What is enterprise architecture?

Architecture lays the foundation for a building but also for a (digital) organization. For information professionals it is important not only to understand their own (information) architecture, but also to know the relationship with other architectures. Organizations with a higher digital maturity have their enterprise architecture in order. They recognize and connect the processes, all the information that goes with those processes, the application landscape and the technology used for it. At every moment that the digital strategy is adjusted, the architecture is able to respond to it directly and adequately. 

Four layers of enterprise architecture

Both the information architecture (or data architecture) and the process architecture (or business architecture), the application architecture and the technology architecture come together in the enterprise architecture (EA). Every organization has business processes, which come together in a ‘business architecture’. 

Enterprise architecture provides quick answers to your strategic questions

One of the layers in Enterprise architecture is the information or data architecture. Information is always connected to a process. And information is usually managed in an application. And that application, in turn, is part of a technological infrastructure. Thanks to this ‘holistic’ approach of EA, any target group can quickly get answers to strategic questions. For example, decision-makers want to know which processes are strategic. The risk manager or data privacy officer wants to know which processes are affected by privacy legislation, which data is affected and by which systems – and third parties – this privacy-sensitive information is managed.

Does the enterprise architect work in business or IT?

There is a lot of discussion about the role of enterprise architect. In many companies, the role is limited to enterprise IT architect and the enterprise architect mainly makes statements about strategic IT decisions. In other companies, the enterprise architect is involved in both business and IT, and business-IT alignment is an important issue. At ValueBlue they decided to involve the enterprise architect in both, business and IT.