Tag Archives: Serge Thorn

Redefining traceability in Enterprise Architecture and implementing the concept with TOGAF 9.1 and/or ArchiMate 2.0

By Serge Thorn, Architecting the Enterprise

One of the responsibilities of an Enterprise Architect is to provide complete traceability from requirements analysis and design artefacts, through to implementation and deployment.

Along the years, I have found out that the term traceability is not always really considered in the same way by different Enterprise Architects.

Let’s start with a definition of traceability. Traceable is an adjective; capable of being traced. Trying to find a definition even from a dictionary is a challenge and the most relevant one I found on Wikipedia which may be used as a reference could be “The formal definition of traceability is the ability to chronologically interrelate uniquely identifiable entities in a way that is verifiable.”

In Enterprise Architecture, traceability may mean different things to different people.

Some people refer to

  • Enterprise traceability which proves alignment to business goals
  • End-to-end traceability to business requirements and processes
  • A traceability matrix, the mapping of systems back to capabilities or of system functions back to operational activities
  • Requirements traceability which  assists  in quality  solutions that meets the business needs
  • Traceability between requirements and TOGAF artifacts
  • Traceability across artifacts
  • Traceability of services to business processes and architecture
  • Traceability from application to business function to data entity
  • Traceability between a technical component and a business goal
  • Traceability of security-related architecture decisions
  • Traceability of IT costs
  • Traceability to tests scripts
  • Traceability between  artifacts from business and IT strategy to solution development and delivery
  • Traceability from the initial design phase through to deployment
  • And probably more

The TOGAF 9.1 specification rarely refers to traceability and the only sections where the concept is used are in the various architecture domains where we should document a requirements traceability report or traceability from application to business function to data entity.

The most relevant section is probably where in the classes of architecture engagement it says:

“Using the traceability between IT and business inherent in enterprise architecture, it is possible to evaluate the IT portfolio against operational performance data and business needs (e.g., cost, functionality, availability, responsiveness) to determine areas where misalignment is occurring and change needs to take place.”

And how do we define and document Traceability from an end user or stakeholder perspective? The best approach would probably to use a tool which would render a view like in this diagram:

serge1In this diagram, we show the relationships between the components from the four architecture domains. Changing one of the components would allow doing an impact analysis.

Components may have different meanings as illustrated in the next diagram:

serge2Using the TOGAF 9.1 framework, we would use concepts of the Metamodel. The core metamodel entities show the purpose of each entity and the key relationships that support architectural traceability as stipulated in the section 34.2.1 Core Content Metamodel Concepts.

So now, how do we build that traceability? This is going to happen along the various ADM cycles that an enterprise will support. It is going to be quite a long process depending on the complexity, the size and the various locations where the business operates.

There may be five different ways to build that traceability:

  • Manually using an office product
  • With an enterprise architecture tool not linked to the TOGAF 9.1 framework
  • With an enterprise architecture tool using the TOGAF 9.1 artifacts
  • With an enterprise architecture tool using ArchiMate 2.0
  • Replicating the content of an Enterprise Repository such as a CMDB in an Architecture repository

1. Manually using an office product

You will probably document your architecture with the use of word processing, spread sheets and diagramming tools and store these documents in a file structure on a file server, ideally using some form of content management system.

Individually these tools are great but collectively they fall short in forming a cohesive picture of the requirements and constraints of a system or an enterprise. The links between these deliverables soon becomes non manageable and in the long term impact analysis of any change will become quite impossible. Information will be hard to find and to trace from requirements all the way back to the business goal that drives it. This is particularly difficult to achieve when requirements are stored in spread sheets and use cases and business goals are contained in separate documents. Other issues such as maintenance and consistency would have to be considered.

serge3

2. With an enterprise architecture tool not linked to the TOGAF 9.1 framework

Many enterprise architecture tools or suites provide different techniques to support traceability but do not really describe how things work and focus mainly on describing requirements traceability.  In the following example, we use a traceability matrix between user requirements and functional specifications, use cases, components, software artifacts, test cases, business processes, design specifications and more.

