Enterprise Architecture Matters

The title of "business designer" grows en vogue today.Please refer to my previous post and comments as well about the role of the business architect. In the strict sense of the words, there is no such role as business designer, because at least, for now, nobody, to my knowledge, has come with an... Read More..
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This is a long comment for the HBR blog on "Why your analytics are failing you" that states that "the real challenge is recognizing that using big data and analytics to better solve problems and/or make decisions obscures the organizational reality that new analytics often requires new behaviors".True, big data... Read More..
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To start with, we all agree that, ideally, there should be only one enterprise architecture that describes the overall business operation, technology and organization of the enterprise, in integration. To be able to properly operate cross-enterprise, the EA function should report into the top enterprise management.  In practice though, EA is,... Read More..
It's a question we hear much too often since it is supposed to render EA more acceptable to business. The answers though add to the confusion about EA because EA often ends up being compared to management consultancy or in any case, appears to step into other business territories. That... Read More..
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Since both Business Architecture and Design Thinking have rather vague and wide scoping definitions it is hard to think they have having nothing in common. Yet, at first sight, it is hard to find anything common. We have to look through the thick cloud of fuzzyness to find the relationship, if... Read More..
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The Enterprise isa group of people organized to deliver a product employing technology.The definition includes people, processes (in "organized") and technology. It is complete because it shows what the term equates to and consists of. The purpose of the enterprise is the delivery of a product in the most general sense.Architecture... Read More..
The EA team alone cannot develop and maintain the whole EA without participation of stakeholders with respect to their own parts, Hence, the EA group has to create a governance framework that would be employed in the consistent design of EA artifacts, solution architectures and in the decision making process,  Governance is... Read More..
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There has always been an opinion that, since the environment is so dynamic today, the enterprise management is an art. And that modelling the enterprise does not serve much purpose since it already depicts a past static state.That in contrast to some proprietary, unexplained and unexplainable artistic approaches that confer the enterprise and the... Read More..
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EA is often defined not as what it is but as what we think it is for. Too many EA definitions emphasise EA as a purpose rather than a description of what it is. There are a few issues with this. To start with, can you define a car by your goals,... Read More..
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Tom Graves' On layers in enterprise-architecture questions the role of layers in EA.I beg to differ. Greatly.True, EA layers today are not consistent in meaning even when coming from the same organisation. Take for instance TM Forum's. But representations come from different eras and people sometimes. Some come from marketing rather than... Read More..
Is EA a story? Nick Malik's post Enterprise Architecture as Story needs commenting upon.To me the question is, are we going back on "A picture says a thousand words"? After all, EA is an architecture or, if you like, the blueprint of the enterprise. At least, the words in the naming lead... Read More..
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Brenda had a mobilising post, "Stop talking about Enterprise Architecture. Go solve a problem". And here is my view where I beg to differ. Paraphrasing the proverb "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime",... Read More..
Requirements occupy the central place in the ADM cycle, the architecture development process. Each and every ADM phase seems  to take them into consideration. For what reason though?To begin with, is the ADM about architecture development or the enterprise transformation process?While the first is governed by the enterprise architect, the... Read More..
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While TOGAF is not inhibiting a different EA thinking, in fact it inadvertently stimulates that, TOGAF is still hindering the take off and the development of other approaches.TOGAF not only ignores but competes with the other EA approaches rather than collaborating and integrating the best of breed for the good... Read More..
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For a start, I sympathise with Tom's view.Len is quoted to say that "The Open Group and TOGAF will not change their concept of enterprise architecture until the community as a whole does".I think too that Open Group, as a company, plays an administrative rather than technical role in defining... Read More..
The EA team alone cannot develop and maintain the whole EA without participation of stakeholders with respect to their own parts, Hence, the EA group has to create a governance framework that would be employed in the consistent design of EA artifacts, solution architectures and in the decision making process,  Governance is... Read More..
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This is in response to the post "As-Is modelling to be registered as an official disease?" and a too popular stance that As-Is EA doesn't matter, it is a waste of time. How do you design the target architecture if you do not discover an document first the architecture of what... Read More..
Here is the question How do you perform a cost benefit analysis for an Enterprise Architecture?Does anyone have case studies showing EA valueThe discussions about case studies on the value of EA or its benefits seem to never never die. Same as the debates on what EA or its purpose are.... Read More..
