Enterprise architecture helps you to know, design and optimize the essential core of your organization in order to achieve a better operational realization of the company’s strategy and strategic goals.
This performance optimization program focuses on the design, elaboration and modeling of the essential business concepts and models pertaining to the enterprise layer of the company. The related business objects form the stable core of the company which is independent of the information systems as used in the enterprise.
The target of this optimization program is to create a full, clear and useful view of the essential functioning of the company: which business objects does the company use, how do they relate and interact, which lifecycle do they have and which information is necessary to describe and manage them. In addition, the cooperation-mechanisms between people and departments are modeled.
The deliverables of this optimization program can be very diverse, ranging from the domain model(s) related to the business objects and the interacting actors of the overall organisation, or only of this part of the enterprise which is involved in a specific project, to decision rules to govern future decisions to guide change initiatives.
When to use
As this optimization program relates to the essential core of your enterprise, it should be used when it is not fully documented and modeled how the enterprise functions, i.e. which business objects are handled and what their lifecycle is, who the actors are that work with the business objects and how they interact.
How to use
Since an overall top-down Enterprise Architecture aiming at a holistic model of the entire enterprise is very difficult and costly to attain, it is best to describe the big picture from a top-down enterprise-spanning perspective, a picture which is then further developed in a pragmatic stepwise manner in direct relation to specific projects.
Return on Investment
The main Return on Investment of Enterprise Architecture as an endeavor is that it provides a holistic view of the enterprise which will, in general, greatly improve the effectiveness of the company to realise it’s strategy. Additionally, it will increase the agility of the enterprise, ensuring it can transform and keep growing in accordance with it’s strategy when this changes over time.
It is evident that such Return on Investment is difficult to quantify in monetary terms, although it is unquestionably extremely important.
Next to these fundamental goals, Enterprise Architecture will also greatly contribute to other, more specific business goals, such as avoiding duplicate work done by different parts of the organization and defining the basis for the organizing logic of business processes and IT infrastructure.
In addition, when applied on a project-level, Enterprise Architecture can increase it’s effectiveness and efficiency, which provides a basis for calculating the ROI of Enterprise Architecture.