What Is Enterprise Architecture? Understanding the Framework For Digital Transformation

What Is Enterprise Architecture? Understanding the Framework For Digital Transformation

What Is Enterprise Architecture?

What is enterprise architecture? Find out what you need to know to understand the framework for digital transformation here!

Keyword(s): what is enterprise architecture

Businesses with inefficient systems on average tend to lose 20%-30% of their revenue each year.

Every business today depends on technology for a lot of the activities that lead to productivity. As information and technology (IT) progress, systems inevitably grow complex. Applications, servers and other types of business software must all communicate effectively to help your firm achieve its objectives.

To manage this complexity, organisations are turning to enterprise architecture (EA). But exactly what is enterprise architecture? The following is a guide to help demystify EA.

What Is Enterprise Architecture?

When you look at different businesses, you’ll find that each one looks at EA differently. As a result, there is no single definition outlining what EA is.

At its essence, EA is a collection of components (including the relationships that exist between them) and the operating principles that guide a firm’s IT infrastructure.

In today’s world, companies rely more on technology to enhance collaboration across diverse operational segments. It takes thought out technological planning to facilitate the collection and storage data, provision of customer service, among others.

Consequently, when you take the technology involved in each of these business functions, it gets to add up. EA helps manage the entire collection of these individual technological components. When the entire IT collection as a whole runs smoothly, then your business will deliver an exceptional customer experience.

An enterprise architect is the person in charge of overseeing EA on a day-to-day basis. Due to the role they play, enterprise architects are a critical element of your firm’s digital transformation and strategy.

It’s important to note that the outcome of any EA should not be judged solely according to the organisation aspect. A good EA should help you translate your business strategy into real solutions you can track and measure.

A Brief History

An enterprise architecture framework (EAF) is the guideline you use to create and use EA in your business. Although many people assume that EA came about after John Zachman published the Zachman Framework, EAFs have a much earlier origin.

EAFs came about after IBM launched the business systems planning (BSP) approach in the 1960s. The BSP focused on the technical aspect of IT, like how to deploy your servers and other hardware. The BSP approach took a top-down element, and it outlined a series of steps a company could follow when designing its EA.

The 1980s-1990s

The 1980s through to the 1990s is where EA as a concept really took root. Several theories were published during this era. Examples include the IBM sponsored PRISM in 1986, the Zachman Framework in 1987, and NIST EA in 1989.

The framework theories that came out during the late stages of the 1980s to the 1990s added new elements. These new ideas touched on data integration and applications which had begun arising as systems became more sophisticated.

Examples of the frameworks that came to be at this time include the TAFIM and Steven Spewak's Enterprise Architecture Planning.

The most recent era in EAF development starts from the late 1990s to today. The new frameworks published in this period focus on moving beyond IT to bringing together diverse layers of a company's system. These frameworks touch on applications, overall strategy, and business needs, among others.

Some of these newer frameworks include the FEAF (based on Spewak's EAP) and the well-known TOGAF. Despite the differences in all these approaches, these frameworks share a common origin point that is the BSP approach.


There are a few advantages to adopting EA that help explain the 'why' behind such a design approach. These include:

1. Better Agility

There is no question about it; today's organisations needs to be agile or face extinction. If your firm doesn't spend money on projects that go to supporting the current strategy, you will end up wasting precious competitive advantage.

EA helps your business remain agile by ensuring that you can respond to new developments in the market without affecting your existing operations. Through EA, you can better understand what drives your business, and this becomes useful when you need to tweak your performance.

2. Effective Execution of Strategy

EA is at its best when it takes all the complex aspects of IT strategy, business needs, and technology and turns them into a tangible output. Every unit in your business can get to work better with IT using EA, and that helps deliver speedy results aimed at moving your strategy forward.

3. Efficient Use of Your IT Resources

EA lays out the roadmap for your data, technology and existing systems. When anything goes wrong, you can quickly narrow down the source of the issue.

Since EA gives you a clear picture of the relationship between all your systems, you can better understand how they depend on each other. That degree of insight can enable you to efficiently maintain, manage, and upgrade any part of the system.

4. Better Communication and Planning

A well thought out EA will help you realise the issues you need to prioritise when developing your operation plan. Furthermore, EA can help you manage any change that comes about as part of your planning process.

