Enterprise Architecture Development Approach in the Public Sector

Enterprise Architecture Development Approach in the Public Sector

Hamood Al-Kharusi (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor, Malaysia), Suraya Miskon (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor, Malaysia) and Mahadi Bahari (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJEIS.2018100109

Abstract

Despite the increasing interest to adopt enterprise architecture (EA) concept, there is a scarcity of literature that discusses the development of EA in the public sector. Hence, the purpose of this article is to empirically investigate the development approach of EA in the public sector. The research used a qualitative case study to build an in-depth understanding of the development approach as well as the enterprise architects roles and the stakeholders' roles played at each development stage. The government architecture framework (GAF) of the Omani public sector was used as the case study that included GAF documentation review and interviews with architects and stakeholders who participated in the development of GAF. The findings showed that the GAF development started by establishing architecture knowledge, EA frameworks & IT standards analysis, high-level architecture framework, working group formation and the development of architecture documents. The enterprise architects had six roles whereas the stakeholders played three roles during the development of GAF. The findings are expected to expand the knowledge of the EA development approach to promote developing a standard EA framework for the public sector.
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1. Introduction

The increasing complexity of business processes and services caused challenges for the organizations to see the holistic view of their business (Al-Kharusi, Miskon & Mahadi, 2017a). Moreover, the high turnover of IT solutions and the increased reliance of business on IT created a challenge to align business strategy with IT investment (Al-Kharusi, Miskon & Mahadi, 2017b; Birkmeier, Gehlert, Overhage, & Schlauderer, 2013). Hence, Enterprise Architecture (EA) was suggested as an approach to improve business IT alignment, manage organizational complexity, and support organization transformation (Al-Kharusi, Miskon & Mahadi, 2017b). Lankhorst defined EA, as “…a coherent whole of principles, methods and models that are used in the design and realization of an enterprise’s organizational structure, business processes, information systems, and infrastructure…” (Penttinen & Isomäki, 2010, p. 1).

The enterprise architects and the stakeholders are the main actors in the development of EA (Al-Kharusi, Miskon & Mahadi, 2017b). The enterprise architects are responsible of collecting information about EA (Al-Kharusi, Miskon & Mahadi, 2017b; Buckl, Matthes, & Schweda, 2010b). They evolve the EA through a set of models and play the role of managing, communicating, leading and modeling (Clark et al., 2014; Gotze, 2013). Although enterprise architects are part of EA stakeholders but distinguished as enterprise architects to differentiate their role of leading and managing the development process of EA (Al-Kharusi, Miskon & Mahadi, 2017b). The enterprise architects use the EA’s framework to guide the development and implementation of EA in the organization. EA framework is a set of guidelines, models and artifacts descriptions that are used by the architects (Alaeddini & Salekfard, 2013). It provides a structure and organizing logic for the organization-captured information (Berrada & Bounabat, 2013). Bourey and Medini (2012) explained that EA frameworks provide steps on how to analyze and build the as-is architecture and actions required to reach the to-be architecture. The description of the framework in EA development differs based on the type of the used framework. The first published framework was Zachman framework and later several frameworks proposed, such as The Open Group Framework (TOGAF) (Kloeckner & Birkmeier, 2010).

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