Enterprise Architecture Plan

Enterprise Architecture Plan

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  1. Title

Enterprise Architecture Plan

  1. Introduction

Largo Corporation is a major multinational conglomerate corporation which specializes in a wide array of products and services.  These products and services include healthcare, finance, retail, government services, and many more.  The annual revenue is about $750 million and it has about 1,000 employees.  The parent company is headquartered in Largo, Maryland and its subsidiaries are located throughout the United States.

The mission of the corporation is to bring the best products and services to people and businesses throughout the world so they can then realize their full potential.

The corporate vision guides every aspect of their business to achieve sustainable, quality growth:

  • ProductivityBe a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization.
  • People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to achieve their maximum potential.
  • Partners: Nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers, together we create mutual, enduring value.
  • Responsible: Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference through ethical behavior.
  • Revenue: Maximize long-term return while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.

The company’s culture is reflected in their corporate values:

  • Leadership: Courage to shape a better future.
  • CollaborationLeverage collective intelligence.
  • Accountability: Own up to your responsibility.
  • Passion: Committed to excellence.
  • Diversity: Provide new perspectives into our business.
  • Quality: We will want quality as part of our brand.

The corporation consists of the parent company and the following subsidiaries:

  • Healthcare – Suburban Independent Clinic, Inc. (medical services)
  • Finance – Largo Capital (financial services)
  • Retail – Rustic Americana (arts and crafts), Super-Mart (office products)
  • Government Services – Government Security Consultants (information security)
  • Automotive – New Breed (electric cars)
  • Systems Integration – Solutions Delivery, Inc. (communications)
  • Media Design – Largo Media (website and app design)

The organization is headed by CEO Tara Johnson who completed her Master’s degree at UMUC and eager to make worthwhile improvements to the corporation.  She rose through the ranks of Largo Corporation starting with systems integration, then retail and her last position before becoming CEO was in finance.

The corporation is in a highly competitive environment so the CEO wants savvy employees at many levels to make wise judgments and take an aggressive approach and deliver results towards improving the bottom line yet maintaining corporate social responsibility.

Corporate Issues

Ms. Johnson is aware of the many enterprise wide problems Largo Corporation and its subsidiaries are facing which include:

  • The complexity of IT is constantly increasing
  • Many disparate systems do not interoperate among the parent company and the subsidiaries and among the business units
  • Many duplicate systems across different business units which perform the same function
  • Each part of the organization has their own unique technology standards
  • It is a major challenge to integrate technology into the daily operations of the organization

 

Because of these problems, IT systems in the corporation often failed to meet organizational goals and objectives.

 

A Potential Solution

 

A few months ago, Ms. Johnson attended a symposium for CEOs and other senior executives and learned about enterprise architecture and how it can enable business-IT alignment and agility. Upon her return, she floated the idea with the board of directors, her direct reports and vetted the idea with IT Operations head Mr. Sculley. With strong support from the board and Mr. Sculley, Ms. Johnson created an enterprise architect position reporting directly to her with dotted line reporting to all area heads.

 

You have been handpicked to serve as the new Chief Enterprise Architect for Largo Corporation. Your assignment is to craft an enterprise architecture vision and explain how the vision enables business goals.  Among other things, you need to justify the implementation of an enterprise architecture at Largo Corporation.

 

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, “an enterprise architecture (EA) is an integral part of the IT investment management process. An EA provides a clear and comprehensive picture of the structure of an entity. This picture consists of snapshots of its current and proposed technical environments, and a roadmap for transitioning from the current to the target environment. When properly managed, an EA can help optimize the relationships among an organization’s business operations and the IT infrastructure and applications supporting them.”

 

You will learn about the EA concept, various EA frameworks and apply one to the Largo Corporation. You will learn how to migrate the corporation to a well-defined enterprise architecture vision.  As part of the migration effort you will need to identify the governance structure for the architecture.

 

As an enterprise architect, your ability to understand and apply enterprise architecture principles and methodology enables the organization to achieve a business-IT aligned, agile and scalable IT asset.   This in turn enables the organization to leverage IT as a competitive strategy to respond quickly to changing market conditions in a global economy.  Additionally, you must be able to communicate effectively (oral and written) to executive level management in a non-jargon, executive level manner.   This learning demonstration is designed to strengthen these essential knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by enterprise architects.

 

  1. Steps to Completion

1) Understand the Enterprise Architecture Concept

You need to first understand the foundational concepts of an EA including what it is and why it is needed.  Conduct research to gain an understanding of the concept and determine how it might apply to Largo Corporation.

An informative reference book is “An Introduction to Enterprise Architecture: Third Edition” by Scott A. Bernard (start at Pg. 29). https://books.google.com/books?id=OkNMFI3_L_YC&printsec=frontcover&dq=enterprise+architecture&hl=en&sa=X&ei=WttEVc7mOoWhNsSMgMgG&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=enterprise%20architecture&f=false

The role of an enterprise architect is captured well in this article: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb945098.aspx

Deliverable: Prepare an interim report for corporate executives explaining the enterprise architecture concept and discuss its applicability to Largo Corporation. Minimum 400 words and include at least 3 references. (An interim report will be consolidated to a final deliverable in a later step.)

