Enterprise architecture design for more effective IT systems
Holistic analysis of enterprise architecture frameworks
When we pair this growing complexity in enterprise architecture governance with the ever-increasing pressure to reduce IT costs and deliver data-driven business results, it is clear that a comprehensive, top-down picture of the enterprise architecture framework and how it facilitates quantifiable business success is more important than ever.
The 'architectural view' of systems (both business and IT systems) is defined in the ANSI/IEEE Standard 1471-2000 as: 'the fundamental organization of a system, embodied in its components, their relationships to each other and the environment, and the principles governing its design and evolution' (Microsoft).
The enterprise architecture process breaks down into three tiers, from general to specific.
- Enterprise Architecture: At the highest level, we define the overall form and function of business and IT systems in an enterprise. This level provides the enterprise architecture framework, standards and guidelines for project-level architectures. The high level vision of the enterprise architect (s) allows the development of uniform and pertinent systems across the enterprise, along with the ability to function effectively together or integrate where and when required.
- Project-Level Architecture: Project-level architecture defines the form and function of the systems in a project or program, within the context of a holistic enterprise architecture process, not just the individual systems. This project-level architecture will work within the enterprise architecture design and be part of the overall enterprise architecture integration.
- Application Architecture: This level defines the applications that will be developed to meet the required functionality of the system. Enterprise application architecture may be partially covered in the Enterprise and Project-level Architecture levels to ensure compliance with the overarching enterprise architecture.
- Solution Architecture: This level develops specific implementable solutions from Enterprise Architecture patterns.
- Domain Architecture: This level focuses on specific architecture patterns such as SOA, Data architecture, Cloud Architecture, Mobile Architecture, Integration Architecture, Infrastructure architecture, and Network Architecture.
Strategic assessments of business and IT systems, and particularly business transitions, sometimes take a “bird’s eye” view of systems at the expense of a comprehensive understanding of how the systems work together. To the detriment of the enterprise architecture, businesses may attach less importance to how the resulting system will interact with other systems and the rest the business. This can result in poor alignment between the business side and the IT side.
Enterprise application architecture consulting from AgilePath takes a holistic view of IT and business systems. We assess systems and applications, as well as how they will work together. Contact us today to find out if our services are a good fit for your enterprise.