Enterprise Architecture as Strategy Essay
Enterprise Architecture as Strategy
Technology is shifting at a faster rate resulting in development of new methods that assist in completion of certain technological demand. This has given birth to different enterprise architecture frameworks that fulfill the requirements of day-to-day activities. Architecture is a framework of guidelines, principles, models, standards and strategies that directs, construction and development of business process, design and information and resources through enterprise. Hence, enterprise architecture is a blueprint, which defines the structure and operation of a given organization (Fowler & Rice 2003).
Thus, a foundation in which an organization can determine how to achieve current and future aims. There are many types of EA frameworks with specified capabilities. Some of these frameworks include ToGAF, Zachman, FEAF, DoDAF and EAP. The aim of this paper is to analyze ToGAF, and analyze how it compares with other EA frameworks. The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is an enterprise architecture framework, which approaches the development of enterprise information architecture through design, planning, governance and implementation.
This EA framework employs four pillars to achieve its goals: Application, Business, Technology and Data. Before the architect plans for current and future aims of the organization, they are provided with foundation architectures that form the basis that they will use for the new development. The four pillars play a crucial role in ensuring that the process is successful. Business architecture allows the definition of governance, business strategy, the organization and any other important processes of the given organization.
Applications architecture allows the provision of the blueprint for the specific application to enable the interaction, deployment and create relationships between the important business processes of a given organization. Data architecture describes the structure of the given organization and defines physical and logical data assets that are in the given organization. Technical architecture defines the software, hardware and network infrastructure that is in place and the required technical resources to accomplish the mission in question.
The original aim of the TOGAF was to design and develop technology architecture for a given business entity. However, the framework has evolved becoming a methodology that is used to analyze overall business architecture. This resulted into splitting of the enterprise methodology into two parts: Architecture Development Method (ADM) and Enterprise continuum. The ADM ensures that the enterprise architecture meets the requirements of the organization in terms of business needs and information technology needs.
Its ability to be tailored ensures that organizational needs are factored in each of the different execution steps of the architecture planning process. The process is usually cyclic and iterative because the entire process is split into phases. The ADM supports nine phases; the first is the preliminary and the second to the ninth ranges from Phase A to Phase H. Each phase requirements are checked and ensured that it fulfills its basic needs. For example, Phase C combines Application and Data architecture and phase B and C ensure that the clarity of the information architecture is achieved (Lankhorst 2005).
For the ADM to be successful, Enterprise Continuum comes handy. Generally, the Enterprise Continuum can be seen as a ‘virtual repository’ of all the assets of the architecture that is in an organization. These assets may include architectural patterns, architectural models, architecture descriptions and other important artifacts. Enterprise Continuum brings together Solutions and Architecture Continuum. The Architecture Continuum structures the re-usable architecture assets, which brings together representations, rules, relationships of information systems that are available to the enterprise.
The Solutions Continuum defines the blocks that are used by the Architecture Continuum. This then allows the architectural building models and blocks that assists building the architecture design and eliminates ambiguity during analysis and implementation of the process. Usually there is a relationship between the different EA frameworks in terms of how it operates and ways that enables it to accomplish its duties. Zachman Framework and TOGAF ADM part share some common features. ADM mapping in relation to the Zachman Framework supports a correlation.
The Zachman Framework has a well established and comprehensive taxonomy that supports various models, viewpoints and other important artifacts, which an enterprise may consider developing as a phase of the EA (White 2007). The Zachman Framework covers the 30 cells, but the TOGAF does not cover all the cells. However, it is possible for the TOGAF to develop viewpoints to accomplish aspects of Zachman Framework. Nevertheless, there are some viewpoints that are supported by TOGAF, which are not included in the Zachman Framework. For example, the missing viewpoints include manageability and security.
The purpose of the architecture is to define viewpoints, an aspect that is supported by the TOGAF ADM but lacks in Zachman Framework. Zachman Framework vertical axis provides a source of potential viewpoints while the horizontal may provide generic taxonomy concerns. Thus, the Zachman Framework does not have means for processes for conformant views or developing viewpoints. Hence, it does not employ a perspective that is shown by TOGAF’s ADM. FEAF structure resembles with TOGAF because it is portioned into Data, Business, Technology and Applications Architectures.
