Posts Tagged ‘Rainer Habermann’

A Trip into the IT Architecture Jungle – Part 1

February 26, 2014

IT Architecture is a major and broad topic overall. You probably have heard about the different types of architectures such as Business Architecture, Information Systems Architecture, Application Architecture, Data Architecture, Technology Architecture, Solution Architecture, Information Technology Architecture, Security architecture and Enterprise Architecture. How does this all fit together and how does it make sense?

Let us start with the Enterprise Architecture, the container that integrates other architectures and is a conceptual reflection of the structure, operation and strategy of a business or organization. Which Architectures are part of the container depends on the selected Architecture Framework.

There are many benefits for organizations practicing Enterprise Architecture such as archiving business strategy goals, adapting easier to changes in strategy, faster time to market, lower IT costs, risk limitation, consistency, increased reliability, less complexity, more innovation, better information flow, compliance with regulatory obligations and data availability across the organization.

Enterprise Architecture is driven from the business side of the organization and needs inputs. These inputs are business strategy, business goals, business processes, visions and expectations of the stake holders, defined structure of the organization, a sponsor for budget and full support of the top-level management. Without these inputs, Enterprise Architecture is in vain. If you do not know where you want to go – no one can give you a direction. The lack of business strategy and defined business goals, or “secret” business agendas are a major problem in many organizations.

No question, establishing or maintaining an Enterprise Architecture practice is a costly investment. On the other hand, the competitive advantages and IT cost savings through lean, effective and efficient operations might cover the costs. Nevertheless, no matter if the costs are recuperated, it is the only way for an organization to keep in compliance with increasing tightening regulatory requirements and to continue to stay in business in the long run.

The idea of Enterprise Architecture as well as IT Architecture overall is often perceived wrong. These disciplines are not focused or based on creation of never before seen cool and completely different architectures through the one and only inspired Chief Architect, who sits in an ivory tower.

The opposite is true, Architecture teams using proven and best practices, common and industry meta models, frameworks and following strict governed processes and reviews. EA is about meticulous and precise research, planning, artifacts, following processes, documenting literally every step, requirements and stakeholder interests, creating base and target architectures, and discovering the gaps in between.

Part 2 of the trip will be about different IT Architecture Frameworks, coming soon.