Enterprise architecture (EA) is a holistic discipline for conducting enterprise analysis, design, planning and implementation to support the successful development and execution of strategy. Enterprise architecture applies architecture principles and practices to guide organizations through the business, information and technology changes necessary to achieve their transformational aims.
The purported benefits of using enterprise architecture are numerous and all centre around overcoming transformation challenges. They include providing actionable recommendations to inform better decision making and elimination of redundant capabilities to enhance adaptability to digital disruption.
Model Driven Architecture (MDA) is an architecture approach defined by the Object Management Group (OMG) as “an approach for deriving value from models and architecture in support of the full life cycle of physical, organizational and IT systems”. The value derived from facilitates consensus, assists in decision-making, provides intervention insight and enhances corporate memory.
Enterprise architects ensure that business and technology are in alignment by linking the business mission, strategy, and processes of an organization to its technology strategy, and with the help of an array of architectural models or views, provide a picture of how an organisation’s existing and future requirements may be accomplished in an effective, agile, sustainable and flexible manner.
The Chief Enterprise Architect role provides strategic architectural advice and support to the executive level of large complex enterprises, with decades of experience to call upon and the intelligence to provide succinct advice with the gravitas to be heard. This position routinely supports governance and board level decision making to realise strategic goals.
A business architect is able to operate at multiple levels of an organization, conducting enterprise level analysis to develop business architecture solutions that can be translated into actionable plans to inform and guide portfolio and programme management decisions. The business vision of the target architecture, business capability maps and value streams produced provide a foundation for the enterprise architecture.
Systems Architects (sometimes referred to as Technical Architects) interface with multiple stakeholders in an organization in order to understand the various levels of requirements, the viable technologies and anticipated development process. Their work can include determining multiple design and implementation alternatives, assessing constraints (such as cost, schedule, space, weight and power, and other non-functional requirements), and proposing the most suitable options for further design. They are also responsible for creating architecture views describing the function and behaviour and external interfaces of the systems of interest, guided by the appropriate elements of the enterprise architecture.
A system architecture or systems architecture is the conceptual model that defines the structure, behaviour, and more views of a system. An architecture description is a formal description and representation of a system, organized in a way that supports reasoning about the structures and behaviours of the system.
Mission Thread Analysis (MTA) is an approach to examine end-to-end capabilities, services or processes to understand the interactions between people and technology, to identify critical information products being exchanged and to identify actionable interventions required to achieve a business mission.
A solution architect is responsible for defining and describing the architecture of a system in the context of a specific solution or deliverable. They assist in the translation of requirements into a solution vision, high-level specification and portfolio or programme level implementation tasks guided by appropriate elements of the enterprise architecture.
Information architecture (IA) is, like a blueprint, a visual representation of the product’s infrastructure, features, and hierarchy. The level of detail is up to the designer, so IA may also include navigation, application functions and behaviours, content and flows.