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The Basics of Enterprise Architecture: What You Need to Know

The Basics of Enterprise Architecture: What You Need to Know

The Basics of Enterprise Architecture: What You Need to Know

Enterprise architecture (EA) is how organizations organize and standardize their IT infrastructure to align with their goals. Read this to learn more about EA.

Keyword(s): enterprise architecture

Are you struggling to keep up with the rapidly changing tech environment? Are your customers demanding newer products and more technology?

If so, then enterprise architecture could be the answer for you. But if you’re left wondering what that means and how it can help you, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

Keep reading to learn the basics of enterprise architecture and how to implement it for your organization.

What Is Enterprise Architecture?

One reason enterprise architecture is hard to define is that it is best described as a culture or environment in which teams are encouraged and assisted in meeting the company objectives or goals. There are several enterprise architecture definitions, but we will stick with the basics.

The enterprise architect sees the big picture of the company while also working with the teams who do the day-to-day technical work of the company. They are the liaison between the executives and the employees.

The EA has a pulse on the company’s target market and their desires so that your business is creating products that will sell. It can be difficult to manage all three sectors of the product development process so having a solid framework is key.

You create the blueprint that everyone else will follow. This blueprint must align with the key initiatives of your organization while also giving structure for your operations team. It gives everyone a path to follow.

Unfortunately, there isn’t one single agreed-upon definition or standard in EA. However, as you build your program you will use the elements that fit with your company.

There are several benefits to using enterprise architecture and you’re sure to see your team’s productivity increase with this system. The key is to create a framework that supports your team to achieve their goals.

What Are the Six Basic Elements of Enterprise Architecture

There are six basic elements of enterprise architecture. These can be considered the layers of your plan. We will go over each one so you can see how you can utilize this helpful resource to reach your business goals.

1. Architecture Governance

This is your oversight committee. This person or team develops the plan and ensures that the rest of the team stays on track. This person ensures that the goals set by the team align with the overall goals of the company and fits within the current IT infrastructure.

2. Architecture Framework

The enterprise architecture framework is the foundation on which the next four sections are built.

It establishes the scope of the project (similar to the definition of done in the Agile method) as well as the strategy and technological pieces necessary. There are several frameworks that work well for different companies and organizations. Some of these courses include TOGAF, TEAF, and Zachman.

3. Implementation Methodology

The methodology takes the strategy and scope from the framework and outlines the steps necessary to complete the project. This can change between, and within, organizations.

Some teams might choose to use Agile sprints for their methodology, while others will use Kanban, Lean, or another method. However you choose, you will need to decide this upfront and ensure everyone is on the same page.

4. Documentation Artifacts

These are your deliverables. How will you and your team document your strategy, plans, and workflow?

If multiple people will need to work in this document and have access to it simultaneously, you might want to use Google Docs or Sheets. If only one person will create the document and then share it, Excel will work. You might choose to use a database or other online-based software.

The key is to establish this in the beginning and keep it uniform throughout the process. Everyone who needs this information should be given access to the program, or repository, you use to document each piece of the project.

5. Architecture Repository

Your repository holds your tools and processes for everyone to access. The beauty of a framework is that it becomes the structure that holds up the rest of your program. Your tools and processes do not become the framework, they are merely used to support the blueprint.

Different teams might choose to use different tools than others. However, they can all follow the same framework to ensure that everyone ends in the right place, which are the goals and objectives established at the beginning.

6. Associated Best Practices

Your best practices are your standard operating procedures and are outlined in the beginning before you start the project. This needs to be transparent so everyone on the team knows what is expected of them.

These six elements will allow you to build the blueprint that your team will follow to accomplish your objectives. As the EA, you ensure that your team is building the right thing at the right time to reach your business goals.

The problem with traditional business planning is that it takes months or years. In today’s market consumers want new products released regularly. To ensure this, you need a more dynamic planning process. And enterprise architecture provides that.

Standardize Your Processes With EA to Reach Your Goals

As you can see enterprise architecture can be hard to define. But when implemented you will see an increase in productivity while breaking down silos around your company. You will have a roadmap that everyone can follow. It is transparent and accessible to everyone regardless of being in the marketing department, sales, or IT.

