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Using Enterprise Architecture to Integrate Business, Technology, and Business Planning

One of the greatest challenges that large, complex enterprises face is to develop a way to holistically see themselves as they currently are and as they want to be in the future. It is valuable for large, complex enterprises to be able to do this so they can optimize the use of current resources in accomplishing strategic goals and line-of-business objectives, as well as being able to model and analyze alternative future states that will improve agility and competitiveness. This article proposes that enterprise architecture (EA) is an effective way to develop current and future views of the entire enterprise, or parts of the enterprise, on an ongoing basis. EA does this primarily by integrating the processes for strategic, business, and technology planning in a way that also integrates with other business and technology governance processes (e.g., capital planning, program management, risk management, security, and workforce planning). EA also provides a detailed, repeatable, and scalable methodology for documentation and analysis that utilizes an organizing framework, documentation artifacts, a repository, and best practices. The EA3 Cube Framework™ and the “Living Enterprise™” repository (developed by the author in 2003) will be used to discuss how EA works and how it integrates with other areas of governance. The role of theory in grounding governance and best practices is discussed, and the “Organization Network Model” is introduced as a model of how modern organizations often function and as the underpinning of the EA3 Cube Framework. The article concludes by observing that EA is unique among existing management practices in that it provides a way to abstract and understand large, complex enterprises in their entirety, and is increasing being used on a global basis in the public and private sectors to support planning and decision-making at the executive, management, and staff levels of the enterprise, as well as to guide the selection and implementation of projects to achieve strategic and tactical goals.

Potential Critical Success Factors for Enterprise Architecture

During the past few years, enterprise architectures (EAs) have garnered considerable attention from both practitioners and academics in the fields of information systems and business management. It is suggested that EA is an approach for controlling the complexity and constant changes in the business environment of an organization. Research has mainly focused on the development and modeling of EA, while quality aspects of EA have gained less attention. The aim of this study is to provide insight into the critical success factors for EA representing issues that have to be done exceedingly well in order to achieve a high-quality EA, which in turn, enables business to gain more success.

The Future of Information Technology – Part II: Service Oriented Architecture (2006 to 2009)

Though it is largely an abstract concept, enterprise architecture (EA) has shaped, is shaping, and will continue to shape information technology. This four-part article traces the author’s observations and predictions about the current and future state of information technology, and the role that EA will play in that evolution. Part 2 of the series focuses on the emerging concept of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) during the next five years. EA provides context for SOA, just as it does for other types of information technology solution architectures. SOA focuses on constructing agile enterprises that align information technology with organizational processes, goals, and strategies, as well as helping to ensure the organization’s success in a constantly changing economic and political environment.

The Zachman Framework Populated with Baseball Models

Frameworks help people organize integrated models of their enterprises. This organization helps ensure interoperability of systems and helps control the cost of developing systems. The Zachman framework for enterprise architecture is a six by six classification schema, where the six rows represent different perspectives of the enterprise and the six columns illustrate different aspects. To ensure a complete and holistic understanding of the enterprise architecture, it is necessary to develop models that address the perspectives and aspects that constitute the rows and columns, respectively, of the framework. In this paper, a Zachman framework is populated with models for Baseball. These models should be easy to understand without a steep learning curve. Most of the cells in this example are filled with quantitative simulatable models that have been published in peer-reviewed journal papers. The other cells are filled with simple thought models. Jacques Barzun (1954) wrote, “Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game. From the perspective of the Zachman framework, the way to lean Baseball is to define the models within the framework, as presented in this paper.