Enterprise architecture is a strategic planning model of an organization. It is an important foundation that has grown from the impact of globalization and modern market dynamics. It facilitates an organization streamline technological and Information Technology (IT) strategies achieve tangible synergies and value addition in its business. There are key steps, and milestones involved in the designing and implementation of this model from the corporate current state to a final corporate Enterprise Architecture (EA).
The steps, standards and guidelines involved in the enterprise architecture process are discussed below. However every enterprise has its own unique characteristics meaning that there can be no particular model of enterprise architecture that suits all enterprises. The person responsible for the development of the enterprise architecture is the enterprise architect (Feurer, 2007). Step 1: Initiate the EA Program The involvement and approval of the management of the corporation bears a pivotal role in this process.
Therefore the initial step would be to win the goodwill and commitment of the management team (Feurer, 2007). Step 2: Establish EA governance Effective governance demands a competent decision-making process that elaborately defines the roles and responsibilities of the parties involved in the process as well as the desired standards to be attained. Enterprise architecture governance has five fundamental viewpoints namely: organization and roles, processes, standards and templates, tools, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
The responsibility of the enterprise architect will be to; define governance principles, integrating governance into the EA and identifying the relevant governance bodies to ensure the process complies with the defined EA principles (Feurer, 2007). Step 3: Define the Architectural Approach In this step the EA team defines the bridging strategy to close the gap between the current-state and the final-state.
There are six major tasks in this step; to understand and utilize the enterprises operating model, draw a basic core graphic representation of the organization’s operating model that depicts the desired state of the enterprise architecture (this may require a particular template ), definition of the utilization and scope of the EA-this should be in tandem with the organization’s strategic plan, collaborate with the various stakeholders of the organization by educating the stakeholders on the benefits of the EA, the identification of the most appropriate EA framework is done at this point and lastly, the implementation of the EA
Bound to demand skills that may not be currently in the organization, therefore elaborate educational and skill enhancement programs are developed at this stage (Feurer, 2007). Step 4: Develop the EA In developing the final-state EA, the basic viewpoints will have to be clearly elaborated for the purpose of accomplishing the following; collecting information and developing an information resource base on enterprise architecture in order to develop appropriate EA products as well as carry out a gap analysis and design the way forward to the final-state, defining the final-state as it would be desired (the “to-be state), document the current-state.
The current-state assessment document is meant to provide the necessary information to guide the strategy to the final-state (Cashman, 2005. p 8) (See a graphic representation of current-state assessment in appendix A). Also in this step the EA products should be reviewed and updated to comply with the desired state. This is jointly done with the subject matter experts (SMEs) (Feurer, 2007). The gaps between the current-state and final-state are analyzed with the help of a gap analysis. The way forward referred to as the “migration path” is planned. It will include a step by step process of movement from the current-state to the final-state with a focus on the resources required.
Finally the approval and publishing of the EA is done. Step 5: Use the EA The Enterprise architecture is used as a strategic planning model of an organization. It will provide a collaboration platform for the EA team and the people who will implement it. In this step there is the promotion of the use of EA, the utilization of EA in procurement of the appropriate technological infrastructure, and lastly the implementation of the Corporation’s projects by the use of EA. Step 6: Maintain the EA The EA should be assimilated in the dynamics of the corporation’s business. It should be periodically reviewed with the view to adapt the necessary changes. Conclusion
The evolving of enterprise architecture is a major step in the growing opportunities for innovation in any organization that seeks to comply with the global standards. As much as EA enhances the corporate image of an organization it is paramount that the corporation shares the lessons learnt with other organizations (Feurer, 2007). Appendix A The graphic representation above shows the current state of ICT in an organization’s department under five separate but interrelated topics (Cashman,2005. p 3).
References Cashman, T. (2005). Current State Assessment: ICT Strategy Project. Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources. Retrieved February 21, 2009 from http://www.dccae.gov.ie