When everyone has the same blueprint that maps out the tools and processes to complete their projects you will see transformation through standardization, decreased duplication, and tech alignment.

For more information on how your organization can get the proper training to fully implement EA for your company, contact us today.

Whether you're working in IT, overseeing a team of architects, or you're an architect yourself, taking an ArchiMate 3 course can have a profound impact on your career.

Not only will you learn about the biggest fundamentals and principles of architecture, but upon completion, you'll be prepared to tackle a two-part exam that results in your certification. Simply put, enrolling in an ArchiMate 3 online course might be the smartest career decision you ever make.

So what can you expect from an ArchiMate 3 course? Join us by watching this quick video as we explore everything you'll need to know, including course details, pricing structures, information about the exam and so much more.

This is a video that you cannot afford to miss! And if you'd like to learn more about how you or your team can enroll in an ArchiMate 3 course, make sure to contact us.

4 Common Myths About Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation isn't a new concept - recent years have seen the rapid evolution of technology in business, from the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain to chatbots, machine learning, and virtual reality. Almost all companies are involved in some form of digital transformation, but how many are actually seeing it pay off?

Keyword(s): digital transformation

In this article, I want to talk about some of the common myths related to digital transformation. Even though, almost all companies are involved in some form of digital transformation, but how many are actually seeing it pay off? The answer is surprisingly few. A new analysis by Bain and Company found that solely 8% of global corporations have been capable of achieving their focused enterprise outcomes from their investments in digital technology. Said another way, more than 90% of companies are still struggling to deliver on the promise of a technology-enabled business model. Successful transformation is complicated and includes aligning technology with business features, integrating new technologies with legacy technologies, and delivering innovation in places which are uncomfortable with risk. By contemplating digital as an enabler as an alternative of an end aim, entrepreneurs can better decide how their digital transformation technique will affect the customer experience, in addition to drive revenue and efficiency gains. If so, digital transformation is a solution for your business. According to recent research, over 40% of corporations worldwide include digitalization of their business strategy. Let's see what are the common myths about transformation.

Common myths about transformation

1. Digital transformation is only about technology.

Technology is essential of course, but the transformation is not only about it. Transformation is not only a software upgrade or a supply chain improvement project. Transformation is actually about your corporation and how your objective, strategy, and progress will survive amid a sea change of expectations from customers, workers, and partners. A transformation like 5G can definitely inform and guide your workflow, however the fact is that a workflow that's well-designed, intentional, related to the enterprise, present with technology trends, and most significantly meant to make your business extra efficient can also stand up to main disruptions. The digital transformation exercise should impact real metrics-revenue, profit, cost, customer engagement, retention, or repeat buying-and therefore influence business in a optimistic manner. Transformation is about positioning the company strategically to compete within the digital age and coping with new market realities. If you need to lead your organization's technology transition, step one is grasping the realities of digital transformation - rather than getting seduced by the hype.

2. Transformation is an isolated, one-off project that follows a regular approach and requires firm-wide change.

One of the most important myths surrounding digital transformation is that it's an isolated, one-off project. For a digital transformation initiative to succeed, it needs to be a corporate-wide undertaking with involvement from stakeholders across the organization. Marketers will only achieve success of their digital transformation if they truly understand what their clients need and build digital experiences around that perception.

This myth connected to digital transformation is that it requires an organization-wide transition to digital. It doesn't. Yes, stakeholders from throughout the organization need to be concerned, however not every operation across departments needs to shift to digital. Building an effective digital strategy starts with evaluating the market, as well as the organization and its objectives. This will provide the data needed to determine where to spend money on digital, and the way best to profit from these investments. In some cases, there are non-digital processes in an organization that works quite well and might not warrant being digitized.

3. We already have a good digital strategy

Digital transformation is the process by which corporations are radically changing themselves to better meet clients' expectations and desires. By radical change, I mean fundamentally changing everything: customer and employee-facing systems; business processes; products and services; even the brand. 90 % of companies believe they have a digital strategy in place, but only 14 % have the technology and skills needed to deliver that strategy. What's extra, few corporations approach their digital strategies efficiently. Only 25 % have mapped the client journey - an important step for transformation - and only 42 % are investing in digital channels. In reality, almost 90% of CIOs in the latest survey have admitted that a digital transformation project has failed, been delayed or lowered in scope.