EA enables you to identify and introduce new, but necessary systems and the capabilities to use them. As a result, it becomes easier for your firm to move from the old systems to new ones with minimal friction.

Such clarity can also promote communication between procurement, budget and other relevant teams that leads to effective planning.

Another essential aspect of communication that benefits from adopting EA is the interaction between stakeholders. Since EA lays out an overview of the company's functions, each stakeholder can synthesise their needs in light of the big picture.

That cross-functional insight into how the business is running becomes very crucial to aligning teams. Whenever any change needs to take place, all any stakeholder needs to do is use EA to understand how the changes will affect them.

Make Your Organisation More Efficient

When your firm relies on inefficient systems, you end up losing a chunk of your revenue each year. Technology is one area in which complexity can arise unnoticed. To check such complexity, businesses are turning to EA. But unless you can accurately answer the question ‘what is enterprise architecture?’ you will not get the best value out of the framework you choose to use.

Architecture Center Ltd has a highly experienced team of consultants and trainers ready to help you get the most out of EA. Talk to us today and learn how your organisation can run efficiently and stop losing its revenue.

8 Reasons to Consider In-House TOGAF Training Courses For Your Team

8 Reasons to Consider In-House TOGAF Training Courses For Your Team

8 Reasons to Consider In-House TOGAF Training Courses For Your Team

Want to learn more about the TOGAF training courses that come to you? Find out about the in-house TOGAF training courses that benefit the whole team here!

Keyword(s): togaf training

A company is only as strong as its team. And if you want your company to succeed, that starts with giving your team the training they need.

If your company wants to compete in today's economy, then you need to equip your team with the TOGAF enterprise architecture principles.

Getting your team trained poses its own challenges though. There are a lot of moving pieces to consider, such as individual schedules, training budget, and the diversity of available training methods.

But if you're looking for the best way to offer TOGAF training to your team, here are some reasons why you should consider bringing those courses in-house.

Train In Less Time

Imagine that you have a team of fifteen people, and you want all of them to go through the same training on their own time.

A couple of them finish the training later that night. Everyone else had their own plans, so they add it to their list to finish by week's end.

A fortnight later, and only half of the team has finished it. Meanwhile, everyone else is itching to get on to the next project.

With group training, however, you can give your entire team the same information at the same time, allowing you to move on to more important things.

Convenient For Your Team

There's a simple reason why off-site training takes so long to complete.

It's inconvenient.

Modern life is a constant juggling act between work, family, social obligations, and whatever time for hobbies left over at the end of that. Most individuals are jealous of the little leisure time they get each day.

They don't quickly give that up. And while you might not feel like you're asking them to give too much extra time, it's time that they would need to take from one of the other thousand things vying for their time.

But if you train in-house, then they don't need to take time away from other obligations. They simply go to work during their normal hours and receive all the training that they need.

Save On Travel Expenses

The average Brit commutes 54 minutes every day. That's as much as £5,000 in some parts of the country.

Your workers may not travel quite as much to come to work, but unless they live next door to the office, there's a good chance that they're already spending enough time and money on their commute.

The last thing they want to do is add the additional travel time to an extracurricular training facility. If you're reimbursing their training (which you should), then that money comes out of your pocket.

On the other hand, if you train them in-house, there's no additional travelling to be done. You also don't need to worry about offering them a per diem to cover other travel-related expenses.

Customise Training For Your Company

If you sit in on a session at a training facility or an online training, the information for that training will need to be applicable to everyone who sits in on that training. It's up to you to apply that training to your own context.

However, if you bring the training into your own office, then the trainer can customise the information to your company's specific challenges and opportunities.

Given that TOGAF enterprise architecture principles are incredibly specific to your company's vision, purpose, and opportunity, in-house training will allow you to collaborate with the trainer on shaping your own principles for your business.

Build Camaraderie Between Teammates

Your office is a hotbed of collaboration. While your team members may spend most of their time working on their own, their projects depend on the work of those around them, operating in concert like cogs in a clock.

But if those workers are isolated from one another, that collaboration can be stunted.

When paired with the close quarters of an office, this isolation can breed contempt. One person's quirky habit becomes the fly in their coworker's ointment.

