The very first stage of the SDLC (Systems Development Life Cycle) is known as Project identification and selection. It is the initial stage where potential and efficient projects are ranked and identified. The potential projects are selected for further processing. , such as the process of cost-benefit analysis in depth. In such situation, the question arises that which project of information technology is to be carried forward? If a project is carried forward then what base infrastructure and technology will be needed? Enterprise Architecture is the term that has all these answers. It is also known as application architecture, information architecture, enterprise-wide system architecture and business system architecture. This essay describes the concept of enterprise architecture in order to get desired results by an organization. It includes theories given by various authors and the way they treated enterprise governance. Further, this paper includes evaluation of governance in the context of enterprise architecture. Components included in EA are also described in this essay in order to provide brief knowledge about the framework of enterprise governance. Most important components are the mission, customers, stakeholders, processes, networks and data, application and infrastructure. At the end of the paper, a conclusion has been drawn on the basis of entire study to provide the overview of the full understanding.
Practitioners and academics have given various theories regarding the treatment of the concept of Enterprise Architecture. In the meanwhile, there is a need for an explanatory theory that how EA delivers its benefits. According to Kotusev (2017), EA is a principle that describes organization from the cohesive business and IT point of view. EA considers a universal perspective to show the relationship between the goals, processes, strategies and IT systems, capabilities and technologies. According to him, EA provides information about data, business, technology domains, and applications and their relationships. Kotusev emphasized the use of simple and easy approaches to improve their business with IT alignment of EA. On the other hand, according to the theory provides by Aier (2014). , Enterprise Architecture can be more defined as a holistic scope to manage and tried to explain EA governance through EAP and governance in IS research (Aier, 2014)
Valorinta (2011) has identified in his theory that EA is one of the important means to support IT decision making. He had a view that every linkage IT structure requires a different role of Enterprise Architecture. In his opinion, lateral linkages need a devils' design, persuasive linkages require guidance and sequential linkage requires an effective and high-level design to compete with IT (Valorinta, 2011).
According to the theory given by Raadt et, al (2010), the main problem that occurs in the practices of EA is coordination between the architect and stakeholders. He emphasized on the completion of stakeholder's objective along with the organizational objective by effective implication of EA governance. He considered the governance of EA is not only the responsibility of an architect, stakeholders, and management of an organization is also responsible for it (Raadt, et al., 2010).
The Zachman framework enables an organization to discover necessary knowledge about Enterprise Architecture by providing a structured way. ZF is a fundamental structure and is an ontology for EA which offers a formal way of dealing with defining an enterprise. Ontology refers to the two-dimensional schema of classification that reflects intersection between two main historical classifications. The first includes interrogatives: What, Who, When, How, Why, Where. Another one has been derived from the ethical concept of reification that is called transformation of an abstract idea into an instantiation (Simon, et al., 2013). The ZF transformations include definition, identification, representation, configuration, specification, and instantiation. The ZF summarized all the collections of the perspective of an EA and represent it into a two-dimensional matrix. Type of stakeholders are presented through the rows and aspects of the architecture are defined through the columns. This framework does not provide any methodology for the help of an architecture. The matrix work as a template that is required to be filled by processes, material, goals, locations, roles, and events required by the business.
This framework is useful for both, the employees involve in the process of development of EA and the management. There is no any order of columns and rows and top-down order of the rows and columns represent the importance of actual physical enterprise and business concepts (Ostadzadeh & Rahmani, 2010).
The Open Group Architecture Framework is another framework of enterprise architecture providing an approach for planning, designing, governing and implementing an enterprise architecture in information technology environment of the business. TOGAF was developed by ‘The Open Group’ in the starting of 1995. It is a high-level framework to design and implement EA. It involves four main levels of EA process: business, application, data, and technology. TOGAF is highly depended upon the standardization, modularization and pre-existed products and technologies. According to the report of ‘The Open Group”, 60% companies of the Fortune 500 and 80% companies of the Global 50 were using TPGAF during the year ending 2016 (Rozanski & Woods, 2012).
TOGAF aims at implementing software technology in an organized and structured way while focusing on governance for meeting business objectives. Since development of software requires collaboration among various departments and units of business, TOGAF helps in addressing issues arising key stakeholders and architects of the project. The most recent and updated version of TOGAF in 9.1 that includes various features like content metamodel, partitioning to specific architectures, architecture depository, enterprise continuum, and techniques and guideline of ADM. The Architecture Development Method (ADM) is known as the heart of TOGAF. The ADM can be customized according to the specific needs of an organization which can help more efficiently the particular organization. It helps in developing a process with multiple checks and requirements so that development of the process can be estimated with minimal and repeated errors (Rouhani, et al., 2015).