Mapping the requirements to use cases and other information can be very labor-intensive.

serge4

Some tools also allow for the creation of relationships between the various layers using grids or allowing the user to create the relationships by dragging lines between elements.

Below is an example of what traceability would look like in an enterprise architecture tool after some time.  That enterprise architecture ensures appropriate traceability from business architecture to the other allied architectures.

serge5

3. With an enterprise architecture tool using the TOGAF 9.1 artifacts

The TOGAF 9.1 core metamodel provides a minimum set of architectural content to support traceability across artifacts. Usually we use catalogs, matrices and diagrams to build traceability independently of dragging lines between elements (except possibly for the diagrams). Using catalogs and matrices are activities which may be assigned to various stakeholders in the organisation and theoretically can sometimes hide the complexity associated with an enterprise architecture tool.

serge6Using artifacts creates traceability. As an example coming from the specification; “A Business Footprint diagram provides a clear traceability between a technical component and the business goal that it satisfies, while also demonstrating ownership of the services identified”. There are other artifacts which also describe other traceability: Data Migration Diagram and Networked Computing/Hardware Diagram.

4. With an enterprise architecture tool using ArchiMate 2.0

Another possibility could be the use of the ArchiMate standard from The Open Group. Some of the that traceability could  also be achievable in some way using BPMN and UML for specific domains such as process details in Business Architecture or building the bridge between Enterprise Architecture and Software architecture.

With ArchiMate 2.0 we can define the end to end traceability and produce several viewpoints such as the Layered Viewpoint which shows several layers and aspects of an enterprise architecture in a single diagram. Elements are modelled in five different layers when displaying the enterprise architecture; these are then linked with each other using relationships. We differentiate between the following layers and extensions:

  • Business layer
  • Application layer
  • Technology layer
  • Motivation extension
  • Implementation and migration extension

The example from the specification below documents the various architecture layers.

serge7
As you will notice, this ArchiMate 2.0 viewpoint looks quite similar to the TOGAF 9.1 Business Footprint Diagram which provides a clear traceability between a technical component and the business goal that it satisfies, while also demonstrating ownership of the services identified.

Another example could be the description of the traceability among business goals, technical capabilities, business benefits and metrics.  The key point about the motivation extension is to work with the requirement object.

Using the motivation viewpoint from the specification as a reference (motivation extension), you could define business benefits / expectations within the business goal object, and then define sub-goals as KPIs to measure the benefits of the plan and list all of the identified requirements of the project / program.  Finally, you could link these requirements with either application or infrastructure service object representing software or technical capabilities. (Partial example below).

serge8
One of the common questions I have recently received from various enterprise architects is “Now that I know TOGAF and ArchiMate… how should I model my enterprise? Should I use the TOGAF 9.1 artifacts to create that traceability? Should I use ArchiMate 2.0? Should I use both? Should I forget the artifacts…”. These are good questions and I’m afraid that there is not a single answer.

What I know is that if I select an enterprise architecture tool supporting both TOGAF 9.1 and ArchiMate 2.0, I would like to be able to be able to have a full synchronization. If I model a few ArchiMate models I would like my TOGAF 9.1 artifacts to be created at the same time (catalogs and matrices) and if I create artifacts from the taxonomy, I would like my ArchiMate models also to be created.

Unfortunately I do not know the current level of tools maturity and whether tools vendors provide that synchronization. This would obviously require some investigation and should be one of the key criteria if you were currently looking for a product supporting both standards.

5. Replicating the content of an Enterprise Repository such as a CMDB in an Architecture repository

This other possibility requires that you have an up to date Configuration Management Database and that you developed an interface with your Architecture Repository, your enterprise architecture tool. If you are able to replicate the relationships between the infrastructure components and applications (CIs) into your enterprise architecture tool that would partially create your traceability.

If I summarise the various choices to build that enterprise architecture traceability, I potentially have three main possibilities:

serge9
Achieving traceability within an Enterprise Architecture is key because the architecture needs to be understood by all participants and not just by technical people.  It helps to incorporate the enterprise architecture efforts into the rest of the organization and it takes it to the board room (or at least the CIO’s office) where it belongs.