Thus, it contains guidance that is analogous to TOGAF architecture and its architectural viewpoints and perspectives. However, the rows that are in the FEAF matrix do not directly map to TOGAF structure. However, the mapping of ADM to Zachman Framework has some correlation between TOGAF and FEAF. Hence, the columns that are in the FEAF matrix correspond to the three architecture domains that are supported by TOGAF; the fourth TOGAF domain covers business architecture that lacks in the FEAF structure.
Enterprise Architecture Planning (EAP) is a framework that brings together Applications, Information and Technology Architectures in fulfilling the requirements of architecture. Thus, it shares many concepts with TOGAF because the aim of EAP is to form blueprints for architectures to solve business problems. Moreover, EAP supports the nine phases that are supported by the TOGAF (White 2007). The first three phases in the EAP (Business Architecture) maps to the Phase B of TOGAF ADM. Baseline Description, which is the step 4 in EAP maps to Phases C and D of TOGAF ADM.
These are some of the basic features that both frameworks share. However, EAP does not support taxonomy of various views and viewpoints when compared to the TOGAF architecture. Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) defines the architecture systems into consistent and complementary views. It defines a structure and mechanisms that help in understanding, visualizing and assimilating the complexities and broad scope of a given architecture design through tabular, graphic and textual means. Thus, it shares minimal aspect with TOGAF.
In fact, TOGAF focus on the methodology of architecture in terms of “how to” without bringing into consideration architecture description constructs. This perspective is different when it comes to the DODAF architecture. DoDAF main functionality focus on the architecture through a given set of views without any specified methodology, a perspective that is different from TOGAF, which has a specific methodology (Bernus & Fox 2005). ADM guides the way that TOGAF operates, an aspect that is less exhibited in the DoDAF.
This is because the purpose of architecture determines description of use and supports a well tailored process to fulfill the requirements of the EA (McGovern & Ambler 2003). DODAF requires that all information, analysis and products to build should be put forefront before building the architecture. However, TOGAF specify certain requirements that should be in place and grouped into the four pillars. DoDAF supports three “views” System, Operational and Technical while the TOGAF support four views. However, “views” in DoDAF differs from the view that is seen in the TOGAF.
Deliverables and artifacts that are defined in the DoDAF have no corresponding parts in the TOGAF ADM. This is because DoDAF goes deeper in determining details of the specific architecture. Thus, DoDAF are at the system design level rather than in TOGAF, which is in the architecture level. Nevertheless, the level of detail can be included in the ADM especially at Phase B, C and D of the TOGAF. Enterprise Architecture plays an important role in ensuring that the business strategy and the requirements of a certain process are achieved.
TOGAF approach is useful in achieving a business-oriented process through a well defined methodology. TOGAF have common features and minor differences with other EA such as the Zachman, FEAF, DoDAF and EAP. The view and viewpoint that is incorporated by the TOGAF ensures that the requirements of the organization are achieved. Thus, TOGAF plays an important role, which is envisaged by other Enterprise Architecture Framework. It fulfills the requirements that it is assigned, however, fulfills it different from the other EA frameworks. References
Bernus, P. & Fox, M. (2005). Knowledge Sharing in the Integrated Enterprise: Interoperability Strategies for the Enterprise Architect. London: Birkhauser. The book addresses Enterprise Architectures and Enterprise Integration in a way that makes it easy to utilize Enterprise Models and other Modeling Tools. It brings together the different models and forms of a framework into fulfilling a requirement. Thus, it develops interchange models between the given modeling tools, maintain its interdependencies and knowledge on the re-use of enterprise models.
The authors also provide means towards the achievement of the ISO9001:2000. The book brings into consideration Design of Information Infrastructure Systems for Manufacturing (DIISM’04) and International Conference on Enterprise Integration and Modeling Technology (ICEIMT’04). Fowler, M. & Rice, D. (2003). Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture. New York: Addison-Wesley Publishers. The book provides proven solutions to the problems that are experienced by information system developers.