To implement digital transformation in pieces doesn't require cleansing up the universe of data throughout the organization (though it is best) or having absolutely strong datamarts that are simply accessible/relational/editable/IAM-gated, and so on. This is variously termed digital transformation or tech-enabled enterprise transformation, however no matter label, technology leaders are on the center.

4. Digital Transformation is a separate "thing" that is added to your existing business model.

Transformation isn't just adding extra tech to your present strategy, a side project for your IT department. For instance, cloud-based technologies and subscription-led services are nice enablers of digital transformation; they're affordable and businesses of every size can utilise them without breaking the bank. To launch a digital transformation of enterprise processes, it's essential to purposefully model these processes with tools that enable inventive, empirical simulations. Transformation is an ongoing process; one that may require changes to maintain success. An enterprise architect is a person in charge of your company on a day-to-day basis. Due to the role they play, enterprise architects are also a critical element of your firm's digital transformation and strategy.

If you get these myths, you will be less more likely to fall prey to the hype about transformation and be extra aware of how arduous the process actually is. Eliminating these myths and gaining a transparent view of what's required for transformation is important for success.

If you would like to transform your business successfully, contact us today. Our training courses will help you in your digital transformation process.

The Practical Approach to ArchiMate: Example Use Cases

The Practical Approach to ArchiMate: Example Use Cases

The Practical Approach to ArchiMate: Example Use Cases

ArchiMate is an open standard for Enterprise Architecture that is used by many organizations across the world. Here are a some example use cases of ArchiMate.

Keyword(s): archimate

Ninety percent of enterprise architects (EA) are in technology innovation. The goal of 90% of those EA is to bring together new technology with new business models.

Approximately 55% of businesses now have some form of integrated business IT strategy. The ArchiMate program helps EA describe the structure of a business. This is accomplished using model diagrams.

What is ArchiMate

ArchiMate is an international standard established by The Open Group. This global consortium helps businesses achieve their objectives. This happens through the use of technology standards.

The ArchiMate 3 modelling language compliments TOGAF. TOGAF is an IT management framework. Its purpose is to help businesses align IT goals with business goals.

The ArchiMate 3 specification uses diagram models. Those models describe the layers of solutions architecture. The goal is to solve a lack of understanding between EA and their audience.

ArchiMate 3 Provides "modelling language for mapping the structure of corporate architecture. This allows businesses to achieve that goal.

ArchiMate helps enterprise architects communicate architectural ideas. This is accomplished by practitioners creating simplified versions of the business structure. This allows the EA to display the connections between all areas of business.

The creation of model diagrams can be challenging. Courses are available on how to use ArchiMate. ArchiMate certified professionals are sought across many industries.

The Enterprise Architecture Diagram

By 2022 approximately 80% of successful organizations will rely on EA. Those Enterprise architects will design digital business ecosystems and digital platforms.

ArchiMate is a visual language. The system models and captures enterprise architecture.

Enterprise architecture is the practice of managing enterprise analysis, design, planning, and implementation. This happens using an all-inclusive approach.

The goal is to develop and execute a successful business strategy. EA can ensure you have all the information needed to make critical decisions. The downside is that versions of EA framework can be difficult for people to operate.

Purpose of ArchiMate

ArchiMate provides a visual model of the areas within a business. It also shows the relationship between those departments. The areas include products and services, processes, organization, data applications, and technical infrastructure.

The ArchiMate model gives a top-to-bottom look at the areas of business. After creation, the diagram will show the business layer. This layer highlights the services a business provides for its customers.

The diagram will also show the application layer. The application layer focuses on applications that support the services a business provides. Services offered to customers are also located in this layer.

The technology layer shows the technical infrastructure of the business.

How ArchiMate Works

The graphical language of ArchiMate uses a series of visual practices. This helps businesses create a graphical sketch of their business operations. The user is able to create a straightforward map of their business.

The easy terminology of ArchiMate makes the process of creating maps easy. The result is a diagram that provides a viewpoint of the architecture they have to work with.

