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.
enterprise resource planning systems, ERP, enterprise architecture, context, implementation, standards, risk, critical success factors
About the authors
U. Yeliz Eseryel is a Ph.D. student at Syracuse University and an IT Project Manager at Welch Allyn, Inc. an international medical device manufacturer. She holds an MBA and a Master’s degree in Information Management from Syracuse University. Her experience in Enterprise Architecture includes support for EA projects at the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development while she was working with Booz | Allen | Hamilton and with PricewaterhouseCoopers. For the last three years, Yeliz has been working on Welch Allyn’s SAP™ implementation project. She recently managed the successful implementation of SAP’s™ Strategic Enterprise Management module at Welch Allyn. She was also the testing manager for Welch Allyn’s SAP™ roll-out in Europe from its Ireland office, which included the MM, PP, SD, CS, FI, CO and PLM modules. Yeliz teaches a managerial level ERP course for the Master’s program in Information Management at Syracuse’s main campus and Washington, DC facility. Her research interests include knowledge transfer and other success factors for ERP implementations, and social dynamics in virtual and Open Source Software development teams.
Nancy Wolff is the Director for the EA Center of Excellence at SRA International, Inc. Nancy holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has led several major projects in the areas of EA and ERP over her 15-year career in IT. Ms. Wolff is currently supporting EA programs at NASA and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), and she has provided strategic EA oversight and support to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, and the State of Georgia. Nancy has supported the implementation of Oracle™ Federal Financials at the U.S. Small Business Administration and prior to her work in the Federal Government, she led the successful implementation of Oracle’s™ Financial, HRMS, and Payroll applications in a private sector real estate firm that had over 14,000 employees, and went live in less than twelve months.
AEIOO (2005). ERP overview. Army Enterprise Integration Oversight Office, Arlington, VA. Downloaded: http://www.army.mil/aeioo/erp
Allen, B., & Boynton, A. (1991). Information architecture: In search of efficient flexibility. MIS Quarterly. Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 435-445.
Bernard, S. (2005). An introduction to enterprise architecture (2nd Ed.). Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.
Booch, G., Jacobson, I. & Rumbaugh. J. (1997) Unified Modeling Language, Version 1.0. January 1997. Rational, Inc.
Bulkeley, W.M. (1996). “A cautionary network tale: Fox-Meyer’s high-tech gamble.” Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition. November 18, 1996.
Calogero, B. (2000). “Who is to blame in ERP failure?” Serverworld, June 2000. Downloaded http://www.serverworldmagazine.com/sunserv er/2000/06/erp_fail.shtml
Cook, M. (1996). Building enterprise information architectures: Reengineering information systems., Upper Saddle River, NJ.: Prentice Hall PTR.
Davenport, T. (1998). Putting the enterprise into the enterprise system. Harvard Business Review. Vol. 76, No. 4, pp. 121–31.
Doane, M. (2002). SAP blue book: A concise business guide to the world of sap (5th ed.). New York.
Federal CIO Council (2001). A Practical Guide to Federal Enterprise Architecture. Version 1.0. Downloaded: http://www.gao.gov/bestpractices/bpeaguide.p df
James, D, & Seibert, G. (1999). Oracle financials handbook, planning & implementing the Oracle financial applications suite. McGraw-Hill Osborne Media; 2nd ed., 2001.
Kremzar, M., & Wallace, T. (2001). ERP: making it happen: The implementers’ guide to success with enterprise resource planning. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Lau, L. (2004). Managing business with SAP: Planning implementation and evaluation. Hershey, PA: Idea Group.
Markus, M. & Tanis, C. (2000). The enterprise systems experience – from adoption to success. In Zmud, R.W. (Ed.). Framing the domains of IT research: Glimpsing the future through the past (pp. 173-207). Cincinnati, OH: Pinnaflex Educational Resources,
Nolan, R., & Mulryan, D. (1987). Undertaking an architecture program. Stage by Stage, 7 Object Modeling Group (1997). Model driven architecture v1.0. Downloaded: www.omg.org/mda/
Rico, D. F. (2005). A framework for measuring the ROI of enterprise architecture. Downloaded: http://davidfrico.com
Seger, K, & Stoddard, D. (1993, January). Managing information: The IT architecture. Harvard Business School Case #193059, Harvard University Press. 1993.
Sowa, J, & Zachman, J. (1992). Extending and formalizing the framework for information systems architecture. IBM Systems Journal. Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 590-616.
Spewak, S. (1992). Enterprise Architecture Planning: Developing a Blueprint for Data, Applications and Technology. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Stjernström, L. (2003). Chaos and complexity in ERP implementations – a literature review of critical success factors within ERP implementation or adoption. Unpublished paper presented at the NFF Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland.
Sumner, M. (2000). Risk factors in enterprisewide/ ERP projects. Journal of Information Technology. Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 317-327.
Woodie, A. (2004). ERP market grew solidly in 2004, AMR research says. Downloaded: http://www.itjungle.com/tug/tug062305- story04.html.
Zachman, J. (1987) A framework for information systems architecture. IBM Systems Journal. Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 276 – 290.
Journal of Enterprise Architecture