This is a concept in management that entails analyzing and documenting a business enterprise from both the present and future state using technology and business principles and integrated strategies (Bernard,. 2012). The element of enterprise architecture is that it allows the management team of an organization to visualize the entire organizations from an integrated and holistic perspective (Bernard, 2012). It also enables the management team to visualize the business practices, the flow of information within the organizations, the strategic direction of the organization, and the technological resources within the organizations. All this is geared towards helping optimize the performance of the organization in the present and the future (Bernard, 2012).
Enterprise Architecture Frameworks
Enterprise architecture frameworks are the modalities through which enterprise architecture is created and used within an organization to stimulate improved performance (Bernard, 2012). Enterprise architecture frameworks offer the management team within an organization the requisite principles and modalities through which they can deploy enterprise architecture (Bernard, 2012). Enterprise architecture frameworks guide the architects by structuring their thinking using diagrams and matrices, layers and domains into which all the views of the organizations as required in enterprise architecture can be recorded (Bernard, 2012).
A strategic plan is a documented acknowledgement of the desired direction of an organization as seen through its goals, the necessary actions to achieve the outlined goals, the roles of individuals within the organizations as they relate to the achievement of the goals and other elements that result from organizational planning (Simerson, 2011).
Types of Enterprise Architecture Frameworks
The evolution of enterprise architecture has seen the advent of various enterprise architecture frameworks from which organizations can choose. The many enterprise architectural frameworks from which organizations can choose include the ZFEA, TOGAF, DoDAF, the FEAF and the TEAF (Urbaczewski & Mrdalj, 2006). These enterprise architecture frameworks are designed and used by different organizations and departments, as is indicated in some of the names. However, the enterprise architecture frameworks are versatile enough to be employed in numerous other organizations depending on the elements of the enterprise architecture frameworks and the needs of the organizations (Urbaczewski & Mrdalj, 2006).
The organization of choice for which I would recommend one of these enterprise architecture frameworks is the Dairy Farm Group. This is a retailer that is based in Hong Kong and with extensive operations in the Asian continent and other markets in the Pacific region. A present, the Dairy Farm Group is ranked seventy-first globally among the largest retailing companies. In order to move up this ranking, the company needs to venture into other markets. To enable this, the Dairy Farm Group, the company would need to redesign itself from a federation of small operations in different markets to a group of companies that is unified by a single information technology infrastructure and a unified corporate strategy and business focus. The best enterprise architecture frameworks to facilitate the restructuring are the ZFEA and TOGAF.
This is based on classical architecture principles thereby enabling architects to set the unique perspectives that are necessary to describe the complex elements that comprise the systems of an enterprise (Urbaczewski & Mrdalj, 2006). This framework is appropriate for this organization because it has several views that add versatility to the architectural design. Some of the views include the builder view, the user view, the planner view, designer view, subcontractor view and the owner view. The versatility of the framework is also seen in its ability to explore the how, when, what, why and who of the restructuring process (Urbaczewski & Mrdalj, 2006). Although this architectural framework lacks the guidance on the process, sequence of events and the implementation of the framework, the design of the framework ensures the complete establishment of all the views so as to ensure that the system is complete irrespective of the sequence in which the various views are implemented (Urbaczewski & Mrdalj, 2006). The framework is also appropriate because is design does not feature unequivocal compliance rules as its design is rather open than standard (Urbaczewski & Mrdalj, 2006).
This framework underscores the importance of the business applications that are critical to achievement of the corporate and business focus. The Architecture Development Method in this framework informs the architects of the modalities and process involved in the development of the architecture enterprise (Urbaczewski & Mrdalj, 2006). Rather than giving the principles for use by the architects. The framework gives rules through which the architects can devise proper principles. The framework also features different levels of principles that guide and support the architects in making decisions that regard the development of the various elements of the enterprise (Urbaczewski & Mrdalj, 2006). The framework offers even more support in the form of information technology resources and also the development and implementation of the architecture principles (Urbaczewski & Mrdalj, 2006).
Initiating the TOGAF
The intrinsic worth of The ZFEA notwithstanding, The TOGAF is the better. The initiation plan is as follows as argued by (Labuschagne, 2011).
Definition of the organization
Outlining the influencing factors in the organization
Clarifying the architecture development mandate
Linking the architecture principles to the values and drivers of the organizations
Fitting the architecture governance into the governance framework of the organization
Integrating the management frameworks with the architecture development processes
Assessing the maturity of the architecture
Finalizing the function of the architecture
Customizing the framework for the organization
Roles for the Initiation of the Framework
Some of the roles required include the architecture manager, sponsor, board members, and architects for various elements including business, technology, application, data, and enterprise architecture (The Open Group, 2011). Other requisite roles include project managers and information technology designers (The Open Group, 2011).
Different levels of governance are required in the initiation, implementation and maintenance of the framework (The Open Group, 2011). The levels of governance include technology, architecture, corporate, and information technology governance (The Open Group, 2011). While architecture governance is the most relevant, it cannot be used in isolation because the implementation of the framework is done within the context of the entire organizations. As such, a generic approach to governance that employs the four levels will be utilized (The Open Group, 2011).
Briefing the Chief Executive Officer
Bernard, S. A. (2012). An introduction to enterprise architecture. Bloomington. Author-House
Labuschagne, L. (2011). 10 Steps to Follow Before Initiating a TOGAF 9 Project. Retrieved from www.scoop.it/doc/download/94VXBifqCB765CCX_yvNLhP
Simerson, B. K. (2011). Strategic planning: A practical guide to strategy formulation and execution. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger.
The Open Group. (2011). Open Group Standard: TOGAF Version 9.1. Retrieved from http://pubs.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf9-doc/arch/index.html
Urbaczewski, L. and Mrdalj, S. (2006). A comparison of enterprise architecture frameworks. Issues in Information Systems, 8(2): 18-23.