How to conduct the IT integration for value creation – Enterprise Architecture (EA)

My Reflection | Ted | 2021/05/24

As a well-defined practice, Enterprise Architecture (EA) could help organisations make good use of their capabilities as a result of understanding, analysing, mapping, designing and planning existing IT assets in structured manner, aligning with company strategies. On such processes, a comprehensive model for operation would be documented, showing a roadmap of investments to a better future.

The EA implementation usually involved three steps: the first one is to describe the reality or baseline (as is); the second one is to define the target of future (to be), which is “to be”; the last step is to find the roadmap between the reality and the target.

There are several frameworks for reference of EA implementation. TOGAF and Zachman Framework are the two notable ones, showing a good alignment with each other. The primary architectural benefits of adopting TOGAF is that practitioners could take advantage of many resources including flexible and tailorable models, standards and tools to obtain the best EA practice covering the needs of stakeholder and current requirements (The Open Group 2018). As a high-level approach, TOGAF provides guidance for practitioners to reduce the systems complexity, integrate systems, train personnel, improve the flexibility and responsiveness, enhance risk control, improve information quality and integrity . To obtain those organizational benefits, practitioners could employ Architecture Development Method (ADM), which cover the areas of business, application, data, and technology.

On the contrast, Zachman Framework does not provide guidance on sequence, process, implementation or explicit compliance rules because of its most comprehensive views including more stakeholders’ perspectives that TOGAF does not provide. Zachman Framework can be achieved by building up a VPM (Viewpoint – Process – Model) relation for stakeholders in order to scope, define, and plan details regarding individual subsets of enterprise systems.

So, which framework should we choose for our integration?

It depends on the extent to which stakeholders have the impact on the success of the integration and to which stakeholders are being involved, isolated and modularised. For instance, if the project is for government which involves various independent stakeholder such as citizens in different positions and even other international entities. On the contrast, I think TOGAF framework is more suitable for business companies, considering the guidance from best practice and its potential benefit.

To be continue…

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