Why Enterprise Architecture ?

Why Enterprise Architecture ?

A question which is often debated within Organisations is what is Enterprise Architecture (EA) and do we need it ?

The question is often due to a mis-understanding of what EA is and sometimes down to the fact the company may already have Solution Architects and are unclear in the distinction between the roles and of Solution Architecture and Enterprise Architecture.

What is Enterprise Architecture (EA)

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a methodology which provides a structured,  co-ordindated, integrated and business driven approach to successful enterprise and IT transformation, which optimises costs, maximises business value and manages associated risks.

The Role of an Enterprise Architect

The role of an Enterprise Architect is complementary but distinct from that of a Solution Architect.

Consider a new hosing development each house has a building architect ‘Solution Architect’ responsible for the creation of the design, they work closely with the building developer ‘Technical Architect’  to produce detailed drawings, and to construct the house they use skilled craftsman ‘Domain Experts’, however each house must adhere to building regulations and standards ‘principles’ for use of external services ‘Enterprise Architecture’

The Enterprise Architecture works closely with the business to agree a target vision and establishes principles, re-usable standard architectures ‘building blocks’,  design blueprints and components  which support interoperability, governance and maximum ROI.

Enterprise Architecture (EA) Frameworks

An Enterprise Architecture framework describe a method for developing systems  in terms of a set of building blocks, and for showing how the building blocks fit together. There are a number of EA frameworks which can be used for developing a wide range of different architectures, some aligned to specific industries, government agencies, generic (Zachman) or be flexible (TOGAF)

EA Framework Examples include:

  • US Department of Treasury Enterprise Architecture Framework (TEAF)
  • US Federal Enterprise Framework (FEAF)
  • US Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF)
    • Previous frameworks include:
      • C4ISR  AF (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) Architecture Framework
      • US Department of Defense Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management (TAFIM)
  • UK Ministry of Defence Architecture Framework (MoDAF)  
  • Zachamn
  • The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF)
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