Enterprise Architecture equals Enterprise Agility
by Mike “MO” Oliver, SOACA
So how does Enterprise Architecture translate into equaling Enterprise Agility, other than the acronyms both being EA?
One key element of any quality Enterprise Architecture is the setting and governing standards across the enterprise. If you have standards on how to do this or that, then you will likely have templates for various code elements or perhaps you have standardized on a Framework or Enterprise Service Bus. All of these will reduce the training time, design time, and development and testing time to build a solution or service. Saving time in going from concept to production is by definition improving agility.
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
Enterprises that adopt SOA for their strategic integration approach do so largely because of the efficiency and productivity gains a Service Oriented Architecture can bring. SOA and the Microservices subset are all about designing solutions around small service components that follow separation of concerns and loose coupling paradigms, which also translate into better agility through more granular design and reusable services. If 50% of the services your current solutions use are reusable, then building a new solution will take much less effort and time, giving you better agility.
Following TOGAF and documenting your Business Architecture may not seem like it helps translate into Agility, but look at it this way. If you do not have your Business Architecture documented fully, then as problems and opportunities arise (and they will), how do you know for sure that you don’t already have something in place to do the job? Or worse how do you know what the gap analysis is from what you have to what you need? That takes time and if you make a mistake and miss something, then you may spend even more time and money to get it right later. This all translates into Agility.
Agility essentially comes from two things:
- Knowledge that keeps you from making mistakes that lead to wasted time and effort. Enterprise Architecture is mostly about organizing what you have so you know what you have and what you need, and that knowledge makes your enterprise more agile.
- The basic Engineering Principle, DRY for Don’t Repeat Yourself. SOA, as part of your Enterprise Architecture, puts a priority on reuse, separation of concerns and loose coupling. Do those things and you will avoid duplication of effort which equals agility.
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