EA by any name?

1 September 2009

In the recent post at http://tinyurl.com/mg9k7h

‘ Is it Enterprise Architecture or IT Architecture?’,  the author asks whether Enterprise Architecture should be renamed?

I see this argument from the other way around.

I would say that there has always been a difference between Enterprise Architecture and technical architecture.

The former has its origins in the Zachman Framework which has always included the business architecture aspects.

Technical architecture has evolved to become IT architecture and IT planning.

Most organisations have kept business architecture and IT architecture separate because of the typical separation of responsibilities within an organisation.

They like to keep IT in there place so to speak.

The language of IT architecture has claimed that it now deals with ‘enterprise’ level software, i.e. software applications like SAP that are used across all the business areas. For this reason many IT architecture efforts now rather erroneously call themselves Enterprise IT Architecture (EITA) or Enterprise Architecture, whereas in fact they still only address IT architecture subject matter.

So when people claim to have been doing EA this is likely not to have been actually true and the ‘inclusion of Business Architecture as one of the domains of EA’ is somehow a further misrepresentation.

EA has always been a method for ‘architecting the enterprise’, it’s just that IT Architecture is trying to claim EA’s clothes.

The move from TOGAF 7 to TOGAF 8 and now TOGAF 9 illustrates this path.

Many organisation’s have yet to truly understand that EA is different from EITA.

As someone who has been trained in the Zachman Framework and IFW since 1995 and done ‘real’ EA, it is clear that IT Architecture should no longer try to claim to be Enterprise Architecture, but concentrate instead on being Solution Architecture and clearly distinguish itself from Enterprise Architecture which really doesn’t need to change it’s name.

A sheep in wolf’s clothing is still a sheep.


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