Enterprise Architecture The purpose of an enterprise architecture is to support the company's corporate vision and strategy.  Therefore the company's vision and strategy must be allowed to support and define all elements and aspects of the enterprise architecture.  If properly defined and managed, an enterprise architecture will serve to control and contain costs throughout the lifecycle of the application or system. There is often some degree of debate as to exactly what should be included in an enterprise architecture, but we believe that it should contain the following elements.
  • Business Architecture: The Business Architecture is developed through the analysis and definition of business strategies, processes, and functional requirements needed to support the business goals and objectives.  In most cases, these are developed to some degree in any enterprise application project.  The advantage of developing them within the context of a broader enterprise architecture is that the resulting deliverables will provide the information, context, and requirements needed by the IT organization.
  • Data Architecture: The Enterprise Data Architecture is generally developed using data models, information flows, and an analysis of key decision-making criteria for each activity of the business.  The advantage of approaching data architecture within the broader context of an enterprise architecture is the ability of this approach to identify common data entities and transactions that exist between enterprise systems.  This tends to reduce redundancy while preserving the context and integrity of information which flows between systems.
  • Application Architecture: The Enterprise Application Architecture provides a guideline or framework for acquiring, and implementing specifics systems, applications, and services to meet the needs of the business. Developing the enterprise application architecture within the context of a broader enterprise architecture helps to ensure that each systems or applications developed meet the level of quality required to support the business goals and objectives. Quality here is defined in terms of scalability, reliability, performance, availability, security, and other key factors.
  • Technical Architecture: The technical architecture refers to the hardware, operating systems, services, and other technologies that support the enterprise applications.  Designing and developing these within the context of a broader enterprise architecture helps to ensure both compatibility and interoperability while simultaneously confirming the businesses ability to effectively support the resulting systems and services.


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