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  • ORI GIN AL ARTICLE

    An effective Enterprise Architecture ImplementationMethodology

    Fatemeh Nikpay1 Rodina Binti Ahmad1

    Babak Darvish Rouhani2 Mohd Nazri Mahrin3

    Shahaboddin Shamshirband4,5

    Received: 14 September 2015 / Revised: 25 October 2016 / Accepted: 16 December 2016

    Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

    Abstract Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a holistic strategy that is commonly usedto improve the alignment of enterprises business and Information Technology.

    Enterprise Architecture Implementation Methodology (EAIM) prepares a set of

    methods and practices for developing, managing, and maintaining an EA imple-

    mentation project. There is ineffectiveness in existing EAIMs due to complexities

    emerging from EAIM practices, models, factors, and strategy. Consequently, EA

    projects may encounter lack of support in the following areas: requirements anal-

    ysis, governance and evaluation, guideline for implementation, and continual

    improvement of EA implementation. The aim of this research is to develop an

    effective EAIM to support EA implementation. To fulfill this objective, the first step

    is to identify effective EA implementation practices and the factors that impact the

    effectiveness of EAIM. In this regard, a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) was

    conducted in order to identify the effective practices and factors of EAIM. Sec-

    ondly, the proposed EAIM is developed based on the foundations and information

    extracted from the SLR and semi-structured interviews with EA practitioners.

    Finally, the proposed EAIM is evaluated by means of case study as the research

    methodology. The target audience for this research is twofold: (1) researchers who

    & Shahaboddin Shamshirbandshahaboddin.shamshirband@tdt.edu.vn

    1 Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, University of Malaya,

    50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    2 Department of Information Technology and Communication, Payame Noor University, Tehran,

    Islamic Republic of Iran

    3 Advanced Informatics School, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Jalan Semarak,

    54100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    4 Department for Management of Science and Technology Development, Ton Duc Thang

    University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    5 Faculty of Information Technology, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    123

    Inf Syst E-Bus Manage

    DOI 10.1007/s10257-016-0336-5

    http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6605-498Xhttp://crossmark.crossref.org/dialog/?doi=10.1007/s10257-016-0336-5&domain=pdfhttp://crossmark.crossref.org/dialog/?doi=10.1007/s10257-016-0336-5&domain=pdf

  • would extend the effective EA implementation and continue this research topic with

    further analysis and exploration; (2) practitioners who would like to employ an

    effective and lightweight EAIM for an EA project.

    Keywords Enterprise Architecture Implementation Methodology Integration Strategy Information systems

    1 Introduction

    Enterprise Architecture (EA) provides a comprehensive strategy and environment

    for aligning enterprise business and Information Technology (IT) (Ahlemann et al.

    2012; Engelsman et al. 2011). Motivational factors for EA include increasing

    competitiveness and coping with future changes (Wegmann et al. 2007). To provide

    an appropriate environment for alignment between business and IT, EA describes

    the baseline architecture (As-Is), elaborates the desired architecture (To-Be), and

    represents the migration plan for transition from baseline architecture to desired

    architecture for the enterprise (Finkelstein 2006). Four architectural levels including

    business, data, application, and infrastructure need to be described in the three

    aforementioned stages of an EA project (Rouhani et al. 2015a).

    EA implementation requires two main components: an EA Framework (EAF)

    and an EA Implementation Methodology (EAIM) (Pulkkinen and Hirvonen 2005).

    EA employs an EAF as the underlying structure for modeling different aspects of an

    enterprise; EAIM is the methodology for implementing the EA within an enterprise

    (Shirazi et al. 2009; Tupper 2011). While the outputs of EAF are EA artefacts (i.e.,

    diagram, model, document, and graph), an EAIM aims to implement the EA

    artefacts inside an enterprise (van Steenbergen and Brinkkemper 2010; Wegmann

    2003).

    Effective EA implementation provides a stable and flexible environment for an

    enterprise (Aier and Schelp 2010). Several EAIMs have been proposed in the

    literature by practitioners and academics with different methods for implementing

    the transition plan (Rico 2006; Wagter 2005).

    There are several complexities in designing, modeling and implementing an EA

    using existing EAIMs (Aier et al. 2009; Darvish Rouhani et al. 2014; Saat et al.

    2009). There is ineffectiveness in existing EAIMs due to complexities in EAIM

    practices, models, factors, and strategies (Rouhani et al. 2015b). Consequently, EA

    implementation might be faced with the lack of support in requirements analysis,

    governance and evaluation, guideline, and continual improvement. As such, an

    effective EAIM can eliminate the ineffectiveness and mismatch between business

    requirements and IT requirements and reduce the complexity of EA implementation

    (Rouhani et al. 2014).

