Enterprise architecture (EA) is defined as the organizational logic for business processes and IT infrastructure by MIT. Basically, it is the system you use to organize the resources at your disposal. The better and more thoroughly researched your system is, the bigger benefit you will get out of what you have. Enterprise architecture is a fundamental part of business planning, for small startups as well as for large, well-established corporations.
The only real differences between them may be the manner in which they collect data and the sheer volume of data collected in order to build the enterprise architecture for their business. To learn more about this process, check out the Business Planning for the Average Human course, which can introduce you to the things you need to know to successfully start your own business.
An Illustration of Enterprise Architecture’s Importance
Enterprise architecture is to a business in the world of IT logistics what the architectural design for the structure of a skyscraper from a real world point of view. It is the backbone in the overall design that gives strength and sustainability to a business, in addition to maximizing what can be built into and around the structure itself. After all, any design that has a weaker load bearing capacity will not be able to support as large of a surrounding structure.
In IT terms, EA can be mapped out similar to a blueprint as the organizational flow that governs IT infrastructure, and ultimately all facets of a business. A perfect architecture will incorporate all of the elements of an enterprise seamlessly. MIT describes EA as a strategic rather than a technical process. For everyone from entrepreneurs to experienced executives, good Enterprise Architecture is essential to get the most out of your business.
An Example of Enterprise Architecture in Business Strategy
Enterprise architecture is a crucial component of developing various types of business strategies. This can range from creating compliance rules for employees within a company to developing rules and methods for dealing with customers and working with clients.
One example of this approach is the use of web analytics. Web analytics is the collection of data in order to find out how people are using your website and online services. It applies to enterprise architecture because the information gathered through this type of operation can be used to fine-tune users interactions with your web services and to boost what your online platform can do for your business. You can learn more and get started with this important business strategy with Udemy’s web analytics course.
How Enterprise Architecture Enhances Analytical Thinking
Managers and entrepreneurs are always faced with obstacles that require quick analytical thinking. Often enough, managers and upper level executives find that when they face problems, they do so blind – that is, they only have access to the facts and information that are immediately at hand.
In order to make large problems seem small and manageable, being able to categorize and analyze various situations is crucial. There are very few successful managers who do not have an excellent ability to apply analytical reasoning to their job, something that can be learned more about on the Udemy blog.
Managers have to remain aware of all the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that they have authority over at all times, and must be able to come up with solutions for dealing with any and all issues that arise. Proper enterprise architecture can be used to give managers the framework that they need to make these categorizations, and therefore perform better at their jobs.
Enterprise architecture is not analysis itself – enterprise architecture is nothing more than data itself. However, enterprise architecture can be said to serve as the internal structural guideline through which all data you have about your company can be analyzed, which can give any company leader the frame of reference that they need in order to make better decisions. It is through the analysis made possible by enterprise architecture that leaders can begin to think more critically when it comes to everything from solving problems to making plans for the future.
Full Spectrum Data Analysis
Enterprise architecture is able to access and control all aspects of a modern business, but it cannot work without efficient data collection. Within the implementation structures of EA, it is vital for any IT or structural engineer to fully evaluate and take stock of all available know-how when seeking to access and analyze incoming data. As a result of this need, it is very useful for managers and beginners to EA to be well versed in the theory and application of big data analysis, which you can learn more about with this great Udemy course.
It can be of big benefit to all those interested in making sure that the data they are taking so much effort to collect is being put to good use. For many enterprises, data tracking may not amount to enough of a problem to be considered big data, but for those who have compiled analytics on hundreds of gigabytes of raw data, being able to successfully conglomerate everything into an understandable format is crucial.
Most managers will look to their IT department for help when confronted with the obstacles presented to them by big data collection. This is why it’s important to maintain transparency when it comes to costs. This helps to keep IT costs separate from other costs throughout the business, in addition to ensuring that IT itself can be further analyzed to ensure it is cost effective and optimized for the best possible results.
Proper Transition of Data into New Strategic Platforms
For the uninitiated, the transfer of data in an old format to a new format designed with new strategic goals in mind can be nearly impossible. The Herculean task is in fact often abandoned – a perfect example of this is the massive amount of data simply left behind when the world shifted from floppy discs to CDs.
If you don’t want your data to meet the same fate as the floppy disc, it is important that you consider data migration as crucial to your overall strategy. The process of data transfer must be accomplished smoothly and efficiently, and should be considered part of your EA. Data migration should be considered the first phase of any platform or paradigm shift, and knowledge of the basic data conversion can be necessary in helping to facilitate this process. Remember – the more information (that is, data) a business has to build their enterprise architecture, the more effective that architecture will be in helping them to build a winning strategy in future endeavors.
Continually Improving Enterprise Architecture
One thing to keep in mind is that the full effectiveness of any enterprise architecture cannot be realized until the usefulness of incoming data can be exploited in its fullest extent. Think of your access to data as your eyeball, which is suffering from nearsightedness, and think of EA as a contact lens that is perfectly suited to giving you 20/20 vision. EA gives you a fresh look at the world.
However, once you have the right prescription though you can’t forget to make sure there are no smudges on the lens. This means that even if you have perfect enterprise architecture with a consistent flow of data set up, an inability to let all the data in can still skew your analysis.
Remember, for the most accurate enterprise architecture possible, you must be able to make use of all available data points at your disposal. Only then will you be able to properly analyze what you are seeing. The second step, which comprises the more philosophical and top tier level of decision making, cannot be properly relied on if the incoming data is not as accurate as it could possibly be.
Avoiding Common Business Mistakes
Many enterprises start out with a high probability of success based on the raw talent and experience of their creators. However, even those businesses with the most chances of success can face problems that the proper analysis of enterprise architecture can help identify and correct. While a basic business platform can be finely tuned, and can seem to apply to both market structures and real world obstacles extremely well, the internal structural topography can easily be overlooked. That can lead to major issues that are only noticeable when they occur, and which can cause major damage to a company’s bottom line.
It is for this reason that all start-ups, investors, and managers must have an awareness of what enterprise architecture means for their business, and how they can implement a strategy to build and continually make use of enterprise architecture. By addressing the construction of an effective EA early on, managers can be adequately assured that they are well prepared for the long-term growth and tactical preparedness of their enterprise.
In fact, the construction of top-notch enterprise architecture could mean the difference between long-term growth and long-term decay for your business. In order to make sure you are ready to get started, head to Udemy’s Enterprise Architecture course to learn more about the many aspects of enterprise architecture and what it can do for a business.