Developing an Enterprise Level Architectural Description

Paramount to the enterprise architecture is the identification of the sponsor, his/her mission, vision and strategy and the governance framework to define all roles, responsibilities and relationships involved in the anticipated transition.
As the purpose of architecture is: “INSIGHT, TO DECIDE, FOR ALL STAKEHOLDERS”, enterprise architects work very closely with the enterprise sponsor and key stakeholders, internal and external to the enterprise. The architect understands the enterprise mission, vision and strategy and the sponsor’s ideas about the approach. The architect articulates the existing enterprise infrastructure value-chain: market, business, systems and technology. Architects present and discuss the technology, systems, business and market options to fulfill the enterprise mission. Insight is improved by using the ‘solution architecture’ which is, relative to the decisions ahead, a specific blend of technology, systems, business and market options. Together with the sponsor and the main stakeholders, they make informed choices about the options. For large transitions, architectural decisions are supported by proofs-of-concept and/or business pilots.
Enterprise architects use various methods and tools to capture the structure and dynamics of an enterprise. In doing so, they produce taxonomies, diagrams, documents and models, together called artifacts. These artifacts describe the
logical organization of business functions, business capabilities, business processes, people, information resources, business systems, software applications, computing capabilities, information exchange and communications
infrastructure within the enterprise. A collection of these artifacts, sufficiently complete to describe the enterprise in useful ways, is considered by EA practitioners an ‘enterprise’ level architectural description, or enterprise architecture, for short. The UK National Computing Centre EA best practice guidance states Normally an EA takes the form of a comprehensive set of cohesive models that describe the structure and functions of an enterprise. and continues
The individual models in an EA are arranged in a logical manner that provides an ever-increasing level of detail about the enterprise: its objectives and goals; its processes and organization; its systems and data; the technology used and any other relevant spheres of interest. This is the definition of enterprise architecture implicit in several EA frameworks including the popular TOGAF architectural framework. An enterprise architecture framework bundles tools, techniques, artifact descriptions, process models, reference models and guidance used by architects in the production of enterprise-specific architectural description. Several enterprise architecture frameworks break down the practice of enterprise architecture into a number of practice areas or domains.

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