Enterprise Architecture Perspectives

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is about the organizational and technological entities in an enterprise, and the relations between them. As an activity, the goal of EA is to improve how all these entities support the business and IT goals in a better way, not just solution by solution, project by project, but for the business as a whole.




Each of these perspectives are assessed, evaluated and defined in several phases, both with respect to today's situation and the target architecture.

processes (business architecture)

  • process maps
  • identification of business process improvement candidates
  • target business process designs

information (information architecture)

  • capturing the concepts flowing through the essential business processes
  • defining an information model supporting future processes
  • enabling masterdata management
  • enalbing the definition of a common domain model in a service oriented architecture

applications (functional application architecture)

  • which applications are used by which users, in which business units, supporting which functions
  • evaluating consolidation vs. best-of-breed options
  • information architecture and application architecture - assessing scattered information entities and defining which applications should master which data

services and interfaces

  • service composition architecture
  • high level interfaces between business critical applications
  • information architecture and SOA - using business language to build a common information model across all system specific information models

technology (infrastructure/technology architecture)

  • the systems supporting the applications
  • the platforms supporting application deployment
  • the platforms supporting service and integration implementation
  • the platforms supporting business process management

integrations

  • integration scenarios and integration architecture patterns
  • when to think SOA, EAI, ETL or simply point-to-point
  • integration technologies, protocols etc.
  • wholistic integration strategy

operations

  • infrastructure locations and outsourcing
  • operational risks and vulnarability
  • adapting infrastructure and operations to risks

security

  • securing processes, data, services and applications
  • balancing freedom of roles with needs of access
  • combining single-sign-on with service orientation
  • network zoning

Enterprise Architecture Phases

EA is mainly about defining a target architecture, and planning how to establish it. In order to get there, there are a number of phases you need to go through. You also need to execute these iteratively, because you need to adapt to internal or external changes, and you want your models to always give a realistic view of the organization's processes, information, services, applications and technology.



Each phase uses the wheel of architecture perspectives, described to the left, to guide the scenario-based analysis.

quality criteria definition

Defining what characterizes "good" architecture. F.ex. with respect to data quality, level of process automation, separation of concerns, standardization etc. The criteria are based on business and IT goals.

as-is analysis

Describing today's architecture, f.ex. which processes constitutes the business, which information flows currently through the processes, how is data mastered across the application landscape, how are typical integration scenarios solved etc. The as-is architecture is then evaluated against the quality criteria.

architecture vision

The business strategy, the IT strategy, the quality criteria and an the evaluation of the as-is architecture, all give input to a vision of which architecture may bring the enterprise closer to its goals. The definition of architecture principles for business, information, application, integration, service, security and technology architecture set the direction for the next phases.

target architecture

The target enterprise architecture iteratively focus on the best candidates for improvement, within business processes, how applications are used across the business, how information is shared and how the processes, information and services are supported by technology. Different scenarios, combining the various architecture perspectives, are evaluated, and the phase ends up in a consolidated target architecture.

architecture performance

The target architecture is evaluated against the same criteria as the as-is architecture was. This is the basis for evaluating the business impacts from the changes implied by the target architecture.

transition architectures

This is about defining the tasks required to get from the as-is state to the target state, and which stable transition states the organization can reach on its way to an established target architecture.

architecture roadmap

A complete and realistic set of tasks/projects, like establishing service oriented architecture, establishing platforms, acquiring applications, improving business processes and improving the masterdata manaagement. These tasks/projects will lead the enterprise through a set of transition architectures, all the way to the target architecture.

improving governance

Improve the routines, organizational structures, processes and frameworks for the coming phases of EA evolution.