  • Describe your traceability from your Enterprise Architecture to the system development and project documentation.
  • Review that traceability periodically, making sure that it is up to date, and produce analytics out of it.

If a development team is looking for a tool that can help them document, and provide end to end traceability throughout the life cycle EA is the way to go, make sure you use the right standard and platform. Finally, communicate and present to your stakeholders the results of your effort.

Serge Thorn is CIO of Architecting the Enterprise.  He has worked in the IT Industry for over 25 years, in a variety of roles, which include; Development and Systems Design, Project Management, Business Analysis, IT Operations, IT Management, IT Strategy, Research and Innovation, IT Governance, Architecture and Service Management (ITIL). He is the Chairman of the itSMF (IT Service Management forum) Swiss chapter and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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The Center of Excellence: Relating Everything Back to Business Objectives

By Serge Thorn, Architecting the Enterprise

This is the third and final installment of a series discussing how to implement SOA through TOGAF®. In my first blog post I explained the concept of the Center of Excellence, and creating a vision for your organization, my second blog post suggested how the Center of Excellence would define a Reference Architecture for the organization.

 SOA principles should clearly relate back to the business objectives and key architecture drivers. They will be constructed on the same mode as TOGAF 9.1 principles with the use of statement, rationale and implications. Below examples of the types of services which may be created:

  • Put the computing near the data
  • Services are technology neutral
  • Services are consumable
  • Services are autonomous
  • Services share a formal contract
  • Services are loosely coupled
  • Services abstract underlying logic
  • Services are reusable
  • Services are composable
  • Services are stateless
  • Services are discoverable
  • Location Transparency

Here is a detailed principle example:

  • Service invocation
    • All service invocations between application silos will be exposed through the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)
    • The only exception to this principle will be when the service meets all the following criteria:
      • It will be used only within the same application silo
      • There is no potential right now or in the near future for re-use of this service
      • The service has already been right-sized
      • The  Review Team has approved the exception

As previously indicated, the SOA Center of Excellence (CoE) would also have to provide guidelines on SOA processes and related technologies. This may include:

  • Service analysis (Enterprise Architecture, BPM, OO, requirements and models, UDDI Model)
  • Service design (SOAD, specification, Discovery Process, Taxonomy)
  • Service provisioning (SPML, contracts, SLA)
  • Service implementation development (BPEL, SOAIF)
  • Service assembly and integration (JBI, ESB)
  • Service testing
  • Service deployment (the software on the network)
  • Service discovery (UDDI, WSIL, registry)
  • Service publishing (SLA, security, certificates, classification, location, UDDI, etc.)
  • Service consumption (WSDL, BPEL)
  • Service execution  (WSDM)
  • Service versioning (UDDI, WSDL)
  • Service Management and monitoring
  • Service operation
  • Programming, granularity and abstraction

Other activities may be considered by the SOA CoE such as providing a collaboration platform, asset management (service are just another type of assets), compliance with standards and best practices, use of guidelines, etc. These activities could also be supported by an Enterprise Architecture team.

As described in the TOGAF® 9.1 Framework, the SOA CoE can act as the governance body for SOA implementation, work with the Enterprise Architecture team, overseeing what goes into a new architecture that the organization is creating and ensuring that the architecture will meet the current and future needs of the organization.

The Center of Excellence provides expanded opportunities for organizations to leverage and reuse service-oriented infrastructure and knowledgebase to facilitate the implementation of cost-effective and timely SOA based solutions.

Serge Thorn is CIO of Architecting the Enterprise.  He has worked in the IT Industry for over 25 years, in a variety of roles, which include; Development and Systems Design, Project Management, Business Analysis, IT Operations, IT Management, IT Strategy, Research and Innovation, IT Governance, Architecture and Service Management (ITIL). He is the Chairman of the itSMF (IT Service Management forum) Swiss chapter and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Call for Submissions

By Patty Donovan, The Open Group

The Open Group Blog is celebrating its second birthday this month! Over the past few years, our blog posts have tended to cover Open Group activities – conferences, announcements, our lovely members, etc. While several members and Open Group staff serve as regular contributors, we’d like to take this opportunity to invite our community members to share their thoughts and expertise on topics related to The Open Group’s areas of expertise as guest contributors.

