Volume 6


Re-thinking Enterprise Architecture Using Systems and Complexity Approaches

This article looks at the issues currently confronting enterprise architects and the challenges posed when extending EA to be the architecture of the enterprise rather than just its information technology. It describes the contribution that Systems Practice and other disciplines can make to Enterprise Architecture (EA), and considers how the Cynefin sense-making framework can be used to help indicate which are the most appropriate types of approach.

Using Structural Performance Ratios to Guide Investments in Enterprise Architecture

Measuring the structural performance of an enterprise offers essential insights into the strengths and weaknesses of its architecture. Executives and their Enterprise Architects need these measurements to guide and monitor their choices of where best to invest time, energy, and money in architectural innovations that enhance performance. Traditional approaches to Enterprise Architecture (EA) offer an abstract and overly-constraining view of its potential contribution to business performance, and of the options for achieving it. How does the Enterprise Architect move beyond these constraints, identify the most appropriate measures of structural performance, and choose the best practical and political interventions to ensure success?

Improve Cooperation and Alignment by Involving the Enterprise in the Architectural Development

In its current form, Enterprise Architecture (EA) is often confined to the IT domain. This confinement contradicts most theoretical definitions of the concept which emphasize that EA should span the entire enterprise to create coherency and alignment. To unleash EA from the IT domain, we suggest the utilization of Coherency Management (CM) to involve and embed employees in the architectural development. Our interpretation and version of CM is the result of a single case study of the global brewery Carlsberg, based on the issues experienced by Carlsberg when utilizing initiatives to design and document the enterprise. Qualitative interviews with managers from business units and strategic initiatives constituted the empirical data in our study. The case study‟s primary findings were that each strategic initiative delivered satisfactory results in itself, yet experienced problems regarding the cooperation with the other initiatives. The issues of designing the enterprise architecture were found to be a question of coordination and cooperation between the enterprise designers, rather than the performance and scope of each individual designer. Additionally, a lack of trust and awareness made it more difficult for the employees to benefit from the work of the strategic initiatives. Based on these findings, we assess that CM should be a means to leverage the information from the different initiatives and business units to form a holistic overview of the enterprise, and that CM should aim to improve and coordinate the design of the EA. To practice CM in an organization, we present the ExCoM framework consisting of three layers: Services, Continuous Activities, and Information Retrieval.

Issues on Enterprise Architecture Value

What is the Enterprise Architectures value and how it can be assessed and demonstrated has been a topic subject to an interesting discussion among practitioners and researchers. Although this discussion has continued for several years, there is still no consensus about what the value of an Enterprise Architecture is and how it can be demonstrated. The lack of a clear understanding of the concept of value, the need to consider different views (of stakeholders) in assessing the value, the difficulty in identifying the key variables that contribute to the value and how and on what terms they should be measured and, finally, the organization‟s need to quickly prove the architecture‟s value are, in our opinion, the main issues contributing to the complexity and difficulty in assessing the Enterprise Architecture‟s value. In this article we discuss these main issues on value assessment and we make an introductory reference to an approach based on Enterprise Architecture value drivers that is being studied and which may be useful to mitigate these problems and, consequently, used in value assessment of Enterprise Architectures.