The 6 Basic Elements of Enterprise Architecture

Michael Chavira

July 25, 2022

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Enterprise architecture includes several elements. This article will discuss the Business sub-architectural domain, the Application’s domain, and the Documentation framework. It will also touch on the Holistic approach to architecture. It is important to remember that an enterprise architecture is not static, but rather a living, evolving model of a company. You should always align all aspects of the company with its overall goals. Then, you can start creating an enterprise architecture.

Applications domain

Enterprise architecture aims to describe the movable paths that companies take in achieving business goals. The definition of enterprise architecture differs from traditional architectural practices. Traditional architecture focuses on pure technical systems, whereas architecture deals with both technical and socio-technical systems. To illustrate, consider a house. A house is a structure, but a house also houses people.

There are four primary types of enterprise architecture. The first type of architecture focuses on  business and IT objectives. This type of architecture should incorporate data management, data structures, and application functionality. In this domain, data is organized into entities. An enterprise architecture should act on specified data in accordance with business requirements. Several EA frameworks combine application and data domains. For instance, ArchiMate is a multipurpose modeling language, while TOGAF is an architecture framework.

Business sub-architectural domain

The business sub-architectural domain of enterprise architecture connects the informational, structural, and operational aspects of an organization. It defines the organization’s core purpose and enables the business teams to create architectures that address the needs of stakeholders and customers alike. This sub-architectural domain of architecture also helps define the role of technology within the organization. It can be categorized into two general categories: baseline and potential future state.

Almost all organizations use a framework of some sort for enterprise architecture. This framework consists of four architectural domains: information, technology, business, and process. While these domains may be overlapping, most enterprise architects tailor it to the organization’s specific needs. The National Institutes of Health, for example, has three architecture domains and uses a framework-based methodology to develop theirs.

Documentation framework

An Enterprise Architecture is an outline or blueprint for the design and implementation of an enterprise IT system. It describes the relationship between IT entities and the business strategy. The framework and implementation guide of the project’s development and implementation. The process is called enterprise architecture design and implementation, and the framework describes the various steps involved in the process. This document describes the business strategy and the IT infrastructure required to achieve that strategy.

Enterprise architecture design and documentation must be consistent and aligned. Enterprise architecture frameworks should incorporate best practices and provide a standard for consistency and compliance. Architecture tools support the overall design process, and a documentation framework can help you meet your goals. The following table summarizes the four main components of an architecture. Documentation is the foundation for a detailed understanding of the organization’s business processes, including their interaction.

Holistic approach

The introductory textbook on Holistic Architecture (HA) explains how to create a strategic and holistic architecture for world-wide business planning. It is suitable for practitioners of all levels and is applicable to large complex organizations. The book explains key concepts and uses straightforward language. It covers the four components of an effective holistic architecture, including the business, technology, and human aspects of management. It includes a case study illustrating how holistic architecture can be applied to real-world.

The Holistic approach to Architecture requires equal treatment of information systems and business artifacts. The paper describes an extension of an existing approach to Enterprise Architecture and the implementation of a commercial metamodeling platform, focusing on the interrelationship between architecture layers. This paper was first published in Enterprise Modelling and Information Systems Architectures 2005. It provides a practical framework to design and implement an Enterprise Architecture, allowing for easy implementation and ongoing management.