However, if those same two coworkers have a relationship that goes beyond the proximity of their desks, that same habit might even become a little charming.

This camaraderie doesn't happen on accident: it's grown through shared experiences. When your team members overcome challenges with one another, it makes for a stronger team.

In-house training often includes team-building exercises, and while these activities might seem silly, they can increase communication, collaboration, and relationships between team members, leading to better performance in the long term.

Boosts Overall Productivity

If you're weighing different training options for your team, you might be looking at in-house training and thinking about all the time that you'll lose for the actual work of your business.

While you might not be asking your team to find time on their own, you still need to take that time away from current projects that your team is working on.

That might feel like a lot to give up, but it will actually help your team's productivity in the long run.

As mentioned previously, these trainings can help increase relationships between your team members, which can help them work more effectively with one another.

But more importantly, your team will be better equipped to take on new challenges after being trained. The time that you lost to the training sessions will be gained by the boosted capabilities of your team.

Looking For In-house TOGAF Training?

If you've been searching for a good option for your team to complete TOGAF training, you're in luck. Our highly-experienced consultants and trainers would love to help.

Fill out this form to request an in-house training! We'll see you soon.

How to Stay On the Cutting Edge of IT Architecture: 9 Tips For Futuristic Thinkers

How to Stay On the Cutting Edge of IT Architecture

How to Stay On the Cutting Edge of IT Architecture

If you're interested in IT architecture, this post is for you! Click here for 9 tips you need to know to stay ahead of your peers!

Keyword(s): it architecture

Planning and implementing IT architecture is a tough endeavour.

You have to constantly juggle a bunch of technical details. To make things more complicated, a new era of enterprise technology is disrupting established models, practices, and strategies.

We live in times of global digitisation and smartphone proliferation. Artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to reshape the tech landscape.

Well, what this means is there’s not much time to dwell on the past. We have to initiate smart strategic planning and set our eyes on the future horizon. That’s the way to keep up with shifting customer expectations and the rapid pace of innovation.

Here are some actionable tips on how to navigate this brave new IT world.

1. Go Over the Basics of IT Architecture

The world of tomorrow is a fascinating topic to explore, but don’t get ahead of yourself.

Take your time to revise the basic components of the IT infrastructure. Get familiar with common IT tasks, standardising technology, consolidating resources, collaboration platforms, etc. Understand the role each one of them plays.

While at it, give common tasks some special thoughtful consideration.

They refer to high priorities such as eliminating information silos. What is more, they involve resource integration, as well as the definition of technical standards and security requirements. You can rest assured these activities will make or break your IT efforts.

2. Initiate Strategic Standardisation

Standardisation of technology is a crucial strategic campaign to set in motion.

This process revolves around keeping your hardware and software as consistent as possible. You streamline core operations and reduce the complexity associated with enterprise architecture implementation. In the process, you tap into economies of scale and facilitate integrations.

Likewise, you become adept at seizing support opportunities and improve future control.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to stick to applications and development platforms that reduce architecture complexity. For instance, set up company-wide backbone solutions for integrating apps from different providers. Smooth integration is way more important than adding more functionalities.

3. Ramp up Your Agility

Moving on, you have to find ways to make your IT architecture more lean and agile.

You can keep some legacy systems running, but they mustn’t impede the effectiveness of the overall IT transformation. See if you can make them as fast as the rest of the system.

Uniform high speed is the name of the game moving forward. On the other hand, “two-track” IT organisations are falling by the wayside.

Furthermore, you may want to ponder novelties such as micro-services. Think of them as complex applications broken down into narrow components. They promote higher agility, while also increasing stability and scalability.

We predict a steady upward market trajectory for them in years to come.

4. Omni-Channel and Cross-Device Support

An escalating number of channels and end devices put rough challenges before organisations.

Namely, an average consumer utilises multiple devices on a regular basis. Most of these devices are mobile platforms. This is to say you might want to embrace the mobile-first approach.

It plays right to the strengths and overcomes the limitations of tablets and smartphones. At the same time, the IT architecture must support all other end-use cases, no exceptions.