    1.1 Paper goals and contributions

    This research is divided into three main steps. The first step is to identify the

    effective practices and factors, which affect the effectiveness of EAIM by means of

    F. Nikpay et al.

    123

  • a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) (Rouhani et al. 2015b). The second step is to

    evaluate the identified factors by means of a survey of subject matter experts

    (Darvish Rouhani et al. 2015b). Finally, this paper aims to describe the effective

    EAIM. Each of the mentioned steps provides appropriate information for extending

    the Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge (EABOD) (Hagan 2004).

    The target audience for this research is twofold: (1) researchers who would

    extend the effective EA implementation and continue this research topic with

    further analysis and exploration; (2) practitioners who would like to employ an

    effective EAIM in an EA project.

    1.2 Paper structure

    The remainder of this paper is divided into the following sections: an effective EA

    implementation is described in Sect. 2; the research methodology is presented in

    Sect. 3; the proposed EAIM is described in Sect. 4; the case study of the proposed

    EAIM and its application, and discussion are given in Sects. 5 and 6 respectively;

    and the conclusion is expressed in Sect. 7.

    2 Related work

    2.1 Effectiveness of enterprise architecture implementation

    Several studies have been performed by both researchers and practitioners regarding

    the effectiveness of EA implementation. The effectiveness refers to the degree in

    which the developed EA artefacts can lead the enterprise to achieve its intended EA

    objectives (van der Raadt et al. 2010; Weiss and Winter 2012). The EA

    effectiveness is achieved when the developed EA artefacts inside the enterprise

    meet the individual goals of stakeholders. In other words, EA function effectiveness

    is: The degree to which organizational objectives are attained through the outputs

    of the EA function (Morganwalp and Sage 2004).

    The effectiveness of EA implementation play the key role on realizing the degree

    to which EA implementations functions achieved the intended objectives that are

    pursued. In EA implementation, the main concern is in the achievement of EA

    functions. Obtaining the intended results by using the EA implementation practices

    is the key concern of the effectiveness of EA implementation. Morganwalp and

    Sage (2004) mentioned a number of qualitative objectives to measure the EA

    effectiveness in terms of the pertinent objectives. Van der Raadt et al. (2010)

    considered two dimensions, including: agility and alignment as the measurement

    model of EA implementation.

    According to (Darvish Rouhani et al. 2015b; Gunther 2014; van Steenbergen and

    Brinkkemper 2010) the effectiveness of the EAIM reflects its objectives including:

    guiding process, simplifying the process, and standardizing the process; Properties

    including: customizability, compatibility, completeness, and conciseness; and

    Components including deliverables, methods, techniques, and support tools.

    An effective Enterprise Architecture Implementation

    123

  • Objectives reveal the intent of the methodology: what it claims to accomplish and

    what the practitioner may expect of future releases. An effective EAIM should meet

    at least three objectives as mentioned in the previous paragraph. Properties, such as

    customizability, compatibility, completeness, and conciseness, reveal the inherent

    qualities of an EAIM and are useful in identifying potential strengths and

    weaknesses (Van Steenbergen and Brinkkemper 2010). Components are the basic

    elements that represent the building blocks of the methodology (Gunther 2014).

    Components help reveal the capabilities of the methodology. Components should

    contain at least four parts, namely: deliverables, methods, techniques, and support

    tools (Morganwalp and Sage 2004; van der Raadt et al. 2010; Van Grembergen and

    Saull 2001).

    2.2 Enterprise Architecture Implementation Methodology

    In 1992, Steve Spewak represented the first EA methodology (Lankhorst 2012).

    Spewak created the EA planning to cover all aspects of the EA lifecycle (Spewak

    and Tiemann 2006). In other words, the EA methodology complements the EA

    framework (Winter et al. 2010; Zachman 1987).

    Several EAIMs (e.g., The Open Group Architectural Framework-Architecture

    Development Method (TOGAF-ADM), Department of Defense Architectural

    Framework (DoDAF), Enterprise Architecture Planning (EAP), and Federal

    Enterprise Architecture (FEA)) have been proposed by academics and practitioners

    in the literature (Rouhani et al. 2013; Saha 2012). Although these realizations are

    different in implementation practices and development phases, they share similar-

    ities in the concepts and principles of transition from As-Is to To-Be (Medini and

    Bourey 2012). This transition is known as a Migration Plan (Darvish Rouhani

    et al. 2014). There are two types of EAIMs: (1) EAIMs that are introduced by EAFs

    such as TOGAF (which has a specific development method namely, TOGAF-

    ADM), and (2) EAIMs that are developed independently from any EAFs such as

    EAP.

