5.4.6 Reviewing Enterprise Architecture

The alignment and integration of institutional and ICT strategies requires a visibility, understanding and definition of business requirements that can be communicated and shared.  Enterprise Architecture provides a strategic technique that supports senior management in achieving the visibility and definition that is necessary for business and organisational change.

The self-assessment seeks to identify if and how an institution has developed the use of Enterprise Architecture across the institution.

The key indicators of this include:

  1. The SMT are aware and committed to the use of Enterprise Architecture
    1. as a business tool Enterprise Architecture can help senior management across the institution. A consistent technique will assist in developing cross institutional communications improving awareness and informed decision making.
  2. Enterprise Architecture governance is in place
    1. greater integration of strategies and ICT requires an understanding and definition of the business functions across the institution. This is not something that can be achieved quickly but various approaches are being used to develop this institutional definition. Whilst it can be developed from the top down as a strategic project other initiatives are developing the definition in response to business priorities for business and organisational change.
    2. by including Enterprise Architecture within ICT governance an institution is applying a consistent approach to Enterprise Architecture within the institution and maintaining the integrity of the institutional definitions that are being developed.
    3. exception processes, such as 'Development Without Architecture', are used to maintain visibility and integrity whilst allowing an alternative approval and implementation strategy.
  3. Enterprise Architecture is used consistently by ICT services and other sources of ICT
  4. Participation in user groups, such as the JISC Enterprise Architecture (EA) Practice Group
    1. The JISC EA Practice Group is focused on the use of EA in the UK HE sector and as such is developing the practices, creating a user community and sharing information that will strongly support institutions in moving forward with EA. 
  5. Institutions are seeking to identify the benefits in using EA for both the institution and within the projects themselves
    1. This develops an improved understanding of business benefits and project performance
    2. The performance measures and benefits also help the Senior Management Team in assessing the value of ICT against their business goals
    3. Proven success and benefits can be communicated to senior management to encourage involvement and compliance.

More information is available within the knowledge base with particular reference to section 2.9  Enterprise Architecture (EA).

Good Practice

The following are considered good practice in enterprise architecture:

  • Obtain senior management buy-in and engagement with the project and EA work
  • Use EA to enable and empower stakeholders, ICT personnel and senior management
  • Set-up appropriate governance of the EA process
  • Deploy business architects and EA practices consistently to build and maintain the architectural integrity of the institution