Enterprise architectures(EA) are blueprints for systematically and completely defining an organization's current (baseline) or desired (target) environment.
Enterprise architectures are essential for evolving information systems and developing new systems that optimize their mission value. This is accomplished in logical or business terms (e.g., mission, business functions, information flows, and systems environments) and technical terms (e.g., software, hardware,communications), and includes a Sequencing Plan for transitioning from the baseline environment to the target environment.
If defined, maintained, and implemented effectively, these institutional blueprints assist in optimizing the inter-dependencies and interrelationships among an organization's business operations and the underlying IT that support operations.
For EAs to be useful and provide business value, their development, maintenance, and implementation should be managed effectively.
An EA offers tangible benefits to the enterprise and those responsible for evolving the enterprise.
The EA can:
- Capture facts about the mission, functions, and business foundation in an understandable manner to promote better planning and decision making
- Improve communication among the business organizations and IT organizations within the enterprise through a standardized vocabulary
- Provide architectural views that help communicate the complexity of large systems and facilitate management of extensive, complex environments
- Focus on the strategic use of emerging technologies to better manage the enterprise's information and consistently insert those technologies into the enterprise
- Improve consistency, accuracy, timeliness, integrity, quality, availability, access, and sharing of IT-managed information across the enterprise
- Highlight opportunities for building greater quality and flexibility intoÂ applications without increasing cost
- The primary purpose of an EA is to inform, guide, and constrain the decisions for theÂ enterprise, especially those related to IT investments.