick has a background in product development, internal software development, management consulting and business operations accumulated across such diverse industries as hospitality, health care, insurance, high tech and financial services. You can find his musings online at or on twitter as @nickmalik

To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link

To find the EA Perspectives paper, click on this link:

The latest blog on the interview can be found in the IT Managers Connection (IMC) forum where you can provide your comments in an interactive dialogue.


Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

:00:32: Starting with Brian then Nick, please provide an update of your latest activities and the value of those activities to the industry and professionals.

:00:43: Brian: "....We have 17 professional organizations now, from all over the globe, within the FEAPO membership. We are taking major steps to professionalize the discipline of Enterprise Architecture starting with some of the initiatives that we'll talk about in this interview, and we have a great roadmap of activities planned for 2014 and beyond. At the Center for Enterprise Architecture at Penn State our new Master's Program in Enterprise Architecture is going extremely well. Our Center continues to grow and expand...."

:01:41: Nick: "....We have been very busy (specifically in FEAPO) to develop content and ideas and to try to find consensus among all the various different organizations. That's a real challenge, but it is also a major step forward because we are in the process of actually building something that hasn't been built before...."

:02:22: Nick, you recently completed work on an EA paper. Can you describe the reasons for creating the paper and why it is so important?

:02:31: Nick: "....The real problem was that there wasn't a single source or any really good notable source of information that I could point to that said here's a consensus, here's a single person who said something that everybody kind of agrees with, or here's a well-formed statement that the industry has bought into.....So I got involved with FEAPO to the Center for EA advancement and proposed that we do this through FEAPO. Why don't we have all the organizations help write a paper, and if they all sign on and ratify it in some way and just indicate that they agree with it, then we would have something notable, something that is an industry consensus...."

:05:10: Brian, do you have anything to add and can you also overview the highlights in the paper?

:05:16: Brian: "....This is the first time that we've had almost 20 professional organizations come together to ratify something like this and frankly I think that's going to be a little harder to discount....As far as the major components of the paper, we talk about what is enterprise architecture and we're talking wholistically (not just IT enterprise architecture), we are talking about enterprise architecture from an enterprise-wide view and the value that it brings to the organization...."

:07:28: Nick, can you provide some comments in terms of the highlights of the paper?

:07:37: Nick: "....It's not so much a definition because definitions are intended to be references used in dictionaries, it's more of a description because we're really writing it for the lay person....We described how enterprise architecture is used. It's used in situations of ongoing and transformational change and we made a distinction between those two. Then we talk about what differentiates what enterprise architecture practices to other functions and practices within an organization, so that you can understand that enterprise architecture is this and not that...."

:10:02: Brian, how will the paper evolve in the future?

:10:06: Brian: "....This is very much a living document. This is the first of hopefully many editions. We have a new publications working group that's being formed within the FEAPO organization to evolve this paper and to come out with the next edition at some time in the future, in addition to evolving and producing a number of other FEAPO related papers and publications...."

:11:13: This question is from a practical aspect or perspective. First of all Brian, how should the paper be used? You come from an academic background but also work with industry. And Nick, as one of the principal architects within Microsoft, how do you see it being used with an organization like a Microsoft?

:11:34: Brian: "....As you can expect with a group this large we had different perspectives on who the audience should be and the different objectives for this paper. In the end we all agreed that this was to be for the general public, for the lay person (something I could take to say my Dean or anybody else in my community, either the industry folks outside of IT and EA or other academics and give them this document and have it stand alone and have them say okay, I get what you guys do and why this is valuable)...."

:12:30: Nick: "....We've all been focused on how would you explain enterprise architecture, both for the people who have never heard of it and may collaborate with it, and for the people who have never heard of it and probably won't collaborate with it, but it needs to be a simple and consistent approach...."

:14:52: As a follow-up Nick, can you profile the work on the EA Body of Knowledge (EABOK) and provide any additional comments on it? Brian can you then add your thoughts on it?

:15:04: Nick: "....We managed to reawaken the EABOK. We collaborated with MITRE. MITRE is a very interesting organization and they are very interested in building that collaboration. They don't want to own all the knowledge, they want to be part of the community that grows the EABOK and we've been very fortunate. They've been very collaborative...."

:17:07: Brian: "....There's going to be a community unveiling, a community input session on the EABOK held at the MITRE offices this coming March so anybody that is interested, please go to the EABOK website...."

