Enterprise IT Architecture

About Enterprise Architecture


Enterprise architecture consists of the vision, principles and standards that guide the purchase and deployment of technology within an enterprise.

Enterprise architecture is one of the most powerful management tools used by progressive organizations. As a perfect vehicle for making multi-year technology changes, enterprise architecture enables the ongoing alignment of business processes and strategies with the right technology solutions.

Enterprise architecture helps IT and business executives transform data about technology into powerful management insights. Resilient and influential, the right enterprise architecture can set the business direction and help IT stay focused on one vision of the future.

An enterprise architecture (EA) is a conceptual blueprint that defines the structure and operation of an organization. The intent of an enterprise architecture is to determine how an organization can most effectively achieve its current and future objectives.

As a way to improve IT strategy and planning to better align with business goals, Enterprise IT Architecture should be a center of excellence (a shared facility providing leadership, best practices, research, support, training for IT strategy and planning).

Enterprise Architecture Process

Enterprise Architecture Process. It is the process of translating business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change by creating, communicating, and improving the key requirements, principles, and models that describe the enterprise’s future state and enable its evolution and transformation. An arrow points to the next wection. This transformation process entails the analysis and design of enterprise IT in its current and future states from a strategic, organizational, and technological perspective. An arrow points to the next section. In addition, EA provides an analysis and planning discipline to help ensure that enterprise systems have the agility needed to align with and support changes in business strategy and underlying business capabilities.
IT Services. The top left section of the graphic shows a pyramid with 4 tired sections, at the top is: Mission Unique, next is Community, next is Toll and at the base is Public Good. Next to the pyramid is a double arrow pointing to the top and bottom of the pyramid, the top of the arrow says Narrow Adoption and the bottom of the arrow says Wide Adoption. To the right of the arrow is a shape called IT Governance and has an arrow representing Priorities which points to the pyramid. Below the pyramid and the shape is a box that represents Enterprise Architecture. Within this large box are 3 smaller boxes. The first represents Principals, Directional Guidelines and Standards. This box has an arrow pointing to a box called Future State Architecture. Another box called Current State Architecture also has an arrow pointing to Future State Architecture. Between the large Enterprise Architecture box and the shapes above is a double arrow that points to the pyramid and back to the Enterprise Architecture box which represents Design Revisions. Another arrow points from the Enterprise Architecture box to the pyramid that represents Specific Recommendations and finally another arrow that points to the IT Governance shape that represents Trends and Strategic Recommendations.

Scope of Enterprise Architecture

At the base of the diagram shows the Foundation for Execution which includes Core Business Processes and IT Infrastructure. An arrow representing Learning and Exploration points up to multiple Strategic Initiative sections. An arrow representing Establishes Priorities points from the Strategic Initiative sections back down to the Foundation for Execution. The center of the diagram shows the Operating Model which Defines Integration and Standardization Requirements this statement points to a shape within the center section named Enterprise Architecture which also has an arrow representing Defines Strategic Limits that points up to the Strategic Initiative sections and another arrow representing Defines Core Capabilities that points down to the Foundation for Execution.

Enterprise Architecture Functions

  • Creates a clear understanding of the strategic requirements of enterprise IT, effectively communicating to leadership, business stakeholders, funding sources, and solution designers.
  • Models the future state, which illustrate what enterprise IT should look like across all EA viewpoints in support of the business strategy.
  • Develops a road map of the change initiatives required to reach that future state.
  • Documents the requirements, principles, standards, and guidelines that will steer the implementation of IT change initiatives.
  • Ensures that business strategies come to the forefront of IT decision making.
  • Provides structure for designing solutions that reduce total cost of ownership.
  • Enables business innovation. Solutions built by applying concepts such as “scalability”, “service oriented” and “strategic” have the best long-term business outcome.