In my own opinion enterprise architecture is not just a high level strategic planning of the enterprise ( well lets face it, the IT in the enterprise). I see enterprise architecture as a proven, consistent and reusable way of doing IT task that we are already doing any way for years. Yes, it’s also serves us for high level planning, but it also (and most of the time) serves us for our daily tactical IT tasks. It goes without saying that enterprise architecture also accompany not just the decision making, but also the actual work that will be taken to make those decision a reality.
In order to do enterprise architecture work in more consistence way, I tend to collect all the existing assets of my organization and the relations between them. The collection work comes hand in hand with modeling work which depict what has been collected and the insight that we manage to gain. We collect data from business, Information, Applications and technology domains of the enterprise. In order to do enterprise architecture work reusable, I’m using an EA tools (No matter which one of them as long it comes with a repository).
Collection and modeling is a tedious step but it’s crucial for success. I address it several times before, but I’ll say it again: it actually create a unique knowledge which makes my a subject matter expert in the enterprise. The collected and modeled data enable us to massage and analyze collected data, yielding new insights that will help us in our daily tasks.
The question is, what are the tasks that EA can help us to do better? I tend to split those tasks to four main domains:
- IT planning. This domain contains any planning such as creation of 5 years IT road maps ( align IT to business), dealing with BCP (business continuity planning) and DRP (Disaster recovery planning), planning for M&A ( Merge and acquisitions) , Adopting new technology such as cloud computing ,integrating new technology, etc’
- IT cost reduction. This domain is focused on how to reduce IT costs by elimination of duplicate IT assets, adoption of new technologies/architectures, finding redundant IT assets, halting cost demand projects with less business contribution then other projects, retire high cost technologies, reduce IT complexity, etc’
- Increase Compliance. This domain is all about increasing compliance by taking advantage of what IT has to offer. Whenever it’s technology, architecture or simply a principle or a blueprint that will guide or directly increase compliance.
- IT optimization. In this domain we are using enterprise architecture to increase up time of IT services and reduce the duration of time for analyzing, designing and developing new IT solutions. Usually most of the work in this domain is based on the relations that was collected and modeled.
For each one of those domains I manage to prove to myself and others that using enterprise architecture we manage to do our work much more accurate and much more faster (thanks to reusing) . In the next posts I’ll share how exactly I’m using EA to do each one of the described tasks.