Volume 1


Enterprise Architecture as a Context for ERP Implementation

This article examines how Enterprise Architecture (EA) can provide the planning, documentation, and standards context for the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. This article also serves to establish a foundation for further research and discussion on the relationship between EA and ERP systems. ERP systems implementations can include the simultaneous or sequential introduction of new or upgraded applications software in a number of functional areas across an enterprise. EA integrates strategic, business, and technology planning across the enterprise, as well as providing standards and configuration management capabilities that support the ongoing transition from current to future architectures. In that EA documents and links an enterprise’s strategic goals, business processes, and technology solutions, ERP applications are part of EA. The authors argue that the selection and implementation of ERP applications should therefore be based on the strategic priorities, business requirements, and technology standards that the EA documents. EA can help to lower the risk of ERP implementation failure by providing a clear view of current and future technology operating environments and ways in which the ERP application can (or cannot) help to meet strategic goals and business requirements. Therefore, ERP implementations should be done in the context of EA during, and after the implementation to identify obstacles to success, the impact on existing processes and resources, and most importantly, to document lessons learned, which will promote the success of future initiatives.

Service Oriented Architectures: The State of Play in Australia

The notion of Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) has received considerable attention in the commercial literature over the past two years, but a consistent definition of what an SOA really is, and what it does, has yet to emerge, and almost no empirical research has been conducted to find out what SOAs means to the IT practitioners charged with implementing them in businesses and government organizations. This study attempts to address this gap by reporting on the results a qualitative research study conducted to ascertain what service-oriented architectures meant in practice to the IT practitioners working on them in 23 large Australian organizations. The findings are then used to draw some conclusions on how SOAs can be expected to evolve in the organizations in the future.

CMM-Based EA: Achieving the Next Level of Enterprise Architecture Capacity and Performance

Typically, organizations start their enterprise architecture (EA) journey using non-integrated point-applications including documents, spreadsheets, and databases. While this approach to EA is initially easy and convenient, it inevitably leads to continuous reconciliation, the inefficient use of scarce resources, and eventual frustration. This is because point application tools lack the power to maintain the consistency of multiple EA models across EA teams and organizations. As a result, accurate cross-enterprise EA analyses are typically time and resource intensive, or are impossible to effectively perform. Moving from point tools EA to the capabilities of Capability Maturity Model (CMM)-based EA is more than a simple technology issue. The purpose of this article is to help organizations understand the potential benefits and dimensions required to implement CMM-based EA effectively. CMM-based EA is flexible enough that it can be successfully applied to the civilian and defense government programs.

Managing Enterprise Culture and Politics

Good engineering solutions are not enough to guarantee success in Enterprise Architecture. One must also understand the culture and politics of enterprises, as well as the shape of the human landscape (as opposed to the technology landscape) in which Enterprise Architecture solutions will be deployed. This article uses the analogy of intelligence gathering to identify and explore the perspectives necessary to decode an enterprise’s culture and politics, and looks at the application of that knowledge to the effective implementation of Enterprise Architecture.

Implementing Enterprise Architecture at the U.S. Secret Service

This article describes a ten-step process used by the United States Secret Service to build its Enterprise Architecture (EA) program. EA is the discipline that synthesizes key business and technical information across the organization to support better decision-making. The Secret Service program improves on the traditional approach to EA by going beyond the collection of voluminous information to synthesize and present it in a useful and useable format for decision-makers. It achieves this by using a clear framework, incorporating a three-tier approach to displaying the information, and drawing on principles of communication and design in a 10-step process.