Establishing an Enterprise Architecture Management at the Institute for Automotive Engineering
“With increasing size and complexity of the implementations of information systems, it is necessary to use some logical construct (or architecture) for defining and controlling the interfaces and the integration of all of the components of the system.” - John Zachman (1987) “A framework for information systems architecture”. IBM Systems Journal, Vol. 26, Issue 3, p. 276.
Driven by growth or changes in business operations and strategies of an enterprise, the IT infrastructure in use is growing as well and gains a higher complexity. Establishing new business departments and changing business processes causes a need to install new hard- and software solutions.
Even if the enterprise has a centralized IT-department the chance to lose the overview over used components and their function, related to the business goals, is increasing while the enterprise is evolving. To handle the complexity and to stay flexible for further changes in business strategies it is recommended or even necessary to install an enterprise architecture management (EAM).
The goal of an EAM is to get a holistic overview over the structure of an enterprise and its interfaces with its environment. The Enterprise Architecture (EA) consists of the following four sub architectures and their interfaces to each other: business, information, application and infrastructure architecture.
In 1987 John Zachman published “A framework for information systems architecture”, the so called Zachman framework, which founded the field of EA, EAM and EAM-frameworks. In the last 30 years EAM became a prominent area of research in military, governance, free market economy as well as in R & D. Since there are many differences in the domains mentioned above, there isn’t and might never be any framework which is complete and useable for every institution.
Nowadays there are many frameworks with different approaches and goals on the market. “The Open Group Architecture Framework” (TOGAF), “Department of Defense Architecture Framework” (DoDAF), “Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework” (FEAF) and the Zachman Framework are some of the prominent frameworks which are in use and are developed further on.
Purpose of the Bachelor Thesis
The size of the Institute for Automotive Engineering (ika) has increased continuously in the last several years and new research departments have been created. Business processes and new hard- and software solutions have been installed very specifically to the research areas of the departments. The purchase of new technical inventory and applications may have led to a heterogeneous hardware infrastructure and redundancies in applications, considering their functionalities.
An EAM is an approach to get a grip on growing complexity of the IT-infrastructure and to increase efficiency of its use, also with regard to changes and evolution of business areas of the institute.
The purpose of this bachelor thesis is to recommend an action in regards to given goals and leaving a base for a continuously applicable EAM process at the ika.
After an interview with the chief information officer of the ika we define goals we want to achieve by using an EAM.
As mentioned above many frameworks with different goals and approaches are available. The decision whether a framework can be used and which one it could be depends on the demands on the EAM.
If the decision favors an overpowered framework, tailoring will be necessary to cut down the framework to our needs.
There are many different ways to describe the EA. A suitable metamodel has to be defined or chosen from already known and often used metamodels. Some frameworks recommend the use of a predefined metamodel.
Many software tools for developing an EAM are available. It has to be analyzed if it will be necessary or if there will be a benefit to make use of one of them.
After establishing a rough Enterprise Architecture by analyzing the current status of the application and technical inventory it will be presented to the CIO to define the goals more precisely.
Finally a further process to align the IT-infrastructure with the goals we assigned will be defined.