Business & Technical Consultants

What can I expect from EA?

Implementing an EA reveals opportunities for efficiencies from:

  • Standardization
  • Interoperability
  • Adaptability
  • Scalability
  • Increased Manageability
  • What is Enterprise Architecture?

    Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a best-practice management discipline which is becoming an increasingly essential ingredient for designing and supporting modern organizations and operating entities, in particular those which are complex, multi-level, and decentralized in design. It enables informed decision-making in alignment with strategic goals formulation and business planning by applying comprehensive and rigorous methods for describing current and/or future structures and behaviors for an organization’s processes, information systems, personnel and organizational sub-units. It ensures alignment with the organization’s core goals and strategic vision and directions. Although the primary purpose of an enterprise architecture is to ensure that business strategy and IT investments are properly aligned, it relates generally to the practice of business optimization integrally addressing organizational issues such as policy, structure, processes, sequencing, prioritization, and performances well as culture and social dynamics.

    How is EA Done?

    he practice of EA involves developing or selecting an architecture framework to describe a series of “current”, “intermediate” and “target” reference architectures and applying them to align programs of change. These frameworks detail the organizations, roles, entities and relationships that exist, or should exist, to perform a set of business processes and enables traceability down to the underlying technology that supports them. This framework provides a rigorous taxonomy and ontology that clearly describes what processes a business performs and details information about how and why those processes are executed. The cyclical end products are a set of interrelated artifacts (documents, drawings and models) that illustrate in varying degrees of appropriate detail what a business does, how it does it, what resources are required, and to what degree the organization’s policies and strategies (or outcomes) are satisfied (achieved) in the process. These artifacts, often graphical and textual in form, vary in detail according to the time and cost invested in their development, as well as other practical considerations. They can include:

    • A comprehensive listing of business strategies;
    • Business process diagrams and descriptions;
    • Organizational charts;
    • Technical inventories;
    • Data definitions and models;
    • System and interface diagrams, and;
    • Network topologies.
    Each of these are developed with explicit relationships between and amongst them identified and mapped. When collected, properly managed and presented, often with specialized software tools available on the market, they provide decision-makers the means to make informed choices on issues such as:
    • How, when and where to invest resources;
    • Where to align organizational goals and priorities;
    • How to improve processes, and;
    • Which policies and procedures will best support core missions or business functions.

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    Background on EA development

    Much of Enterprise Architecture’s origins are from the field of management sciences, and in the works of such notables as Fredrick Taylor, Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, Henry Gantt, and Peter Drucker, to name just a few. They, and many others, developed and helped advance such workplace related areas of study and practice as scientific management, industrial and quality engineering, time and motion studies, as well as related areas of sociology and psychology (e.g., industrial and organizational), etc., which have their influences in Enterprise Architecture today.

    Where else is EA being applied?

    Enterprise Architecture is also being practiced by many US state and local governments, as well as other public sector organizations worldwide. It has also been widely adopted in the commercial sector by many Fortune 500 companies, which have applied it to their organizations to improve business performance, productivity and profitability. EA is increasingly being utilized internationally in both government and the private sector in such places as the United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, Australia, Korea and New Zealand.