An Enterprise Architecture is an integrated, living and ever evolving business artifact that is both informed and informs other parts of the business. It takes a holistic view of both ‘business’ and ‘IT’ with business being the driver and IT an enabler. As each facet of a well-constructed Enterprise Architecture will have documented inter-dependencies it is unlikely that change in one place will not elicit change in another.
Having and maintaining an Enterprise Architecture within a business must provide some on-going value or what is the point. Understanding and acknowledging the value is paramount to its success.
Underpinning five key questions, spanning vision to execution:
- Why are we doing this?
- What do we need to do?
- What are we able to do?
- What is the impact of change?
- How do we do it?
an Enterprise Architecture provides a dynamic end-to-end view of the business, its capabilities and how it operates.
As a tool it supports, amongst many other things:
- the optimisation of return on business and IT investments by more closely aligning them with business needs,
- identification of priority areas for consolidating and reducing costs,
- identification and quantification of change impacts to support the delivery of strategic change initiatives.
As a tool, an Enterprise Architecture can provide visibility of aspects of the business that might otherwise remain obscure.
Using an Enterprise Architecture can provide a business with a means to make better decisions relating to its future allowing it to grow and prosper.
Not having an Enterprise Architecture does not guarantee failure but does introduce an element of ‘Russian Roulette’ into any business decisions.