What is Enterprise Architecture?
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So, for some reason that shall not be discussed - I have started bloggin ;-)
Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a discipline of describing a Enterprise as a whole in a structured format. Enterprise Architecture is not software architecture – or system architecture – or Service oriented architecture (SOA).
Grady Booch compares EA and Technical Architecture (TA) in one of his blog posts as “EA attends to the architecture of a business that uses technology; TA attends to the architecture of the software-intensive systems that support the business”.
An Enterprise can be a business corporation, a government entity such as a town municipality, or a defense organization like the Army, Navy or Air force of a country. An Enterprise can be composed of
1. Business objectives
2. Targets and goals
3. Business processes
5. Software applications
6. Computer hardware
8. Business specific assets (War ships, hotel rooms, books, electronic parts etc)
This discipline has existed since the late 1980s. But, 2 decades later, its still nascent in its broader adoption particularly in the commercial world (Other wise I would not need to write this post). The Defense world has been using EA for some time now.
Once the Enterprise is described, various methodologies and tools can be used to analyze the structure of the enterprise, visualize transformation scenarios, depict interconnections and dependencies; pictorially or simply list in a table.
Charts, lists, graphs, drawings, models are artifacts of an Enterprise Architecture exercise. Enterprise Architecture is not modeling in itself. These artifacts put together can “describe” an enterprise and help in understand and communicate business impact in transformation scenarios. It also serves to build a search-able inventory of business aspects (business divisions, work groups, business applications, business processes, business services, machines etc)
BTW - I will be probably be talking about this at Innovate Bangalore - so if you want to participate in this discussion be at IBM Rational Innovate Bangalore 2011 where you will also see the new version of IBM Rational System Architect in action - this is a EA tool that IBM offers.