Consumers accept nothing less than seamless integration and omnichannel capability. They also require you to provide timely and accurate information at all times. Meeting these goals, you’ll gain an edge and reap immense benefits of early adoption.

5. Consolidation and Centralisation

Consolidation and centralisation of technology is another key next step toward IT greatness.

These two transformation processes are usually carried out via data centres. Apart from more optimal resources use, they bolster data recovery, network access, and service delivery. In addition, they bring amazing security benefits.

To make the change happen, focus on managing IT staff, file storage, directory services, and server resources. Do away with the remains of a fragmented approach and traditional system integrations.

Bear in mind Enterprise-Service-Bus methodology no longer cuts it either, which brings us back to micro-services. There are already many open source products you can take advantage of, so no excuses really.

6. Face the Data Galore

Modern businesses are awash with an unprecedented amount of data.

And the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) suggests this is just the beginning. The main issue, of course, is how to extract value from a vast ocean of unstructured data. Well, numerous companies have responded by building data warehouses.

They pull data points from various sources and then proceed to analyse and process it in real-time. In order to do that, they have to employ new technologies like data lakes and in-memory platforms.

These novelty tools give rise to the transformation of the whole IT infrastructure. Here, we could be moving in the direction of hybrid big-data systems.

7. Security as a Growing Concern

Cybersecurity is one of the hottest IT topics of today.

Indeed, business organisations cannot stand idle as data breaches and identity thefts proliferate. And the situations may even go from bad to worse.

To keep the ever more sophisticated threats at bay, you need to reinforce your IT architecture. Yes, corporate giants can invest a small fortune, but there are many affordable layers you can add too.

The crucial thing is to take a wide, holistic view. Your policies and measures must encompass the entire value chain, as well as all data recipients and suppliers.

Note that some experts argue Security-as-a-Service will be the next big thing in this department. We can see the logic behind it. This model tends to improve risk management and thwarts cyberattacks via cloud-powered security checks.

8. Assess SaaS and PaaS Opportunities

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model is a reliable roadmap to success in a dynamic tech ecosystem.

It initiates a series of innovation cycles and makes implementations much simpler. Moreover, it has other advantages, such as transparent billing and provisioning. You can hardly go wrong with SaaS these days.

That being said, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions are gaining traction as well.

They are replacing internal systems that used to be the mainstay of IT architecture. This is because they refine the app development process in multiple ways. Most notably, they demolish the barriers that undermine the implementation of Agile methodologies.

9. Leverage Automation

Automation is the present and future of IT frameworks.

It helps us boost operational efficiencies, eliminate the manual strain, and trim costs. For instance, you can make your life much easier by automating system maintenance.

Machines can do the heavy lifting, rolling in updates and patches and running scans. In the near future, they could also start configuring computers automatically. This innovation is fast approaching and it’s called Infrastructure-as-a-Code.

It will bring about a change of perspective, as we begin to treat infrastructure as cloud-based software. What a time to be alive and run a business.

Ahead of the Curve

Like it or not, the future is already upon us.

However you spin things, it seems to introduce a mix of opportunities and challenges. Pioneers and forward-thinking market leaders waste no time resting on the laurels. If you want to join the race, reconfigure existing resources and deploy new IT architecture systems.

Make sure they are in line with industry standards and your overarching business goals.

Get smart about data and consider applying new models and policies. Standardise, centralise, and integrate everything for good measure. That’s the way to maximise your enterprise IT capability while keeping the costs and risks at bay.

Check out our courses to gain deeper insights into what it takes to thrive in a highly competitive digital world. It’s time to complete your IT projects with flying colours!

How to Land an Enterprise Architect Job

How to Land an Enterprise Architect Job

How to Land an Enterprise Architect Job

Are you in the process of applying for a career in Enterprise Architecture? Here's how to beat the competition and get the Enterprise Architect job!

Keyword(s): enterprise architect job

Learning enterprise architecture allows you to develop long-term IT strategies for organisations. The main purpose of an enterprise architect job is to support the business strategy. EAs provide directions for technology and applications towards technology infrastructure.

An enterprise architect job requires them to define every part of the technological flow. EAs are responsible for IT and IT-enabled processes running smoothly from start to finish. Which makes this a significant role for any organisation to have.

