Architecture as a Tool to Solve Business Planning Problems

Architecture as a Tool to Solve Business Planning Problems

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7362-3.ch012
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Businesses are now very large and complex organizations and their analysis provides a great deal of information that in order to be understood must be well organized and presented. Architecture is a scheme that allows a systematic examination of the entire enterprise and can provide a well-organized presentation of the key components, their interdependencies, and the important causal relations. This chapter discusses the problems associated with developing an architecture and suggests a framework for developing a reference model to guide the definition of business architecture.
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Background: Concept Of Architecture In Commerce

Architecture is often considered as just the aesthetics of the building design but there are entire undergraduate and post graduate courses on building architecture that go beyond just the classic proportions for a building but detail the formulas and tables on the structural loads for foundations and support walls etc. A great many technical issues are pre-solved for use in the design and development of a new building.

The idea of architecture has now been extended to the area of information technology although this is fairly recent say within the last 30 years; two of the most influential authors in the early years were Brancheau, and Martin. Brancheau and Wetherbie wrote “an information architecture is a high level map of the information requirements of an organisation” (1986), however I believe the use of the term ‘map’ diminishes the amount of structure inherent in an architecture. Martin in 1990 drove the emphasis for information with his books on Information Engineering and his depiction of an architecture to describe the enterprise. There are various descriptions of enterprise architecture used by the IT profession, a very detailed description is given on the web site for TOGAF (2013) and Koontz (2000) gives a very clear layout of the different levels in the enterprise architecture. All these descriptions of enterprise architecture are essentially intended to improve the design of IT systems to align the information systems better with the business operation and strategic development.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Principle: Ultimate source or origin of anything from which all else is derived. A general and comprehensive law, doctrine or truth as the basis for other laws.

Model: A standard pattern or example to follow.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA): A particular architecture where the application services are provided online through a service provider.

Blueprint: A plan of action or a guide to doing something.

Level of Abstraction: The different views of a system from high level to low level, where the high level can be decomposed into lower levels.

Reference Model or Reference Architecture: Model to guide and improve. These models are sets of structured concepts, guidelines and/or solutions used to guide organisations through a process.

Framework: Aggregate of fundamental parts of a structure, or of those which hold the rest together.

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