Learn what architecture means when applied to IT and what enterprise architecture is in this video.
- It's no secret that business runs on technology. That technology comes in several forms, mechanical equipment, tools, and perhaps most commonly, software systems. They're everywhere. Most companies, like yours, sell products or services. Doctors and hospitals sell medical services, lawyers, legal counsel, and insurance companies, policies. The managers and executives of companies know how to run a business, but they're not necessarily technology experts. So how do they make tech decisions? Who helps them build and buy information systems that run their businesses? The answer is enterprise architecture, also known as EA. Enterprise architecture is a practice and a collection of skills that is used to align technology strategy with business strategy. Business leaders rely on enterprise architects as trusted technology advisors. Let's break down these terms. An enterprise is any organization that uses software systems, so basically all of them. Enterprises aren't limited to for-profit companies. They can be government institutions, nonprofits, nongovernmental organizations, and charities. An entity comprised of people working collectively toward a goal is an enterprise. The technical definition of the term architecture in this context is the manner in which the components of a computer or computer system are organized and integrated. So EA deals with the complex relationships between an enterprise organization, its people, the business processes they support, and systems that automate those process. EA is more than just writing code in IT operations. Enterprise architectures, along with their counterparts in solution and application architecture, focus broadly on keeping engineering efforts aligned with business strategy and outcomes. They use a combination of hard technical skills, IT industry experience, and soft skills such as verbal and written communication to translate business strategy into real systems that deliver business value. EA teams engage with business stakeholders to help them make informed decisions about technology. Throughout my career, I've filled three major architectural roles recognized by the IT industry, application, solutions, and enterprise architecture. Let me share some of my experiences. As an application architect, I was responsible for the architectural design of a handful of applications. My job was to choose the right technologies and methods to build and maintain them. As a solution architect, I was responsible for a family of application. I worked with business stakeholders on technical and business strategy for their portfolios. As an enterprise architect, my team worked across the enterprise on strategic and technical projects that affected all applications. My executive stakeholders looked to me to help them realize long-term business goals through technology. In each of these roles, I drew on my experience as a software developer to advise and consult. When I first became an architect, my focus broadened beyond writing code to encompass the concerns of my business stakeholders. I learned how to connect these two perspectives. As an architect, my job is to translate the desires of business leaders into feasible, cost-effective systems. The software systems used by enterprises grow in complexity over time as the company grows, adds customers, and expands its market. The more successful an enterprise is in serving its customers and providing it services, the more it needs enterprise architecture.
- Why do enterprises need architecture?
- How do enterprise architects add value in an organization?
- Application, solution, and enterprise architecture
- Pursuing EA as a career
- Working with EA frameworks and practices
- Integrating EA with process systems
- Creating a new EA organization