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Sustainable Enterprise Architecture. A Three-dimensional Framework for Management of Architectural Change.

Conference paper
Authors Thanos Magoulas
Aida Hadzic
Ted Saarikko
Kalevi Pessi
Published in the 6rd European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation, Ireland 13-14 September 2012
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Language en
Keywords Enterprise Architecture, change, sustainability
Subject categories Informatics


Despite advances in information technology, the modern enterprise finds itself struggling to satisfy its need for pertinent information. Faced with the challenge of matching internal resources to external demands, more and more organizations turn to Enterprise Architecture (EA) for guidance. Yet all too often change efforts in relation to EA are approached with a simplistic- or technical perspective that limits future development. We must therefore seek a more appropriate means to facilitate purposeful change and ensure a sustainable EA that is able to accommodate the complexities that arise when dealing with complex change efforts. In response to the need for better understanding of sustainability in Enterprise Architecture, we propose a tentative three-dimensional framework for change consisting of three dimensions: Perspectives on change, levels of change and types of change. The perspective on change is a reflection of the paradigm upon which the change effort is based. Two extreme views are hard systems thinking and soft systems thinking. The level of change describes its delineation. Depending on scope, the change effort may be considered local, structural or inter-organizational in nature. The nature of change signifies the extent to which an enterprise departs from existing practices. We may refer to changes as incremental, transformational or reorientation-based depending on their magnitude. The relevance and usefulness of these three dimensions has been validated through seminars, workshops or advanced courses held with over 30 healthcare professionals. While we feel that this framework is a step in the right direction, there is still much work to be done in this area. We therefore call for a deeper discourse and further research into sustainability in Enterprise Architecture.

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