The Benefits of Effective Enterprise Architecture

Maintaining a diverse suite of software and information assets across several business divisions presents a range of challenges that are difficult to address without some degree of coordination and standardization. Enterprise Architecture addresses this need across the technology capabilities and solutions within an organization, providing a framework that shapes and streamlines how such solutions are created and utilized to the best of their capabilities.

Enterprise architecture aims to align overall technology implementation and direction to best meet the business and executive strategies of the broader enterprise. Individual software solutions that factor in enterprise architecture requirements are best placed to address their own specific business needs in a way that efficiently balances other important enterprise constraints such as re-use, integrations, and cost - resulting in a greater return on investment.

Enterprise Architecture Services

SitePen offers a variety of consulting services that can help optimize and enhance your existing enterprise architecture and its implementation, both across multiple and within individual technology solutions. For newer organizations burgeoning to a point where managing multiple systems is proving challenging, SitePen is able to advise on and help implement a solid enterprise architecture practice to help streamline oversight and maintenance of current and future software solutions. SitePen’s expertise in end-to-end solution delivery can provide help at every stage of enterprise architecture design, maintenance, and implementation - working with your existing implementation teams, or operating as a complete standalone solution delivery function.

Analysis and Strategy

SitePen can help with a range of business process analysis and enterprise architecture strategy formulation, whether the goal is how best to pursue and integrate new opportunities, or when trying to find ways of streamlining utilization and cost-effectiveness across an existing set of technology capabilities.

SitePen can work within and across organization divisions to help analyze business process needs, data flows, systems integrations, enumerate and assess architecture across existing technology capabilities, as well as identify any relevant organizational or technology constraints. This analysis is used to define an enterprise architecture strategy that identifies an optimal set of technology capabilities that can best meet all given constraints, and that aligns overall technology direction with the enterprise’s wider strategic aims.

Planning and Design

SitePen can help in the planning of how best to implement an established enterprise architecture strategy, as well as any associated solution design needed to implement new technology systems, data repositories, and process flows within the strategic framework. Our planning and design expertise can also help find the best way of adapting existing solutions to more closely align with the wider enterprise architecture framework, helping to rationalize capabilities across multiple software assets with an aim of increasing asset utilization and return on investment.

Implementation and Management

Architecture is not effective if treated as an ivory tower concept - it requires close alignment with implementation teams to ensure the larger strategies can be translated to working software. Teams should understand how and why particular decisions have been made so that everyone is pulling in the same direction. It is important to embed ongoing architectural design and alignment phases within all software delivery lifecycles across the enterprise, to ensure that individual solutions remain viable within the constraints of the overall enterprise architecture strategy. SitePen can work with implementation teams to ensure effective translation of enterprise architecture to solution architecture and implementation, as well as operate as a complete solution delivery team factoring in all required architecture concerns, including ongoing maintenance.

Optimization and Support

Enterprise architecture is most effective when it can evolve over time as part of an interactive solution implementation process. This allows for continuous refinement of both the enterprise architecture and individual solution implementations, to ensure all levels of technology strategy and implementation best address ever-changing business needs as well as advancements in the wider technology industry. Ongoing support and optimization is therefore a key part of SitePen’s enterprise architecture implementation capability.

Enterprise Architecture Experience

Enterprise Data Architecture

The management and flow of information is a key consideration within business processes as well as the software solutions that implement such processes. The majority of business value is derived from the data being processed rather than the processes themselves. Enterprise data architecture therefore forms a critical piece of SitePen’s enterprise architecture consulting capability. Our expertise covers a wide range of concerns around data modelling, database architecture, data flow design, integrations, and migrations. Information security is a critical consideration at every step.

Enterprise Architecture Tools

SitePen’s approach to enterprise architecture tooling is pragmatic, preferring lightweight documentation (including a range of diagramming and modelling) that evolves over time as architecture is proven across real-world solutions. We typically work with commodity off-the-shelf documentation and information repository solutions, favoring ease of access to architectural documentation across the enterprise - as well as avoiding vendor-specific lock-in.

Where appropriate, lightweight tooling may be useful to help automate certain data schema modelling and systems scaffolding that can be derived directly from the architectural blueprints. This helps to create “living architecture” that is kept up-to-date with evolving requirements and implementation details, allowing it to better retain its value as an accurate design authority over time - as well as benefit from a degree of process automation.

Enterprise Architecture Framework

SitePen’s approach to an enterprise architecture framework can be considered “TOGAF-like” in covering all relevant architecture domains, without necessarily requiring full TOGAF certification. Part of our expertise centers around our agility, which translates into favoring “agile architecture” that proves its value through being both lightweight and comprehensive. Our approach can be tailored to fit business and enterprises of all scales, giving the benefits that robust enterprise architecture can provide in a way that is easy to understand, rationalize, implement, and maintain over time.

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Enterprise FAQs

What is Enterprise Application Architecture?

Enterprise application architecture is the framework that guides and supports software and data solutions across an enterprise to better align with business process requirements, as well as broader strategic directives guiding business and technology direction. The framework encompasses documentation that lays out architecture designs and reasoning behind key decisions, as well as tooling to surface the documentation across solution teams. Processes and communication channels are also required to allow enterprise architecture to disseminate out to application design and implementation teams, as well as filter back in to allow bi-directional adjustments and refinements to keep enterprise and solution architecture in sync.

What Is the Purpose of Enterprise Architecture?

The fundamental purpose of enterprise architecture is simple - to design and support optimal ways that software and information technology can best serve immediate and future business needs. It aims to answer the “what”, “how” and most importantly “why” around implementation of software technology solutions that minimize unnecessary waste while best supporting existing and anticipated business opportunities, within and across organizational boundaries. This purpose extends throughout an organization’s lifetime, meaning enterprise architecture is only valuable when it is able to adapt to ever-changing business needs, constraints, and broader industry developments.

Why Is Enterprise Architecture Important?

Businesses, divisions, and solution teams tend to focus on their own immediate concerns, which can result in opportunities being overlooked where repurposing or adapting solutions that already exist elsewhere in the enterprise may address requirements in more cost- and time-effective ways. Opportunities can also be missed where broader integrations across divisions could help provide greater value than the sum of their isolated parts. Without the guidance that robust enterprise architecture provides, significant waste can be generated in these ways where short-term solutions are implemented to meet apparent needs, but are ultimately abandoned for a wide variety of reasons.

In the same way that executive strategy helps point businesses and divisions into synergistic rather than conflicting directions, enterprise architecture helps align technology and data solutions to sustainably meet business needs while minimizing waste and overlap. Effective enterprise architecture helps bridge the divide between addressing valuable immediate business opportunities, but doing so in a way that addresses a range of constraints and that best aligns with future strategic directions across the enterprise.

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