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What Does Enterprise Architecture Mean for Businesses?

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

Enterprise Architecture helps growing businesses and corporations realize their strategic goals. It applies architectural principles to help large or growing organizations navigate the changes that influence business, information, and technology in the modern world.

Enterprise Architecture supports businesses in creating competitive advantages, reducing risk, and promoting cost-efficiency and scalability.

Enterprise architecture helps companies gain a competitive advantage, reduce risk, and increase cost-efficiency and scalability.

Enterprise Architecture has been significantly impacted by digitalization (the conversion of images, sounds, and text into a digital format). It might be challenging to appropriately direct and arrange the vast amounts of data being processed. Bureaucracy in large organizations typically results in a loss of efficiency (and creativity). Furthermore, managing a huge organization with a monolithic computer system might be problematic. A model of how data and information should move and be kept is provided by Enterprise Architecture. It effectively brings all employees on the same page and reduces confusion.

Some companies use EA as more than simply a description of their Data Architecture style; it's also a philosophy for enhancing how the company operates. Enterprise Architecture provides a way for these businesses to transition from the present to a more desirable future. Enterprise Architecture can assist with:

  • Consistency and integration must be ensured.

  • Give a long-term, big-picture perspective.

  • Create a system of actions and procedures for personnel to follow in order to help with data organising.

  • Create a project roadmap to help the organisation achieve its objectives.

  • Develop the organization's systems and processes while keeping the company's business strategy in mind.

What Is the Process?

Through the process of examining and evaluating an organization's business and IT capabilities, enterprise architecture assists enterprises in identifying new approaches to improve performance. Enterprise architecture is a powerful tool for planning and assisting a move to a desired future state because it provides a complete look at the existing condition of the firm, including its people, processes, and technologies. In a nutshell, enterprise architecture is the key to gaining a complete and comprehensive view of the company.

Enterprise architects can clearly comprehend where the organisation stands in terms of meeting business goals and strategies and metrics and KPIs, thanks to their capacity to model the organisation's current condition. Business leaders wouldn't have the insight they need to understand the right changes to make to get to where they want to be if they didn't have that holistic and data-informed understanding of the business and its dependencies—which connects everything from products, processes, departments, data, apps, and more.

Enterprise Architecture's Advantages

Large or developing businesses might benefit from Enterprise Architecture, which helps them align their IT infrastructure with their business objectives. This method encourages the conversion of strategies into easily understandable procedures, processes, and technological requirements. Many people believe that EA's biggest strength is its translation process.

IT systems have gotten tremendously difficult in today's complex world of multi-cloud and hybrid clouds. A well-defined Enterprise Architecture fosters a thorough understanding of the entire business and can demonstrate the adjustments required to optimize an organization's infrastructure.

Improved infrastructure is more cost-effective and efficient. This architecture lets businesses break down data silos and make changes more easily, such as using a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) or a microservices architecture.


Governance Architecture

The purpose of EA Governance is to align the components of an organization's computer system with its policies, procedures, processes, and goals, ensuring that the plans and standards of the company are followed in projects and business transactions. Proactively providing governance for projects and concepts during the early stages is typically regarded as a desirable practice.

An underground system constructed and utilised within an organisation without the approval of the organisation known as Shadow IT has become a significant concern. These hidden processes may cause an organisation to act in contravention of its policies.

Defining Enterprise Architecture can assist in determining whether or not a company is accomplishing its compliance objectives. The following are examples of governance:

  • The company's operational strategies are defined by functional strategies.

  • A corporate strategy is a document that describes the company's identity and how it competes.

  • IT Tactical Plans and Execution: Processes and methods for implementation.

  • Product strategy describes a company's products and services, as well as how they are marketed.

Business Architecture

Information is organized in Business Architecture to deal with a variety of business tasks and procedures (end-to-end value delivery, capabilities, organizational structure, and information), as well as the links between these enterprises. Business Architecture serves as a link between the enterprise's business model and strategy and its operational functions. It should concentrate on business motivations, activities, and frameworks for analysis. Within the corporation, business architecture should be smoothly integrated with enterprise architectural efforts.

