Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge
EA in Practice

Evolution

Author: Saurabh Mittal, PhD

The EA provides a roadmap for guiding the enterprise through change to achieve desired business outcomes. Enterprise architecting is a continuous effort spanning months or sometimes even a couple of years. Amidst the engineering and development of an enterprise architecture, technologies change, business needs change, directives change, applicable standards are updated and the people who were tasked to build it, move. Transition planning identifies incremental phases for developing and introducing improvements in structure, operations, or technology, for example, to migrate from the current architecture to the target one. Further, the complexity of an enterprise architecture is not a single metric that can be controlled in a centralized manner as risk mitigation is a constant effort in a dynamic landscape. This calls for an evolution path of enterprise architecture that describes how agile the process of enterprise architecting is and if the current architecture is forward-looking and future-proof. The result is plans, schedules, and milestones to be executed in a defined timeframe with a specific set of resources.

The transition and evolution must be considered across multiple aspects of EA, for example, business services, information and data standards, technology infrastructure, portfolios, governance, etc. and must align with the goals and vision of the Enterprise.

Transitioning a current EA to a to-be EA requires a specific set of skills, such as, financial accounting, effective business communication, negotiation, project management and strategy development in a collaborative environment. The transition and evolution path of an EA is generally built by program managers, strategic investment makers and portfolio designers that have the authority to shape the trajectory of an enterprise architecture over its life-cycle.

The processes and methods related to the lifecycle management of an enterprise architecture, including the exit strategy for the current solution or its transformation towards a future-proof solution, have much room to mature.

Further Reading

  1. USAid, Joint Enterprise Architecture: Enterprise Architecture Transition Strategy Ver. 3.2., Department of State and the US Agency of International Development, 2008
  2. Office of CIO, Enterprise Architecture Transition Plan, Department of Energy, 2011.
  3. Alwadain, A.S. (2014) A Model of Enterprise Architecture Evolution, PhD Dissertation, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
EA in Practice