Since the EA is intended to deal with complexity and alignment difficulties, tools and methods are essential to its success. Thus, a central topic of EA is the frameworks, tools, and methodology available and used in an organization. For some, these frameworks, tools and methods are exclusively the EA while this research does not advocate this position, nor evidence of this description is found in this study’s empirical section. EA framework:Lewis (2009) has identified the following frameworks as dominating the market for EA frameworks: •NATO Architecture Framework (NAF) •Ministry of Defense Architecture Framework (MODAF) •US Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DODAF) •The Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) •Business Enterprise Architecture (BEA) •Australian Government Architecture (AGA) Sessions (2007) states these four frameworks as commonly used:•The Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architectures •The Open Group Architectural Framework (TOGAF) •The Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) •The Gartner Methodology EA tools:Several modelling and documentation tools are available on the market, such as:Enterprise Architect by Sparx Systems (www.sparxsystems.com)ARIS by Software AG (www.aris.com)MEGA Suite by MEGA International (www.mega.com)Qualiware by Qualiware (www.qualiware.com)Besides the listed frameworks, methods and EA tools, there are quite a few others available on the market. However, it could be beneficial to have good choices; this variety of tools available on the market could defeat standardization and generally agreed definition of the EA. The next topic to uncover is the challenges for EA.
Key challenges for EA
For the contemporary organization, quite a few challenges are prevalent such as impact from globalization, increased business risk, new technology leap, and the organizational test in either merging or delineate a business. The full potential from EA is most likely seen in some of the challenges below, why there is a firm need to treat the EA implementation and maintenance on a decent level.For the Enterprise Architectural function, there are some key challenges to deal with, such as:Generally accepted definitionA generally accepted definition of the EA is essential to obtain an extensive acceptance for EA. Lapalme (2012) has found three major schools of EA: Enterprise IT Architecting, Enterprise Integrating, and Enterprise Ecological Adaptation.GlobalizationCountries as well as enterprises neglecting to realize the complexity of globalization and omission to take appropriate actions, will suffer in comparative advantage in the long run (Baines & Ursah, 2009).Business risk One key challenge for EA is to reduce risk, balancing the risk and return (Weill & Broadbent, 2009), by anticipating and foresee risk (Koletar, 2010).Frequently repeated requests from the businessThe business is revealed to repeatedly inquiring the IT domain to improve its ability to simplify some processes such as the easy access to systems (e.g. performed on a single sign-on) on preserved information security (Bosworth et al., 2009), agile operations (Meyer-Stabley, 2014) on remained cost-efficient operations and stable environment (Spielvogel et al., 2011).Extended technologyCoordinating the various sensors and its ability to report states and arrangements, known as the Internet of Things, is a particular challenge to be coordinated and utilized in a decent manner (McEwen & Cassimally, 2014), and to present collected data into information and knowledge (Simon, 2014), which in addition requests for ubiquitous computing (Resatsch, 2010).Sustainable EAHausman (2011) indicates the difficulties by conforming sustainable EA, levering benefits to a moving target, as the business might be distinguished. The operational aspects of sustainable EA involve the environmental considerations in green process management (Seidel et al., 2012), and green IT operations (Murugesan & Gangadharan, 2012).The maturity measuringIn positioning the EA in a certain organization, monitoring the maturity and effectiveness from EA, is essential according to Steenbergen, van (2011).Mergers & Acquisitions and divestitures of business unitsThe modern business has commonly adopted the concept of acquire and divestiture subsidiaries in strategic course changes. The subsidiary’s informational dependencies to other affiliates are of particular interest from an architectural perspective (Roehl-Anderson, 2013).The majority of organizations involved in the business of today, have quite a few obstacles to overcome and challenges to meet. The EA could to a certain degree, act in guidance for these challenges, especially when several issues have to be performed in parallel. The next subsection will explore some prevalent criticism of the EA.
Judgment of EA
As many other arising subjects in the business arena, the EA has been questioned and exposed to criticism. The field of EA has been subject to some criticism. The exertion to focus the architectural work in favor of the benefits and value from EA to the business, termed the ivory tower (Bok, 2009; James, 1917) of EA, is depicted by Perks & Beveridge (2004). Kemp & McManus (2009) consider the EA to be technology directed, dogmatic with a futuristic approach that will never be fulfilled. Rehkopf & Wybolt (2003) in turn, have found ten landmines from EA. The implementation challenges are described by Löhe & Legner (2014) as lack of the Enterprise Architects authority and a vague literature guidance about how to implement EA in an organization. In addition, the inferior quality of the relationship between the architectural management and the IT management may suffer in business value derived from EA (Löhe & Legner, 2014). Benefits that cannot be evaluated nor measured, or benefits that no one possesses, such benefit and its implicit value does not really exist, advising Ward & Daniel (2006). Dealing with EA topics on a low level could be successful, but aggregated to its top-level (Löhe & Legner, 2014) turn into a Wicked Problem, described by Ritchey (2011). “Whither EA?”, inquire Kemp & McManus (2009).The consequence of forcing the EA implementation too hard or too rapid could end up in a separate phenomenon, separated from the business and with insignificant value and benefits contribution to the business.In summary for this subsection, the EA is to a certain extent in its infancy, although existed for a few decades. Despite the good intention by the EA, penetration and implementation of a phenomenon as EA takes time, mainly because EA is covering several areas and to a certain degree is multi-facet and multi-disciplinary. The next section will depicture the EA stakeholders.
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