Enterprise Architecture As A Strategic Framework for Change Management

Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise architecture is a holistic approach that is used in carrying out enterprise analysis, design, planning and implementation of enterprise strategies. It guides the organizations by using architectural principles and practices to understand business processes, changes in technology and information processes. The goals of enterprise architecture are always five, that is, efficiency, effectiveness, durability and agility. Enterprise architecture practitioners are therefore responsible for that enterprise analysis, development of designs and business plans to address the above mentioned goals. In essence, the main objective of an enterprise architecture framework is to determine how best an organization can achieve its short term and long term objectives.

Read Also Enterprise Architecture And How it Supplements and Enables Each Phase of SDLC

Change management

Change management is an approach that focuses on the improvement of an organization in terms of adoption of new strategies that aim at developing the solving the problems of an organization. It involves the implementation of modes that seek to reshape an organization in terms of its operations. It focuses on the effects of organizational transitions on people and teams involved in the operations of an organization. Organizational change management therefore involves different disciplines ranging from behavioral to social sciences as well as information technology and business solutions. Change is an inevitable element in an organization given the issues that arise due to globalization and constant change in technology. It is therefore important for an organization to manage change effectively. Enterprise architecture plays a very critical role in ensuring change management strategies and implemented.

Drivers for change

Ordinarily, the purpose of enterprise architecture has been to provide strategic direction and idea implementation approach to accomplish corporate capabilities. However, enterprise architecture does not operate in a vacuum. This is to say, it requires a well laid down structure which is already providing value. While enterprise architecture embraces, top-down architecture, drivers for change are always bottom- top oriented and always based on the need to modify and adjust the existing infrastructure to improve functionality. Enterprise architecture framework changes this paradigm by providing a top-bottom approach to problems and situations.

More often than note, a RFC solution or an innovative solution always drives a change and is always used in the enterprise architecture framework. However, there are also other technology-related drivers that drive change. These include new technology reports, technology withdrawals, as well as standard initiatives (Bucher, 2006). Apart from the technology-related drivers, there are business-related drivers that can inform architecture change within an enterprise. These include business innovations, business exceptions, business technology innovations and strategic change.

It is important to have an enterprise architecture framework to initiate change management. However, the most important element in this process is to have a management structure that is capable to handle change management using the enterprise architecture framework. The determination and professional expertise of the management personnel plays a critical role in ensuring change management.

Enterprise Architecture change Management Process

The enterprise architecture management process basically depicts how changes can be managed, the techniques to be employed and the methodologies that suit the execution of the same. It also ensures the filtering of the enterprise architecture change management process functions and the impacts that arise with respect to the requirements needed to carry out the change management. For example, changes that only impact immigration may not be of significance to the architecture development process.

There are many approaches to change management. Techniques and methodologies vary depending on the nature of problem or the requirements of implementing a solution. For example, looking at these three categories of architecture change classification, simplification change, incremental change, and re-architecting change, you realize that they exhibit certain characteristics that call for specific requirements (Jarvis, 2003).

Simplification change for instance is driven by the need to reduce complexity and investment. Incremental change on the other hand is driven by the need to add value to an existing investment. Re-architecting change is driven by the need to have a new outlook to an investment in terms of developing a new value to an investment. Based on the nature of change, therefore, the approach to structuring an enterprise architecture framework varies and may involve different techniques and methodologies to implement. It is therefore important to analyze the change propositions and their requirements before deciding on the best methodology or technique of enterprise architecture framework to use.

Conclusion

Generally, the world is undergoing globalization and every aspect of life is changing and advancing. Organizational change is not an exception in this era of dynamism and the future is as good as it gets. It is necessary for organizations to adopt and embrace change that is arising as a result of globalizations. Technology has become a necessary aspect in every organization. Human resource is also undergoing change and this is something organizations cannot avoid.

However, these changes come along with challenges that should be taken care of to enable smooth operation either in business organizations or life in general. This call for the integration of change management and enterprise architecture to develop solutions to these challenges.  Change management is not a simple course to pursue since it not only requires resources but also requires management skills and business analytical skills to achieve. Organizations must therefore look forward to achieve change and use enterprise architecture framework to initiate change management.

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