The February number of Journal of Enterprise Architecture (Volume 8, Number 1) will be published early next week, and be available for download by members of the Association of Enterprise Architects.
Editor’s Corner: John Gøtze
Architect in the Spotlight: Mark Perry
SEA Change: How Sustainable EA Enables Business Success in Times of Disruptive Change
Leo Laverdure and Alex Conn
Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a key tool to help businesses transform themselves to meet changing business challenges. To do so, however, architectural methods must themselves be adapted to focus less on technology per se and more on how these technologies enable the business to survive and thrive over the long term – to be sustainable – in the shifting, uncertain business context. We call this shift to Sustainable Enterprise Architecture (SEA) a “SEA change”. The practice of SEA differs from the usual practice of EA in a number of ways. Sustainable architecting emphasizes the long-term perspective, focusing on how the enterprise can identify and respond effectively to a range of strategic disruptions. It is based on systems thinking; is continuous, iterative, and adaptive; and calls for integrated strategic planning, architecting, governance, and learning. It considers sustainability the primary system quality and organizes other system qualities in support of sustainability. The enterprise’s approach to sustainability is recorded in a formal sustainability architecture, which describes the threats to sustainability in the business context and defines sustainability goals, models, principles, policies, and standards to address them. It pays close attention to strategic resources and the pragmatic integration of societal, economic, and environmental considerations. It recognizes that sustainable architecting is a cultural change, and provides a set of essential checklists to guide that change.
Maturity Matters: Generate Value from Enterprise Architecture
Jeanne W. Ross and Cynthia M. Beath
This two-part article is an introduction to MIT’s EA maturity research. This first article, introduces a series of research studies at MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research, including survey results from 2004, 2007, and 2010. In the second article, in the next number of JEA, the findings from the 2011-2012 update of the research will be presented.
Improving Government Enterprise Architecture Practice – Maturity Factor Analysis
Adegboyega Ojo, Tomasz Janowski, and Elsa Estevez
Recognized as a critical factor for the whole-of-government capability, many governments have initiated Enterprise Architectures (EA) programs. However, while there is no shortage of EA frameworks, the understanding of what makes EA practice effective in a government enterprise is limited. This article presents the results of empirical research aimed at determining the key factors for raising the maturity of the Government Enterprise Architecture (GEA) practice, part of an effort to guide policy-makers of a particular government on how to develop GEA capabilities in its agencies. By analyzing the data from a survey involving 33 agencies, the relative importance of the factors like top management commitment, participation of business units, and effectiveness of project governance structures on the maturity of the GEA practice was determined. The results confirm that management commitment and participation of business units are critical factors, which in turn are influenced by the perceived usefulness of the GEA efforts.
Architecture styles are derived from the design and management criteria used to realize, operate, and evolve enterprise systems. By applying different architecture styles, Enterprise Architects can decide on relevant functional features, extent of process automation, the appropriate management style, and optimal technical infrastructure for an application landscape. As the first part of two, this article provides a theoretical foundation for developing architecture styles by considering the characteristics of an architectural style, some analogies that are useful in explaining architecture styles, and considerations for implementing style diversity in enterprises.
The Impact of Enterprise Architecture Principles on the Management of IT Investments
Mats-Åke Hugoson, Thanos Magoulas, and Kalevi Pessi
The strategic role of IT and its significance throughout the organization increases complexity, variety, and the need forchange. Hence, IT management must deal with uncertainties derived from different, conflicting, and ever-changingdemands. In this sense, Enterprise Architecture (EA) is playing an increasingly important role in improving ITmanagement practice. If contemporary organizations do not succeed in managing architectural issues, there is a clear risk that considerable resources will be invested without achieving desirable effects. This article investigates how EnterpriseArchitecture Principles impact the management of IT investments in the context of large organizations. The purpose of the article is to provide a deeper insight into the relationship between EA and management of IT investments through theelucidation of two significant types of principles: Delineation (differentiation) principles and Interoperability (integration)principles. Our conclusion is that the choice of architectural principles has a major impact both on alignment betweeninformation systems and business demands, and on the management of IT investments. This impact concerns at least four aspects: the responsibility for IT investments; time to value; long-term alignment; and coordination of investments ininformation systems with changes in business processes.
Can a Re-Discovery of Open Socio-Technical Systems Strengthen EA?
James Lapalme and Donald W. de Guerre
Recent publications by reputable market research firms affirm that IT organizations and Enterprise Architecture groups are not doing very well: high project failure rates and low acceptance of the Enterprise Architecture group. These challenges can be attributed to the “mechanistic” worldview of current IT organizations according to socio-technical systems theory, a theory from the 1950s which has only recently started to be integrated in IT. Over the last decade, there has been a quasi-exponential growth in the use of the term “socio-technical systems” in the IT literature. From this, one could suggest that a possible paradigm shift is occurring in the IT space: a shift from a mechanistic view of organizations to a socio-technical one based on the rediscovery that organizations are open socio-technical systems.
The Enterprise Architecture Approach to Support Concept Development in a Military Context: A Case Study Evaluation of EA’s Benefits
Jukka Anteroinen and Juha-Matti Lehtonen
The importance of Enterprise Architecture (EA) to enterprise transformation has been identified by an increasing number of companies as well as public sector actors. However, the literature to date does not provide much empirical evidence of the benefits of EA. In this article, we evaluate empirically the potential benefits of the EA approach in Concept Development and Experimentation (CD&E), which is considered a tool to drive strategic transformation in the military community. The DeLone and McLean information system success model is used as an evaluation framework. The research method in the article is a case study. The results of the case study are analyzed statistically. The results suggest that the EA approach could benefit CD&E. The EA approach supports the further utilization of the military concept, which is a life-cycle stage preceding military capability development. The applicability of the evaluation framework needs further research.
Thinking in Systems: A Primer
Review by Leonard Fehskens