As global competition intensifies in the twenty-first century, companies large and small are struggling to find new sources of competitive advantage. As in the past, companies rely on information technology (IT) as a catalyst, enabler, and component of the new products, services, channels and business models necessary to compete in a global market. In many companies, the practice of Enterprise Architecture (EA) has become the standard to establish a coordinated view of an enterprise’s strategic direction, business services, and effective use of information technologies. However, increasing competitive pressures necessitate even higher levels of business alignment and agility than has been achieved in practice. This is particularly true for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) whose economic success in the global value-chain is highly dependent on their ability to quickly and effectively respond to dynamic market conditions. The integration of key technologies and methodologies, such as service-oriented architecture (SOA), model driven architecture (MDA), business process management (BPM) and internet-based computing, holds real promise to transform how IT delivers value to customers. The emergence and convergence of these technologies will also shape and influence the evolution of the practice of EA. EA frameworks and implementations that focus primarily on data and technology perspectives will evolve to a more process-centric framework to leverage a new class of technologies based on business services. Core to this transformation is the business process management system (BPMS) which will ultimately empower increasingly sophisticated business users to model the enterprise from design through implementation. The payoff is a new level of IT-Business alignment capable of delivering enhanced business agility and flexibility to effectively compete in an increasingly interconnected global value-chain.
Journal of Enterprise Architecture