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What is Enterprise Architecture (EA)?

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a rigorous description of the structure of an enterprise. The EA scope includes the people, processes, the information and technology of the enterprise, the relationships between them, the relationships with the surrounding environments, and, the principles that guide the design and evolution of the enterprise.

EA operates across the following domains to ensure alignment between the Business- and IT organizations within an Enterprise:


1  Business             

A view is provided on the organizational models; their functional decompositions; and, the resources and processes used to achieve their functional objectives

2 Information       

 A view is provided on the flow of information through the enterprise; the data and metadata involved in providing that information; and, the actual implemented data structures

3  Application        

 A view is provided on the applications implemented within the enterprise; the relationships between those applications; the relationships between the applications and business processes; and, the functionality that is enabled because of the applications and their relationships

4 Infrastructure   

A view is provided to identify and explain the relationships between the hardware, platforms, communication networks and geographical locations required for the implementation of the data and application requirements specified by the enterprise

What are the objectives of EA?

EA creates an integrated environment within the enterprise that can deliver the business strategy in the most efficient manner through the use of human and IT resources.

What are the benefits of EA?

1  EA enables the enterprise to understand the requirements for flexibility, agility and high responsiveness to market changes              

2  EA identifies the requirements for people, processes and technology that will enable the IT organization to most efficiently implement the business strategy       

3  EA maximizes the return on investment in IT, while minimizing the risk profile of the IT organization within the enterprise.

What is Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)?

SOA is architecture of services in which entities can share functionality in a loosely coupled, technology independent manner. It therefore exposes the functional components of an Enterprise in a flexible manner.

What are the objectives of SOA?

SOA integrates and exposes functionality and information across the Enterprise in a federated; flexible and technology independent manner.

What are the benefits of SOA?

1  SOA reduces integration expense           

Implementing loosely-coupled integration approaches can reduce the complexity and hence the cost of integrating and managing distributed computing environments;

Costs are also reduced as the amount of independently developed applications that have to be maintained separately, are reduced.

2  SOA increases asset reuse          

Because of the implementation of coarser-grained services, these services can be reused across the business;

No need for application components created in isolation - functionality is created by employing composites of existing services.

3  SOA increases business agility   

The reusability of services decreases time-to-market for new products;

Information gathered from service use statistics gives Business the opportunity to adapt processes so as to enhance efficiency;

Services can be exposed to Business Partners, which will enable new revenue streams for the business"

4  SOA reduces business risk          

Automated business rule and control implementation can ensure compliance to regulations;

The consolidation of the services in the architecture ensure greater operational visibility, which could lead to more efficient management of operations;

Other control measures such as Security can be implemented in a controlled centralized environment.

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