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Enterprise Architecture Matters

Adrian Grigoriu

Enterprise Architecture, how does it look like?

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Why do we do EA, the ever lasting question

Companies 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 alone.

EA, as it is, would continue though to survive in the enterprise even if not returning the advertised benefits.The EA concept is resilient since intuitively, stakeholders perceive good value in having the architecture of their enterprise documented.

How does an EA look like in fact?

There are few published or publicly available case studies to describe a full EA that includes business architecture, organization, non-IT technology.... 

Books about EA are so oddly different that you wonder if they treat the same concept. But, in truth, many are about IT architecture and strategy or describe known frameworks.

Are there reference models available?

That is templates, generic business and IT architectures. Not really. TOGAF speaks about the Architecture Continuum but does not offer any model.

Is there an agreed body of knowledge?

There are at least a few rather independent schools of thought: Zachman, TOGAF, FEA, DODAF...  They neither cover the same ground nor the whole EA territory. FEA and DODAF are too specialized for general use. 

TOGAF is essentially a development method, rather lush and unstructured. A process alone - like TOGAF ADM - cannot lead to an EA without Enterprise specific reference models and frameworks describing structure and behaviour.
Zachman is simple a structured method of thinking asking basic questions like why, what... 
None of these approaches are enterprise specific except FEA which is composed of a few government specific sub-frameworks.

There is no over arching professional authority

but many EA associations. There is no single organization or personality to steer the field. Reputed consultancies and schools seem not to have an opinion, agree or they come with apocalyptic visions about new EA paradigms that will emerge soon... Mind the business architecture! Or EA is about strategy and future states alone!

There are too many different training courses and certifications.
Multiple independent training and certifications and bodies that ignoring each other, compete for you. They make little difference in practice in the delivery of EA but they can obviously aid you in getting an EA job.

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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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