In an increasingly digitized environment, enterprises face new challenges. Enabled by ubiquitous Internet accessibility, people, places, and products have become more interconnected and are gradually merging into the Internet of Everything. Simultaneously, a new generation of connected customers is emerging that is establishing new requirements for the capabilities of enterprises to communicate, interact, and respond to unforeseen events. As customer satisfaction is the central source of future competitiveness, companies must initiate a transformation towards a connected enterprise. By analyzing the characteristics of the connected customer, this paper presents guidelines for enterprises to address customer needs adequately and manage their operations in the Internet of Everything. Building upon established enterprise architecture frameworks, we apply a Design Science Research procedure to derive four practical recommendations. Thus, enterprises must manage their business processes holistically, implement information systems and standards for data exchange, provide mechanisms for real-time business intelligence, and determine their optimal degree of connectivity.
The classic development waterfall consists of two sequential stages. There is an ‘architectural synthesis’ stage that creates new architecture, new fundamental structure. This is followed by an ‘engineering design’ stage that develops and optimizes a system to satisfy requirements produced by the first stage. In addition, to having different goals, these two stages employ different tools, different processes, and demand different skills. Synthesis, the creation of new architecture, employs inductive reasoning, insight, and creative problem solving. Synthesis requires holistic solutions consistent with a single unified vision. As a result, the synthesis stage resists partitioning into subtasks. The synthesis of complex architectures stresses the capacity of individual architects and is best executed with Special Expert Teams (SETs). SETs are temporary task-directed teams of experts that benefit from special management tools. SETs have the capacity to conceptualize overarching concepts. This paper presents the concept of SETs for the creation of enterprise architecture.