Chapter Four described how IT can help itself by helping the company and its divisions generate their strategies in a way that enables IT to create a strategy of its own that prioritizes and supports the divisions’ various objectives in a coordinated and efficient way. Chapter Five highlighted the method of using those inputs to formulate IT’s own strategic plan. Both of those steps may still leave unclear how strategy at all levels connects with the material resources that IT manages in terms of hardware, software, and applications. To bridge that gap, this chapter describes a concept called “enterprise architecture” (EA) that helps to ensure a tight tie between strategies and IT tools and solutions.
Generally speaking, a company’s IT enterprise architecture is its configuration of IT material resources in service of the interests of business strategy. It forms a blueprint, noting what technology the company currently has and guiding how future technology investments will fit into or change what currently exists.
A company’s IT enterprise architecture is a holistic design for an organization, aligning the current-state IT capabilities, processes, and resources to enable business strategy; it provides a foundation to guide the ecosystem’s future-state evolution to continually adapt to and operationalize the business strategy.
It is important to note that EA can refer to a function and a series of outputs, but is also the name of the team that ...