Enterprise Architecture: What is it?

How is EA defined by Information and Technology (IT)?

Enterprise Architecture (EA) explicitly defines an organization and its non-redundant components (typically referred to as artifacts) and determines how these artifacts interconnect with one another. EA specifically develops sets of prioritized and aligned technical initiatives and road maps to explicitly understand an organization, communicates this understanding to stakeholders, and helps the organization progress to meet its objectives.

A Business Definition of EA?

Enterprise Architecture helps direct how an organization (all of its members) can accomplish its business objectives. EA creates a series of engineered models and project initiatives to be easily understand by everyone involved with the organization.

By use of a clear EA framework, the entirety of a company—its structure, personnel, technology and business— are clearly defined and a clear improvement plan can be identified for optimizing the business. EA leaves an organization with a comprehensive view of policies, principles, services, solutions, standards and guidelines for the entire enterprise. It aligns IT technical initiatives with objectives of the organization.

Here is an in-depth description of enterprise architecture if you need further explanation.

How does an Enterprise Architecture certification help practicing or beginning EA Architects?

Some important skills Enterprise Architects should develop to be successful as EA practitioners:

Interpret, use and apply information—enterprise architects need to develop how they assess and apply information to make hard business decisions. Their goal is to manage improvement of activities—specifically technical in nature—to help the organization improve. By defining and setting direction of the IT team, and assuring that IT standards are properly implemented, an enterprise architect is able to resolve key business and process issues.

Translate complex concepts into tactical action plans—to best coordinate a resolution plan, the enterprise architect needs the ability of communicating concerns to all stakeholders. This means effectively translating technical language to understandable actionable steps that the entire organization can understand. Architects will need the ability to communicate conceptual architecture, system interactions and interfaces, and logical services for management to comprehend and act on.

Analyze current IT environments to detect deficiencies and recommend solutions—enterprise architects assess current technological constraints by publishing technical road maps and frameworks to align IT systems to specific business objectives. The architect identifies where current technology would be best used and when changes need to be made to reach specific objectives.

Coordinate resolution of complex problems and tasks—practitioners learn how to evaluate and sell new ideas and concepts in support of operational goals and objectives. They also direct high-level enterprise architecture analysis, evaluation, design, integration, documentation and development to clearly outline how complex problems will be resolved.

Define non-redundant artifacts—enterprise architects capture, maintain and publish business information and architecture artifacts.

EA promotes business optimization: it addresses business and information technology architecture, performance management, organizational structure and process. It uses a framework to identify an organization’s current and future structure and ensures strategic direction.

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