Enterprise Architecture Matters

Adrian Grigoriu

The difference between architecture and design, architect and designer

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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 to also denote an architectural style.

Typically, the design follows the architecture phase in a (new) system development process.

And while the architecture is rather "logical", the design is "physical", going down into the detail of the implementation technology.

In  Zachman's, for instance, the system architecture model (logical) is followed down the column by the technology design model (system design some would say) (physical) (see http://www.mel.nist.gov/msid/SSP/standard_landscape/Zachman.html).

The architect describes a system (enterprise),  in terms of components in interconnections etc, creating an architecture as such, in order to enable the usage, fixing and development of a system. 

The designers take over the architecture, to completely specify the parts of the system architecture to the detail necessary for  implementation, usage and development. 

The architect can only specify a system to a degree. There cannot be an enterprise level designer (with rare exceptions) because nobody can ever understand all the parts of a complex system or an enterprise at the level of detail necessary to operate. Hence the system/solution designers, experts in different domains, take then over.

There can  be only one enterprise level architect. But there are many designers, each specialised in a part of a system (architecture).  

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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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