Sunday, April 14, 2013
Enterprise architecture (EA) 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.
Practitioners of EA call themselves enterprise architects. An enterprise architect is a person responsible for performing this complex analysis of business structure and processes and is often called upon to draw conclusions from the information collected. By producing this understanding, architects are attempting to address the goals of Enterprise Architecture: Effectiveness, Efficiency, Agility, and Durability.
Relationship to other disciplines
Enterprise architecture is a key component of the information technology governance process in many organizations, which have implemented a formal enterprise architecture process as part of their IT management strategy. While this may imply that enterprise architecture is closely tied to IT, it should be viewed in the broader context of business optimization in that it addresses business architecture, performance management and process architecture as well as more technical subjects. Depending on the organization, enterprise architecture teams may also be responsible for some aspects of performance engineering, IT portfolio management and metadata management. Recently, protagonists like Gartner and Forrester have stressed the important relationship of Enterprise Architecture with emerging holistic design practices such as Design Thinking and User Experience Design. Analyst firm Real Story Group suggested that Enterprise Architecture and the emerging concept of the Digital workplace were "two sides to the same coin."
The following image from the 2006 FEA Practice Guidance of US OMB sheds light on the relationship between enterprise architecture and segment (BPR) or Solution architectures.