There are different routes to becoming an enterprise architect. It is necessary to have a wide range of technological fields. It allows anyone to start from anywhere within the industry.

It's also key to learn about the varying areas over the course of your career. The enterprise architect career path pays well but demands dedication and flexibility. To learn more about how to become an enterprise architect, continue reading.

The Good Thing About Being an Enterprise Architect

You should expect long hours and responsibilities with an enterprise architect job.

EAs are able to oversee and help decide the paths that companies take. They ensure that their technology infrastructure remains current. Progressive companies help you work alongside leading-edge technology and try new things.

The enterprise architect education requires a high-level perspective and operates at a high-level.

Only 5% of industries offer the enterprise architect position. Yet, the role could be defined under a different name. Essentially, the role handles the overall management of the IT department.

The average base salary for EAs is up to £72 551 a year with a chance for other bonuses and profit sharing. Companies with EAs hire them as full-time employees, securing your position once you reach that level. The full salary ranges from £50 000 to £101 000, with the higher-end salaries often achieved toward the end of your career.

What Being An Enterprise Architect is Like

Learning enterprise architecture involves a lot of technical knowledge. Yet, there are many other skills that make for a successful EA. Some require more natural-born skills while others can be honed until mastered!

The most successful EAs are inspirational and motivational. You need to be capable of inspiring the teams you work with. Remember that the right amount of motivation will help everyone get the job done.

Communication is key and the success of every project depends on it. You must know how to effectively communicate the plan you have for the team and the future success of the company. Ensure that every team member and other teams know what is happening and when.

Be open to negotiation and finding alternatives before making any big decisions. None of your ideas should be final since other departments may have contradicting ideas. You may also have limited resources, so negotiating will be necessary.

With an enterprise architect career path, you'll have plenty of opportunities to problem solve. But you'll also need to understand both the business and the technology sides. You'll need to know what different technologies are within reach to make your job more efficient and agile.

What Responsibilities to Expect with an Enterprise Architect Job

Enterprise architects work on transformational programmes across different portfolios. They manage many different meetings and projects at a time. It requires having the ability to not only multitask but to balance the needs and wants of the company.

EAs are responsible for companies' architecture strategies. No aspect of IT architecture goes unturned. You'd be responsible for determining the strategy's current state, transition and designated path.

It's beneficial to moderate architecture review boards as well. People regularly meet on them to discuss the current architecture and ways to improve them. You'd have the responsibility of approving or denying those changes.

You can also expect to manage the portfolios of companies' health and status of their IT infrastructure. Be apart of any governance committees, as they make the decisions on standards, policies, and protocols. And define any technology life cycles by determining how certain changes will be implemented.

Routes to Landing an Enterprise Architect Job

Enterprise architects have many different routes to reach this position. Most system admins, programmers, network managers, product owners, and DBAs can be filtered into the role. You don't need to know how to become an enterprise architect to still end up as one year down the road.

The best way to begin the work to becoming an EA thru volunteer work. Participate in meetings, volunteer to be apart of committees and team leaders, and continue learning about all aspects of technology. Improve your knowledge of IT and understand the business domain companies operate in.

For example, if you are a DBA, you can learn more about cloud and programing. You'll earn a greater overview of these departments of the business work. This is all very important for a successful enterprise architect career path.

Also, consider a certification in a world-renowned framework for enterprise architecture. Doing so can cut down the time it takes to reach an EA level, significantly. It will also add tremendous value to your career.

Bottom Line

The missing role of every company is the enterprise architect job.

Industries need EAs to survive and succeed in this digital era. It requires a technical and detailed eye, good judgment, and plenty of flexibility. But you have the tools — use this article as a guide towards becoming that mandatory function for enterprises around the world!

Are you considering a career in enterprise architecture? Contact us today to enroll in your first enterprise architect course!

7 Benefits of ArchiMate Modeling for Businesses

7 Benefits of Archimate Modeling for Businesses

7 Benefits of ArchiMate Modeling for Businesses

Discover how Archimate modeling helps analyze the structure of your business and why it's important to master this framework.

Keyword(s): archimate modeling

ArchiMate is a modeling language designed to make the inner-workings of corporations efficient. Developed by The Open Group, this language uses clear terminology to visually map out connections within a business. Enterprise architecture is a common word for these connections.

