What is an Enterprise?

Is a group of people organised to deliver products, employing technology.

What is Enterprise Architecture (EA)?

EA is the Architecture i.e. the structure and the blueprint of the Enterprise. 

Long definition: The EA is the Enterprise structure, describing its operation blueprint,

the human and technology resources, the current and

 future states of the Enterprise 

and its transformation roadmap in terms of process, information, technology and people architecture artifacts and their many stakholders' views, all linked  and navigable.

Why EA?
EA is an asset in the Enterprise competitive race, characterised by a growing pace of change and a soaring amount of information and complexity. The EA is the blueprint for rapid change and agility.

What is the purpose of EA?
        The EA, as a blueprint, is employed by each and every stakeholder for own work purposes. 
For instance, IT people document, analyse and roadmap the IT. Finance people document the budget and cost flows. HR associate people, skills and remuneration to business functions and operational roles. All these views would be linked and navigable in the EA representation.

Overall, EA enables the Enterprise simplification,  integration, operational improvement, resource savings, asset management, agility (SOA services), integrated roadmapping...  EA facilitates a superior management of the ever growing complexity of Enterprise operation and its resources. 

Who does EA?
The Enterprise domain owners model and document the EA Views of the processes and systems they own. 
The Enterprise Architect specifies the EA framework, coordinates and organises the EA work and make sure the stakeholders' parts fit into the whole.
EA is a collective modelling and implementation effort. 
EA becomes the Enterprise Knowledge database.

What should EA do?

EA should coordinate the many fragmented or loose coupled Enterprise developments in IT such as  SOA, IT Architecture, Application Integration (EAI), ITIL efforts and many independently performed activities such as organisation alignment to business strategy and goals,  compliance to regulation, business process management, Six/Lean Sigma, Business Performance Management, Mergers and Acquisitions and Outsourcing (to BPO, Cloud…).

What does EA in practice?
In practice, EA is used for the discovery of IT systems landscape and its roadmapping. Once this done, many  business as usual EA efforts are reduced to Architecture Review Boards's solution architecture reviews which are seldom based on an existing EA since there isn't any.

Why an EA framework?
The EA framework integrates in the EA whole the parts of the Enterprise 
modelled and designed by stakeholders so that the EA can be navigated for process analysis, impacts on resources, strategy alignment and so on. The framework offers a common reference, predictability and repeatability to EA developments. 

Zachman's approach for definition.

The EA is:
What: The structure of an Enterprise and its blueprint describing.

How: How the Enterprise operates and the processes executed by.

Whom: People.

Which: The technology implementing processes.

Where: Showing the location of people and technology.

Why: To streamline, align, blueprint, strategically plan, and confer agility.

When: According to the Enterprise transformation plan to a target state.

Described in artifacts such as:
Business Architecture: Products, Value Chain, stakeholders' use cases, business model, strategy, business processes, rules, orchestration, B2B choreography... artifacts

Technology & IT Architectures: Applications, Infrastructure, email, Content Management, network, SCADA... People & Organization architecture: organization chart with roles and responsibilities, culture, values... views

Information architectures and many other Enterprise views: location, planning, security…

The Enterprise transformation roadmap and its project portfolio artifacts

All mapped and linked through an EA framework.

In short though: The EA is the Enterprise structure and the operation blueprint describing the current and future states of the Enterprise, in terms of Business, Technology, People and Information views, and the transformation roadmap, process, program and portfolio, all linked together by an EA framework.

The EA ultimately will constitute the Enterprise Knowledge DB. But EA is more than the sum of its parts; it is about the governance (mind) and the culture (soul) of the Enterprise (body).

Subpages (22): View All