Are you a part of a business that wants to implement a new application into your enterprise? Do you want to identify ways to save money with the current applications and software you are using? Do you need to evaluate if your current business processes are inefficient or prone to risk?

Any of the above questions can be answered by evaluating your Enterprise Architecture.

What is Enterprise Architecture?

Simply defined, Enterprise Architecture is the practice of aligning your IT systems and infrastructure with your organization’s strategies. This means that your applications, networks and software are set up in a way that helps efficiently meet the goals of the business. Creating a visual representation of your infrastructure also helps when you are evaluating any changes you may want to make from a business perspective. This helps ensure that there is no oversight in applications or processes that could be affected by a change because it is all laid out.

How does Enterprise Architecture work?

To start out, an organization needs to understand the current state of their infrastructure; what applications are used, how and by what means are they connected, what are the business processes associated, etc. Then you want to take the business’ strategies and see if the current state aligns. If they do, great! If they do not, you need to then do an evaluation of how you can get these two key pieces to align. This is where a target state diagram comes into play. Meaning, what does the IT infrastructure need to look like to be aligned most efficiently with the business’ strategies? You then work on how to evolve to get there.

EA Map

Of course, there are other use cases for how to utilize Enterprise Architecture practices. Let’s go back to the questions at the beginning of this article.

Are you a part of a business that wants to implement a new application into your enterprise?

Enterprise Architecture helps with this because you can evaluate where this new application will fit in, what else will be affected and what other changes to the IT systems will need to happen to effectively utilize this new application.

Do you want to identify ways to save money among the current applications and software you are using?

Having a running inventory of all applications and software currently being used by the enterprise will show where there are redundancies in business capabilities and functionality. You may find different parts of the business are using multiple applications for the same function (i.e. sending documents). This will help identify a potential area to cut out an application and save some money.

Do you need to evaluate if your current business processes are inefficient or prone to risk?

Mapping your current processes can help to visualize and identify areas that can be improved by changing the process and utilizing new or existing technologies. These changes can result in more efficient operations and help reduce risk through the use of scalable and adaptable technology solutions. This same process can also be used to ensure your technology choices are modernized to meet the always-changing needs of the business.

We can help!

UDig’s Enterprise Architecture practice can help you out. How? By talking with you! We will take the time to interview individuals across all areas of your enterprise to learn what applications are used and what the current business processes entail. Whether your goal is to implement a new software or to find an area to save costs, UDig will take your goals and provide recommendations to make them achievable!

Jessa Micucci

 

Diagram: https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/110333/making-an-attractive-yet-still-technical-architecture-diagram

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