Building the Right Architecture

By Faisal Hoque  |  Posted 2008-06-26

Strategic enterprise architecture defines and describes an organization’s business model and the technology environment necessary to support it. An SEA focuses on business and technology executives who are concerned with the overall architecture and standards of an enterprise, and it provides the framework for categorizing, analyzing, managing, and rationalizing the applications the enterprise employs in enabling its business model and in executing its strategy.

The capabilities that must be developed to support this functional area ensure that appropriate information and documentation exist to describe current and future environments. It is necessary to verify that business and technology people can implement strategies and plans, and formulate recommendations that simplify the existing business technology environment.

Below are five capabilities required for an effective SEA.

Business architecture is used to describe the business strategies, operating models, capabilities and processes in terms that are actionable for business technology.

Technology architecture defines the applications and technical infrastructure required to meet enterprise goals and objectives. This includes the creation of application models, data models and associated technical infrastructure models for the enterprise.

Enterprise architecture standards are necessary to define standard business technology applications, tools and vendors. This capability focuses on the delivery of EA guiding principles, plus assessing and defining other governance requirements. Also included are standards for IT vendors and reusable assets, including design patterns and services.

Application portfolio management is employed to establish and manage portfolios of applications consistent with information technology strategy, and to achieve target architectures and maintain standards.

Asset rationalization applies EA and standards to simplify the infrastructure. This reduces complexity and cost by controlling the number of applications and systems.

Faisal Hoque is chairman and CEO of BTM Corporation.  BTM innovates business models and enhances financial performance by converging business and technology with its unique products and intellectual property. © BTM Corporation