Table of Contents Critical review on Enterprise Architecture research articles2 Introduction2 Conclusion8 References9 Critical review on Enterprise Architecture research articles Introduction Enterprise Architecture is a term that broadly describes each of the major components and relations constituting the firm (Harmon, P. (2003). Information technology’s strategic responsibility and its importance all through the firm enhance the complication whereas meanwhile it also increases the demand of dealing with additional contradictory needs.
Issues pertaining to architecture are becoming increasingly crucial to create a booming organisation. Thus, apparent risks that significant resources will be invested in absence of desirable impacts may occur in cases of mishandling of such problems in a firm (Sauer et al. 2003). Enhanced IT management is considered as an important element for some time (Brancheau et al. 1987, Niederman et al. 1991, Gottschalk 2000). The idea of Architecture was established into IT Management study at least three decades ago.
Information Systems Architecture or Information Architecture was mainly focused during that time (Zachman 1978, Bowman et al 1983, Zachman 1987, van der Poel et al. 1989). However, the recent studies has given attention on the way to link Information Systems Architecture and Business Architecture. Hence, due to the resulting study, increased number of broad ranging architectural frameworks has come out. Such frameworks are generally stated as “Enterprise Architecture Frameworks” (Spewak 1992, Williams et al. 998, Rohloff 2005). Further, Enterprise architecture plays a role of a coordination tool to manage information security in a business network of machinery maintenance services business (Pulkkinen et al. , 2007). Thus, the purpose of this assignment is to critically evaluate two papers in context to enterprise architecture. This review first discusses Bartenschlager & Goeken’s (2010) article about IT strategy Implementation Framework – Bridging Enterprise Architecture and IT Governance.
The theme of this powerfully argued article is that that governance requires to be analysed to implement IT strategies on various stages of abstraction and that a framework is vital to guide IT strategy execution to analyze, monitor and control the needed outcomes. The basis of this paper is build upon the concept of design science in IS studies (Nunamaker, Chen and Purdin, 1991, March and Smith, 1995). This paper is of great significance because previous studies generally do not highlight any relation among the concepts.
For instance, Brown and Grant (2005) present a literature review of IT governance; the concept of enterprise architecture is not mentioned in their article, and IT architecture is only mentioned with reference to the IT governance framework developed by Weill and Ross (2004a, cited in Bartenschlager & Goeken, 2010). In a similar manner, Chan & Reich (2007) described the topic business-IT alignment based on the previous literatures; however, the concept EA was not mentioned. Yet, Chan & Reich present the strategic alignment framework of Henderson & Venkatraman (1993, cited in Bartenschlager & Goeken, 2010) in their article.
Therefore, a relationship between IT governance and EA would seem logical which is discussed in depth in this article. There are three particular requirements for ITSIF raised in the given paper by the authors, yet the authors had knowledge about the paper being of a subjective type and additional research might result in diverse needs. However, in accordance to Siau and Rossi (1998 cited in Bartenschlager & Goeken, 2010 ), the options corresponding to this particular case must be on the basis of the research question and existing prospects.
The authors in the given article have tried to meet the obligations of competence and efficacy by grouping EA for planning and ITG for implementation to facilitate for both organic and mechanistic firms. Further, the authors have combined the two constituents by making use of the MPM method on the basis of an additional formal method supported in ME which assisted the authors to turn the plan into implementation artifacts, permitting to formally implement the IT-strategy and as a result satisfying the second need.
Ultimately, it has been considered and specified by ITSIF that managerial layers must facilitate a top-down execution of IT-strategy stated by Raps (2008, cited in Bartenschlager & Goeken, 2010), which obeys the third need for considering and specifying managerial layers thereby leading to the perspective that possessing a mature EA with various layers helps to attain more rapid maturity. Similar theme has been presented in the work of Bredemayer & Malan (2004), who signifies that firms typically commences implementing EA for assisting in standardizing their technological platform.
Later, they may broaden it to an enterprise-wide IT architecture, and ultimately to an enterprise-wide business architecture demanding different layers of operation. Whereas such emerging consistent architectural frameworks develop enhanced returns, the importance of EA develops in an exponential manner. At lower EA maturity levels, the function of EA to IT governance is to ascertain an architectural fit with present architecture; investments are needed for complying with the technical standard and go well with present IT applications and solutions.
