Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge
Organizational Scope and Structure of EA

Organizational Need and Drivers

Authors: Carla D. Kendrick, PhD and Dakota Shelton

This topic area provides an EA practitioner access to guidance, case studies, and other references that help identify the organizational need, the drivers to be considered and how to address and resolve them.

Organizational Need

The rate of organizational change can be staggering, especially technological change and senior leaders within government and industry are sometimes struggling to keep up. The arrival of the cloud, bring your own device (BYOD), big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is accelerating change at a rapid pace. Enterprise architecture programs should be transformational and adaptable to change. As recognized by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Enterprise Architecture practices are key enabling practices in modernizing and maintaining IT environments. Enterprise Architecture is intended to serve as a blueprint for any business transformation effort. Its practices offer a holistic approach to guide organizations through the business, process, information, and technology changes needed to execute strategic plans. These practices provide business and IT decision makers with analyses and evidence-based assessments to plan and execute the changes necessary to transition to and achieve the agency vision.

For example, although government agencies embrace current enterprise architecture practices as Federal law mandates, they still struggle with agility, are unable to keep pace with executive decisions, or quickly respond to key issues. Even with an Enterprise Architecture framework in place, for a multitude of reasons, the actual execution of the practice lacks fluidity and does not keep up with technological changes, leverage emerging technologies, or help answer the right questions at the right time. Enterprise architecture practitioners should consider expanding current practices to incorporate agile principals and tenets so that enterprise architecture can:

  • Be more agile and fluid
  • Keep pace with change
  • Quickly provide decisive answers to senior leader demands/questions
  • Keep up with and leverage emerging technologies

Drivers

Drivers are factors, conditions, resources, or other forces that significantly influence some aspect of an organization and stimulates a notable change. Example types are business drivers, strategic drivers, market drivers, and political drivers. Architectures may reflect an organizationsí various layers (strategic, operational, and tactical) which means that drivers come from many sources, both internally and externally. Some example sources include legislation, policy, business competition, technology changes, cost changes, organizational restructuring and/or consolidation, or facility changes. Drivers may conflict, such as when budgets are declining while labor costs are increasing. Although drivers are typically outside the control of Enterprise Architecture practitioners, we should be well aware of their influence.

Further Reading

  1. Architecture & Governance Magazine (2013). Embrace Agile or Risk Falling Behind. Published by Troux Technologies, Volume 1, Issue 4. Retrieved from http://go.planview.com/architecture-and-governance-confirm.html?aliId=26907904
  2. Bernard, Scott A. (2012). An Introduction to Enterprise Architecture, third edition (international). Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.
  3. U.S. Government Accountability Office (2016). Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue. GAO-11-318SP.
  4. U.S. Government Accountability Office (2016). Enterprise Architecture: Leadership Remains Key to Establishing and Leveraging Architectures for Organizational Transformation. GAO-06-831.
Planning an EA