    Migration planning includes the set of methods with a clear definition for the

    transitional processes to develop and implement the information systems (ISs) in

    response to the business requirements (Buckl et al. 2010; Nikpay et al. 2013). EAIM

    focuses more on the migration plan and provides methods and practices for

    developing the To-Be architecture (Pulkkinen and Hirvonen 2005; Saha 2012).

    The EAIM provides appropriate development techniques and method for EA

    implementation (Agievich et al. 2012; Hirvonen et al. 2004). It covers all aspects of

    the EA lifecycle, namely: planning for enterprise understanding (Malta and Sousa

    2012), the analysis of business requirements, the design of systems, the evolution of

    systems, and the ongoing enhancements of all of the above (Aier and Saat 2011;

    Niemi 2013). EAIM provides the methods for analyzing, developing, and deploying

    ISs in response to business requirements completely and concisely (Aier et al. 2009;

    Winter et al. 2010).

    F. Nikpay et al.

    123

  • 2.3 Comparison framework

    This section defines the relevant criteria for comparing EAIMs. Table 1 shows the

    description of the selected criteria.

    The defined criteria are based on common practices in use by existing EAIMs

    and requirements for effective EA implementation, selected based on the results of

    the literature review regarding EAIMs effective practices and interviews with EA

    practitioners. Although there are several other criteria that can potentially be used

    for comparison, the researchers are looking to use prevalent and simple criteria for

    the research design.

    This study selects the following EAIMs as examples for applying the proposed

    comparison framework:

    EAP TOGAF-ADM DODAF FEA

    Table 1 Description of criteria

    Criteria Description

    Iterative Refers to the iterative phases/practices of EAIM

    Management process Refers to the management practices/process for managing the EA

    implementation

    Maintenance process Refers to the maintenance practices/process for keeping the EA

    implementation up to date

    Ability to work with

    other EAF

    Refers to the compatibility of the EAIM with other EAFs in the EA

    implementation

    Requirement

    management process

    Refers to the requirement management practices/process in order to provide

    appropriate foundation and information for developing, managing,

    implementing, and maintaining the EA

    Step by step guideline Refers to the availability of step by step guidelines for better understanding

    the implementation practices/process

    Easy to understand Refers to the understandability of the practices/processes of EAIM

    Non-functional

    requirement

    Refers to the non-functional requirements within implementation such as:

    security and stakeholder satisfaction

    Complexity management Refers to the complexity aspect of an EA project in order to reduce risk

    Supporting tool Refers to recommending and using the appropriate tools for implementing the

    EA

    Governance Refers to the governance practices/process for governing the EA

    Type-usage Refers to the type of usage of the EAIM, including: particular enterprises,

    public/federal enterprises, private/SME, all enterprises

    Repository Refers to the repository inside the practices/processes for storing EA artefacts

    Easy to use Refers to the requirement and prerequisites of EAIM for use in the EA

    project

    An effective Enterprise Architecture Implementation

    123

  • The aforementioned EAIMs are chosen because they provide appropriate and

    comprehensive plans for EA implementation, and they are employed in most EA

    implementation projects.

    2.3.1 EAP

    Enterprise Architecture Planning (EAP) was introduced by Spewak and Hill (1993).

    EAP contains activities and processes to achieve a To-Be architecture by

    considering four EA architectures including: Business, Data, Application, and

    Infrastructure. It is also known as the Wedding Cake. It covers the first two

    perspectives of Zachman Framework (ZF) (Spewak and Tiemann 2006; Spewak and

    Hill 1993).

    EAP specifies a plan for subsequent design and implementation of an EA. The ZF

    prepares the broad description for architectural layers, while EAP concentrates on

    developing and managing the process for aligning business and IT. Moreover, EAP

    is planning that concentrates on the development of matrices for comparison and

    analysis of data, IS, and infrastructure. A significant part of EAP is an

    implementation plan. EAP provides the process of using architectures for utilizing

    IS to support business and the plan for implementing architectures. It comprises the

    following phases (Spewak and Hill 1993):

    Initiation planning Preliminary business model Enterprise survey Current systems and technology architecture Data architecture Application architecture Technology architecture Implementation plan Planning conclusion Transition to impleme...

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