This helps a business see the consequences of their decisions. They can then make the best choices for the company.

ArchiMate's core framework is the use of "layers" and "aspects." These two sections form interconnecting cells.

Each layer takes several aspects into account. These include passive structure, behavior, active structure, and motivation.

There are six layers used in creating a diagram with ArchiMate. It starts with the business layer and application layer. The implementation and mitigation layer, strategy layer and physical layer are then added.

Business Stakeholder

A stakeholder within a company can be an internal part of the organization. An internal stakeholder can determine their involvement with projects and the project's success.

Stakeholders can also be external in the company. External stakeholders would-be customers, creditors, unions, or members of the community.

A stakeholder's position within the business diagram can determine resources and concerns. This overview is important to enterprise architects. Their job to provide guidance on helping each department reach its goals.

The ArchiMate system allows stakeholders to design, access, and communicate the business operation. The diagram shows the organizational structures, informational flows, technical infrastructures, and IT systems.

Using the Diagrams

The function of ArchiMate is to show a group of internal behaviours. These are both at the application level and the business level.

The writer of Practical ArchiMate provides an example of creating a business diagram. The sample diagram is for a contact centre. The process is the procedure of reporting network outages.

The only way to contact the centre is by telephone. The sample diagram shows the steps taken when a person telephones the contact centre. The customer calls and talks to the company to report the outage.

The diagram displays tech support for collecting the information. They then inform NOC and record the outage. This is also linked to a trouble ticketing system.

The model shows that reporting an outage involves several steps. What those steps are and the order that they take place shows in the business model.

The best way to understand the ArchiMate process is to view a variety of completed diagrams.

Benefits of ArchiMate

ArchiMate is a visual enterprise modelling language. Its purpose is to communicate ideas rather than completing them.

ArchiMate language illustrates the high-speed linking of business procedures. This shows how people, applications, data, and infrastructure work in a company.

A three-layered system of "process + function/service + application" creates a colourful diagram. This results in a clear diagram of the business. The Stakeholder uses this diagram to illustrate any business concerns.

These diagrams provide a detailed business perspective. Businesses are able to make decisions with an understanding of each situation.

An ArchiMate diagram displays the connections between departments and decision-makers. This helps businesses see where relationships need improvement. The result is business operations that are more efficient.

ArchiMate is vendor-independent. This prevents users from getting locked into stifling tools or frameworks. ArchiMate allows businesses to embody computer technology or architecture practices.

Become an ArchiMate 3 Practitioner

The course on ArchiMate 3 teaches how to use ArchiMate theory in EA modelling. Attendees develop the skills and knowledge needed in using ArchiMate 3.0 language.

Becoming a certified ArchiMate3 Practitioner is a 2-step process. The attendee must first pass the course. They will then take an examination at a Pearson VUE Test Centre.

The attendee receives An ArchiMate 3 Practioner certificate after completion of the above. Contact the Architecture Centre today to learn about class enrolment.

The 6 Key Benefits of Enterprise Architecture for Your Organization

The 6 Key Benefits of Enterprise Architecture for Your Organization

The 6 Key Benefits of Enterprise Architecture for Your Organization

Enterprise architecture (EA) benefits modern organizations in many ways. Here are some of the key benefits you inherit by utilizing enterprise architecture.

Keyword(s): enterprise architecture

All modern businesses feature enterprise architecture (EA), whether they’re aware of it or not.

Of course, possessing awareness is much better than lacking it. A planned and organised approach allows you to assume full control of your assets and tackle escalating complexities in the business environment.

EA is the art and science of designing, improving, and maintaining IT infrastructure. It usually takes the form of a compound of multiple frameworks. And it’s no longer limited to “keeping the lights on”.

It represents a total methodology, one that can be visualised, described, and adopted. You can equip your organisation with a coherent set of concepts and practises for success. And this is associated with a slew of proven benefits you can’t afford to miss out on.

Here is how and why to let EA govern your information systems.

1. A Strategic Overview

EA is no longer the sole function of IT, isolated from the rest of the organisation.

Nowadays, it has become much more—a bridge between the business and IT. First off, it provides you with a holistic overview of your IT parameter and a technological roadmap. It’s a strategic lens for observing the entirety of your infrastructure.

