Creating and using the Enterprise Architecture framework will greatly assist your organization in achieving its strategic goals.
Ensures the alignment of businesses within facilities with digital transformation strategies and accelerated technological growth. EA is particularly beneficial for organizations undergoing a digital transformation process. Where the outputs of the Enterprise structure are used in designing Enterprise transformation projects, analyzing the consequences of change and managing it.
The definitions spread around the world exceed the Enterprise structure, and some of them tend to be complicated at times, so we will focus on a definition developed by us that is clear and accurate.
EA is a practice carried out by institutions for the successful development and implementation of the strategy by conducting an Enterprise analysis that establishes an Enterprise map that achieves the mission and vision of the institution through the optimal implementation of pivotal processes and the efficient operation of the supporting information technology.
Where global frameworks and methodologies are used to design, plan and implement integrated and comprehensive models for all business components that help unify and organize the IT infrastructure in line with business objectives.
Similarly, the e-government program (Yesser) developed the following definition:
“The Enterprise structure is the practices and controls concerned with implementing the vision and strategy of the government entity by making the necessary changes to harmonize the entity’s business objectives and procedures with the information technology (applications, data, technology infrastructure) that it uses to achieve this vision.”
It can be said that the evolution of the EA has gone through three distinct stages:
- Pre-Enterprise stage:
EA began in the 1960s and was born from “various architectural manuscripts on business system planning by Professor Dewey Walker,” according to the book, EA Body of Knowledge. The first beginnings were at International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
- Early stage of corporate architecture:
This begins in the 1980s and continues until the 1990s when John Zachman, a student of Professor Dewey Walker, helped draft these studies and documents in a more structured format closer to the EA that we know today. Both men also worked for International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) during that time, when Zachman published the framework in IBM Systems Journal in 1987.
And during the period from the eighties to the nineties when information systems were well established in work environments. Institutions and companies soon realized that they would need a long-term plan and strategy to organize investment in Information Technology to support the rapid growth of technology within the joints of the whole business, and this remains true to this day.
- The modern stage of the EA:
Starting in the late 1990s, this era continues to the present day and marked the emergence of several popular frameworks such as The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) and Federal EA Framework (FEAF).
- Allow more open collaboration between information technology and other business units within the facility.
- Giving decision makers the ability to prioritize investments according to the return on investment.
- Supporting the desires for the successful development of institutions and companies.
- Provide an engineering and comprehensive view of information technology and all business units outside of information technology
- Provide a frame of reference for comparing results with other organizations or standards.
What are the most popular EA frameworks and methodologies?
Over the past years, many organizational architecture frameworks and methodologies have emerged, and all frameworks and methodologies aim to define a structure that can represent the complex interactions between people, processes, and technologies. It defines how structures and components within the structure are organized. The framework can be used to describe current and future states and analyze gaps in the facility.
We will look at four of the most popular global frameworks:
- The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF).
This framework provides an approach to designing, planning, implementing, and governing an enterprise information technology architecture, this framework was developed in 1995 by the Open Group and version 9.2 is the most recent version, it is the version approved since 2018 and provides improved guidance, error correction, and improved document structure, And remove obsolete content. The main improvements in this release include updates to the business structure and Content Meta model. All these changes make the TOGAF framework easier to use and maintain. It is a framework that allows enterprises and companies to design, plan, develop and implement their infrastructure with fewer errors and optimal use of financial resources. Institutions and organizations can use this framework for free internally but it cannot be used for commercial purposes.
The TOGAF framework features an expanded set of concepts and guidelines to support the creation of an integrated hierarchy of structures being developed by teams within larger organizations operating within an overarching model of architectural governance.
The TOGAF framework helps companies create a unified approach to the corporate architecture, using a common vocabulary, recommended standards, compliance methods, proposed tools and programs, and a method for identifying best practices. TOGAF is very popular as an architectural framework for organizations, and according to the Open Group, it has been approved by more than 80 percent of the world’s leading institutions and companies.
The TOGAF framework is usually described into four interrelated domains called architecture domains.
- The area of business (Business Architecture), where the organization’s strategy, governance framework, organizational structures and processes that organize the core business within the organization are defined and defined.
- Application Architecture describes the structure of an organization’s logical and physical data assets and associated data management resources.