ArchiMate makes it possible to see which departments and operations are related to others. This standard language describes how the business is structured, its processes, how information flows, its technical infrastructure, and the IT systems.

Continue reading to learn what the benefits of ArchiMate modeling are for businesses.

1. It's a Vendor-Independent Tool

While ArchiMate is supported by multiple vendors and consulting firms, it's a totally vendor-independent tool. Any business that decides to implement this language as a practice of enterprise architecture isn't limited to a single vendor's frameworks and tools.

The Open Group also has a forum for ArchiMate if you have questions and need support.

You're not stuck with that one model once you have an ArchiMate certification. Businesses can apply technological developments and architectural advancements to their existing model. This freedom allows them to stay up-to-date and still use the same standard language.

In addition to being able to add to the model, The Open Group updates ArchiMate to meet present industry standards. They also perform maintenance fixes.

2. The Language is Unambiguous

One of the largest benefits of using ArchiMate for your business is the language is universal. It strives to be as clear and simple as possible. Anyone within or connected to a business will be able to understand an ArchiMate model.

The terminology even borrows from other EA models, creating a bridge between them. If someone understands another model they'll have no difficulty understanding ArchiMate.

This consistency helps create cohesion between departments and processes in an organization. Communication is made simple and efficient with this standard language.

There aren't too many concepts to learn, but just the concepts that are most important. Anyone who's shown an ArchiMate model won't feel overwhelmed with information.

3. It Gives Stakeholders Guidance

ArchiMate shows which operations within a corporation are linked together. Stakeholders can receive guidance from a model like this.

They can use the visual map to work out the effects of different decisions. This will help them make the decision that is best for them and the business. The universal, consistent terminology makes it possible for stakeholders to communicate these conclusions.

They can track and share what changes a decision has made or will make. The business will know what impact it has on them directly and how it affects customers.

4. It Shows Stakeholders Progress

You can have more than one representation of your enterprise. To show only the required information that's related to a specific stakeholder, it's strongly recommended that you design multiple ArchiMate models. Each one should be tailored to a different stakeholder and there should be one that shows your entire business.

This makes communication even more efficient with stakeholders. They're only shown the parts of your business that concern them. They don't need to sift through all of the irrelevant information.

They can quickly tell you what their concerns are in their portion of the enterprise using the ArchiMate model. You can respond by showing them how you will and are addressing their concerns.

Both you and the stakeholder can track the progress you've made. You'll be able to show them the requirements that have been met and their impact on the workings of the business.

5. It Makes Refining Connections Easy

An ArchiMate standard defines and lays out the relationships between departments, decision-makers, and processes. The entire business operation can easily be tweaked by being able to see every link.

You can follow the route information takes from a certain place in the business and see if there's any room for miscommunication or delay. Spotting this and similar things will help you refine how your business runs.

A clear, easy-to-read map is a great way to find weak points in the operation and create a more efficient system.

6. It Can be Combined with Other EA Models

Because corporations aren't locked into one framework by a single vendor, they can mix and match models and languages. ArchiMate doesn't set a specific way a business operates. Enterprise Architectures can be combined with ArchiMate.

The Unified Modeling Language or UML is another standardized modeling language.

A business with a TOGAF framework may choose to switch from basic text to a more universal language. One business can use UML while another uses ArchiMate. A corporation can even have a TOGAF framework with both UML and ArchiMate.

7. It's a Precise Representation

ArchiMate concepts are not only simple, but they're precise. The modeling language helps you build a representation of your business operation with precision. This clear, accurate perspective of the inner-workings of your corporation aids in decision-making.

When you or a stakeholder makes a decision, they'll know exactly what the consequences will be for the business and possibly customers. The business can spot issues in its enterprise architecture and know that the problem is accurate.

Choose the ArchiMate Modeling Language

Using the ArchiMate modeling language to map out your organization's operations comes with many benefits.

ArchiMate is a standardized language. Its concepts are consistent no matter which business implements the language. The language itself is simple and easily understood to help create smooth communication.

Every decision that's made using ArchiMate is done accurately. For a business that's cohesive and runs efficiently, choose ArchiMate.

Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions.

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