2007

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A Framework for Knowledge Discovery in Enterprise Architecture

The aim of research is to develop an information agent framework for knowledge discovery in enterprise architecture (EA). This framework is based on specific purpose ontology and knowledge discovery techniques. Such a framework would facilitate strategic decision making for EA stakeholders by enabling them to analyze and monitor the portfolio of processes, data, applications, and organizational units in term of their correlation and impact in the overall organization. This framework is very useful for affording key stakeholders with the appropriate view that is reliant on an accurate and concise picture of systems, applications, technologies and other infrastructure elements in the business and how these integrate to serve the enterprise. The article discusses the concepts and components of this framework. Potential benefits of this framework over existing approaches are also described.

A Framework for Local Project Architecture in the Context of Enterprise Architecture

Little scientific research yet to be done on local projects conforming to Enterprise Architecture (EA). To lay foundations for such research, this article presents a theoretical framework for defining the Project Architecture (PA) in the context of working with EA. One part of the PA is the Project Start Architecture (PSA), which bounds the local project to the EA and/or Domain Architecture (DA). We start with explicating the context of a PSA in terms of its relation to the EA and DA. Subsequently, we define the PA in terms of three dimensions. The first dimension contains four aspect areas. The second dimension features four abstraction levels. The third dimension contains two project content categories: the PSA (containing prescription inherited from the EA an/or DA) and the PED (the Project Exclusive Design, containing the fundamental analysis and design artifacts that have been created specifically for the project). A real-life case is used to help illustrate and validate the theoretical framework. Additionally, a mapping with RUP artifacts is made to further clarify the framework of the PA with examples of well-known analysis and design artifact types.

Making Sense of Enterprise Architectures as Tools of Organizational Self-Awareness

This article builds on the capability of enterprise architectures (EAs) to define the organization’s systems development environment but places special emphasis on their power as communication tools. The concept of Organizational Self-Awareness (OSA) is offered as the contextual framework for the discussion. OSA is a process which involves, firstly, the efforts of the individual organizational member in getting to know his/her work environment, through sense-making. Sense-making is influenced by a number of factors, some related to the individual’s psychological makeup, others related to the individual’s work environment. EAs can play a relevant role in sense-making. From activity theory the article highlights the process of consciousness formation in human beings as well as the mediating artifacts that shape an constrain the acquisition, accumulation and development of knowledge and self-knowledge. Among the many mediating artifacts in the work environment EAs are a special type. EAs are also boundary objects due to their organizational sense-making. The article concludes that the design and use of EAs can play a crucial role in the formation of a collective mind about the state of the organizational processes and therefore about the state of the organization.

The Service-Oriented Enterprise

Today’s organizations are changing with respect to both structure and internal working processes. As a consequence of tends such as globalization, deregulation and highly volatile markets, corporations are forced to increase their responsiveness to temporary requirements or business opportunities. Most existing organizational theories do not apply to the emerging sort of enterprise which incorporates principles such as structural decentralization, loose coupling of autonomously acting business units as well as complexity hiding on the basis of uniform interfaces. This work briefly elaborates on the concept of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) in the field of information technology and proposes a first approach to mapping its major underlying principles to upcoming forms of organizations. We present a model of the Service-Oriented Enterprise (SOE) and leverage use cases of existing companies as well as recent theoretical approaches to demonstrate the analogy between state-of-the-art paradigms in the fields of both technology and organizational theory.

Towards a Generic Evaluation Model for Enterprise Architecture

During the past few years, enterprise architectures (EAs) have become one of the major interests of both business and information technology (IT) practitioners and academics. It has been suggested that EA is an approach for controlling the complexity and constant changes in the organization’s business environment. Research has mainly focused on the development and modeling of EAs, while the quality aspects of EA have only recently gained attention, especially in the form of EA maturity models. These models have been developed to provide a means to evaluate the stage – and the quality – of the organization’s EA. While most existing maturity models seem to be domain-specific, this study aims at developing a more generic evaluation model for EA usable in private sector organizations, regardless of their lines of businesses. The generic evaluation model is based on the combination of the potential critical success factors for EA, defined in the previous steps of the project, and the maturity stages. The initial generic evaluation model for EA was trailed in three organization. The experiences and needs for improving the evaluation model derived from these cases are also represented.