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A question still often asked today, is why do we need enterprise architecture. It is intriguing though that, more often than not. the architects are asking the question.But first, let me ask and answer a few related questions: Why do we need anatomy to describe the human body?  Why do we need the schematics... Read More..
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Even though the architecture is defined as both the structured description of a system and the structure of the system itself, the term "architecture" is mainly used,  at least in the "electrical" industries, as the structured description of a system. A note: architecture is often used in the construction industry... Read More..
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The fact that we cannot even agree on what architecture is, never mind what enterprise architecture (EA) is, says a lot about the maturity of the EA discipline that, surprisingly, has so many practitioners and experts today. What is EA delivering then? That explains too why we argue so much about... Read More..
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Before delving into the subject of core capabilities, a definition of what that is would be welcome. A few questions must be first asked to clear the field. I wouldn't go into what the capability is since that was discussed too many times. I will analyse the "core" (capability) concept... Read More..
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Eric's analogy about interface and application (see comments for the previous post, Business services versus capabilities) maybe of wider interest and hence, this post.Application may not be the best example though because it would reduce the scope of EA to IT. It would be good though for the EA IT audience,... Read More..
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Neither business service nor capability are unanimously defined and agreed so far.In the absence of sanctioned definitions, the subject is then open to interpretation until an wide agreement is reached.  Nevertheless, employing common sense meanings, a business service can be defined in relation to a customer and supplier pair. The customer... Read More..
 ..continued from previous.As suspected, the approach ends up with a process map, sliding back into familar territory to BP Trends.The process map (here is the process architecture method again) consists of Management, Core and Support processes. Yet, what do we call Core processes today? The "core" concept may change in time and it... Read More..
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...continued from previous post. This BP Trends advisor proposes a method to develop a business process architecture which...In fig. 4 and 5, the customer, interacting with various links of the value chain, is placed at the end of the value chain arrow. This interaction was first described in the GODS generic business architecture paper, available on... Read More..
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This BP Trends advisor proposes a method to develop a business process architecture which, to quote, "briefly walks through one approach to developing a comprehensive business process architecture--the approach used by BPTrends Associates (BPTA) in consulting engagements with its clients".And here is a critique the BP Trends Business Process Architecture approach. To start... Read More..
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Capabilities in  a sentence or twoDefinitions of EA are diverse. Capability definitions are even much more so and usually useless in practice. Here is one you can use.A capability is a feature of your enterprise (such as it can produce screws, it can recruit by itself...). It is something you... Read More..
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"How would you compare your Enterprise Architecture implementation (i.e., instance) with your competitor's Enterprise Architecture?" This question was asked by Rubina from my previous post. Since I found it of general interest I post it in the main blog.To start with, without a common understanding (definition, scope, framework ...) there can hardly... Read More..
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The enterprise architecture development should be  evaluated to  assess1. its scope, if it covers the whole enterprise or at least it plans to, starting with the parts specifically demanded. A reference (business) architecture (such as GODS) would be necessary to compare to. 2. the  fitness for purpose of the artifacts, judged by stakeholders and... Read More..
I post here in response to this post of Gartner's: "Enterprise architects: Please leave your framework at the door".Please don't, that is, leave the EA framework at the door. You do it at your own peril.Because a good framework is like the chassis of your car, the chassis where you hang on... Read More..
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This post comes as a response to TOGAF Misconceptions blog by Mike Walker citing Dave Hornford which responds to some misgivings I have about the method.How does TOGAF serves your effort to develop an Enterprise Architecture? Let's have a look at the ADM.ADM Phases B, C and D are part... Read More..
EA, as the name states, is the architecture that is the integrated blueprint of the enterprise. It, simply put, describes the enterprise from the many angles that serve its various stakeholders.Hence, EA, as an architecture, is to be employed to * simplify the enterprise * operation improvement, * cost reduction * align of... Read More..
Architecture, in general, is about models and blueprints. Hence, enterprise architects have to devise models that describe the enterprise.  Based on these models many people in the enterprise visualize, analyze and solve their own issues, in context. Because you cannot properly solve an issue without looking at the environment... Read More..
