Enterprise Architecture Development

Enterprise Architecture development involves defining current state architecture, planning for future state architecture, evaluating different scenarios and developing orientation points, processes and principles for the architecture. The concept usually contains both a framework and a process of developing and implementing the EA. Its development and implementation must be managed and governed and focus its attention on the requirements of the business.

As indicated in the study, 62 % Enterprise Architecture programs report to IT leadership, this means that Enterprise Architecture development is seen predominately as a component of IT within most of the organizations . It is a responsibility to deliver the right Enterprise Architecture to accomplish a company’s strategic goals and objectives by streamlining its information technology infrastructure.

Some of the examples that show failures largely attributed to failures in enterprise architectural methodologies include:

  • Ford’s failed attempt to build an integrated purchasing system cost them $400 million.
  • McDonald’s had to bear a cost of $ 170 million because of failed effort to build an integrated business management system that would tie together their entire restaurant business.
  • KMart’s failed attempt to build a state-of-the-art supply-chain management system Cost them $130 million.
  • In June 2005,The Department of Defence came under criticism for wasting money and lack of adequate accountability across all areas.

Therefore, having a correct methodology is very important.

An Enterprise Architecture framework is a set of best practice descriptions on how to execute the Enterprise Architecture process.

There are several different frameworks for Enterprise Architecture development.

But in 2007, 90 percent of the field use one of these four methodologies for enterprise architecture development:

  • The Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architectures— is a logical structure for classifying and organizing the descriptive representations of an enterprise that are significant to the management and to the development of enterprise systems. It contains 36 intersecting cells in a grid—one for each meeting point between a player’s perspective (for example, business owner) and a descriptive focus (for example, data).Horizontally, different descriptions of the system can be viewed from the same player’s perspective. Vertically in the grid, a single focus can be seen from the view of different players.
  • The Open Group Architectural Framework (TOGAF)— TOGAF divides an enterprise architecture into four categories, as follows:
  • Business architecture—describes the processes the business uses to meet its goals. The Business Architecture aligns an organization’s operating model, strategies, and objectives with IT; it also creates a business case for IT transformations and provides a business-centric view of the enterprise from a functional perspective.
  • Application architecture—describes how specific applications are designed and how they interact with each other. Applications refer to software programs designed to perform a specific task or a group of tasks, such as word processing, communication or database management.
  • Data architecture— describes how the enterprise data stores are organized and accessed. Data refers to a collection of organized information; usually the result of experience, intelligence, observation or other important information within the enterprise
  • Technical architecture—describes the hardware and software infrastructure that supports applications and their interaction

TOGAF involves phases. A preliminary phase is one that defines architecture principles and governance. The preliminary phase is about developing the framework to be used, and defining both business and architecture principles that will inform any architecture work. The next phase of TOGAF is the architecture vision phase. This phase validates business principles, business goals, and strategic business drivers for the company. It defines the architecture effort, the vision and the goals of the architecture according to the business principles. This phase should secure the alignment between business and the architecture goals, and it needs a secure formal approval to proceed. The next phases of the TOGAF framework are about defining the business architecture, information systems, technology architecture, migrating, defining opportunities and implementing.

  • The Federal Enterprise Architecture— can be viewed as either a methodology for creating EA or the result of applying process to a particular enterprise .It consists of five reference models namely: business, service, components, technical, and data. It provides standard terms and definitions to facilitate collaboration and sharing across the federal government. EA provides a perspective on how EA should be, with a set of reference models for describing different perspectives of the enterprise architecture. It also includes a process for creating an EA and way to measure the success of EA to drive business value.
  • The Gartner Methodology— believes that EA is a continuous process from the current state to the future state. The goal of a company is the starting point of EA rather than a present state of the company. It is about bringing together three constituents: business owners, information specialists, the technology implementers to a common vision that drives business value.

Analysis of various frameworks helps to understand that none of the enterprise architecture methodologies is really complete or will be able to fit the requirements for every enterprise. Each has its strengths and weaknesses . The process of selecting the right framework for enterprise architecture development has become increasingly challenging for organizations.

As found in the survey conducted, 54% use a hybrid EA methodology for enterprise architecture development by combining various bits and pieces of each of the methodologies . For instance, StatoilHydro has used parts of the TOGAF ADM and Gartner. And Oracle created a hybrid EA framework, influenced by TOGAF, FEA and Gartner.

However, 26% use a popular framework such as The Department of Social Security (DSS) or Chubb Insurance used TOGAF as a blueprint , 9 % use an original EA framework and only 5 % of the people surveyed use a consulting firm framework such as IAG NZ used Sparx Systems .

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