The book utilizes code example in terms of C+ and Java. The book turns the problems that are associated with enterprise applications developers into a new strategy that eliminates these problems and ensures that the developers are in an environment that they can easily embrace. The authors’ helps professionals to understand complex issues associated with architecture. The book shows that architecture is crucial in completion of application development and multi-user environment.
In addition, the book provides patterns and context in EA that enables the reader to have proper means to make the right decisions. Lankhorst, M. (2005). Enterprise Architecture at Work: Modeling, Communication, and Analysis. New York: Springer. The authors bring clearly the complexities that are associated with architectural domains. It brings into consideration description of the enterprise architecture and fulfillment into an organization in terms of processes, structure, systems, applications and techniques.
The book brings into consideration description of components and unambiguous specification to allow for a logical modeling language. They utilize their skills in ensuring that the architects have concrete skills that fulfill the architectural practice. It also gives means that allows communication between stakeholders that are involved in these architectures. The authors also provide means to assess both qualitative impact and quantitative aspects of the given architectures. Modeling language that is utilized has been used in real-life cases.
McGovern, J. & Ambler, S. (2003). A practical Guide to Enterprise Architecture. New York: Prentice Hall PTR. The authors of the book have hands-on experience in solving real-world problems for major corporations. The book contains guidelines that assist the architects to make sense of the systems, data, services, software, methodologies, and product lines. The book also provides explanation of the theory and its application to the real world business needs. Perks, C. & Beveridge, T. (2003). Guide to Enterprise IT Architecture.
New York: Springer Publishers. The book brings into consideration different Enterprise Architecture frameworks. The authors’ clearly explains development of a modeling concept through various technical architecture, e-business and gap analysis. Moreover, the book brings into consideration operating systems and software engineering principles. Moreover, the book relates EA with service instances, distributed computing, application software and enterprise application integration. Ross, J. & Weill, P. (2006).
Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution. Chicago: Harvard Business Press. The aim of EA is to define the requirements of an organization in terms of job roles, standardized tasks, infrastructure, system and data. Moreover, the book also gives guidelines in the way that organizations will compete in a digitalized world providing managers with means to make decisions and realize visions that they had planned. Thus, the book explains EA vital role in fulfilling the execution of a given business strategy.
The book provides thoughtful case examples, clear frameworks, and a proven and effective way of achieving EA. Scheer, A. & Kruppke, H. (2006). Agility by ARIS Business Process Management. New York: Springer Publishers. The authors’ brings into consideration the benefits that are associated with utilizing of varies EA frameworks. It brings into consideration the various differences that are seen in each EA framework. Moreover, the authors explores the benefits that will result if a given framework is utilized in a given business strategy.
Thus, the book is business oriented with EA playing an important role. Schekkerman, J. (2003). How to Survive in the Jungle of Enterprise Architecture Frameworks, 2nd Ed. New York: Trafford Publishers. This book defines the role that is played by enterprise Architecture Frameworks bringing clearly the main difference between the common Enterprise Architecture Frameworks. This book provides the right procedures and means that can allow selection of the right Enterprise Architecture Framework.
The book further gives the history and overview of various Enterprise Architecture Frameworks and the capabilities that the specified Enterprise Architecture. Some common features of EA that the book explores are principles, purpose, scope, structure, and compliance and guidance to ensure that the right EA is chosen. Wagter, R. & Steenbergen, M. (2005). Dynamic Enterprise Architecture: How to Make it work. New York: John Wiley and Sons Publications. The authors of the book present a way towards EA that enables organizations to achieve the objectives of their business.
The book focuses on governance of the IT organization, advice and strategies provide tangible tools that assist in the achievement of the goals of the organization. If all the directives are followed the organization will achieve its goals at a faster speed. White, J. (2007). Managing Information in the Public Sector. New York: M. E. Sharpe. The book covers the basis of information technology, political and managerial issues that revolve the EA. This book is specifically written for the public and it covers all problems that are related to IT and the public.