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John Chi-Zong Wu


This article proposes a Complex Adaptive Architecture (CAA) method to architect an organic enterprise. It presents a complicated concept in a simple 3×3 matrix bonded by three architecture theories and a three-tiered architecture approach. CAA recognizes that SOA and Cloud Computing is a horizontal architecture practice which cannot be accomplished with the traditional top-down approach. The horizontal architecture consists of the discipline of learning from the experience of others, the discipline of engineering of re-use and consolidation, and the discipline to facilitate buy-in from stakeholders. CAA also discovers that the business community is making decisions based on influence relation rather than structural relation. Coherence Architecture theory is based on enterprise influence modeling and coherence modeling for the purpose of supporting enterprise strategic planning and decision-making. The Coherence Architecture consists of the discipline of influence modeling and the discipline of analogical reasoning. CAA embraces continuous change with a three-tiered architecture approach. The initial tier is the Notional Architecture which serves much like a master plan in city planning. The second tier is the Segment Architecture to close the business performance gaps due to change. The third tier is the daily Enterprise Architecture (EA) to enable an agile solution architecture.


Enterprise Architecture, Complex System, Organic, Adapting to Change, Horizontal Architecture, Alignment, Agility,Coherence, Influence Model, Analogical Reasoning, Notional Architecture, Segment Architecture, Solution Architecture,Reference Model, Reference Architecture, SOA, Cloud Computing, Security, Risk Management

About the author

John Chi-Zong Wu has worked in the field of Enterprise Architecture since 1998 in the Washington DC area. He is the author of Light Enterprise Architecture (


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