Business transformation is increasingly a key driver for many organizations in today’s competitive environment where the focus is either on cost reduction by means of improving operational efficiency or on increasing the market share through innovation and other means of growth. Information Technology (IT) is looked upon as one of the key enablers for business innovation and competitive differentiation. As a result, many organizations identify a number of IT initiatives that enable business transformation and alignment of IT to business objectives and drivers. Such initiatives are often undertaken as part of large, multi-year business transformation programs that are aimed at changing and optimizing business processes and enhancing the IT capabilities that enable them. The initial effort and excitement of such changes often propel many transformational projects directly into an execution phase where focus is often on delivery without appropriate investments in program planning and further in planning and definition of the enterprise architecture. Such an approach often results in lack of appropriate guidance for the implementation projects and leads to large pitfalls. Organizations become unclear of what to deliver and how to deliver the change that can provide value to business and provide a return on the investment. Eventually this lack of planning leads to a failure to achieve the transformational objectives. This article highlights the need for enterprise architecture definition in large transformation programs, key considerations for defining the enterprise architecture, key challenges involved, and concludes with the benefits enterprise architecture brings to various stakeholders involved in transformation programs.
As the theory and practice of enterprise architecture became mature, researchers and practitioners have started applying similar concepts and approaches to virtual enterprises. The virtual enterprise is a temporary coalition of enterprises joining hands to exploit a particular opportunity. Virtual Enterprise Architecture addresses a Virtual Enterprise holistically at a strategic level. This article provides a definition of Enterprise Architecture, Virtual Enterprise, and Virtual Enterprise Architecture and presents results from a study of six approaches to virtual enterprise architecture for virtual enterprises (NEML, CAML, AVERM, VERAM, BM VEARM, and ARCON). Interestingly, all of these approaches attempt to provide a holistic coverage of Virtual Enterprises, but have significant difference in the way they approach it. This article is aimed as an aid for researchers and practitioners to study different approaches for strategic planning of enterprise architecture.
The increasing importance of Enterprise Architecture is driven by requirements for seamless inter-operation between business, rapidly changing market, and ever-changing information and systems technologies. Enterprise architecture defines the overall design structure of the business and the information and technical infrastructure that supports the business, based on defined principles and models that guide the planning and designing, building and operating the enterprise and its strategic choices. This article highlights the importance of a principles-based enterprise architecture framework as a design imperative for business service groups, information management teams, and application and technology solution groups; as as a foundation for achieving interoperability, integration, and alignment of an organization’s systems (business, information, technology) across an enterprise.