Enterprise Modeling and Enterprise Architecture: The Constituents of Transformation and Alignment of Business and IT

Enterprise Modeling and Enterprise Architecture: The Constituents of Transformation and Alignment of Business and IT

Ulf Seigerroth (Jönköping University, Sweden)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/jitbag.2011010102


Several scholars have argued for the need to integrate both the IT perspective and the business perspective during development of enterprises and IS/IT architectures. In this process, it is necessary to be able to deal with a number of sub-areas to succeed with the transformation. One challenge is the need to move beyond a narrow focus on one tradition or technology, as well as to use and integrate different concepts within an enterprise. This integrated view also includes the use and development of guidelines (methods, tools, etc.), in addition to research methodologies and human aspects. Therefore, enterprise modeling and enterprise architecture must treat all slices in a comprehensive alignment context. In this paper, the author presents a conceptualization of the research area Enterprise Modeling and Enterprise Architecture with a focus on transformation and alignment of business and IT.
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To continue the introduction in Section 1, we recognize the transition process as being manifested through the action of taking a business from one state to an improved state, i.e., a transformation of the enterprise into something that is regarded as better. This transformation process (improvement) often involves activities such as understanding and evaluating the current situation of a business and then developing and implementing the new ways of working (Hayes, 2007). Enterprise modeling and business process management are in this context often used and applied as approaches and support in order to understand and evaluate (business diagnosis) the current situation, often referred to as the AS-IS situation, and to develop and implement improvements, often referred to as the TO-BE situation (Hayes, 2007).

The improvements that are depicted during a transformation process can be of various kinds, both in terms of what they are focusing on and in terms of the character of the improvement. Improvements can be about anything (what do we need to improve?) in the enterprise but the character of improvements can conceptually be categorized in different ways. Improvements can, for instance, be continuous or discontinuous (Hayes, 2007), and there can be a continuum between these two characters. If we rely on established business process concepts, the characters of improvement can be described as process improvement, process redesign, and process reengineering, of which the latter is the most discontinuous or radical in character (Harmon, 2010).

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