2) Review EA Frameworks

Research various enterprise architecture frameworks. Examples include The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF), the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA), and the Zachman Framework. Compare and contrast these frameworks. A good starting point is this article by Roger Sessions: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb466232.aspx

A variety of frameworks are also mentioned in this source (parting on Page 11): https://books.google.com/books?id=Fs5bMNBXLEMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=enterprise+architecture+frameworks&hl=en&sa=X&ei=fdxEVZ32HYqXNtitgXg&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=enterprise%20architecture%20frameworks&f=false

Deliverable:  Compare and contrast at four different major architectural frameworks based on various attributes and report your findings in a summary table. Include brief descriptions and sources of your information. Include at least 3 references.

3) Understand the TOGAF Framework

For this project we will use the TOGAF framework architectural framework described starting at the Introduction (http://pubs.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf9-doc/arch/chap01.html). Use the “Next>>>” link (upper right hand corner and lower right hand corner) to advance to “2. Core Concepts”.  Throughout this website, feel free to explore any hyperlinks.

Next read “TOGAF as an Enterprise Architecture Framework”: http://pubs.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf8-doc/arch/chap02.html

4) Execute the preliminary phase of the architecture development process.

Start by reviewing the Architecture Development Method (ADM) beginning at: (http://pubs.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf8-doc/arch/chap03.html)

Walk through the Preliminary Phase (http://pubs.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf8-doc/arch/chap04.html).

Deliverables for this step include: (a) Define the architectural framework in the form of a diagram specific to Largo.  (b) Identify at architectural principles you feel are applicable to Largo Corporation. (c) Create the future vision diagram for the company.  Details on each deliverable are defined below.

(a) The framework diagram needs to be organization-specific.  This architecture vision should take into account the “corporate issues” identified in the Introduction of this learning activity. You are free to make assumptions and hypothetical scenarios behind your architectural vision.

Examples of frameworks can be found at: http://pubs.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf8-doc/arch/chap37.html

(b) Provide architecture principles for the following domains: business, data, application, and technology for Largo Corporation. Examples can be found at: http://pubs.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf8-doc/arch/chap29.html#tag_30_06

Your principles should try to address the problems identified in the Introduction section of this learning activity.

Identify at least 3 principles for each domain and explain its applicability to Largo Corporation.

To document your principles, you may use the template at: https://www2.opengroup.org/ogsys/jsp/publications/PublicationDetails.jsp?catalogno=i093 (You will need to set up an account if you have not previously). Download the zip file and open: TOGAF_9_Templates > Deliverables > Architecture Principles and open the Word document.

(c) To define the future vision, you can create a solution concept or a value chain diagram.  This is an important step that articulates your perspective of the future architecture of Largo Corporation. Include an explanation for your vision including why it is appropriate for the company.

Templates that you may use are downloadable from: https://www2.opengroup.org/ogsys/jsp/publications/PublicationDetails.jsp?catalogno=i093 (You will need to set up an account). Download the zip file and open: TOGAF_9_Templates > Artifacts > Core Diagrams > Architecture Vision and open the two PowerPoint presentations.

5) Prepare a Migration Plan

Research migration planning resources such as: http://pubs.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf8-doc/arch/chap12.html

Another way to articulate the migration plan is through an Enterprise Direction Diagram – a template is shown at:

http://www-01.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SS6RBX_11.4.3/com.ibm.sa.bpr.doc/topics/c_Enterprise_Direction_diag.html?lang=en01.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SS6RBX_11.4.3/com.ibm.sa.bpr.doc/topics/c_Enterprise_Direction_diag.html?lang=en

Another version of the diagram is found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/39587048@N07/3642403169/

The FBI’s IT Strategic Plan also contains one (see the diagram under “Vision”): http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/itb/it-strategic-plan-2010-2015

Deliverable: Outline a plan and provide an Enterprise Direction Diagram to address migrating to the target architecture as defined in the architectural vision. In other words, this plan should address how the organization will move from the “as-is” to the “to-be” state.

Minimum length is 400 words.

  1. g) Define the Architecture Governance Process and Structure

Architecture governance is defined as the set of activities an organization uses to manage and control its enterprise architectures and other architectures. This process institutionalizes decision making and ensures accountability. More at: http://pubs.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf8-doc/arch/chap26.html

Research this topic and for the Largo Corporation enterprise architecture, define the “who”, “what” and “where” associated with this process.  For example, who is responsible for governance (e.g., establish an architectural governance board?), what will be managed and controlled and where in the organization will controls be applied.

Deliverable:  Summarize your findings in an interim architectural governance document.  Minimum length is 400 words.

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