Essentials of Enterprise Architecture Tool
As a practicing Enterprise Architect, I witnessed many organizations even today use tools like excel, ppt, Access, Visio, etc for capturing and documenting architecture artifacts across the organizations. These tools cannot effectively manage frameworks, document current architectures, develop future scenarios, and manage initiatives towards achieving organizational goals.
Also in many organizations, enterprise architecture information is spread across the organization and there exists no central access to these artifacts. Many Business Units and application owners adapt their own tools to manage the architecture artifacts in silos.
Today the main concerns of CIOs for most the Organizations are,
- Information “All over the place”
- Portfolio Redundancy
- Poor data quality
- Poor Business-IT Alignment
- Multiple stakeholders across Organization
- Transform the Operating Model
- Business Strategy Challenges
- Business and Technology Risks
Usage of the Enterprise Architecture tool mitigates all the above concerns. Enterprise architecture (EA) tools are software applications designed to support enterprise architects and other business and IT stakeholders with strategically driven planning, analysis, design, and execution. It supports strategic, tactical decision-making, executing business strategy, and help enterprise to react quickly to change and navigate to the future. It serves as a platform for a variety of stakeholders to arrive at future state architecture, collaborate and make better and faster decisions about enterprise transformation. It integrates with project and portfolio management solutions to ensure the best investment mix of projects to execute on business direction, vision, and strategy.
Importance of EA Tool
Enterprise Architecture tools are required to,
- Establish the business and IT collaboration
- Helps in driving the business strategy through IT
- Optimize portfolio costs for licenses, operations, support, and application integration
- Freeing up financial resources
- Comply with Data Regulations and increasingly demanding regulations
- Evaluate assets, returns, and risks in the IT landscape
- Estimate interdependencies between portfolios for applications, technologies, projects, services, and APIs
- Support a business innovation, a new market segment, or the back office, and determine how fast systems need to change
Core Capabilities of EA Tool
EA tools allow organizations to map out their business process architecture, business capability architecture, application architecture, data architecture, integration architecture, and technology architecture. The common capabilities of EA Tool are,
EA Repository supports business, information, technology, and solution viewpoints and their relationships and supports business direction, vision, strategy, etc
EA Modelling, support the minimum viewpoints of business, information, solutions, and technology. Modeling of As-Is and Target state, Impact Analysis, and Roadmaps
Decision Analysis, capabilities such as gap analysis, traceability, impact analysis, scenario planning, and system thinking.
Multiple Views support multiple views for different types of audiences/users such as Executives, Architects/Designers, Business Planners, Suppliers, etc. Support customization and extensions of meta-model, diagrams, menus, matrices, and reports
Collaboration and Sharing, provide good collaboration-oriented features, which include simultaneous model editing, a shared remote repository, version management including model comparison and merge, easy publishing, and review capabilities
Compatibility, support for multiple frameworks and standards, and should enable integration of these models into a single repository that enables interoperability in a toolchain and data migration between tools
Frameworks and standards, support standard EA frameworks (e.g. ToGAF, Zachman Framework) and industry-standard notations/conventions for business and IT architecture/design modeling
Presentation, capabilities that are visual or interactive to meet the demands of a myriad of stakeholders. To present the content to various types of users, including web, thick clients, and reports.
Administration, enable security, user management, and other tasks. Ease of administration of various day-to-day operations.
Configurability, support for configuration of the tool to reflect the uniqueness of the organization
Integration (Open APIs) with other enterprise tools such as JIRA, CMDB, SNOW, etc.
Repository/meta-model, the richness of the native meta-model, and support for the extension
Modeling, support for the development of various EA models, including modeling based on content in other tools/documents (excel, Visio, etc.)
Usability, provide easy and seamless access to the EA artifacts either through a web browser interface or a desktop client.
Users of EA Tools
The number of potential users of EA information is increasing beyond the EA team. Each role needs a different view of the enterprise, using common information. The various types of users of the EA tool are,
- Enterprise Architects
- IT strategists
- Business analysts
- Security architects
- Solution Architects
- Enterprise Program Managers
- Quality and Process Owners
- Software Developers
- External Partners
The EA tool helps in improving visibility across enterprise architecture. It helps to identify the redundant applications across the enterprise and retire them. This helps in improving the cost savings. The tool also helps in the integration of the EA across the organizations as a whole. In summary,
- Tool holds the current snapshot (As-Is) which helps to develop future state (To-Be)
- Provides linkage across Business, Information, Application, and Technology Architectures
- One Source for all metadata of IT assets including people along with process and technology
- Helps in what-if analysis
- Reduces time-to-market by providing users right information at the right time leading to informed decision making and effective analysis
- Reduces risk by helping effective enterprise change management
- Provides ability to graphically view Business and IT interactions and relationships
The author would like to thank Vijayasimha A & Raju Alluri of Wipro Digital Architecture Practice of Wipro Ltd for giving the required time and support in many ways in bringing up this article.
Dr.Gopala Krishna Behara
|Dr.Gopala Krishna Behara is a Distinguished Member and Lead Enterprise Architect in Wipro Technologies with 25+ years of extensive experience in the ICT industry. He serves as an Advisory Architect, Mentor on Enterprise Architecture, Application Modernization and continues to work as a Subject Matter Expert and Author. He is certified in Open Group TOGAF, AWS Solution Architect -Associate, IBM Cloud Solutions and UNPAN. Published number of research papers, books in IT industry. He has been a speaker at National and International forums and bodies like The Open Group, National e-Governance Forum. He has been a moderator and panel member for multiple technical/business forums like IGI Global, AEA, Open Group and Premium College meets. Recipient of EA Hall of Fame International Award – Individual Leadership in EA Practice, Promotion and Professionalization Award. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gopalbehara/
The views expressed in this article/presentation are that of the authors and Wipro does not subscribe to the substance, veracity, or truthfulness of the said opinion.