2012

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Analyzing the Current Trends in Enterprise Architecture Frameworks

Analyzing the Current Trends in Enterprise Architecture FrameworksBrian H. Cameron and Eric McMillanAbstractEnterprise Architecture (EA) is gaining additional visibility and importance, and it is attaining higher levels of influence within many organizations today (Brownet al. 2010). As the importance and stature of EA grows, so too does the number of frameworks proposed to support the work of EA. This proliferation has led to an increasing challenge within organizations to develop a process for selecting the correct framework that best fits their unique needs, culture, and goals. Traditionally, EA frameworks have been used to facilitate alignment (Kaplan & Norton 2006) between the strategic goals and direction of the organization and the IT that supports the business units within the organization. This alignment process is a critical component to support the continued growth and success of a firm (Cuenca et al. 2010; Pombinho et al. 2012; Singh & Woo 2009). Despite several research studies that focused on a direct comparison of EA frameworks (Alghamdi 2009; McCarthy 2006; Tang et al. 2004; Urbaczewski & Mrdalj 2006a), there have been few studies aimed at capturing the information needed to support organizations in their decision-making process when selecting an EA framework (Armour et al. 1999). Also, as the usage of frameworks continues to mature within organizations, there has been little research conducted that documents the trends of both the usage and maturity of using frameworks within organizations. This research compares the attributes of various EA frameworks and provides a method to assist organizations in their efforts to choose an EA framework for their organization. The basis of this research is a survey that contains the responses from 276 participants whose job roles and responsibilities directly reflected working in EA within their organizations. This research was conducted in collaboration with leading EA industry associations, and the survey results provide a view of the current landscape of EA framework usage by a wide range of respondents worldwide and throughout many different organizations. The aim is that the inferences drawn from this survey will help support recommendations on a process that can be used to assist with the selection of an EA framework by organizations.

Extracting Real-World Value Out of EA

Many, if not most, US Federal Departments and agencies continue to spend millions of dollars annually on Enterprise Architecture (EA). Few government organizations extract anything of value from their EAs. For a large government agency, the authors matured the EA program with an integrated repository that supports executive decision-makers with actionable, fact-based enterprise viewpoints. The integrated repository and best practice EA methods are being successfully applied to Information Technology (IT) lifecycle governance, portfolio management, strategic planning, and complex multi-program analyses.

Enterprise Architecture Implementation Governance: Managing Meaning and Action

Existing approaches to the problems in the governance of Enterprise Architecture (EA) implementation are characterized largely as unambiguous and objective. Using the case study of a large Australian financial services organization, one such approach is examined critically. Existing governance approaches espouse generic solutions such as new governance structures, architectural modularity, decision-making models, frameworks, inter-organizational relations, and evolutionary rather than big-bang approaches. This study draws on the machine, organism, and brain metaphors from Morgan’s Images of Organizations (1986, 1997, 2006) to capture the contradictory and competing images and assumptions associated with the governance of an EA implementation and the social behaviors they imply. Findings from this case study suggest that the current emphasis on technical solutions is an oversight and that a broader approach, one that encompasses a partnership of technical and qualitative approaches, is required. Metaphors can be used to provide important insights into the attitudes and behaviors of Enterprise Architects toward their stakeholders and the assumptions they make about the social context of an EA implementation. It will be shown that metaphors provide Enterprise Architects with context-sensitive tools that allow them to fully appreciate the complex social world of an EA implementation.

Leveraging Enterprise Architecture for Reform and Modernization

The core of Enterprise Architecture (EA) work focuses on the improvement of businesses and transforming them into business desired states. Transformation through EA work requires heavy investment and necessitates the commitment of the organization’s executives. Dubai Customs is one of the most important Dubai Government Departments responsible for ensuring that the economy of Dubai is protected against fraudulent and dangerous goods (socially and commercially) by streamlining trade and goods clearance processes. Dubai Customs is also responsible for collecting revenue, and tracking and trending trade data to other Government Departments, Federal Agencies, and Ministries on behalf of Dubai Government. This case study highlights how Dubai Customs decided to build a sound EA to help them achieve their business goals.