The Four Types of Enterprise Architecture Framework: Which Is the Best Type For You?
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Do you know which type of enterprise architecture framework is right for you? Find out more about the four types and how to make your decision here!
Keyword(s): enterprise architecture framework
A single problem with miscommunication can be trouble. A foundation of miscommunication kills a company.
The structure of any business must be smooth running and sturdy in the face of change. Without either of these things, small problems turn into catastrophic problems.
With the help of an enterprise architecture framework, you can avoid these company disasters.
There are many options and ideas that can help you. Which one will work best for you? Find out more below.
What is Enterprise Architecture Framework
An enterprise architecture framework is a system. It helps to reverse the biggest problem facing IT development.
In the past few decades, IT has increased to monstrous heights. This creates powerful, but complex, IT systems. The complexity of these systems, though, makes it near impossible to get the same value out of the system as you put in.
Since IT is such a concrete core of any major business, a framework that helps manage IT can prop up an entire business structure.
As the IT complexity problems increase day after day, the need for enterprise architecture is at an all-time high.
The Four Types
We codify the basics of enterprise architecture in these four major framework systems. Each of them has strengths and weaknesses.
Each of these systems has been in use for over a decade at the least. They each have a long and storied history. As well, each of them takes decades and decades of information structure and put it to use.
1. The Open Group Architectural Framework
The Open Group Architectural Framework, or TOGAF, is one of the most common framework structures in business today.
TOGAF accounts for over 80 percent of the entire business framework structure.
It contains all the needed pieces for a powerful framework. It has a common vocabulary to use, recommended standards and compliance methods, suggested software and tools, and even a method to define best practices.
Created and owned by The Open Group, TOGAF is as much an engine as a framework.
It holds the steps and keys to creating independent architecture. This method of creation is the Architectural Development Method or ADM.
TOGAF is often viewed as more an overarching process. The details and methods contained within TOGAF help guide businesses through any step of business organization.
2. The Zachman Framework
The Zachman Framework uses the method of taxonomy to organize a massive variety of documents and materials into categories that suit them.
The Zachman Framework goes beyond IT. It offers structural connections into any aspect of an enterprise.
The basis of the Framework focuses on six descriptive foci and six player perspectives.
The foci are data, function, network, people, time, and motivation. The perspectives are planner, owner, designer, builder, subcontractor, and enterprise.
The interconnective web that these twelve total points create gives you a structure that communicates how best your company can operate.
When you understand why each point can connect and relate to each other, you discover a powerful facet of your business. This can help guide proper decisions on your business.
Keep in mind that these details are broad, and refining them can only give a more concentrated web of information.
3. Federal Enterprise Architectural Framework
The Federal Enterprise Architectural framework, or FEA, is one of the newest attempts to create a solid structure for organizations.
The US Federal Government developed it in 2006. It helps organize the myriad of different agencies and organizations under its control. Its predecessor, the FEAF, started in 1996.
The FEA combines the best of both the Zachman Framework and TOGAF.
The FEA has five reference models. They cover business, service, components, technical, and data. These five points combine with a segment model to create a perspective on how best to install enterprise architecture.
The segment model at its core allows a distinction of any number of organizations and connections.
FEA was the foundation for a massive restructuring of a high-end government. As such, the framework is a strong core to follow when building a strong foundation for a future company.
The last type, Gartner, differs from the previous three. It does not conform to the structures of frameworks, taxonomy, or models.
Created by the company of the same name, Gartner is a practice that focuses on a constant state of adapting to the environment around you.
Gartner is one of the leading IT research businesses in the entire world. They contain some of the best minds on the subject of IT. As such, they have a long-running history of smooth communication among all of its experts.
Gartner’s focus and strength come from its ability to focus a thousand different moving parts into a singular goal and vision.
Gartner implements the idea of combining business owners, information specialists, and technology implementors into a single unified entity.
Instead of creating webs of framework or a singular process, Gartner relies on a constant recorrection that allows the three core entities to tackle any oncoming problem.
The Type Best for You
No matter what your business is, any one of these types of framework ideas can work for you. The real question stems from the type and direction your business should take as it evolves.
Do you desire a large overarching structure that gives you of step by step processes that you can test each part of your business with?
Do you prefer a web of comparisons and structure to organize where your business sits at any one time?
Do you want a structure of ideas that you can slot any one piece of your business in to determine its status in the overall model?
Do you prefer a more free flow method? One of absorbing your hierarchy of business into a single-minded focus that allows for powerful adaptation to your environment?
No matter the direction you choose, all of these above methods have high pedigrees and a wealth of information to test off of.
Structure for the Future
No matter what shape your business needs, there is an enterprise architecture framework that will fit your needs.
Understanding the structures of business is one of the hardest lessons to learns. We at Architecture Center want you to learn the powers that come from strong business understanding.
Want to learn more on this subject, and many others? Contact us today!