Enterprise Architecture provides significant benefits to the business however it requires some investment to make the process and frameworks. An organization needs to design its process with the help of EA and it requires to invest in more technologies. Similarly, hiring an architect with the expert level of knowledge also requires the cost to invest because hiring a person with less knowledge at low cost may result in the organizational ineffective performance.
In order to get success, an organization is required to review the performance of the department dealing with the practices of Enterprise Architecture. The function of the review is also performed by the stakeholders as their benefit also associated with the effectiveness of EA system. For the purpose of review, the efficiency of information technology system and working of IT processes are measured to ensure that whether all the requirement of the information technology system are being fulfilled by the EA policies or not.
Enterprise Architectures are generally governed by the different councils in different countries. A number of local government, commonwealth, and state government are working on the initiatives to provide the valuable information regarding the importance of EA. Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is also working to set the standards and guidelines to govern the role and work of an architecture. Australian Government has introduced the importance of results, cost efficiency of operations, gaining maximum ROI and providing quality information in the AGA (Australian Government Architecture) framework. It creates a sense of working well in the mind of an architect as well as it also provides an easy to review the efficiency of an architect by the company (Office, 2013).
Models are fundamental to communicating and managing enterprise architecture. A model indicated the data for a business organization that defines the concepts of architecting. It is generally based on the meta-model provided by the framework of Enterprise Architecture of an organization (Jonkers, et al., 2010).
Most of the framework includes a predetermined set of views. Along with the modeling, a view is also be considered that can be defined as a work product used to communicate, manage and analyze EA models. A view is the representation of an EA model form the perspective of benefit receiver. The view of a model focuses on specific requirements of EA that results in a simplified model to work with (Wordpress, 2016).
The documentation is a feature of EA that can be useful in generating a wide range of required documentation form the models directly. The documents can be in the form of PDF, Docx and in HTML format. These documents can also be tailored using company logos, table of elements, table of contents, diagrams and information (Lankhorst, 2005). Many of the stakeholders prefer to view architecture information including matrices, diagrams, and lists while some other like to review printed or electronic documentation. The documentation feature can be used to generate a high level of corporate publications directly from the repository. This also includes a range of standard publications like Compliance assessment, architecture vision and communication plan with stakeholders (Syetems, 2017).
Although present organizations have a sound understanding of vision and implementation of EA policies still 66 of the EA projects are unable to achieve success. The selection of strategy and business process management are the most common reasons for the failure of EA projects (Composser, 2017). Other main important reasons for the failure of EA projects are as follows:
Along with all above reasons, the discrepancy between the actual intentions at the initial level and the degree of compliance of architecture frameworks affects the success of the projects. For example 90 percent of the organizations have a belief that strategy, vision, and objectives are main responsible factors for EA and only40% of them follows the frameworks of EA properly (Nugroho & Herawan, 2016).
For the success of a construction or an IT project, it is required to hire a right and capable architect so that success of the projects can be ensured along with the satisfaction of stakeholders. Architects should be hired after considering their previous projects and their results, their qualification, their willing to work with the firm and analyzing their professional skills during the selection process (Ahlemann, et al., 2013).
The relationship between the architect and stakeholders also affect the results of EA. As present approaches of EA emphases in developing the strong and sound understanding with stakeholders so that they can communicate their desired results effectively and the architect also explain them his findings, work, and implications in a better way. The success of an architect plan largely depends upon the support from stakeholders and their relations with the architect (Abraham, et al., 2017).
At present, almost all the universities are enabling students to study in the field of Enterprise Architecture. Universities are providing a wide range of diplomas and degrees that help the students in finding jobs. Many universities are also providing practical training along with the study that helps in gaining the knowledge about the applicability of frameworks of EA. This helps the students to understand the concept and practicability of EA (Lahanas, 2012).
On the basis of above discussion, it can be concluded that in order to get success in the long run, an organization needs to apply the frameworks and techniques of EA in its information technology system. An organization may adopt any framework of EA according to the requirements of the business. It also concludes that efficiency of EA governance depends upon the choice of an architect. The stakeholders of the company also play an important role in the success of an EA governance. Although EA governance is not a hard concept to apply it is a very tricky concept which should be applied with proper care and attention.
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