Here are a few examples of popular guest blog posts that we’ve received over the past year

Blog posts generally run between 500 and 800 words and address topics relevant to The Open Group workgroups, forums, consortiums and events. Some suggested topics are listed below.

  • ArchiMate®
  • Big Data
  • Business Architecture
  • Cloud Computing
  • Conference recaps
  • DirectNet
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Enterprise Management
  • Future of Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™)
  • Governing Board Businesses
  • Governing Board Certified Architects
  • Governing Board Certified IT Specialists
  • Identity Management
  • IT Security
  • The Jericho Forum
  • The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF)
  • Quantum Lifecycle Management
  • Real-Time Embedded Systems
  • Semantic Interoperability
  • Service-Oriented Architecture
  • TOGAF®

If you have any questions or would like to contribute, please contact opengroup (at) bateman-group.com.

Please note that all content submitted to The Open Group blog is subject to The Open Group approval process. The Open Group reserves the right to deny publication of any contributed works. Anything published shall be copyright of The Open Group.

Patricia Donovan is Vice President, Membership & Events, at The Open Group and a member of its executive management team. In this role she is involved in determining the company’s strategic direction and policy as well as the overall management of that business area. Patricia joined The Open Group in 1988 and has played a key role in the organization’s evolution, development and growth since then. She also oversees the company’s marketing, conferences and member meetings. She is based in the U.S.

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And the Winner Is… A Full List of Winners of The Open Cannes Awards

By The Open Group Conference Team

The Open Group hosted the Open Cannes Awards 2012 at the Cannes Conference last week. Much like the Festival de Cannes recognizes achievement in film, The Open Cannes Awards recognized 10 individuals and organizations that made key contributions to The Open Group over the past year. Categories included:

  • Best Newcomer – The “I Think I Cannes” Award
  • Outstanding Achievement in Acting in a Supporting Role – The “Cannes Opener” Award
  • Outstanding Achievement in Screenplay – Adapted from Original Material – The “Multiple Cannes-tributions” Award
  • Best Ensemble – The “Multiple Cannes-tributions” Award
  • Outstanding Achievement in Film – Internationals – The “Un-Cannes-y” Award
  • Best Producer – The “Grand Cannes-yon” Award
  • Outstanding Achievement in Direction – The “In-Cannes-descent” Award
  • Outstanding Achievement in Film – The “Cannes-esblanca” Award
  • Outstanding Achievement in Acting in a Leading Role – The “Cannes-ed Ham” Award
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award – The Open D’or

Each award winner received some great hardware (no, not that kind) that was presented at the Gala Dinner:

Without further ado, here is the list of award winners:

Outstanding Achievement in Acting in a Supporting Role – Ernst & Young (Peter Haviland accepting the award on behalf of  Ernst & Young)

Best Newcomer – BIZZdesign (Henry Franken accepting the award on behalf of BIZZdesign)

Outstanding Achievement in Screenplay – Adapted from Original Material – Capgemini (Mark Skilton accepting the award on behalf of Capgemini)

Best Ensemble – Cloud Computing for Business (Mark Skilton, Capgemini and TJ Virdi, The Boeing Company accepted the award on behalf of the Cloud Work Group)

Outstanding Achievement in Film – International – Serge Thorn, Architecting the Enterprise

Best Producer – U.S. Navy for the FACE™ Consortium, a consortium of The Open Group (Dennis Taylor, NASA presenting the award to Judy Cerenzia who accepted it on behalf of the U.S. Navy)

Outstanding Achievement in Direction – Heather Kreger, IBM (Terry Blevins announcing Heather Kreger as the winner; Heather was not present)

Outstanding Achievement in Film – Oracle for the UNIX Certification of Oracle Solaris V.11 (Bob Chu, Kingdee International Software Group presenting the award to Michael Cavanaugh who accepted it on behalf of Oracle)

Outstanding Achievement in Acting in a Leading Role – Andras Szakal, IBM

The Lifetime Achievement Award – Mike Lambert, former chief technology officer of The Open Group and X/Open Company Limited (Mike is pictured with his wife, Sue, in this photo)

 We hope that you enjoyed the conference (and if you weren’t able to attend, the coverage via the blog, Facebook and Twitter). Until next time, au revoir!

