Using information systems in supply chain management (SCM) has become commonplace, and therefore architectural issue are part of the agenda for this domain. This article uses three perspectives on enterprise architecture (EA) in the supply chain: The “correlation view,” the “remote view” and the “institutional view.” It is shown that the EA in the domain of supply chain has to meet quite a complicated set of demands. Drawing strongly Doucet et al. (2009) attention is given to the consideration on practical alignment and assurance strategies between EA and SCM. A case of an apparel company with a global supply chain using a bespoke ERP system for the supply chain support is presented and discussed. The case outlines potentials for an enhanced alignment and coherence between management, business processes and underlying information system; innovation is led by tighter integration with business partners, higher versatility in the adaption to formal business requirements and compliance. The case study suggests EA with Information Systems approach can work as a platform of comprehending and planning the changes of an enterprise on its own grounds.
Enterprise Architecture (EA), born in the private sector under fractured proprietary process methodologies, has matured into a serious discipline thanks to the funding strengths of the Federal Government and the dedication of many practitioners. Application of this systems engineering discipline has come about under the shadow of a federally-induced mandate, but with mixed results. The United States Office of Management and Budget’s primary focus on Information Technology (IT) has results in an inappropriate association of EA as an “IT thing” and has caused EA to lose credibility among business leadership. The author argues that EA can be about more than IT and more than a necessary evil. It can actually provide deep business value and provide a structure for breaking down and managing complex problem. From personal experience in applying EA to a private sector e-commerce solution for supply chain management, the author presents elements of an e-business approach that others can leverage to help craft an operational EA that generates more than expensive shelf-ware. EA can become crucial in day-to-day operations and can be used within executive ranks to drive business decisions.