You gain crucial insights and a comprehensive picture, one that minimises miscommunication.

Think of it as a conceptual blueprint, an integrated treasury of information. One employs it to set the stage for the delivery of concrete products, documents, and other structural elements. Moreover, it can help you discover all the dependencies and points of synergy between them.

2. Reducing Complexity

EA is a tried and tested way of streamlining the core working of an organisation.

This is a real game-changer, considering most businesses operate as a mesh of systems and components. Shying away from facing this complexity isn’t an option.

EA encourages you to adopt a proactive, outcome-focused approach. Through a selection of the right principles, tools, and standards, it facilitates the calibration and automation of processes.

The result should be nothing short of an enterprise-wide transformation endeavour. You aline tech needs with business wants, enabling strategic changes and pivots (such as acquisitions and mergers).

Data-driven businesses that heavily rely on technology stand to benefit the most here.

3. Trimming Costs

This kind of organisational overhaul has further positive implications.

It leads to more efficient resource allocation and lets you score significant savings. This is due to EA decreasing and consolidating management, maintenance, and operational costs. At the same time, impact analysis eliminates redundancies and duplication (unnecessary rework).

You’re able to boost stability and overall product quality while leveraging shared capabilities. Along similar lines, many organisations have achieved faster time to market with EA.

All of this amounts to elevated ROI and overall profitability. You can maintain a sustainable pace of growth and manage integration projects fuss-free. So do yourself a favour and embrace the concept sooner rather than later.

4. Standardisation and Flexibility

EA fosters a higher level of IT standardisation.

It empowers decision-makers to flesh out sound business and operational models. Most of them mark the transition away from silo-based systems.

Furthermore, when done right, EA makes sure all employees are on the same page. It’s easier to manage multiple business units, as well as networks. You can, amongst other things, offer better software support and guidance than ever before.

Finally, EA is also an opportunity to maintain optimal productivity and operability. It integrates services and applications without friction and increases their portability.

So harness the power of EA to strengthen the organisation from within. Capitalise on newfound opportunities to create, buy, or outsource your IT solutions.

5. Security Gains

EA is the blueprint for addressing grave cybersecurity concerns of today.

As a key tool in the arsenal, it works wonders for data protection and security processes in general. Updates and patches are the most common tools used across industry sectors.

All in all, you gain a real fighting chance against the plight of threats that lurk all around. Data breaches and thefts are just the tips of the iceberg. There’s no shortage of other ever-more-sophisticated dangers.

We should also mention risks that stem from internal IT missteps. We’re talking about things such as shadow IT and redundant applications. EA adds value in this area is well.

It holds the key to protecting, grouping, and making better use of your assets. As an added bonus, you maintain consumer trust by taking good care of their data.

6. Change Analysis and Adaptability

EA is conducive to tech innovation, transformation, and smooth stack implementation.

Higher agility means you respond to sudden shifts in the industry and the market. Your bolster your ability to properly assess the impact of change and make educated adjustments. It might also make sense to go the extra mile and revamp your business model and strategies.

At the very least, do away with outdated practises that cause more harm than good. You’re likely to decrease project, investment, and business risks that way. The list of benefits goes on and includes regulatory and legal changes that disrupt the status quo.

GDPR is a prime example of how compliance affects financial performance and brand perception. So stay abreast of the latest developments and ahead of the curve.

Enterprise Architecture: Time to Step Up

A business organisation is a composite of a host of different moving parts.

Juggling them can be a daunting task, unless you have the right approach. The good news is you can use enterprise architecture as the glue that holds your company together.

No, it’s not a silver bullet, but the benefits we covered speak volumes about its utility. Adoption is a chance to bring order and structure to your business.

So relieve yourself of the burden of legacy systems and platforms. Unite your team around shared vision and goals. Remember that success hinges on the quality of your planning and implementation processes.

EA needs to be “alive”: an ongoing project, not a one-time commitment. It’s time to let it spearhead your transformative path to business greatness.

Get in touch with us in case you require EA training and consultancy services. Be in-the-know.

Architecture Center

Architecture Center Ltd provides consultancy and training services in the following areas: enterprise architecture, business processes management and IT systems integration.