Organisations need to adapt increasingly fast and anticipate changing customer requirements and business goals. This need influences the entire chain of activities of a business, from the organisational structure to the network infrastructure. How can you control the impact of these changes?
Enterprise Architecture may be the answer. It is an important instrument to address this company-wide integration. It is a coherent whole of principles, methods and models that are used in the design and realization of the enterprise’s organizational structure, business processes, information systems, and IT infrastructure. A good architecture practice enables an organization to align business and IT operations with its strategy, quickly respond to changes in the environment, and make optimal use of technological opportunities. The development and maintenance of architectures will lead to efficiency, cost reduction and flexibility.
Within companies various domain architectures can be found, like organization, business process, application, information, and technical architectures. Each architecture domain has its own concepts for the modelling and visualization of its internal coherence. These specific models and visualizations simplify communication, discussion and analysis within the domain. However, the relations between the concepts in these different domains are in many cases unclear. Moreover, these domains often partially overlap but use different notions to express the same ideas, sometimes even with-out the people involved knowing this. The resulting ambiguities and confusion stand in the way of the flexibly and efficiently operating organizations we envisage.
The ArchiMate project will develop an integrated architectural approach that describes and visualizes the different business domains and their relations. Using these integrated architectures aids stakeholders in assessing the impact of design choices and changes.
The main benefits of ArchiMate for modeling your enterprise architectures are:
- It is an international, vendor-independent standard of The Open Group.
- It is a lean and simple language. It contains just enough concepts for modeling enterprise architecture and is not bloated to include everything possible. Its uniform structure makes it easy to learn and apply.
- It has clear links to existing approaches for specific architecture areas such as software or business processes. Several concepts in ArchiMate have deliberately been borrowed from other languages such as UML or BPMN, to provide an easy bridge.
- It does not prescribe a way of working, but it is easily combined with existing methods such as TOGAF.
- It has been tried and tested by many different user organizations and is supported by certified professionals and software tools.