Richard Veryard states that "Complexity is not a problem". Let me see. Complexity is growing rapidly today. And that is as it should be.Should we not control complexity, the management of our systems and enterprises, of their issues and their aligned evolution, would require greater and greater efforts and costs.Architecture... Read More..
Is Alex Osterwalder's Business Model Canvas, BMC, an ontology or a (business) architecture as it is sometimes claimed or... something else?To start with, BMC cannot be both a (business) architecture and an ontology. That is, assuming that an architecture is a model then and ontology is a metamodel of... Read More..
I would like to launch a challenge  with regard to Zachman's table by saying that it is neither an ontology nor a framework, as it was often said, but a good old system development process. Whatis.com states that "an ontology is the working model of entities and interactions in some... Read More..
In EA, we came to the rather original situation where everybody has his own EA approach and there are more frameworks than we can count. How many frameworks does one need though to design, document develop the same system and achieve same results? Ideally one. In practice, two or three... Read More..
Plan to fulfill the expectations of those who created or sponsored the EA group. After all, they pay the bill. So ask them what they expect.In my experience, they would want to know how to select technology, what are the options, how to justify choices in order to minimise the... Read More..
Here is a LinkedIn discussion on "What would make TOGAF more usable?" that prompted my post here. A framework, according to whatis.com, is "a real or conceptual structure intended to serve as a support or guide for the building of something that expands the structure". TOGAF is not a framework in... Read More..
To me, a core EA problem is the apparent contentment with the state of EA art. It looks like we prefer the status quo to rocking the boat. Why so though?    Since the EA body of knowledge is not mature, many practitioners are not armed to produce  the EA.... Read More..
Not unexpectedly, one of the key business stakeholders from finance asked - while I was in the process of "selling" him the EA - "why do we need EA, since you, in IT, surely have an architecture, don't you, otherwise how can the technology properly function and be maintained today?".Good... Read More..
In this post, I will show how architecture visualisation methods used by architects for centuries (see Drew Skau's post  Visualization Architect at Visual.ly) are relevant to an EA. I'll exemplify the procedures on the  FFLV-GODS, a full EA framework.  - Quote from visual.ly "...drawing techniques, developed very early in... Read More..
Nick Malik, in this post discusses the business architecture definition of the BizBOK 2.1. For completion, the BizBOK 2.1 definition cited is: "A blueprint of the enterprise that provides a common understanding of the organization and is used to align strategic objectives and tactical demands". First of all, EA... Read More..
 It is often assumed the enterprise architecture function includes planning and strategy.  While this may be the case in practice, given the specifics of a job description, in theory, at least, they are separate disciplines.  The delineation of enterprise strategy, planning and architecture is rather straightforward.   The architecture is a... Read More..
Why should there be EA politics in the first place? Because EA is a complex, long term human activity, demanding cooperation of many parties and expensive skilled resources. And politics is all about human interaction and competition. Because EA is challenging the status quo of the Enterprise by altering its... Read More..
Thinking in many Enterprises is tactical at best. Firefighting would better express the fact. This is a main source of politics in the enterprise, since stakeholders would often  question the resources allocation to the EA effort.The EA thinking is strategic in nature, a long term transformation accepted because of... Read More..
The EA is commended because of the state of high entropy of the Enterprise: high complexity, poor availability and understanding induced by years of patching, point solutions, silo operation, organic growth, mergers and a growing divide between business and IT. Business needs to change and compete faster and faster... Read More..
Is Enterprise Architecture a breeding ground for politics? As with any human activities and relationships, there is politics, but to what degree?EA spans business and technology knowledge domains and crosses many internal organization boundaries with often conflicting silo interests. As a result, it is prone to politics.   What is... Read More..
Currently, there are too many EA frameworks that crowd the EA field, too many development approaches, too many insufficient metamodels... and too many parties that claim to hold the truth. Since the approaches or parties have little in common they bewilder the practitioners. You will find that anybody can challenge... Read More..
A governance framework establishes who makes what decisions and based on what. The EA architects shall propose a governance framework that regulates the EA development itself and its employment in the enterprise. The development governance is the instrument to control the EA efforts, solutions design and changes in the enterprise so... Read More..
How do you make sure that you chose the right candidate for an EA job? Here are a few questions that, if answered to your satisfaction, may clear the way to the appointment. Indeed, there maybe other questions that you may ask that would be more related to the specifics... Read More..
