Issue 3


The Globalization of Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise architects are key stakeholders in major societal trends, including economic trends, business trends, and in-particular, information technology (IT) industry trends. 2006 is a turning point in the globalization of IT, with the industry’s largest firm, IBM, hosting its first Wall Street analysts’ conference in India, and several major IT firms announcing plans to rapidly expand their offshore workforces. This paper introduces significant trends in IT global outsourcing, and explains why enterprise architects are impacted by ongoing globalization processes. We review existing practices for offshore development, best practices for EA with distributed development, and propose a future EA-driven method for global systems development, while ensuring an enduring role for enterprise architects in an era of globalized IT services.

The Future of Information Technology – Part I: From a Fragmented to a Monolithic Enterprise Architecture

While abstract, IT enterprise architecture has shaped, is shaping, and will continue to shape information technology. For the emerging Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), Enterprise architecture is one of at least two types of IT architectures, the other being a supply chain supporting architecture (which is known as Internet architecture, SOA 2.0, etc.). Enterprise architecture is directly controlled by a single organization, while supply chain architecture enables and supports multiple independent organizations allied for a common goal, like the production of a new aircraft, a movie, or support of the business traveler. This paper is in four parts and focuses on constructing agile enterprise architecture to align IT with organizational process goals and strategies, helping to ensure the organization’s success in a constantly changing economic and political environment.

Developing the Enterprise Architecture Management Guide

This article is the first of a series of progress reports that describes the development of the Enterprise Architecture Management Guide (EAMG), which seeks to provide a common reference for EA standards, best practices, definitions, and terminology. The EAMG is a living document that is being developed collaboratively by enterprise architecture practitioners through the sponsorship of the Association of Enterprise Architects (a|EA). The article describes the purpose of the EAMG, the method being used for developing and maintaining the EAMG, and its current status.

A Real Options Perspective to Enterprise Architecture as an Investment Activity

The ever-increasing expenditure on information technology (IT) is accompanied by an increasing demand to measure the business value of such investments. This has prompted enterprises to take an architectural view of their information systems (IS) and supporting technologies. However, many crucial enterprise architecture frameworks and guidelines are characterized by lack of adequate theoretical or conceptual foundations. Important but inadequately formulated concepts include architectural assessments, governance and architecture maturity models. These, though central to the enterprise architecture blueprinting and implementation process, remain in their current formulations largely wisdom driven rather than engineering based approaches. Absence of adequate scientific or mathematical foundations for enterprise design and engineering significantly impede enterprise architecture initiatives. The current body of knowledge is limited to reference architectures where the implementation challenges are left to the enterprises themselves. This paper views enterprise architecture development as largely a process of decision making under uncertainty and incomplete knowledge. Taking value maximization as the primary objective of the enterprise architecture decision-making process, the paper attempts to develop guidelines for value enhancement. The paper assumes that portions of the value in an enterprise architecture initiative is in the form of embedded options (real options), which provide architects with valuable flexibility to change plans, as uncertainties are resolved over time. Plausibility of using such an approach to develop a better account of critical enterprise architecture practice is focused on three areas: (1) the timing of critical architectural decisions; (2) architecture development for adaptability and change; and (3) phased approach to enterprise architecture maturity enhancement.