What is Enterprise Architecture?
Enterprise architecture (EA) serves as a conceptual blueprint for enterprise analysis, planning, design, and implementation through an extensive program to achieve profitable growth and strategy execution consistently.
It is also a proactive and holistic discipline to give enterprise solutions to obstacles and problems by executing observation and analysis of change to achieve desired business goals and results.
With this, EA brings value to the table by providing business and IT leaders with simplified recommendations for policy and project adjustments. This is to fulfill business results that benefit concerning business divisions.
The Role of Enterprise Architecture
An enterprise architect is accountable for maintaining an organization's IT networks and services. In addition, as EAs, they are responsible for managing, developing, and upgrading enterprise services and technology such as software and hardware.
Also, they need to be updated about the latest trends and technologies. They should also watch out for any innovative software, services, or hardware that can potentially enhance business processes.
Furthermore, the role of enterprise architects requires them to have complex thinking and approach to know which systems need an update, what software or hardware has a substitute, and which services or products will align business operations throughout every department.
What's more, enterprise architects work with the organization and determine the needs of business units and processes. With this role, they need strong communication and analytical skills to ensure that business units are equipped with the appropriate tools for success.
Only tech-savvy EAs predict the potential profit streams from Big Data collection and analytics. And this will inform the CTO which kinds of technologies or applications will work out and become beneficial to the business.
Enterprise Architecture Outcomes
EA provides more vital planning, business expertise, and systematization.
Also, organizations get to have a standard methodology and language to address these essential roles.
In particular, EA paves the way to the succeeding outcomes:
- Fault Elimination
- Decreased Duplication
- Execution of Strategy
- Technology and Business Alignment
Enterprise Architecture Framework
An enterprise architecture framework (EA framework) determines how to build and use an enterprise architecture, which supplies principles and practices for creating and applying a system's architecture description.
Furthermore, it presents tools and methods that aid enterprise architects in using and applying different architecture domains throughout the enterprise. The frequently disrupted legacy processes (manual and automated) aim to become an integrated environment - that is flexible to change and support the business strategy's delivery.
Typically, the following architecture domains listed below are based on four primary areas of specialization:
- Business architecture leads business strategy, organization, governance, and central business processes.
- Applications architecture gives a blueprint for each system to be used, the application systems and their interactions, and their relationships to the organizations' key. In line with this, the framework services aim to be presented as business functions for integration.
- Data architecture defines the organization's structure of logical and physical data assets and correlated data management resources.
- The technical architecture specifies the hardware, software, and network infrastructure required to maintain the main, mission-critical applications.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Enterprise Architecture
With the goal of Enterprise Architecture (EA) to help lessen the following disadvantages by giving a blueprint for technology, it aims to facilitate communication within the whole organization.
Disadvantages of Enterprise Architecture
- Potential breakdown in communications. Not being able to communicate process or business changes to the necessary teams leads to miscommunication.
- No longer a competitive edge. Systems have become a commodity, which brings loss in the competitive edge they once provided to an organization.
- High costs. With EA, you'll face investment costs. For example, hardware, software, and consultancy expenses.
- Complex predictability of intangible benefits. Despite clear benefits and opportunities to provide solutions in processes and avoid data duplication, cost calculations and benefits can be challenging until the system has been implemented.
- Data organization can be more time-consuming than expected. Untrained or opposing workers could lead to data duplication.
- Changing user-friendly systems can do more harm than good. This breeds potential higher costs and more system glitches and user problems.
- Regular improvement is needed. Expecting a linear implementation is impossible. Moreover, most organizations make modifications before and after a performance. Continual revision and progress may be required.
Advantages of Enterprise Architecture
- More focus for IT staff to work on specific projects and innovations
- Promotes more innovation for each department
- Gives a stronger technology infrastructure at the core technology
- Guides where services should be
- Reduces risk and exposure
- Decreases total cost of service ownership
- Reduces redundancy of effort and services
- More reuse of current methods and system components