Requirements apply to projects rather than to Enterprise Architecture.  It is the strategy concept that applies to the EA, rather than the requirements one. The strategy team (which usually, is not the same as the EA team), is responsible for putting together the goals and the directions of enterprise transformation in order... Read More..
FFLV-GODS is an EA methodology (or extended framework...) that integrates the many existing frameworks concepts, classifies them in four different aspects, and integrates them in this framework whole.FFLV-GODS consists of:- 1. The Framework itself describing the EA structure (its layers, views, nodes...). It looks like the contents page of a book. It illustrates its structure... Read More..
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How do we describe an Enterprise? Let me give you an well known example, the human body and illustrate the way the enterprise should be described, by comparison. The description of the structure and operation of the Enterprise is shown here by analogy with the anatomy and physiology of the body. The... Read More..
Currently, many EA architects come from and work in IT. That does not necessarily have to be so. As it happens, some have some knowledge of programming. But that does not mean that such knowledge is required for an EA. IT, from a systems and software design practice (OO...), often... Read More..
The core requirement (the "Must") for an EA architect is a candidate that knows how to uncover the structure of systems, use the proper methods to document the enterprise operation, link parts into the whole, and understands architecture roadmapping and strategy. An EA architect will see the whole (forest)... Read More..
After a decade (or even two) of banging around the EA concept, there are too many egos and vested interests at play that render the process of objectively defining EA harder than it should be.Well, reputed fora, studiously ignoring each other, came out with different definitions sometimes complementary, at... Read More..
Cont'd.Wikipedia: "the United States Government describes enterprise architecture as an Information Technology function. Instead of describing enterprise architecture in relation to the practice of examining an enterprise, the U.S. Government defines the term to refer to the documented results of that examination."EA is defined here as "documented results" and again... Read More..
 Here is a hearty LinkedIn debate about the Enterprise Architecture entry in Wikipedia. I'll comment only the outcome, the Wikipedia entry itself.  It is informative indeed, but how useful is it in practice to you? Ultimately, I found it as good as the definitions quoted in the entry, which,... Read More..
In time it became rather clear to me that most EA architects usually labour at describing simple capabilities, design solution architectures, police the development of solutions, establish architecture principles - but not the full EA framework -, specify IT strategy and spend a lot of time justifying themselves and... Read More..
cnt'd The OM is  rather implicitly created  at the creation of the company or at its extension, rather than deliberately by an EA effort. It is also rather hard to believe that an EA architect, working in IT, would impose or even propose an operating model since this is essentially a business issue and decision. The... Read More..
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I browsed the book "Enterprise Architecture as Strategy" by Jeanne W. Ross, Peter Weill and David C. Robertson quite a few times, never quite making my mind about it. It is widely recommended though. But since it landed on the next desk, I decided to take the bull by the horns. The book has an... Read More..
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Put together some time ago while working in mobile telecoms. I called it Adrian's Mobile Broadband Law. Lack of imagination perhaps. At the time, I produced it in the desire to forecast the rates to come in the mobile arena, so that I could understand what kind of mobile products, applications and terminals should be... Read More..
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I just want to expose in one picture the various types of IT outsourcing a Enterprise can employ today. Here is a self-explanatory picture:     You can notice a mixture of good old traditional outsourcing such as Data Centre and Managed Services that will take place at the same time with Business Process Outsourcing... Read More..
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The EA concept should be taught in any business study. Unfortunately the body of knowledge is too fragmented and incomplete right now to arm the student with a method that delivers results. What one can teach today is the EA state of art, that is various approaches, questions still unanswered). The... Read More..
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EA professionals often specify architecture principles but rarely use them, if at all. In fact, are you using architecture principles in practice? And how, as an after thought tick list or actively during the decision process? We all have principles that guide our ways in life. They are essentially rules guiding our decision... Read More..
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Given the fact that we can hardly get an agreement on what the Enterprise capability is, that is from an Enterprise Architecture point of view.The term Capability seems to come from the EA field rather than from the business process management discipline. Being often associated with the function or process,... Read More..
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True, most if not all myths contain a bit of truth, but the key word is "bit".Myths you heard about:That you need to "sell" Enterprise Architecture. Do you? For one, the concept is straightforward. Anyone understands a plan or a city map and everyone wants a "schematics" of the... Read More..