Although, the framework attempted to satisfy each and every essential demand, yet there remained considerable adjustments in the projected model. Further, the research proved to be useful in context to offering a model since it suggested an efficient as well as supportive means to consider many areas for the implementation of IT strategy. This may be contrasted to the views of Ross, Weill (2006 cited in Bartenschlager & Goeken, 2010) that showed that an enterprise begins with strategic initiatives of different range for achieving its goals.
According to Ross & Weill (2006 cited in Bartenschlager & Goeken, 2010), firm’s present Enterprise architecture designates its basic competencies, in context to business and IT, and restricts the firm’s strategic plans. Still, what they do not discuss is the importance of this knowledge of existing EA. The need of associational arrangement with the IT plans were unable to connect among how important is a positive feature in choosing which strategic plans the enterprise is capable of carrying out- and which not. This paper bridges the ap and the approach presented in the paper allowed for a better understanding of implementing IT strategy in corporate environments as well as its monitoring and control. Thus, the study proved to be significant in contributing to the study of governance in terms of IT-strategy execution. Though, the framework presented in the paper was not in-depth, however the soundness of the artifacts as well as the connections between them was derived based on the established scientific theories presented in literature as well as expert interviews.
Furthermore, other methods thinks about diverse elements (for example; Balanced scorecard) or “mechanisms” (De Haes and van Grembergen, 2008 cited in Bartenschlager & Goeken, 2010). Therefore the paper further aimed to investigate the impact on the proposed framework in terms of further detailing the artifacts on a micro level by using a formal methodology published in Bartenschlager and Goeken (2009 cited in Bartenschlager & Goeken, 2010). This micro level analysis is equivalent to the macro level presented by (OMB 2005).
While each architecture sphere is comprised in EA and possess at least an elevated level of condition of their target situation, at that time the entire IT investment is generally needed to take the project nearer to its goal which is specified by aimed situation of EA. During EA’s elevated maturity state, a firm has established an evolution plan and linked strategies for implementing its aimed Enterprise Architecture. EA is implemented for driving the firm’s IT governance procedures, particularly IT investment management.
Thus, when EA attains a maturity level, its position for IT governance develops from a helpful part to the basic element of IT governance. The second article presented by Saat et al. , (2010) identifies with the concept of a meta modelling which is often promoted towards building the concept of IT/business alignment. This when compared to the paper of (2010) identifies the importance of management processes and the overall impact on mechanisms which control the governance of IT while giving measures to The researcher feels that a holistic examination of both these concepts is mportant as business alignment concepts need better governance issues. Therefore the following section identifies and examines the views of Saaet et al. , (2010) and critically examines the importance of this strategic alignment with reference to enterprise architecture. IT/business alignment has remained as the main concern for IT management for many years (Luftman & Kempaiah, 2008; Luftman, Kempaiah & Nash, 2006 cited in Saat et al. , 2010). Study about IT/business alignment may obtain a descriptive viewpoint or a prescriptive design view.
The amount of prescriptive investigation artifacts that deals IT/business alignment issues is limited. Saat expands on this idea in his paper Architecture Meta Models for IT/Business Alignment Situations, Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Conference (EDOC). The paper has aimed to provide a detailed study in context to the identification of as-is states for IT/business alignment. Further, the author presented modified meta-frameworks appropriate at characteristic conditions recognized based on a survey including 162 EA experts from Scandinavia and the German speaking nations.
In addition, the study also aimed to present one core meta-model as well as condition precise extensions. Chan and Reich (2007) presented a study that covers 150 articles from a literature review of ‘many influential articles on information technology alignment’ (p. 316). Uisng this general idea, increased number of articles may be obtained that has carried investigation in an empirical manner about the effect of IT business alignment on organisation’s performance (Gonzalez-Benito, 2007; Kearns and Sabherwal, 2007; Batenburg and Versendaal, 2008,).
