Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise Architecture (EA), like most other architectures means different things to different people. The many frameworks, standards, and challenges that are available to those organizations who attempt to manage one demonstrate the complexity of it.

Generally speaking, Enterprise Architecture is a means for an organization to adequately plan, develop, implement and manage their IT infrastructure and services. The rigor associated with and Enterprise Architecture promotes the business requirements of an organization’s mission to drive lifecycle decisions, and the thoughtful and meaningful governance to promote standardization and the visibility to any decision across the enterprise. The result of an Enterprise Architecture is an equal emphasis on the business requirements of an organization to one’s technical requirements. Intellizant resources acting as enterprise architects demonstrate this balanced understanding, providing higher value intended with an organization’s EA.

As a point of comparison, every year, federal and state government spending is dedicated towards the improvement of infrastructure and mission related programs that offer its citizens a wide variety of services. The majority fulfill the mission for which they were designed. Every year these governments also spend billions of dollars (or more) on modernizing information technology (IT) and services.

Unfortunately, the final result of those purchases isn’t always as smooth as mission related spending.

While it’s hard to execute a government program without a lot of cooperation and coordination, it’s not very difficult to buy software and hardware that fulfill the needs of a single division without considering the needs of the entire organization. If each division of an organization develops its own business processes and IT infrastructure, the end result may be lack of interoperability, duplicated components, functional gaps, and inability to share information.

To avoid these problems, the Federal government now mandates the use of Enterprise Architectures (EAs) by Federal Agencies seeking to obtain funding for any significant IT investment. Enterprise architectures act as a kind of roadmap for the design, development, and acquisition of complex, mission-oriented information systems. The goals of the planned capability might be general, such as achieving system-wide interoperability for daily operations, or specific, such as gathering and disseminating the intricate information needed to launch a surgically precise military strike. The key concept now is the mission, whereas in the past the focus was on technologies, in general, or specific systems, often within a single business unit in the overall organization.


Sathya Adusumilli, PMP
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