Monday, May 18, 2009

Enterprise Architecture as a Key Component

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Relationship to other disciplines
Enterprise architecture has become a key component of the information technology governance process in many organizations. These companies have implemented a formal enterprise architecture process as part of their IT management strategy.

While this may imply that enterprise architecture is closely tied to IT, it should be viewed in the broader context of business optimization in that it addresses business architecture, performance management and process architecture as well as more technical subjects.

Depending on the organization, enterprise architecture teams may also be responsible for some aspects of performance engineering, IT portfolio management and metadata management.

The following image from the 2006 FEA Practice Guidance of US OMB sheds light on the relationship between enterprise architecture and segment(BPR) or Solution architectures. (From this figure and a bit of thinking one can see that software architecture is truly a solution architecture discipline, for example.)

Activities such as software architecture, network architecture, database architecture may be seen as partial contributions to a solution architecture.

It is uncommon for a commercial organization to publish rich detail from their enterprise architecture descriptions. Doing so can provide competitors information on weaknesses and organizational flaws that could hinder the company's market position.

However, many government agencies around the world have begun to publish the architectural descriptions that they have developed. Good examples can be found at the US Department of the Interior[3], and the US Department of Defense business transformation agency