Enterprise architecture has become a loaded term, and it means different things to different people. So, let’s have a look at the definition of enterprise architecture (EA). According to TechTarget, an enterprise architecture (EA) is a conceptual blueprint that defines the structure and operation of an organization. The intent of an enterprise architecture is to determine how an organization can most effectively achieve its current and future objectives. Gartner Consulting says, “Enterprise architecture provides a decision framework, in the context of the business strategy, for the use of technology in the enterprise. In other words, the architecture is responsible for defining how technology will be used to support the business strategy and benefit the business.”
Is there a need for enterprise architecture? As someone who has seen his share of silos of applications, duplication, redundancy, no strategic agility, and anarchic dysfunction at different organizations, I can clearly state that organizations need to have an enterprise architecture (EA) program in place. Organisations from a wide range of industry sectors who have adopted an architecture approach, report the following business benefits:
- Improved decision making, improved adaptability to changing demands or market conditions, elimination of inefficient and redundant processes, optimization of the use of organizational assets
- Upgrades or new requirements could be added seamlessly
- Better decision making on buy vs. build an app
- Faster time-to-market for new products or even operational innovations
Watch this video by Gerben Wierda where he does a good job on explaining the need for Enterprise Architecture:
Folks wishing to learn more about EA should review TOGAF®, The Open Group Architecture Framework, which offers a detailed method for developing an enterprise architecture and the practice to support it. The Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) is another architecture framework for the United States Department of Defense (DoD) that provides visualization infrastructure for specific stakeholders concerns through viewpoints organized by various views.
Microsoft’s Virtual Academy also has an on-demand course here which provides an overview of a typical architectural process and explains how the process is mapped to this curriculum.