:17:35: Brian, can you profile work on the Career Paths paper in terms of what you see as the purpose and objectives of it, the intended audience, the value that it is going to bring? Nick can you follow up with your comments?

:17:51: Brian: "....The genesis of this initiative came over the last few years as FEAPO and the Center for Enterprise Architecture at Penn State and all of our various constituents have been hearing more and more of a call for more formalized career paths in different areas related to enterprise architecture....Right now anybody can hang out a shingle and offer certification and there's no group out there to say that the certification is good, bad or somewhere in the middle. Over time the idea is that groups would bring their certification and other artifacts and documents related to the profession to FEAPO, and the FEAPO organization would then vet that certification and verify that the certification does map to that career path structure and that it does do what it's supposed to do. After that vetting process then it votes and if the vote is positive then that organization receives a FEAPO endorsement. Hopefully over time that FEAPO endorsement will mean something to the profession....."

:22:23: Nick: "....I want to highlight the difficulty of working without one....The work that FEAPO and the Center are doing to help foster this notion of what actually is an enterprise architect (in terms of training, capability, skills, etc.) is really important for organizations that are in both the situation of setting up an enterprise architecture program and having to hire an architect, and a consulting organization that actually wants to be able to say I have an enterprise architect to present to you. It's wildly valuable...."

:24:32: We've spent some time talking about this EA paper and this Careers Path and the EABOK areas. Where can the audience go to get information or get copies of these papers to use them in their practice or organizations?

:24:51: Brian: "..... If you go to you'll see links to all the material that we've talked about and other things as well...."

:25:12: Nick: "....EABOK is at"

:25:19: What do you think are the major milestones for EA in 2014?

:25:28: Nick: "....There were a lot of discussions and facets that we did not cover in our paper and one of the key challenges was to storm around what is the next big thing that we wanted to address and go ahead and get some progress. I'd love to see another paper come out in 2014, but I'm not sure if it's possible. We'll have to see how the various FEAPO organizations are to collaborate with that...."

:26:45: Brian: "....I think there is an ongoing set of milestones that we are all working towards and it's the continued evolution and professionalization of enterprise architecture in general. I think that the paper and the Career Path are obviously steps towards that goal, but I see EA in 2014 hopefully making some greater advances towards broader understanding and broader acceptance and greater professionalism as a whole...."

:27:17: Brian, what are the major milestones for FEAPO in 2014 and 2015 and how will these impact businesses, the industry, the profession and the working professional?

:27:30: Brian: "....If we've got the Career Path structure and the competencies and roles agreed upon and ratified, and we have vetted a few certifications and we are starting to award the FEAPO endorsement, and more importantly organizations are seeking out the FEAPO endorsement that we've attained the status of this accrediting body for the profession — if we can get to that point in the next 2 to 3 years then I think we've accomplished quite a bit as an organization and quite a bit for the profession as a whole...."

:28:24: There are companies and also working professionals out there who are listening to this interview, how can they get involved?

:28:37: Brian: "....FEAPO is an organization of organizations, so currently the only way to get involved with FEAPO is to come in through one of the member organizations....However, early in 2014 we are going to be launching additional membership levels for non-professional organizations. These would be non-voting levels or corporations, government entities, universities. These affiliate memberships will be organization-based so companies can join, organizations can join, but not individuals (it's an organizational membership)...."

:29:55: Nick you are a working professional and you are working with one of the largest corporations in the world, Microsoft. You are also interacting with a lot of other businesses out there because of your stature in the enterprise architecture space. In each of your business roles, can you describe some major EA challenges you face and your solutions to the challenges that would be of value to businesses?

:30:27: Nick: "....Organizations don't adopt EA suddenly with any kind of a positive effect, you really need to adopt it over time. It's a growth process and the challenges are going to be based on that scope to a certain extent...What I think is the bigger challenge is at some level the dysfunctions within an organization become the dysfunctions within IT and you can't address them at the IT level....From an enterprise architecture standpoint, asking people to consider making even fairly small changes to the allocation of duties, responsibilities, trust, structure of an organization is something to be done very carefully. Those are really the challenges that we face in enterprise architecture...."

:33:11: This question is for you Brian. I know that you've been doing a lot of traveling throughout Europe, Asia, South America and throughout the US and it's all about consulting where you've been providing your expertise on enterprise architecture. What do you find are some of the top best practices and lessons that you are sharing with clients in your formal consulting work?