Most researches have ascertained that organisations with elevated alignment are better in their action when contrasted with other organisations having low strategic alignment (Oh and Pinsonneault, 2007). In particular, it is seen that business/IT alignment results into an additionally determined and strategic implementation of IT that on the other hand results to enhanced success. The analysis, in addition, showed that IT implementation in the organisational management is encouraged tangibles were not analysed with the effect on governance. The key objective of this research was to recommend ways for the decomposition of the IT/business rrangement issues into tangible virtues for enterprise, IT systems, and IT governance. Thus, the study included an explorative investigation approach by employing 162 professionals for finding out four IT/business alignment conditions, that is. , four clusters of IT/business alignment issues. The section two of the paper offers an explanation of the conceptual foundations relevant for the proposed approach, as well as associated roles in the fields of EA and IT/business alignment. Meta-models are regarded as the basis of enterprise architecture. It explains the basic artifacts of enterprises and Information Technology.
These types of superior frameworks offer an apparent understanding about the arrangement and needs among significant elements of the firm (Winter and Fischer 2007, cited in Saat et al. , 2010). Taking in account the significance of this, the review has adopted meta-models for representing a basic tool of EA offering extreme stress on the ways where meta-models are used in case of IT/business alignment. The demand of organising strategic positions, managerial elements and business procedures and IS design has been proposed by IS investigation for some time [Frank, 2002].
Holistic methods exist to enterprise architecture position a multi-level model or a series of design layers for representing the diverse viewpoints about a firm. However, such multi-levelled ways are generally somewhat theoretical, irrespective of considering all the essential design levels and specifying reliability in sufficient rigor. The issues because of such modelling approach is that many of the roles offer unfair, total, or even totally lacking meta-model that identifies stability of diverse architecture artifacts on diverse layers as well as in diverse viewpoints.
On the other hand the paper by Saat et al. , (2010) addresses the IT/business alignment by taking in account the superiorities of IT systems, business, and IT governance. Currently, this framework covers all aspects that generally affect complex system features. The researchers or practitioners that have aimed to set out for modelling these interdependencies, therefore certainly encounters uneasy modelling situations, that may be presented in an extremely effective manner in cases when factors are generally organised in the above stated systems.
Further, the fourth section of the paper gives a precise account regarding the setting, and assessment approach of the survey, resulting in the specification of four characteristic IT/business alignment conditions. Furthermore, on the basis of the findings of the study, the authors have attempted to present situation specific meta-models which is comprised in the section five of the paper. Thus, Saat et al (2010) have aimed to cover three main research elements in the investigation that includes: enterprise architecture, meta -modelling, and IT/business alignment.
This paper proves to be of great interest for the industrial practitioner in terms of enterprise modelling effort. Further, the paper also proved to be helpful to the enterprise architecture industry as it mentioned about the potential new features or products. An instrument comprising of the offered meta-models gives a qualitative assistance to the user’s modelling effort. The present situation including EA tools does not clearly judges various conditions of the clients. However, few items offering characteristic metamodels, the procedural maintenance about the identification of the firm’s condition is quite basic (Matthes et al. 2008, cited in Saat et al. , 2010). Additionally, the paper is considered to be extremely significant for the scientific community as it reflected an approach that is responsible for combining a new approach for addressing the objectives of IT/business alignment by taking account of the tangible features of IT systems, business, and IT governance. Hence, this may be useful in improving the establishment of object-oriented artifacts in design-oriented research. Moreover, this paper has led to the contribution about the debate in context to the situational artifact development.
The data set in the given paper comprises of viewpoints of different individuals, where a number of complete surveys may be derived from the similar firm. As a result, the outcomes signified cumulative answers that were appropriate for deriving drifts in context to the existing conditions. However, because of the size of the sample, a reasonable demonstration of the drifts in context to the outcomes can be supposed. Yet, the survey that has been carried out has generated a picture of the inspected firms as well as issues pertaining to the design.
Thus, the consequent meta models might be regarded for representing the existing situations of the traditional circumstances. Though, the present paper does not offer any sort of correlation with regards to degree of achievement of the associated firms. But, in summary, it has to be admitted that the present research is yet far from being conclusive. Consequently, additional researches needs to be carried out, superior approaches needs to be established for identifying whether specific achievement aspects may be determined, thereby ensuring still additionally effective modelling suggestions.
Conclusion Since, Enterprise Architecture has been projected as a method to manage the business as well as IT strategically. In this context, the present article has significantly attempted to analyse the effort made by the researchers in order to accomplish their research objectives and goals. While in Bartenschlager & Goeken’s paper, focus has been given to the demand of IT strategy implementation framework, Saat’s study aimed to identify diverse as-is conditions of IT/business alignment.
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