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A snapshot of the summary - Strategic Enterprise Architecture Management Challenges, Best Practices, and Future Developments
1.1 The Need for enterprise architecture management (EAM)
What is the background for EAM?
Background is an turbulent and complex business environment. Which leads to:
- changes in organisation and processes, and to
- changes in structure, and to
- changes in enterprise architecture
What is the downside of architectural complexity?
- Loss of transparancy and overview
- Increased complexity costs (high investments, no bundling purchasing volumes, no synergies across subsidiaries)
- Increased risks (interfaces)
- Inability to consistently implement strategic directions across the organisation (difficulty restructure or redesign)
- Distraction from core business problems
What is a comparison for EAM?
EAM is similar to city planning. EAM seeks to maintain the flexiblity, cost-efficiency and transparancy in the enterprise architecture. It emphasises the interplay between business and technology.
Good city planning consists of:
- anticipate future demands and requirements
- make plans and develop accordingly
- bring stakeholders together and discuss
- serve the city as a whole, not local interests
- have a holistic, multi-perspective view on the city (socially, economically, logistically)
Questions that firms cannot answer anymore due to overly complex enterprise architecture:
- How can we successfully integrate new firms after an acquisitions?
- Can we introduce new products and services, using the existing business processes and the underlying applications?
- Which business units and users will be affected by an application's migration?
- What applications and infrastructure technologies do we require to run new or redesigned business processes?
What are the beneficial effects of EAM?
The effects result from:
- increased transparancy (documenting main EA components en their interrelationships)
- documented architecture vision (shared view by multiple stakeholders) and
- architecture principles and guidelines (modularisation)
1.2 What is enterprise architecture management?
What is the history of EAM?
- Phase 1 ('80 - '90): Take the big picture - EAM for IS engineering. EAM is rooted in Zachman's framework for the holistic engineering of information systems (Zachman's idea of a multi-perspective and multi-layered enterprise modelling approach became state-of-the-art)
- Phase 2 ('90 - '00): Adapt your management processes' - EAM for IS management. Advanced EAM frameworks integrate planning, implementation and controlling processes for IT/IS landscapes.
- Phase 3 ('00 - '10): Make it strategic - EAM for strategic business management. EAM becomes a strategic function attached to a board member.
What is the strategic importance of developing an enterprise architecture?
The reasons are:
- IS/IT as a means of strategic and organisational transformation
- Increased outsourcing (concentrate on core competencies)
- IT/IS as a commodity (cloud, SaaS)
- Business-IT alignment
What is enterprise architecture?EA is the fundamental organisation of an enterprise as a socio-technical system, along with the principles governing its design and development. An EA includes all relevant components for describing an enterprise: business and operating model, organisational structure, business processes, data, applications and technology.
Which layers exist in an EA model?
- strategic layer - business strategy (the firm's business or operating model) TOM: target operating model
- organisation and process layer: firm's organisational structure and its process organisation
- information systems layer (application layer, data layer, integration layer): describes how information is processed and shared electronically within and across organisations
- technology or infrastructure layer
- people and competencies layer
These layers build up hierarchically and relate to each other.
What is EAM in summary?
- a holistic way to understand, plan, develop and control an organisation's architecture (EAM as a management philosophy)
- a support function to enable and improve existing strategy planning and strategy implementation processes (EAM as an organisational function)
- a set of management practices that helps to improve the quality of decision-making (EAM as a methodology), and
- an open approach to reach consensus among managers on the basis of their shared vision of establishing a global optimum for the firm, free of local and personal egoism and opportunism (EAM as a culture)