What is Enterprise Architecture?
The purpose of the Enterprise Architecture is:
- To provide a mechanism to evaluate business and technological change.
- To offer a vehicle for medium to long term business and technical planning.
- To link future aims with current achievements.
- To create a dynamic portfolio of projects:
- Scoped and bounded
- Ready for development
- Not just IT projects
A good EA enables balanced and even-handed analyses of facts about the enterprise, gives executives ways of exploring their organization and its operations, helps them in proposing and testing strategies for its development, and in planning for evolution to meet ever changing directions and priorities. Furthermore, a good EA enables agility and flexibility by reflecting business change in an enterprise's organization, processes, systems, data and project portfolio.
By and large, EA development is a non-technical process. We do use tools but these are mostly things you will be used to such as diagramming packages and spreadsheets and even word processors. As the model gets bigger, a 'repository' becomes a valuable asset and an 'architectural engine' for analyzing and reporting on the information in the repository is very useful.
A word of caution is needed about the term 'Enterprise Architecture' itself. Sometimes it is used to mean something less than the full architecture for the enterprise, for example to mean 'Enterprise Technical Architecture'.