Enterprise Architecture Definition

Dragon1 Icon for Enterprise Architecture
Dragon1 Icon for Enterprise Architecture
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Dragon1 Definition for Enterprise Architecture:
Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a total concept for an enterprise structure consisting of coherent constructive, operative and decorative concepts (and their principles) for areas such as governance, business, information, applications, data and technology. EA is often used in organizations by means of a method, framework and dossier with products (like blueprints and landscape).

We are used to talking about architecture when it comes to buildings and bridges. When it comes to organizations such as government institutions and enterprises, architecture is a whole new thing. Enterprise Architecture is or seems to be different from architecture. But is it? Or is it not?

Definition

Enterprise Architecture is a total concept for an enterprise structure consisting of coherent constructive, operative and decorative concepts (and their principles) for areas such as governance, business, information, applications, data and technology. EA is often used in organizations by means of a method, framework and dossier with products (like blueprints and landscape).

In this sense, EA has a lot of similarities with building architecture as in the architecture (total concept) of a building (structure).

Geometric Shape

The shape for enterprise architecture in Dragon1 is an arch:

enterprise architecture geometric shape

Usage

Today organizations are busier with EA Frameworks than ever. Because new technologies like IoT, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence are coming forth more rapidly, Big Data Lakes being on the doorsteps, and not one software supplier can do it all, every organization has to make its current (AS-IS) and target (TO-BE) Enterprise Architecture visible.

Misunderstandings about EA

EA is more than just IT or business processes + software applications. It is the architecture of the whole of the enterprise.

Here is one of the enterprise architecture articles about Misunderstandings in EA: https://www.informationweek.com/software/information-management/ten-pitfalls-in-establishing-an-enterprise-architecture/d/d-id/1082883 (we link it like this as it provides a broken link sometimes).

Examples

The definition states that an architecture is a total concept, thus a set of coherent concepts. So if you would visualize the architecture of a structure, you would see concepts grouped together. Often divided into layers. An EA often has layers like: governance, business, information (systems), application, data and technology or IT infrastructure.

An EA example (in 2D) is presented here below. You see layers and on each layer, you see concepts (the oval shapes are the icons for concepts).


You can use this diagram to score the presence and maturity of concepts in your organizations. Very interesting is to see what the new unique concepts are in your organization, that puts you in front of the competition.

The diagram below shows many generic concepts that are present in every organization and implemented at different levels of maturity (m).

Use the two diagrams to match your situation with it.

More Examples of EA are:

  • The company that is only present online. No employees. No offices.
  • eGovernment: the ability to do business with the government online and brick and mortar.
  • eFulfillment: the ability to do every logistic action after receiving an order smoothly and interchangeably online or physically.

Further reading

Are you interested in reading What is EA? Here we have examples and an interesting enterprise architecture article on Architecture Components you can read here on Wikipedia.

Our intention is not to provide a complete dictionary on EA here, but to provide only the most frequently used words in the field.

If you have a suggestion for us to improve the list or a definition, please contact us via specs@dragon1.com

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