IT Architecture is a major and broad topic overall. You probably have
heard about the different types of architectures such as Business
Architecture, Information Systems Architecture, Application
Architecture, Data Architecture, Technology Architecture, Solution
Architecture, Information Technology Architecture, Security architecture
and Enterprise Architecture. How does this all fit together and how
does it make sense?
Let us start with the Enterprise Architecture,
the container that integrates other architectures and is a conceptual
reflection of the structure, operation and strategy of a business or
organization. Which Architectures are part of the container depends on
the selected Architecture Framework.
There are many benefits for
organizations practicing Enterprise Architecture such as archiving
business strategy goals, adapting easier to changes in strategy, faster
time to market, lower IT costs, risk limitation, consistency, increased
reliability, less complexity, more innovation, better information flow,
compliance with regulatory obligations and data availability across the
Enterprise Architecture is driven from the business
side of the organization and needs inputs. These inputs are business
strategy, business goals, business processes, visions and expectations
of the stake holders, defined structure of the organization, a sponsor
for budget and full support of the top-level management. Without these
inputs, Enterprise Architecture is in vain. If you do not know where you
want to go – no one can give you a direction. The lack of business
strategy and defined business goals, or “secret” business agendas are a
major problem in many organizations.
No question, establishing or
maintaining an Enterprise Architecture practice is a costly investment.
On the other hand, the competitive advantages and IT cost savings
through lean, effective and efficient operations might cover the costs.
Nevertheless, no matter if the costs are recuperated, it is the only way
for an organization to keep in compliance with increasing tightening
regulatory requirements and to continue to stay in business in the long
The idea of Enterprise Architecture as well as IT
Architecture overall is often perceived wrong. These disciplines are not
focused or based on creation of never before seen cool and completely
different architectures through the one and only inspired Chief
Architect, who sits in an ivory tower.
The opposite is true,
Architecture teams using proven and best practices, common and industry
meta models, frameworks and following strict governed processes and
reviews. EA is about meticulous and precise research, planning,
artifacts, following processes, documenting literally every step,
requirements and stakeholder interests, creating base and target
architectures, and discovering the gaps in between.
Part 2 of the trip will be about different IT Architecture Frameworks, coming soon.