Introduction to the notion
Source: Enterprise Transformation Manifesto; paragraph 4
As a phrase, “Enterprise Architecture” refers to the discipline that helps make decisions regarding the Enterprise System. It can also designate the description of an individual Enterprise System. In this case, we write “Enterprise architecture” with a lower case ‘a’. It is important to understand and build a valid representation of the Enterprise System before making decision and taking actions (paragraph 4.1). The overall design of the enterprise must be in accordance with its strategy and values (paragraph 4.2). Enterprise Architecture prepares the transformation of the enterprise (paragraph 4.7).
In common language, the term “Architecture” covers at least two different meanings: (a) a description of something to be built or already existing and (b) a discipline for designing things to be built. These twin notions – description and discipline – correspond to the classical dichotomy: what and how. To make clear what is involved when dealing with architecture, we need to characterize its objects. Nowadays, we distinguish Enterprise Architecture, Business Architecture, IT Architecture, etc.
In the Praxeme methodology, a specific architecture is a model, dealing with the system as a whole. A specific architecture considers only one aspect, as defined in the Enterprise System Topology. The term “Architecture” is therefore used to designate a:
- “business architecture” (upstream aspects: semantic, pragmatic and geographic),
- “logical architecture” (structuring the IT system, independently of technical choices),
- “hardware architecture” (which deals with logistics of the Enterprise System),
- “software architecture”, “technical architecture” and “physical architecture.”
“Enterprise architecture” is where the effort is made to consider all the aspects together. In our conception and in accordance with the Enterprise Transformation Manifesto, the main responsibility for the Enterprise Architecture discipline is to organize the circulation between the more specialized disciplines, which focus on one or more of the aspects in the Enterprise System.