What is enterprise architecture?
It is a description of the architecture of an enterprise, either its current architecture, a transition architecture, or its intended architecture.
It is really that plain and simple.
What is enterprise architecture about?
It is about enhancing the designing and the design of enterprises to realise greater integration and wholeness.
Of course, this prompts many other questions:
- Why would we bother to describe the current or intended architecture of our enterprise?
- What is encompassed within a description of our current, transition or intended architecture?
- What do we already do that is part of describing our current or intended architecture?
- How does a systems perspective contribute to consideration of the architecture of an enterprise?
- What principles underpin the thinking and practice of describing the architecture of enterprises?
- How would we describe the current or intended architecture of our enterprise?
- What value would we derive from describing the current or intended architecture of our enterprise?
- What does enterprise architecting entail?
- How does this relate to other forms of architecture (business architecture, application architecture, information architecture, process architecture)?
- How much effort should we invest (so that we derive a genuine net benefit from doing so)?
These questions will be explored in future posts.
Architecture enterprises …
- creates a framework within which more detailed design of the enterprise can occur, with the intent that the framework enables rather than constrains the enterprise, enabling the realisation of a more integrated enterprise
- provides a means of reducing the risks in designing and managing more agile, adaptive, viable and sustainable enterprises, reducing the cost and enhancing the outcomes of enterprise development, adaptation and transformation
- enables more coherent ongoing design and development of enterprises in a collaborative and distributed manner throughout the management and leadership of an enterprise through greater enterprise self-awareness and self-development
- utilises a simple set of concepts and methods which can be applied fractally to any enterprise and any part of an enterprise
Architecture enterprises involves looking for:
- the explicit models that the enterprise is using to describe itself or its intended self
- any gaps or inconsistencies that might be evident in these models
- any gaps or inconsistencies between current capability and intended capability represented by these models
- any gaps or inconsistencies that might be evident between the implicit models that are evident in how leaders think, communicate, decide and act and the explicit and then developing a more integrated set of models on which to base an assessment of capability gap and a transformation plan to address the priority gaps.
This is a distinctive activity which can add great value to an enterprise, depending on its maturity in addressing enterprise integration and wholeness.