Information Architecture

Information Architecture, which deals with the information aspects of characterising an enterprise's structure, is frequently a part of Enterprise Architecture's design. Information architecture's responsibilities include everything from data science to user experience design. When it comes to implementation, it's critical to understand the interconnectedness of content, context, and users. The following are examples of interdependent aspects of information architecture:

  • User: Audience, tasks, needs, information-seeking behaviour, and experience are all examples of users.

  • Content: Content objectives, document and data formats, volume, existing structure, governance, and ownership are all factors to consider.

  • Context: Funding, business objectives, politics, culture, technology, resources, and limits are all factors to consider.

Technology Architecture

The numerous components required to accomplish an organization's objectives, as well as the rules that govern them, are described in detail in Technology Architecture. There are three basic layers in this architecture:

  • The Customer: Accessibility is provided through hardware and software, which allows users to access data and tools made available by the company.

  • The Server: This is usually hardware that supplies the organization's fundamental computing capacity.

  • The Middleware: Middleware is typically software that provides the infrastructure needed to run hardware and keep data flowing. These are the tools that IT professionals employ.

This design can also be used to build a number of useful documents that describe how the tiers are arranged and administered. These are the following:

  • Services: The architecture's capabilities and functions.

  • Standard and Guidelines: The utilisation of the various assets is governed by a set of rules.

  • Principles: The architecture is built on guiding ideals.

  • Products: The hardware and software that the architecture employs.

  • Policies: Rules that are designed to ensure that the architecture's principles are followed.

Applications Architecture

Application Architecture is a type of Enterprise Architecture support system. It covers an organization's application performance and behaviour, with a focus on how the apps interact with one another and with users.

This architecture is concerned with the data that applications use and produce. Business and functional requirements are used to define the Applications Architecture. In terms of functional coverage, this entails specifying the relationship between application packages, databases, and middleware systems. This assists in identifying any integration issues or functional coverage gaps. A migration plan can be created for systems that are nearing the end of their software life cycle or have inherent technological hazards.

Applications Architecture aims to ensure that the applications a company uses to build its composite architecture are scalable, dependable, available, and managed.


How to Communicate the Importance of Enterprise Architecture?

To assist bridge the gap between IT and the business side of their firms, IT directors should search for modern EA solutions that are flexible, data-driven, and collaborative. When organisations go through transition, the major goal is usually to get to a better future state. However, because the various sections of the organisation — IT, HR, marketing, and sales — typically come from different disciplines and have different priorities, this can create a barrier to general knowledge and alignment, preventing the business from reaching its ideal future state. Consider enterprise architects to be bridge builders, bridging the gap between business and technology, and thus strategy and execution. Keeping this language in mind can help you communicate the value of business architecture at each critical stage:

  • Understanding the present state: Enterprise architects develop a holistic view of the organization's environment. This allows decision-makers to gain a better understanding of the current status of the business and assess the organization's anatomy.

  • Getting from Point A to Point B: Enterprise architecture produces a business map that makes it easier to monitor progress against goals and determines what needs to be done to achieve them.

  • Getting ready for an ever-changing environment: Enterprise architects develop business roadmaps based on their in-depth understanding of their company. They also stay up to date on their company's change projects so they can make any necessary modifications if the business and its operations begin to evolve at separate rates.

AI is a part of the future of Enterprise Architecture.

Within an organisation, enterprise architecture focuses on the relationships between people, information, procedures, and technology. Artificial intelligence will be combined with EA to automate operations and increase corporate efficiency.

According to Gartner, artificial intelligence (AI) will be used in nearly every new software product and service by 2020. They expect that by 2022, AI-enabled software will be used in half of Enterprise Architecture packages on the market for governance, assurance, planning, and IT asset management.


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