Enterprise IT Architecture Essay

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Zachman was one of the pioneers of enterprise IT architecture. His article, "Business Systems Planning and Business Information Control Study: A comparison”, was an early effort to suggest that businesses should think more carefully about how they integrated systems and data. He used the analogy of architecture, since, as Hurley and Tompkins summarise, “each stage in the building of a house requires different levels of detail. At each stage, decisions need to be made about what materials compromise the product, how it will work, where the components are located, who is involved, when tasks need to be completed, and why they are important” (Hurley and Tompkins, 1999:76). This was developed in the early 1990’s by authors like Wiley, who argued that the creation of systems that would allow information to flow freely through an organisation was essential to efficiently working groups (Wylie, 1990). Modern developments of this have come from authors such as Lankhurst, who give the example of the Dutch government’s use of IT architecture to coordinate their tax collection. (Lankhurst et al, 2009). This relates to information management strategy, since it demonstrates the modern day necessity of well managed information. Much of Lankhurst et al’s work develops the blueprint spelled out by Spewak and Hill, who offer practical advice on how companies can create systems that integrate data by using technology (Spewak and Hill, 1993).
While it might be tempting to call enterprise IT architecture another form of IT strategy, this is wrong. IT strategy is one part. As Lawson says, “Many top executives are good at devising strategy but often not so great at making it work” (Lawson 2006). This is the crucial difference: enterprise IT architectu...

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... Strategy and Organizational Culture: an Empirical Study of Public Sector Units in India, in The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, vol 10, issue 1, March 2001
Lankhurst, M. et al, 2009, Enterprise Architecture at Work: Modelling, Communication and Analysis, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Lawson, J., 2006, Delivering on Strategy: Those That Can...Do!! Those Who Simply Talk... Make Another Fine Mess, in Spectra - Journal of the MCA, June 2006
Spewak, S. H. And Hill, S. C., 1993, Enterprise Architecture Planning: Developing a Blueprint for Data, Applications and Technology, QED Information Sciences, Inc. Wellesley, MA.
Wylie, L., 1990, A Vision of Next Generation MRP II, Scenario S-300-339, Gartner Group
Zachman, J., 1982, Business Systems Planning and Business Information Control Study: A comparison in: IBM Systems Journal, vol 21, no 3, 1982. p.31-53

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