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Alignment in Enterprise Architecture

Journal article
Authors Thanos Magoulas
Aida Hadzic
Ted Saarikko
Kalevi Pessi
Published in Proceedings of the 5rd European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Language en
Keywords Enterprise Architecture, architectural alignment, Zachman framework, TOGAF, E2AF, GERAM
Subject categories Informatics

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to take a first step in remedying the dearth of rational appraisal of approaches to Enterprise Architecture by closer examining a handful of guides and frameworks. Our ultimate aim in this inquiry is to provide knowledge about the various dimensions of enterprise architectures that demand alignment between its constitutionals parts. Therefore the efforts of our study were focused on elucidating the following issue: How are the various forms and aspects of architectural alignment treated by the investigated approaches to Enterprise Architecture? Due to the lack of commonalities between the assorted approaches, an independent metric is required. We therefore utilize the concept of alignment and analyze how the various forms and aspects of architectural alignment are treated by formalized approaches to Enterprise Architecture. This methodology was applied to the Zachman Framework, The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF), the Extended Enterprise Architecture Framework (E2AF) and the Generalised Enterprise Reference Architecture and Methodology (GERAM). Our investigation clearly demonstrates that: 1) Approaches to Enterprise Architecture provide guidance for socio-structural and functional alignment, but not for infological or socio-cultural alignment. 2) The area of contextual alignment is described by all investigated approaches as being free from barriers in general and functional barriers in particular. Some – but not all – forms of contextual alignment are established through contractual agreements. 3) None of the investigated approaches discuss the mutual interdependence that exists between the various forms of alignment.

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