Enterprise Architecture and the Brownfield business.

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ImageWhen establishing an Enterprise Architecture within a business it is extremely rare that that the business would be regarded as being truly ‘Greenfield’. In a ‘Greenfield’ business there is no existing architectural collateral that need be considered as influencing the shape of the Enterprise Architecture. The integrity of the Enterprise Architecture Framework to be adopted, assuming that there is a preference for an ‘off-the shelf’ framework such as TOGAF, FEAF, PEAF or their variants, need not be compromised.

It is more often the case, however, that the ‘Brownfield’ business recognises that it is in need of an Enterprise Architecture in order to better manage, prioritise and shape its business initiatives so as to better serve its customers and realise its mission and strategic intent.

The Brownfield business, like the Greenfield, still needs to capture information relating to

  • vision,
  • mission,
  • strategy,
  • objectives,
  • goals,
  • requirements and
  • external Influences

It also needs to factor in already developed

  • principles,
  • policies and
  • existing architectural collateral (Business, Information, Application, Technology) that is likely to have been developed in a siloed approach.

When establishing an Enterprise Architecture Framework the ‘Brownfield’ business inevitably needs to take a pragmatic rather than a purist approach. Instead of being able to adopt a single ‘flavour’ of framework a hybrid is more than likely to be adopted. Being able to leverage and re-use existing collateral can kick start the entire process whilst reducing the requirement of costly re-work. It is worthwhile to resist the temptation to start from scratch.

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