Enterprises Architecture (EA) is the practice of analyzing, designing, planning, and implementing business analytics to successfully implement business strategies. Enterprise Architects help companies structure IT projects and policies to achieve desired business outcomes and stay abreast of industry trends and disruptions using architectural principles and practices, also known as enterprise architecture planning (EAP).
EA dates back to the 1960s, born out of “various architectural manuscripts on business systems planning (BSP) by Professor Dewey Walker,” according to the Enterprise Architecture Information Book. John Zachmann, one of Walker’s students, helped formulate these documents into a more structured EA format. The two men also worked for IBM during this time, when Zachman published the framework in the IBM Systems Journal in 1987.
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EA systems came as a response to business technology reforms, especially in the 1980s when new computer systems were used in the workplace. Companies quickly realized that they needed long-term plans and strategies to support the rapid growth of technology, and this is still true today.
Modern EA systems extend this ideology across the enterprise, not just information technology, to ensure that the enterprise adheres to its digital transformation and technology development plans. EA is especially useful for large enterprises undergoing digital transformation, as it focuses on integrating legacy systems and applications to create a seamless environment.
Goals of Enterprise Architecture
EA is driven by an organization’s business needs – it helps define how information, business, and technology work together. This has become a major issue for companies trying to keep up with new technologies like cloud, IoT, machine learning, and other emerging technologies that will drive digital transformation.
The process is guided by “a complete view of the whole company from the owner, designer, and builder”. Unlike other frameworks, there is no formal document structure; Instead, it aims to offer a more holistic view of the company, according to EABOK.
Good EAP policies incorporate the latest innovations in business processes, organization, information systems, and technology. It will also cover standard language and best practices for business processes, including identifying where processes can be integrated or eliminated within the organization. The ultimate goal of any EAP strategy is to improve the efficiency, timeliness, and reliability of business information.
Advantages of Enterprises Architecture
EA can provide redesign and restructuring support, especially in the event of major organizational changes, mergers, or acquisitions. It is also helpful to bring more control into the organization by standardizing and consolidating processes for greater consistency.
EA is also used in systems development, information technology management, information technology decision making, and risk management to eliminate errors, system failures, and security breaches. It can also help companies navigate complex IT systems or make IT more accessible to other business entities.
Some other benefits of EAP include:
- Provide more opportunities for openness between IT and business departments
- Company power comes before investment
- Make it easier to judge existing homes than long-term measures
- Develop procedures for conducting research and providing technology
- Give all non-IT departments a comprehensive view of IT architecture
- Give a systematic reference to compare the results with one value or another