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Part 3 of 3: Building an Enterprise Architecture Value Proposition Using TOGAF® 9.1. and ArchiMate® 2.0

By Serge Thorn, Architecting the Enterprise

This is the third and final post in a three-part series by Serge Thorn. For more in this series, please see Part One and Part Two.

Value Management uses a combination of concepts and methods to create sustainable value for both organizations and their stakeholders. Some tools and techniques are specific to Value Management and others are generic tools that many organizations and individuals use. There exist many Value Management techniques such as cost-benefits analysis, SWOT analysis, value analysis, Pareto analysis, objectives hierarchy, function analysis system technique (FAST), and more…

The one I suggest to illustrate is close to the objectives hierarchy technique, which is a diagrammatic process for identifying objectives in a hierarchical manner and often used in conjunction with business functions. Close, because I will use a combination of the TOGAF® 9.1 metamodel with the ArchiMate® 2.0 Business Layer, Application Layer and Motivation Extensions Metamodels, consider core entities such as value, business goals, objectives, business processes and functions, business and application services, application functions and components. This approach was inspired by the presentation by Michael van den Dungen and Arjan Visser at The Open Group Conference in Amsterdam 2010, and here I’m also adding some ArchiMate 2.0 concepts.

First, the entities from the TOGAF 9.1 metamodel:

Then I will consider the entities from ArchiMate 2.0. Some may be identical to TOGAF 9.1. In the Business Layer, one key concept will obviously be the value. In this case I will consider the product (“A coherent collection of services, accompanied by a contract/set of agreements, which is offered as a whole to (internal or external) customers” according to ArchiMate 2.0), as the Enterprise Architecture program. In addition to that, I would refer to business services, functions, and processes.

In the Motivation Extension Metamodel, the goals. The objective entity in TOGAF 9.1 can also be represented using the concept of “goal.”

And in the Application Layer Metamodel, application services, functions, and components.

It is important to mention that when we deliver a value proposition, we must demonstrate to the business where the benefits will be with concrete examples. For example: the business sees Operational Excellence and Customer Intimacy as key drivers, and soon you will realize that BPM suites or CRM could support the business goals. These are the reasons why we consider the Application Layer Metamodel.

We could then use a combination of the ArchiMate 2.0 viewpoints such as: Stakeholder Viewpoint, Goal Realization Viewpoint, Motivation Viewpoint, or some other viewpoints to demonstrate the value of Enterprise Architecture for a specific business transformation program (or any other strategic initiative).

To be mentioned that the concept of benefit does not exist in any of the metamodels.

I have added the concept as an extension to ArchiMate in the following diagram which is the mapping of the value to a program related to the “improvement of customers’ relationships.” I also have intentionally limited the number of concepts or entities, such as processes, application services or measures.

Using these ArchiMate 2.0 modelling techniques can demonstrate to your stakeholders the value proposition for a business program, supported by an Enterprise Architecture initiative.

As a real example, if the expected key business benefit is operational excellence through process controls, which would represent a goal, you could present such a high level diagram to explain why application components like a BPM Suite could help (detecting fraud and errors, embedding preventive controls, continuously auditing and monitoring processes, and more).

There is definitely not a single way of demonstrating the value of Enterprise Architecture and you probably will have to adapt the process and the way you will present that value to all companies you will be working with. Without a doubt Enterprise Architecture contributes to the success of an organization and brings numerous benefits, but very often it needs to be able to demonstrate that value. Using some techniques as described previously will help to justify such an initiative.

The next steps will be the development of measures, metrics and KPIs to continuously monitor that value proposition.

Serge Thorn is CIO of Architecting the Enterprise.  He has worked in the IT Industry for over 25 years, in a variety of roles, which include; Development and Systems Design, Project Management, Business Analysis, IT Operations, IT Management, IT Strategy, Research and Innovation, IT Governance, Architecture and Service Management (ITIL). He is the Chairman of the itSMF (IT Service Management forum) Swiss chapter and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Part 2 of 3: Building an Enterprise Architecture Value Proposition Using TOGAF® 9.1. and ArchiMate® 2.0

By Serge Thorn, Architecting the Enterprise

This is the second post in a three-part series by Serge Thorn.