:33:35: Brian: "....At a high level, never assume that you have all the answers....We need a new generation of leaders that can build consensus, can lead their EA practices from their IT roots to really be true enterprise architecture and interface effectively with different parts of the organization...Being able to put yourself in the position of the other person and trying to find that consensus is a win-win in any discussion....Don't get married to a position or a single point of view...."

:36:00: From your perspective Nick and then followed by Brian, what do you see as some disruptive innovations that aren't the topical discussion right now that people aren't considering yet, but that business executives should be watching for because they could affect the enterprise?

:36:36: Nick: "....I'm waiting for the innovations to occur. I'm helping in my little piece of it, but I don't know how it's going to evolve. I think we need a very dynamic leader to pull it together, but once it does emerge it will reshape the way information flows within companies, between companies and around a company and I think that's going to change very much the nature of what the professionals in the Information Management/Information Technology space are doing for a living. ..."

:39:26: Brian: "....I'd like to step back from specific innovations to talk about what I hope we'll see more in organizations. That is a better capability for sensing and scanning innovations, new technologies, new trends and assessing where they are in their maturity and when and how and if to adapt or adopt these technologies and trends into your organizations....I also think that potentially positive innovation would be the continued evolution of EA outside of IT and we're starting to see a few leading organizations actually reposition EA under a business function, like strategic planning or the COO, Chief Transformation or the Chief Innovation Officer...."

:41:48: Nick what do you see as your number one top area of controversy in any area or in EA? Brian can you also give your top area of controversy?

:42:03: Nick: "....I live in the world of understanding how organizations grow and develop and how their structures and functions become more mature over time. In that space, the biggest controversy today is really about understanding whether or not we can approach the development of an organization or an enterprise in a way that would allow it to become more efficient and effective without individuals, without a master God character sitting around and saying that things have to be a certain way, but rather in a way where the organization would naturally evolve and develop...."

:44:29: Brian: "....I think from my perspective coming from higher education and in particular enterprise architecture higher education, I think one of the big areas of controversy (as Nick alluded to) and what we're seeing in industry is: 'What is enterprise architecture and what does an enterprise architecture curriculum look like?'...."

:46:37: How do you see the evolution of EA as a recognized profession on par with accounting, medicine and law with demonstrated professional development, adherence to a code of ethics, personal responsibility, public accountability, quality assurance and recognized credentials? [See and the Global Industry Council,]. Brian can you give your views on this? Then Nick can you give your thoughts as a working practitioner?

:47:32: Brian: "....I think we have a lot of work to do before we arrive at the stature of a "real profession" on par with accounting, engineering and other established professions. But I do believe that the FEAPO organization is a major step in that direction because up until this time we really didn't have a way of building consensus....I'm very optimistic because we have a unique set of organizations and a unique set of very gifted individuals that have come together through FEAPO to really advance and professionalize the discipline. I'm very optimistic that over the next several years you'll see some great work coming out of FEAPO and much more maturity and professionalism for the discipline as a whole...."

:49:39: Nick: "....Right now we haven't seen the forward momentum that I'm hoping to see and building a real profession, at least in terms of the way that the rest of the world sees it which is why I'm so focused on being part of FEAPO. I think the necessary prerequisite that can allow us to get there is having an organization like FEAPO to pull together all the different voices (or at least enough of those voices) to have the weight ...."

:52:52: Brian and Nick share some stories (amusing, surprising, unexpected, amazing) from their extensive speaking, travels, and work.

:53:04: Nick: "....As I've sat down and worked with them they've begun to really understand that it's not an either/or approach, you really have to have both. You really have to understand that processes and information working together can provide safety where one or the other simply can't. It's been fascinating to watch as people realize their teams, their structures, their assumptions are called into challenge...."

:54:41: Brian: "...... I think the message here (also in enterprise architecture), is when I go around the world I hear many of the same issues, concerns, challenges and also great interest in this field and I think the challenges, issues and interest in the field is all over the globe. ...."

:56:15: If you were conducting this interview, what questions would you ask, and then what would be your answers?

:56:28: Nick: "....What is the actual next topic to go after consensus for?...."

:57:10: Brian: "....As we look at leading organizations that have evolved from their roots in IT and now have moved out of IT under some business function, are we seeing any lessons there that others can learn from?...."

:59:34: Brian and Nick, with your demanding schedules, we are indeed fortunate to have you come in to do this interview. Thank you for sharing your deep experiences with our audience.