She noted that meeting new strategic initiatives was a guaranteed scary proposition and that IT was viewed as that multi-headed monster better known as a bottleneck. Amazingly, information was almost never available at the right place to the right people at the right time, and if it was it really could not be trusted!
Process Optimization in the Digital Age: A Financial Services Industry Perspective
To add insult to injury, no matter how hard the employees seemed to work they always seemed to be one step behind from where they needed to be. Then one day this brave consultant came upon a company where IT was a strategic partner with the business supporting such amazing capabilities as portability, interoperability, and extensibility. IT value was completely justified; there was a sense of reduced risk and an unprecedented amount of flexibility in make, buy, and sourcing decisions.
Employees in this company worked less, were more relaxed, and yet they managed to stay ahead of their peers in their market. How could this be? And it was that fateful day that she discovered the wonders of enterprise architecture!
Alas, if only the above narration were just a story! Unfortunately, this "story" is my experience and more than likely the experience of each and every one of you reading this article. Yes, it is true that a deliberate enterprise architecture can really transform the way a company does business. It can provide a strategic foundation that realizes the company's operating model, and can incorporate the necessary governance processes to ensure the continued alignment of the enterprise architecture with the operating model as it evolves. Such claims of positive transformation are supported by numerous surveys conducted by reputed institutions such as Gartner, Infosys, Harvard Business School, etc.
All this sounds great, but unfortunately, have you ever heard of a free lunch? Veteran architects will undoubtedly attest to the fact that enterprise architecture is a complex undertaking that takes hard work and commitment from all levels of an organization, especially from the higher levels.http://clublavoute.ca/vanyw-cortes-de.php
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The good news is that there is a broad base of knowledge to leverage in the field of enterprise architecture, most of which is encapsulated in well-known enterprise architecture frameworks such as TOGAF, Zachman, and others. So, with this context in mind, let us now embark on the journey that our brave consultant might have taken as she discovered the promise of enterprise architecture. First things first - it's really hard to talk about enterprise architecture without leveling what we mean by the term "architecture".
Honestly, sometimes I feel that we architects spend more time defining and re-defining concepts than professionals in any other field. The Software Engineering Institute SEI : The software architecture of a program or computing system is the structure or structures of the system, which comprise software elements, the externally visible properties of those elements, and the relationships among them.
Grady Booch et. The Open Group TOGAF : The structure of components, their inter-relationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time. A detailed plan of the system at component level that can guide its implementation. Putting enterprise architecture in context requires one to understand two distinct concepts: architecture, which we already looked at, and an enterprise.
Based on this definition, an enterprise could be a government agency, a whole corporation, a division of a corporation, a single department, or a chain of geographically distant organizations linked together by common ownership. Nowadays people often refer to the concept of an extended enterprise, which not only includes the organization itself but also includes the organization's partners, suppliers, and customers.
Enterprise Architecture: From Folklore to Facts: Part I of II
The MIT Center for Information Systems Research defines enterprise architecture as "the organizing logic for business processes and IT infrastructure reflecting the integration and standardization requirements of the firm's operating model. Stated differently, enterprise architecture is the blueprint that translates an enterprise's strategic goals and operating model into an executable architecture of processes and infrastructure. If this reads like a mouthful, just imagine the complexity of actually defining and then implementing the enterprise architecture.
As luck would have it that is exactly where enterprise architecture frameworks such as TOGAF help save the day.
Enterprise architecture frameworks such as TOGAF encapsulate a broad body of knowledge in the form of standard methods, defined processes, common vocabulary, guidelines, best practices, case studies, tools, and technologies that enable the architect in designing and implementing the right enterprise architecture. So without further ado, let's examine TOGAF, one of the leading enterprise architecture frameworks available today. TOGAF may be reproduced freely by any enterprise wishing to use it to develop a broad range of enterprise architectures.
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