Continuing from Part One of this series, here are more examples of what an enterprise cannot achieve without Enterprise Architecture:

Reduce IT costs by consolidating, standardizing, rationalizing and integrating corporate information systems

Cost avoidance can be achieved by identifying overlapping functional scope of two or more proposed projects in an organization or the potential cost savings of IT support by standardizing on one solution.

Consolidation can happen at various levels for architectures — for shared enterprise services, applications and information, for technologies and even data centers.

This could involve consolidating the number of database servers, application or web servers and storage devices, consolidating redundant security platforms, or adopting virtualization, grid computing and related consolidation initiatives. Consolidation may be a by-product of another technology transformation or it may be the driver of these transformations.

Whatever motivates the change, the key is to be in alignment, once again, with the overall business strategy. Enterprise architects understand where the business is going, so they can pick the appropriate consolidation strategy. Rationalization, standardization and consolidation processes helps organizations understand their current enterprise maturity level and move forward on the appropriate roadmap.

More spending on innovation

Enterprise Architecture should serve as a driver of innovation. Innovation is highly important when developing a target Enterprise Architecture and in realizing the organization’s strategic goals and objectives. For example, it may help to connect the dots between business requirements and the new approaches SOA and cloud services can deliver.

Enabling strategic business goals via better operational excellence

Building Enterprise Architecture defines the structure and operation of an organization. The intent of Enterprise Architecture is to determine how an organization can most effectively achieve its current and future objectives. It must be designed to support an organization’s specific business strategies.

Jeanne W. Ross, Peter Weill, David C. Robertson in “Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business” wrote “Companies with more-mature architectures reported greater success in achieving strategic goals” (p. 89). “This included better operational excellence, more customer intimacy, and greater product leadership” (p. 100).

Customer intimacy

Enterprises that are customer focused and aim to provide solutions for their customers should design their business model, IT systems and operational activities to support this strategy at the process level. This involves the selection of one or few high-value customer niches, followed by an obsessive effort at getting to know these customers in detail.

Greater product leadership

This approach enabled by Enterprise Architecture is dedicated to providing the best possible products from the perspective of the features and benefits offered to the customer. It is the basic philosophy about products that push performance boundaries. Products or services delivered by the business will be refined by leveraging IT to do the end customer’s job better. This will be accomplished by the delivery of new business capabilities (e.g. on-line websites, BI, etc.).

Comply with regulatory requirements

Enterprise Architecture helps companies to know and represent their processes and systems and how they correlate. This is fundamental for risk management and managing regulation requirements, such as those derived from Sarbanes-Oxley, COSO, HIPAA, etc.

This list could be continued as there are many other reasons why Enterprise Architecture brings benefits to organizations. Once your benefits have been documented you could also consider some value management techniques. TOGAF® 9.1 refers in the Architecture Vision phase to a target value proposition for a specific project.  In the next blog, we’ll address the issue of applying the value proposition to the Enterprise Architecture initiative as a whole.

The third and final part of this blog series will discuss value management. 

Serge Thorn is CIO of Architecting the Enterprise.  He has worked in the IT Industry for over 25 years, in a variety of roles, which include; Development and Systems Design, Project Management, Business Analysis, IT Operations, IT Management, IT Strategy, Research and Innovation, IT Governance, Architecture and Service Management (ITIL). He is the Chairman of the itSMF (IT Service Management forum) Swiss chapter and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Part 1 of 3: Building an Enterprise Architecture Value Proposition Using TOGAF® 9.1. and ArchiMate® 2.0

By Serge Thorn, Architecting the Enterprise

This is the first post in a three-part series by Serge Thorn. 

When introducing Enterprise Architecture as a program or initiative, it is regularly done from an IT perspective rarely considering what the costs will be and if there will be any return on investment. This presents a particular challenge to Enterprise Architecture.

