5 Essential Enterprise Architecture Components Of A Successful Framework

essential enterprise architecture components successful framework

Enterprise architecture is the practice of designing, analyzing, planning, and implementing enterprise analysis. 

Enterprise architecture components aim at successfully executing the analysis of business strategies. The framework for enterprise architecture enhances the building and maintaining of enterprise-wide businesses. 

One aim of enterprise architecture is to develop a cohesive vision among the leaders. The enterprise architecture components help create a shared vision among the leaders about 

 The role and definition of technical architecture 
 Emerging technology and enterprise business strategies 
 Migration plans from current to future architecture 
 The requirements of IT derived from enterprise business strategies 

You can create a successful enterprise architecture function from hard and soft skills. With this in mind, let’s look at the essential enterprise architecture components. 

1. Business Value 

For businesses to embrace enterprise architecture, it must demonstrate business value. This is to say that enterprise architecture must add value to the business functions. The best way to get value out of EA is to focus on improving business capabilities. 

In so doing, the teams within the business will feel the positive impacts of the function. Identify the broken or less effective processes. Work on improving them to create more value. 

For example, how are the sales compensation processes impacting on the business? If they seem broken or less useful, work on improving them. 

Take care not to focus only on technical upgrades or systems consolidation. 

These might be necessary approaches, but they may not provide the value you seek. Consider incorporating new projects like mobile apps or collaboration solutions. 

These will serve to motivate your business team. 

2. Executive Sponsors 

Most business functions can’t succeed minus the goodwill of the senior level executive. This also applies to enterprise architecture. For the role of EA to get real traction, get the input of the highest level executive sponsors. 

In an ideal situation, strive to get the attention of the customer service executives. 

Remember that the highest priorities in most businesses are revenue and customers. As you seek the engagement of executives, go for those with an influential voice in the company. 

It's not necessary to have every executive as a sponsor, but you need a strong team. Remember that the executive has to be involved in making critical top-down decisions. Decisions touching on enterprise standards and governance require the input of the executives. 

3. Governance 

Governance is one of the enterprise architecture components required for successful functioning. 

In this context, governance doesn’t refer to the complex process, forms, or documents. Effective management in enterprise architecture entails simple, recurring dialogue across the various functions. 

For more value, bring cross-functional teams together to discuss pertinent issues. Have a specific topic ready, ideally a critical pain point. For example, point out a business capability and create a discussion about its impact. 

Each team will share how the business function in question works. They'll also analyze the impact on teams, and how everyone can learn from it. A business function works best when groups acknowledge its existence and focus on it. 

4. Talent 

The best enterprise architects must be pragmatic and must have business intelligence. They also must have a set of deep technical, communication, and influencing skills. Their ability to solve complex situations is also required in business situations. 

A pragmatic enterprise architect can articulate the current position and propose a future one. He’s also able to design a reasonable path to follow in achieving that future state. The hardest part is in finding a realistic path. 

Considering the current state of enterprise architecture, there are several challenges to overcome. 

Some challenges in developing strategies include budget, time, and resources constraints. It's not advisable to strive for perfection since it can easily lead to paralysis of the processes. Yet, not doing anything will often lead to atrophy. 

A talented enterprise architect will succeed in leveraging a pragmatic approach to move forward. Keep in mind that your success also depends on the type of framework you use. Whether you're using the Zachman or Gartner framework, be sure to learn more to avoid miscommunication and other problems. 

5. Scope 

It’s usually easy and very tempting to over-scope enterprise architecture. 

To avoid this, focus on a few essential enterprise-level business pain points at a time. Since budgets are almost always constrained, remember to prioritize wisely. 

If the business pain points are too many, strive to handle a few at a time. Avoid kicking off too many initiatives at the same time. Having too much to do at the same time will spread your resources and team too thin. 

Sometimes, it can be difficult to reduce the scope when the challenges are all a priority. In such situations, it’s advisable to partner with other business partners to focus on one area at a time. 

Now you know the enterprise architecture components necessary for your business. You might ask, what are some of their benefits? Let’s have a look. 

Benefits Of Enterprise Architecture 

EA is a framework for the necessary businesses support for re-designs and re-organization. The enterprise architecture function is crucial during major organizational changes. For example, during mergers and acquisitions, it comes in handy. 

It helps bring more discipline into organizations by consolidating and standardizing processes. 

Other benefits of EA include 

 Enabling businesses to focus on investments 
 Increasing the collaboration of all business unit 
 Easing the evaluation of existing architecture 
 Developing processes for the assessment of technology 
 Providing a benchmarking framework against other organizations 

By having an EA framework, you’ll also improve your system development. The decisions making and IT management processes will also grow. It eliminates system failures, errors, and breaches. 

Enterprise Architecture Components - Final Thoughts 

For the successful execution of business strategies, have an enterprise architecture function. The function is not complete without enterprise architecture components. These are governance, scope, talent, business value, and executive sponsor. 

Each of these components is vital in accomplishing business objectives. The careful execution of each of them contributes to the achievement of the desired business results. The enterprise architecture framework serves as a response to growing business technology. 

This means that it has helped streamline various business functions that were otherwise complex. 

The best way to execute the enterprise architect function is to involve all the teams. This will ensure one business function doesn’t excel at the expense of others. Do you want success for your business? Be sure to reach this post on bootstrapping your business to success.

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