Enterprise Architecture

Most organizations have architects and/or enterprise architects acting in various capacities, such as in a central architecture or IT strategy group, in a programme office, embedded within projects, working within business units, and so on. But how many businesses have a formal, joined-up EA practice with measurable objectives, where the value of EA is seen and appreciated by the business?

Take my Architecture Maturity Assessment survey. This will give you some indication of where you’re organization can benefit from adding or strengthening an enterprise architecture capability.

I have developed my own simple, question-based architecture model QBAM to provide a more common sense context for the various artefacts associated with Enterprise Architecture.

Many definitions of enterprise architecture exist, but for me it can be distilled into the following:

  • A documented understanding of current business processes, business systems and supporting technologies
  • Future views of more functional business systems and supporting technologies
  • Guidelines, standards and policies
  • Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of IT
  • Aligning IT to business direction
  • Moving IT towards a more functional future by influencing decision making through governance processes, by influencing solution design, and by ensuring adoption of guidelines, standards, and policies

It is not enough to just have these as-is and to-be views of the business, its systems and technologies. You also need mechanisms in place to influence design and decision making at both business and technical levels, as well as a mechanism to keep the enterprise architecture current. To summarize, enterprise architecture is a combination of people armed with artifacts  knowledge and experience who are embedded in business planning, technology planning and solution design, to raise the probability that designs and investment decisions made now are dual purpose: current requirements are met, and the resulting implementation is flexible and likely to meet future requirements more quickly and less expensively.

I have extensive experience as a practitioner of enterprise architecture, as well as in helping organizations improve their enterprise architecture capabilities. I am familiar with several frameworks including TOGAF, Zachman, RightStep, DoDAF and FEAF; I’ve even developed my own EA framework called Question Based Architecture Model (QBAM).

I can help your business by implementing or shoring up an enterprise architecture practice, or by running an enterprise architecture project in conjunction with a large change programme.

Previous engagements:

  • Ran a full scope 6 month Enterprise Architecture programme for a large, multinational bank
  • Mentored a 4 month full scope Enterprise Architecture programme for a Benelux banc-assurance company in Brussels. This programme provided the following benefits:
    • joined-up view across business support teams, project design processes and IT strategy
    • comprehensive view and analysis of the as-is and future state views of the business architecture, application architecture, data architecture and infrastructure architecture of the business, leading to
    • multi-year road-map of recommended initiatives overlaid onto the existing programme of change such that proposed future state objectives could be obtained in conjunction with business-as-usual project investments
    • improved governance of IT spend and solution design to ensure alignment with agreed policy, strategy and guidelines