Understanding Enterprise Architecture - Over the duration of my career, I have always gravitated towards what has been refered to as the Cadillac solution. This solution is always the gleaming star in the group of solutions that is most likely the costliest, most complex and takes the most effort to implement. The other solutions represent a 'Chevy Silverado' a good work horse type solution, and in lots of cases fit the bill nicely. The Cadillac solution is needed when a differentiator is needed. When organizations are looking for that cut above, it can be the role of the enterprise architect to take into account the business goals and the technology goals and really hit home with the Cadillac solution. If the business goals warant it, and the outcome is derived, a Cadillac solution can, emphasis on can, be less costly than that good ole Chevy solution in the long run. Short term IT goals and long term business goals really come into play here - In the short term the 'Caddy' solution may be more outright costlier, but in my experience, when a Caddy solution is really needed - Not all solutions need this - it truely is a better fit to put that Caddy in place. Some times its a leap of faith, but a lot of the time its based on solid logic and good hard work. Remember, put the right solution in (relative!) and business should make the most of it.