Generally speaking, IT departments have all sorts of criteria to justify projects and measure their performance. They use measurements, metrics and KPIs. Going to the solution level, they commonly use indicators such as percentage uptime for systems from the system management team, error rates for applications from the development support team or number of calls resolved on the first call from the service desk, etc. These KPIs usually are defined at an early stage and very often delivered in dashboards from various support applications.

On the other hand, it is much more difficult to define and implement a quantifiable measure for Enterprise Architecture. Many activities introduced with appropriate governance will enhance the quality of the delivered products and services, but it still will be a challenge to attribute results to the quality of Enterprise Architecture efforts.

This being said, Enterprise Architects should be able to define and justify the benefits of their activities to their stakeholders, and to help executives understand how Enterprise Architecture will contribute to the primary value-adding objectives and processes, before starting the voyage. The more it is described and understood, the more the Enterprise Architecture team will gain support from the management. There are plenty of contributions that Enterprise Architecture brings and they will have to be documented and presented at an early stage.

There won’t be just one single answer to demonstrate the value of an Enterprise Architecture but there seems to be a common pattern when considering feedback from various companies I have worked with.

Without Enterprise Architecture you can probably NOT fully achieve:

IT alignment with the business goals

As an example among others, the problem with most IT plans is that they do not indicate what the business value is and what strategic or tactical business benefit the organization is planning to achieve. The simple matter is that any IT plan needs also to have a business metric, not only an IT metric of delivery. Another aspect is the ability to create and share a common vision of the future shared by the business and IT communities.

Integration

With the rapid pace of change in business environment, the need to transform organizations into agile enterprises that can respond quickly to change has never been greater. Methodologies and computer technologies are needed to enable rapid business and system change. The solution also lies in enterprise integration (both business and technology integration).

For business integration, we use Enterprise Architecture methodologies and frameworks to integrate functions, processes, data, locations, people, events and business plans throughout an organization. Specifically, the unification and integration of business processes and data across the enterprise and potential linkage with external partners become more and more important.

To also have technology integration, we may use enterprise portals, enterprise application integration (EAI/ESB), web services, service-oriented architecture (SOA), business process management (BPM) and try to lower the number of interfaces.

Change management

In recent years the scope of Enterprise Architecture has expanded beyond the IT domain and enterprise architects are increasingly taking on broader roles relating to organizational strategy and change management. Frameworks such as TOGAF® 9.1 include processes and tools for managing both the business/people and the technology sides of an organization. Enterprise Architecture supports the creation of changes related to the various architecture domains, evaluating the impact on the enterprise, taking into account risk management, financial aspects (cost/benefit analysis), and most importantly ensuring alignment with business goals and objectives. Enterprise Architecture value is essentially tied to its ability to help companies to deal with complexity and changes.

Reduced time to market and increased IT responsiveness

Enterprise Architecture should reduce systems development, applications generation and modernization timeframes for legacy systems. It should also decrease resource requirements. All of this can be accomplished by re-using standards or existing components, such as the architecture and solution building blocks in TOGAF 9.1. Delivery time and design/development costs can also be decreased by the reuse of reference models. All that information should be managed in an Enterprise Architecture repository.

Better access to information across applications and improved interoperability

Data and information architectures manage the organization assets of information, optimally and efficiently. This supports the quality, accuracy and timely availability of data for executive and strategic business decision-making, across applications.

Readily available descriptive representations and documentation of the enterprise

Architecture is also a set of descriptive representations (i.e. “models”) that are relevant for describing an enterprise such that it can be produced to management’s requirements and maintained over the period of its useful life. Using an architecture repository, developing a variety of artifacts and modelling some of the key elements of the enterprise, will contribute to build this documentation.

The second part of the series will include more examples of what an enterprise cannot achieve without Enterprise Architecture. 

Serge Thorn is CIO of Architecting the Enterprise.  He has worked in the IT Industry for over 25 years, in a variety of roles, which include; Development and Systems Design, Project Management, Business Analysis, IT Operations, IT Management, IT Strategy, Research and Innovation, IT Governance, Architecture and Service Management (ITIL). He is the Chairman of the itSMF (IT Service Management forum) Swiss chapter and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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