Many members of a business community with access to an Enterprise Architecture see it as an overhead that ‘gets in the way’ of them ‘doing their job. As an overhead it is seen as something apart from their ‘Business As Usual’ activities offering a distraction rather value and thus is a liability.
The purpose of an Enterprise Architecture within a business is to provide a governed mechanism through which business vision and strategy is able to be translated into effective enterprise change. This is accomplished by creating, communicating and improving the key requirements, principles and models that describe the desired future state of the business and supporting the transition to that goal.
Enterprise Architecture is consequently not an overhead but integral to business success. Taking an idea from initiation through to execution for example it can be seen that an Enterprise Architecture is integral to each stage in its development.
- Idea: Does it progress the business vision and strategy?
- Feasibility: Is it doable, what are the benefits and should it be done?
- Plan: When should it be done and how?
- Design: What standards and principles are applicable?
- Build: Does what is being built match what is required?
- Execute: Does the outcome deliver the identified benefits?
An Enterprise Architecture is consequently not a thing apart but is embedded into the very fabric of the business. By providing appropriate information when required it ensures that:
- No unnecessary activity takes place.
- Duplication and waste is minimised.
- Resources are conserved.
- Decisions on prioritisation are more efficient.
- Scope and planning of projects emerging from idea generation is managed.
- Change is effective.
An Enterprise Architecture should not be seen as an overhead but an asset with which the business will derive significant benefit.