Effective Change Management
EA captures relationships between enterprise-wide objects of interest, such as organizations, functions, capabilities, data, services, applications, and technologies. An enterprise can draw from this rich knowledge base to assess the impact of any planned change to these objects. For example, if an enterprise decides to update a specific technology, querying the EA helps identify which applications need to be updated, which organizations use these applications, and which business processes will be affected. This information helps in the development of transition plans that minimize the impact on day-to-day operations.
Integrating EA into decision-making processes extends the management of relationships between EA objects to relationships with strategic planning elements (mission, strategies, goals, initiatives, etc.). By establishing a clear line of sight from the organization’s mission and goals to the supporting technology and services, it is easier to identify and evaluate funding for activities that do not contribute. Similarly, analysis of EA relationships can identify redundancies and gaps.
Authoritative Source for Enterprise Information
EA maintains sets of information, such as the organization hierarchy, business function hierarchy, application list, service directory, and list of approved standards, which can be used beyond the traditional scope of EA. As an example, maintaining information in an EA encourages groups to incorporate their own information into the repository rather than storing it locally. As the data maintained by these users become more complex, enterprises must develop interfaces with other information sources and integrate them with the data stored on the EA repository.
Differentiated Information by User Class
The EA repository contains a wealth of information that must be adapted to suit the audience. While analysts require detailed reports, executives and other stakeholders often desire high-level reports that can help them make decisions quickly.
As you can see, your EA is the foundation of a complete enterprise knowledge base that can be extended with advanced visualization techniques (described by Joe Norton in his blog and his newest video) to make it a powerful decision support system.
Dr. Perdu has more than 20 years of experience in development and analysis of EAs. He has supported numerous EA projects with several different federal agencies, including GSA, GPO, and the U.S. Army. He holds a PhD in information technology from George Mason University and an MS in technology and policy from MIT.