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There you are. The silent competition. And it is silent because the proponents of a framework are tacitly saying that the other frameworks are no fit for purpose; that's why they came with a new one. Let's recap. TOGAF ignores the existence of Zachman, Spewak's,... Zachman may claim to... Read More..
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Lauren Carlson asked a question in the Application Strategy 2.0 that most IT departments had to, are or will be confronted with. Do you chose an Integrated Suite or Best of Breed (BoB) solutions?  The answer looks more complicated now by the growing Cloud adoption trend. A Suite adoption decision,... Read More..
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I studied TOGAF at my own pace, along the years. The lush 800+ page were always a challenge. I also listened to and participated in many discussions. Still, last week I decided to go onto a formal training course. The trainer proved to be experienced in many matters and in the... Read More..
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How do we describe a system, any system? Let me give an well known example, the human body and illustrate the way it is described, by comparison.  The description of the structure and operation of the Enterprise is done here by analogy with the anatomy and physiology of the... Read More..
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Enterprise Architecture goes through the trough of disillusionment. There is confusion about its definition, scope, frameworks and deliverables.In the main, EA is an IT discipline aiming to document the Enterprise, reduce duplication in process and platforms, integrate, standardise and roadmap them.Still we talk about different things when we refer to EA... Read More..
Why do we do EA, the ever lasting questionCompanies have lived without an EA for a long time now and they would continue to do so. Is there an EA business case after all? Yes, but touted benefits can be realised only for the enterprise scope rather than for IT... Read More..
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Candid questions like " what is EA" or "how do I become an EA architect?" still asked nowadays prove that something is wrong with the EA profession.  The classical answer given today is stating EA purpose (strategy, reduce complexity...). There always is the self serving response "do our training course... Read More..
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Nick Gall's post speaks about organization and motivating people as part of an EA workday. The organization architecture, the 3rd architecture tier of an EA as I call it, is invaluable, since it brings all enterprise stakeholders around the table. In practice though, when I suggested slight adjustments to the... Read More..
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An architecture becomes reference if it's generic enough, available and used by many in the community.  The level of abstraction of an architecture should be high enough to serve its scope--for instance, a business domain or an industry. But the architectures at these various abstraction levels should be part of... Read More..
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  At the beginning of the new year, let me recap again the situation of EA. Anything to be merry about?  Overall, EA looks like it always did. Little really happened in the field. No substance was added since Zachman and TOGAF. Except that, in this void, various trainings and... Read More..
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What happens when the EA function does not produce an EA  and it runs without an EA, without a blueprint...? In the absence of the EA blueprint, the EA function can only run arbitrarily. And that's happening so often today. EA work mainly validates solution architectures and technology investments against... Read More..
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A business model is neither a business architecture nor the result of "business modeling", even though they sound related. The result of business modeling is not a business model but a business architecture. A business model describes the elements to consider in order to deliver a profitable product. For example, Osterwalder's... Read More..
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The concept of EA is self selling but the current results turn its appeal down. In any case, it would be a benefit for business to have a set of Enterprise blueprints they can all refer to, debate upon and navigate end to end flows to inspect performance and the... Read More..
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EA budgeting depends how the EA activity is conducted at a point in time: is it a project or a Business As Usual activity (BAU)? Companies sometimes rely on short burst of activities (projects) to establish the EA foundations. And then continue with BAU. Or establish directly an EA practice. Projects... Read More..
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An EA architect does not have to provide business views. This is the business of business professionals. The architect should supply though the EA framework, the component repository, guidelines... for all stakeholders to use in producing their own views so that they fit back in the whole. Views are unlimited... Read More..
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The question was raised in a LinkedIn discussion. Do Enterprise stakeholders need a simple business architecture like the one proposed in previous posts?True, most Enterprise Architects are not asked to do Business Architecture. A reason is that, it is not the business of IT to describe how the enterprise operates... Read More..
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EA, extended to or over its limits, maybe about strategy, transformation and in general about all things related to an Enterprise, depending on whom you are talking to. In practice though, an architecture is a set of integrated blueprints.Let's take an example: a city has an urban architecture described by... Read More..
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Let's say you have the task to improve the sales department workings in the context of the enterprise. Use business architecture. This has nothing to do with IT or technology, though. To align sales and service operations with the organization, one has to understand the interactions with other functions and, indeed, the... Read More..
