What is Enterprise Architecture?
The definition for the term Enterprise Architecture (EA) is still somewhat elusive and we find several definitions in the industry:
ISO/IEC 42010: 2007 i defines ‘‘architecture’’ as: ‘‘the fundamental organization of a system, embodied in its components, their relationships to each other and the environment, and the principles governing its design and evolution.’’
TOGAF® ii embraces but does not strictly adhere to ISO/IEC 42010: 2007 terminology. The term Architecture has two meanings depending upon the context:
- A formal description of a system or a detailed plan of the system at component level to guide its implementation.
- The structure of components, their inter-relationships and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time.
Currently the Architecture Forum within The Open Group, responsible for TOGAF® is working on a formal response related to the definition of EA.
Wikipedia iii uses a number of sources to sum EA up in the following way:
“To some, 'enterprise architecture' refers either to the structure of a business, or the documents and diagrams that describe that structure. To others, 'enterprise architecture' refers to the business methods that seek to understand and document that structure. A third use of 'enterprise architecture' is a reference to a business team that uses EA methods to produce architectural descriptions of the structure of an enterprise.“
How Real IRM defines and uses EA
Enterprise Architecture is the cornerstone of Real IRM’s market focus. EA is the vehicle we use for integrating the resources necessary to create a complete view of the organisation, as well as to provide products and services to facilitate the organisation’s transition to an integrated environment with optimised processes that are responsive to change and to the delivery of the business strategy.
Defining the EA role within an organisation
An enterprise architecture role within an organisation is cross-disciplinary, requiring integration of diverse skills, methods and tools, within and beyond the technology community. Holistic EA is pragmatically developed through the ongoing collaboration between business role players, the IT executive team, and the EA team.
In order to understand EA and our solution offering, it is important to comprehend how the knowledge frameworks, the EA Capability, and the Business, Information, Data, Application and Technology (BIDAT) architectures are systemically inter-related.
We advise the reader to refer to the diagram while reading the following subsections.