- The field of data provides a blueprint for each of the information systems that will be deployed, the interactions between the systems, and their relationships with the basic operations of the organization with the service frameworks that will be presented as business units for integration.
- Technology Architecture describes the hardware, software, computer networks and infrastructure needed to support the deployment of critical and essential applications.
Architecture Development Method:
It is a method of developing the corporate architecture to meet the business and information technology needs of the organization. It is tailored to the needs of the organization and then employed to manage the implementation of these architectural planning activities, a method resulting from continuous contributions from various TOGAF experts. ADM helps architectural experts and practitioners develop an organization that meets most system requirements and other organizational requirements. The following figure illustrates the architecture:
The Zachman framework is named after one of the original founders of the organizational structure approach: John Zachman, it is the formal representation and Enterprise definition and represents the basic structure of the Enterprise structure that provides a formal and organized way to define and present the facility or organization and it extends over six architectural contact points and six A primary stakeholder to help standardize and define IT engineering components and outputs
Here, the interconnection network these nodes create between them will give you a structure explaining how an organization can function better. When decision makers realize why each point is related, a powerful aspect will be revealed thus moving towards making the right decisions.
Be aware that these details are extensive, and improving them can provide a more focused and accurate network of information that is today the backbone of life.
3. National Enterprise Architecture (NORA).
The development of the e-government program “Yesser” for the National Methodology for EA (NORA) is part of the program’s efforts in line with the goals of Vision 2030 for the government sector.
In general, the National EA (NORA) methodology aims to:
- Determine the scope and requirements of the Enterprise structure in government agencies.
- Helping government agencies to implement the Enterprise structure smoothly and effectively.
- Ensure the efficiency and quality of the Enterprise structure and its outputs in the government agency through consistent processes and recommendations.
- Aligning the directions and objectives of the Enterprise structure of the government agency with the national Enterprise structure and national executive plans to support the government approach towards digital transformation in a more comprehensive manner.
- Facilitating the use of the Enterprise infrastructure, and enhancing awareness and capacity building in government agencies.
The National EA (NORA) methodology is distinguished from the rest of the methodologies in that it is:
- It was built as a guide for building and developing the Enterprise infrastructure to suit the needs and aspirations of government agencies.
- All stages of the organizational structure life cycle are described in detail, with examples and illustrative examples of outputs in all stages to help government agencies to better understand.
- Balanced approach to building the EA that focuses on both procedures and building the required outputs
- Flexible and customizable to suit the different requirements and needs of government agencies.
Life Cycle of the National EA “NORA”
The National EA “NORA” methodology is based on a life cycle consisting of ten main stages. These phases are implemented in a sequential manner in line with the goals and objectives of the government entity in terms of building and developing the Enterprise structure.
The figure below shows the stages of the National Enterprise Structure Methodology.
- The first stage: preparing a strategy for the EA project
- The second stage: preparing a plan for the EA project
- The third stage: analysis of the current situation
- The fourth stage: preparing a general framework for the Enterprise structure
- Fifth stage: building reference models
- The sixth stage: building the current (current) infrastructure
- The seventh stage: building the future (targeted) structure
- The eighth stage: preparing the transformation plan
- Ninth stage: preparing plans to manage the Enterprise structure
- The tenth stage: implementation and operation of the Enterprise structure
Federal EA is one of the most recent attempts to create a robust architecture for government institutions.
The US Federal Government developed it in 2006. With the purpose of helping various government agencies and organizations to organize. Federal EA brings together two of the world’s best frameworks, Zachman and TOGAF.
Federal EA has five reference models. It covers business, services, components, technology, and data. These five points combine with the segment model to create a perspective on how best to anchor the EA. The segment model allows, in essence, distinguishing between any number of organizations and connections.
Federal EA provided the basis for a large-scale restructuring of many government agencies and organizations. In this way.
Implementing an enterprise architecture
The consultant team at Renad Almajed Group (RMG) provides many services that help establishments and institutions wishing to implement the EA:
- Providing assistance to establish the EA office.
- Offering consultation services to operate the corporate architecture office.
- Assistance in implementing the National EA (NORA) methodology
- TOGAF implementation.
- Implement the Zachman framework.
- Maturity Level Assessment Services in the National EA (NORA)
- Maturity Assessment Services in the TOGAF and Zachman Framework