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The essential generic business architecture (gBA) shows the main Enterprise Functions and Processes that describe, in one page, both the Enterprise structure and behaviour. gBA illustrates a full product cycle from forecasting and planning, to demand creation, product delivery, sales and orders, revenue accrual and customer services for both... Read More..
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Business Architecture (BA) is the most important layer or component of an Enterprise Architecture (EA). This is because it shapes all other layers. For instance,  Business functions and processes described in the BA dictate the type of technology and organization architecture that implement them. It is true though, that... Read More..
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Since the post on the EA framework definition has raised discussions (please read comments to previous blog) I'll post this article separately to respond to concerns expressed, since it is worth clarifying the points of view with wider participation. Please chip in.Rich wrote "the Standard does not define functions, flows,... Read More..
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Continuing one of my own recent posts: "the question is for us if we do need an EA framework... We do because the framework embodies, in a structured manner, the long experience of the many of us and our companies... The framework saves a lot of effort and costs since... Read More..
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Most, if not all, organizations already have strategy and planning functions. So why do enterprise architecture pundits and reputable firms stress that EA architects do strategy? What is the relationship between these functions--that is, strategy, planning and EA? I would like to invite you to debate here on this so that... Read More..
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Deloitte initiated, some time ago, a debate on "Does Cloud Computing Make Enterprise Architecture Irrelevant?" asserting that "The world of business technology is shifting to "almost enterprise" applications - a network of smaller, more agile applications that are often hosted remotely, as in cloud computing. With less reliance on... Read More..
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EA as the architecture of the Enterprise, i.e. integrated blueprint and associated information, offers a solid base for roadmapping, planning and strategy specification and execution because EA describes the components of the Enterprise and their relationships.Strategic Planning is based on programs changing EA components, executed as part of the... Read More..
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I am elevating this at the blog level since it is an important debate for many of us and well, the posts are too long for a reply. Philip replied to my latest opinion in this debate. We agree to disagree; still, one of us is right and one is wrong,... Read More..
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Jeff Scott of Forrester blogged about the Enterprise Architect in "What's in a name". I replied but I would further like to expand on this. Were we to look at the name alone, we would conclude that Enterprise Architect is someone performing the role of an architect of the Enterprise. And... Read More..
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Philip Allega of Gartner replied on my blog with "Future state first current state last" to the position stood last week on the debate on current and future EA. Thanks Philip, I'll take the challenge since this is an old debate for many.  The emphasis in his latest blog moved... Read More..
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The Enterprise Architecture relationship to strategy, ontology, design (thinking)... is debated yet again in the EA communities of LinkedIn. Perhaps, that will still happen till we get that EA definition hammered down and agreed, somehow. Still, EA looks like a honey pot around which other rather equally well defined disciplines... Read More..
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It is often said that "life imitates art".  According to Philip Allega of Gartner in "Applying EA to your life" we should apply  Enterprise Architecture techniques to plan our acts of life or achievements.  I sincerely hope we don't come to that, that is use TOGAF or a look alike to plot... Read More..
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 This is an answer to a question to the previous post:Tom: "Please talk to us regarding the business value of these five enterprise architecture capabilities".1.     Strategy Formation, Planning and Alignment2. Emerging Technologies and New Technology Innovation3. Technology Risk and Impact 4. Investment Oversight and Architecture Governance5. Architecture and Transformation1.... Read More..
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Adrian Grigoriu blogs about everything relating to enterprise and business architecture, SOA, frameworks, design, planning, execution, organization and related issues.

Adrian Grigoriu

Adrian is an executive consultant in enterprise architecture, former head of enterprise architecture at Ofcom, the spectrum and broadcasting U.K. regulatory agency and chief architect at TM Forum, an organization providing a reference integrated business architecture framework, best practices and standards for the telecommunications and digital media industries. He also was a high technology, enterprise architecture and strategy senior manager at Accenture and Vodafone, and a principal consultant and lead architect at Qantas, Logica, Lucent Bell Labs and Nokia. He is the author of two books on enterprise architecture development available on Kindle and published articles with BPTrends, the Microsoft Architecture Journal and the EI magazine. Shortlisted by Computer Weekly for the IT Industry blogger of the year 2011.

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