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What is Enterprise Architecture and how it can improve our organisation ?

Enterprise Architecture represents the fundamental description of an organisation, its structure, the information that it requires, the business processes that use and produce the information, its software applications that provide the services the business processes depend on, the structure of the application components, products, their interrelationships to each other and the technical infrastructure and environment in which they operate, all driven by the strategy, which states the principles, standards, etc. that govern their design and evolution over time. It also covers the performance and measures necessary to track the enterprise.

The Enterprise Architecture is used to support IT Management decisions for:

  • consolidation
  • improving performance
  • communication
  • governance and compliance
  • innovation
  • improving efficiency
  • making cost savings
  • realising strategies

The Business Principles are the most important drives that shape and govern the Enterprise Architecture and Solutions built by delivery projects.

The Architecture Principles concern the Enterprise Architecture and there will be separate architecture principles for each Architecture Domain (e.g. Business Services, Process Architecture, Information Architecture, Application Architecture and Technology Architecture).

The EA Vision is a statement of the primary goals and objectives desired in the future.

Application Development projects are normally aimed at fulfilling the business requirements which are themselves part of the target Operating Model, although some tactical projects may be undertaken.

The Target Enterprise Architecture realises a to-be architecture that embodies the target Operating Model, Business and IT strategies, enterprise vision etc. It represents a bridge between the enterprise vision and the application development projects.
Once the work in an application development projects is completed, the solution architecture becomes part of the overall Current Enterprise Architecture models

Why drawing a parallel between architecture ?

There is an analogy between the architecture of a building and the architecture of information systems. An Architecture is the fundamental organisation of a system, embodied in its services and components, their relationships to each other and the environment, and the principles governing their design and evolution.

Concretly, how do Enterprise Architecture tools can help me ?

Some objectives of Enterprise Architecture :

  • Help the Enterprise Architecture team to define and explain gaps (between the principles and practice)
  • Help for consistent application design across all delivery projects in the organisation
  • Provide reduction in costs and effort for the delivery projects
  • Help to achieve the organisation's strategies, vision and Target Operating Model
  • Help to communicate the “Big picture” to the Architecture Review Board
  • Provide the flexibility to include new ideas in the future (for example, the introduction of a service oriented architecture approach)
  • Enable faster decision making, avoiding the need for long studies
  • Enable the understanding of strategic versus project deliverables

An Enterprise Architecture is a set of models and documents that assists organisations to understand their own structure and the way they work.
It defined as the structure of all the systems belonging to an organisation in terms of its information, processes, applications, service, components, technology, the relationships between all the different perspectives and viewpoints and the underlying principles and processes that bind them all together.

It provides a repository of information that improves decision making regarding business and technology changes and systematic IT planning.

Credit to the author : Adrian Campbell

Infography credit : created by Lee from Noun Project

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