Modeling and Architecture Tools
Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a discipline that has gained and will continue to gain huge importance to master enterprise organization and its IT support.
Enterprise Architecture is a complete expression of the enterprise, a master plan which “acts as a collaboration force” between aspects of business planning (such as goals, visions, strategies and governance principles), aspects of business operations (such as business terms, organization structures, processes, and data), aspects of automation (such as information systems and databases) and the enabling technological infrastructure of the business (such as computers, operating systems, and networks).
Enterprise architects use various business methods, analytical techniques and conceptual tools to understand and document the structure and dynamics of an enterprise. In doing so, they produce lists, drawings, documents, and models, together called "artifacts". These artifacts describe the logical organization of business functions, business capabilities, business processes, people, information resources, business systems, software applications, computing capabilities, information exchange and communications infrastructure within the enterprise.
F.A.Q. about Modeling and Architecture Tools
What is enterprise architecture?
Enterprise architecture (EA) is "a well-defined practice for conducting enterprise analysis, design, planning, and implementation, using a comprehensive approach at all times, for the successful development and execution of strategy. Enterprise architecture applies architecture principles and practices to guide organizations through the business, information, process, and technology changes necessary to execute their strategies. These practices utilize the various aspects of an enterprise to identify, motivate, and achieve these changes."
Practitioners of enterprise architecture, enterprise architects, are responsible for performing the analysis of business structure and processes and are often called upon to draw conclusions from the information collected to address the goals of enterprise architecture: effectiveness, efficiency, agility, and continuity of complex business operations.
What are the terms "enterprise" and "architecture"?
The term enterprise can be defined as describing an organizational unit, organization, or collection of organizations that share a set of common goals and collaborate to provide specific products or services to customers.
In that sense, the term enterprise covers various types of organizations, regardless of their size, ownership model, operational model, or geographical distribution. It includes those organizations' complete socio-technical systems, including people, information, processes, and technologies.
The term architecture refers to fundamental concepts or properties of a system in its environment, embodied in its elements, relationships, and in the principles of its design and evolution.
Understood as a socio-technical system, the term enterprise defines the scope of enterprise architecture.
What are the benefits?
The benefits of enterprise architecture are achieved through its direct and indirect contributions to organizational goals. It has been found that the most notable benefits of enterprise architecture can be observed in the following areas:
- Organizational design - Enterprise architecture provides support in the areas related to design and re-design of the organizational structures during mergers, acquisitions or during general organizational change.
- Organizational processes and process standards - Enterprise architecture helps enforce discipline and standardization of business processes, and enable process consolidation, reuse, and integration.
- Project portfolio management - Enterprise architecture supports investment decision-making and work prioritization.
- Project management - Enterprise architecture enhances the collaboration and communication between project stakeholders. Enterprise architecture contributes to efficient project scoping and defining more complete and consistent project deliverables.
- Requirements Engineering - Enterprise architecture increases the speed of requirement elicitation and the accuracy of requirement definitions, through the publishing of the enterprise architecture documentation.
- System development - Enterprise architecture contributes to optimal system designs and efficient resource allocation during system development and testing.
- IT management and decision making - Enterprise architecture is found to help enforce discipline and standardization of IT planning activities and to contribute to a reduction in time for technology-related decision making.
- IT value - Enterprise architecture helps reduce the system's implementation and operational costs and minimize the replication of IT infrastructure services across business units.
- IT complexity - Enterprise architecture contributes to a reduction in IT complexity, consolidation of data and applications, and to better interoperability of the systems.
- IT openness - Enterprise architecture contributes to more open and responsive IT as reflected through increased accessibility of data for regulatory compliance, and increased transparency of infrastructure changes.
- IT risk management - Enterprise architecture contributes to the reduction of business risks from system failures and security breaches. Enterprise architecture helps reduce risks of project delivery.