Why Enterprise Architecture?
Enterprise architecture (EA) is “a well-defined practice for conducting enterprise analysis, design, planning, and implementation, using a comprehensive approach at all times, for the successful development and execution of strategy. Enterprise architecture applies architecture principles and practices to guide organisations through the business, information, process, and technology changes necessary to execute their strategies. These practices utilise the various aspects of an enterprise to identify, motivate, and achieve these changes.”
Practitioners of enterprise architecture, enterprise architects, are responsible for performing the analysis of business structure and processes and are often called upon to draw conclusions from the information collected to address the goals of enterprise architecture: effectiveness, efficiency, agility, and durability.
Why is an Enterprise Architecture needed? (extract of the Open Group The TOGAF® Standard, Version 9.2 (PDF))
The purpose of Enterprise Architecture is to optimise across the enterprise the often fragmented legacy of processes (both manual and automated) into an integrated environment that is responsive to change and supportive of the delivery of the business strategy.
Today’s CEOs know that the effective management and exploitation of information and Digital Transformation are key factors to business success, and indispensable means to achieving competitive advantage. An Enterprise Architecture addresses this need, by providing a strategic context for the evolution and reach of digital capability in response to the constantly changing needs of the business environment.
For example, the rapid development of social media, Internet of Things, and cloud computing has radically extended the capacity of the enterprise to create new market opportunities.
Furthermore, a good Enterprise Architecture enables you to achieve the right balance between business transformation and continuous operational efﬁciency. It allows individual business units to innovate safely in their pursuit of evolving business goals and competitive advantage. At the same time, the Enterprise Architecture enables the needs of the organisation to be met with an integrated strategy which permits the closest possible synergies across the enterprise and beyond.
What are the beneﬁts of an Enterprise Architecture?
An effective Enterprise Architecture can bring important beneﬁts to the organisation.
Speciﬁc beneﬁts of an Enterprise Architecture include:
■ More effective and efﬁcient business operations:
— Lower business operation costs
— More agile organisation
— Business capabilities shared across the organisation
— Lower change management costs
— Moreﬂexible workforce
— Improved business productivity
■ More effective and efﬁcient Digital Transformation and IT operations:
— Extending effective reach of the enterprise through digital capability
— Bringing all components of the enterprise into a harmonised environment
— Lower software development, support, and maintenance costs
— Increased portability of applications
— Improved interoperability and easier system and network management
— Improved ability to address critical enterprise-wide issues like security
— Easier upgrade and exchange of system components
■ Better return on existing investment, reduced risk for future investment:
— Reduced complexity in the business and IT
— Maximum return on investment in existing business and IT infrastructure
— The ﬂexibility to make, buy, or out-source business and IT solutions
— Reduced risk overall in new investments and their cost of ownership
■ Faster,simpler,and cheaper procurement:
— Buying decisions are simpler, because the information governing procurement is readily available in a coherent plan
— The procurement process is faster – maximising procurement speed and ﬂexibility
— The ability to procure heterogeneous, multi-vendor open systems
— The ability to secure more economic capabilities