Enterprise and Business Architecture are, in our experience, the least well understood areas of Architecture. That’s probably why our clients turn to us as a recognized industry expert.
An integrated enterprise architecture includes the following components to create a complete model. The enterprise architecture is an integrated model (view) of these components.
- Business Operation
- Information (data)
An Enterprise Architecture exposes integration points of all the information that enables the enterprise to function. Thus it enables the capability of the executives by providing the ability to use its assets to accomplish an activity that delivers business value of the organization by end-to-end analysis of the above tightly coupled components of the enterprise. This Architectural Vision view can be created on the basis of;
- Business Architecture (Based on Requirements Management)
- Information Systems Architectures
- Solution Architecture
- Technology Architecture
The Business Architecture is a core architectural element of the Enterprise Architecture. The Enterprise Architecture cannot be developed without it – however it can be initiated without the presence of Information (Data) or Technology Architecture.
Business Operation Architecture
Business Architecture is developed by integrating two or more different functional and / or core cross-functional business operation processes in an end-to-end model, and as a result, shows values achieved by a business process by realizing a visually clean and efficient overview of multiple processes. It shows an integrated model of the information used by those processes and the “Business Actors” like Process Operators, Customer, Consumer and End Users and how each perceives the touch-points between the business processes and functions with a focus on business objectives driven from the enterprise strategy and goals. In other words, a value stream of an end-to-end collection of business operational processes.
It is essential to remember that business architecture is not a business workflow or a process model but it is a model of a whole business operation view based on individual process models that represents the business requirements for achieving value for the business objective.
The end-to-end Business Operation Process Models are critical for Business Requirements Management as it forces requirements engineering that consists of; Requirement Gathering; Soliciting Requirements; Analyzing Requirements; Documenting Requirements; and Reviewing & Approving Requirements. These processes, when followed correctly, adhere to the proper chronological order of business operation and thus reduce the following risks associated with requirements engineering;
- Requirements are not always obvious, and can come from many sources
- Requirements are not always easily or clearly expressed in words
- There are many different types of requirements at different levels of detail – the number of requirements can become unmanageable if they are not controlled
- Requirements are related to one another and also to other deliverables of the software engineering process
- Requirements have unique properties or property values – for example, they are not necessarily equally important nor equally easy to meet
- There are many interested parties, which mean requirements need to be managed by cross-functional groups of people
- Requirements change
Other Architectures used in completing an Enterprise Architecture
Other architectural views provide essential material like touch-point, information (data) dependency, event or process sequencing and time dependency which are included in the Enterprise Architecture by using Information Systems Architectures, Solution Architecture and Technology Architecture. The best practice for developing all other architectures is to align them with the Business Operation Architecture.
The Enterprise Architecture also guides the following important enterprise functions:
- Opportunities & Solutions (through developing Functional Specifications and Business Rules and detailed behavioral and structural models to assist Technical and QA team to understand business logic with additional clarity)
- Migration Planning
- Implementation Governance
- Change Management
The above approach is aligned with the business requirements centric architecture, The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF)
The approach for an assignment for developing an Enterprise Architecture depends upon:
- Scope of enterprise
- Definition of Business Operation Boundaries
- Defined Processes or lack of it
- Availability of End-to-end Business Process model or lack of it
- Solution for the business operation already exists or it is required to be developed
- Information (Data) Model which can be used for architecture exists or it is required to be developed
- Technical Architecture exists or it is required to be developed