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TOGAF – An Enterprise Architecture Framework July 2, 2012

Posted by Sapna Sumanth in Enterprise Architecture.
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Enterprise architecture in basic term means the structure or the blue print of an enterprise. The structure describes the mission, values, the technologies, processes, people, information, underlying IT’s systems, applications and operations. Through Enterprise architecture, complex IT systems can be managed well by addressing the current and the future needs of the organization and also helps in achieving a balance between the business and the IT sides. It is highly important in delivering real business values. People play an important role in any organization. There must always exist collaboration, harmony & integrity. Selecting right people for different job roles is important. As Garter defines it, ”The scope of the enterprise architecture includes the people, processes, information and technology of the enterprise, and their relationships to one another and to the external environment.” [8]

The Open Group Architecture Framework best known as TOGAF, is a framework for EA that is owned by the Open Group. This framework provides a comprehensive  approach, guidelines & supporting tools for designing, planning, implementation and governance of enterprise architecture. TOGAF defines the following:

1. Four Architectures

  • Business Architecture
  • Application Architecture
  • Data Architecture
  • Technical Architecture

Business Architecture: It defines the business strategy, governance & processes that the business uses to meet the goals. The important attributes of EBA are people, financials, organizational structure and processes. The goal of EBA is to ensure that the changes in the above attributes such as people, financials, process and structure etc. are optimized with information and technology, which supports the business strategy [4].

Application Architecture: It deals with the best practices of application design, development & deployment, to meet current and future business needs of an organization. The evolution of application architecture plays an important role in providing greater business value through faster & cost effective delivery of high quality applications, easy integration, improved system performance and low maintenance. Some of the important attributes of any application architecture include application – availability (up-time), agility (ability to change) & scalability (ability to scale up/down). [1][2]

Data Architecture: It defines the organization’s data assets and their management. It focuses on the information needs of the organization to run the business. It deals with how the business information is collected, organized, protected and distributed/shared, using structured data stores such as databases and unstructured data stores such as documents, spreadsheets, presentations etc. [2]

Technical Architecture: It defines the set of technology standards and services for both software and hardware systems, to achieve business goals. It also makes sure that these standards are accepted, embraced and used throughout the organization. The goal of ETA is to deliver products – faster, better and cheaper.  The technology architecture represents the fundamental organization of the computing/ telecommunications hardware and networks. [5]

2. Architecture Development Method [ADM]: It is a detailed approach to develop, implement and govern enterprise architecture such that the business and IT are aligned. It is an iterative and cyclic process. Each step checks with Requirements. [6]. TOGAF ADM consists of eight phases apart from the preliminary phase.

Preliminary phase: This phase describes the preparation and initiation activities required to meet the business goals for the new EA.

1. Phase A – Architecture Vision: This is the initial phase of ADM which includes defining scope of the architecture, identifying the key stakeholders, defining the architecture vision and obtaining the management approvals.

2. Phase B – Business architecture: This describes the organizational strategies, processes, information and geographic aspects of business environments. It is used as an artifact for demonstrating the business value for upcoming architecture work to the key stakeholders and the return on investment (ROI) to those supporting and participating in subsequent work.

3. Phase C – Information systems architecture: This phase involves developing the required information systems i.e., data and application architecture. This describes the enterprise’s IS architecture that will enable business architecture as well as Architecture vision in a way that addresses the request for architecture work and the stakeholders concerns.

4. Phase D – Technology Architecture: This phase develops the target technology architecture that enables the logical and physical application and data components.

5. Phase E – Opportunities and Solutions: This process identifies the delivery vehicles (i.e. projects, programs and portfolios) that effectively deliver the target architecture identified in the preceding phases. These accounts for all the gaps between all the architecture domains and logically group them into work packages within the enterprise’s portfolios.

6. Phase F – Migration Planning: This defines the plan to move from the baseline architecture to the target architecture. The activities include assessing the dependencies, costs and benefits of migration. The objective is to ensure that the implementation and the migration plan are coordinated with the enterprise’s approach to managing and implementing change in the enterprise’s overall change portfolio.

7. Phase G – Implementation Governance:  The objective of this phase is to ensure conformance with the target architecture by all the various projects of the organization and to perform necessary governance functions for any implementation of the architectural change requests.

8. Phase H – Architecture Change Management: The goal of this phase is to ensure that the target architecture meets the estimated business value. It also includes managing the changes to the architecture in a cohesive and structured way.

The final step of ADM is the Architecture Requirements Management, which ensures that the requirement management process is standard across all ADM phases.

3. Enterprise continuum: The Enterprise Continuum may be viewed as a “virtual repository” (as of TOGAF 9 this is not virtual any more) of all the architecture assets available to an organization. These include architectural models, architectural patterns, architecture descriptions, and other artifacts. These artifacts may exist within the enterprise and also in the IT industry at large [6]. It includes  – Architecture Continuum and the Solutions Continuum.

Architecture continuum: It comprises of all the building blocks of enterprise architecture starting from the foundation architecture to common systems architecture to Industry architecture until the enterprise specific architecture.

Solution continuum: Solution architecture on the other hand represents the implementation of architecture at each level in detail. It includes Products and Services, Systems Solutions, Industry Solutions and Enterprise Solutions.

References:

[1] Gartner – Defining the Discipline of Application Architecture

[2] Enterprise Architecture Alignment Heuristics

[3] Gartner defines Enterprise Information Architecture

[4] Gartner – Understand Enterprise Business Architecture to Realize Your Future State

[5] Essential Layers, Artifacts, and dependencies of Enterprise Architecture, by Robert Winter and Ronny Fischer

[6] The Open Group Architecture Framework

[7] http://pubs.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf9-doc/arch/toc-pt2.html

[8] http://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/enterprise-architecture-ea/

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