Enterprise Architecture Assignment On EA Tools & Architecture Function
Task: This assessment is designed to assess develop your skills in Enterprise Architecture (EA). You are
required to develop knowledge on EA methodology, EA Framework, data model and emerging EA. In
completing this assessment successfully, you will be able to know major widely accepted Enterprise
Architecture (EA) domains, layers, frameworks and governance, which will help in achieving ULO-1,
ULO-2, ULO-3, ULO-4, ULO-5, and ULO-6, this in turn will help you in achieving CLO-1, CLO-2, CLO-4,
CLO-7, and CLO-9, which collectively with other unit learning outcomes will help in achieving GA-2,
GA-3, and GA-12.
Report 1.1 (Case Study)
SteelCo is a large steel manufacturing company established several decades ago. Historically, SteelCo
grew largely via mergers and acquisitions of smaller companies occupying adjacent or complementary
market niches and underwent a number of corporate restructurings. Presently, at the highest level
the company is split into two major divisions: Division Alpha and Division Beta. Both divisions are
governed from the lean central head office and report their quarterly financial indicators to top
business executives for their consideration. However, operationally these divisions represent
essentially independent businesses with non-overlapping suppliers, products, customers and markets.
Each division is managed by an appointed executive director reporting directly to C-level corporate
leadership. Divisions are free to set their own agendas, pursue their own competitive strategies and
make their own investment decisions, though major investments must seek approval at the corporate
Division Alpha is an established and large-scale, but highly centralized manufacturing shop. It
specializes on fabricating a single line of products, which are distributed directly to a narrow circle of
wholesale customers over stable supply chain network arrangements. The division has a rather
conservative IT investment strategy intended primarily to achieve better automation of existing
operations and enable smooth, uninterrupted and efficient business processes. It has a central
division-wide IT department employing around 150-180 in-house specialists and also involving about
100-120 external contractors working on a full-time basis. The IT department is responsible for
providing necessary IT support across all activities of Division Alpha’s value chain, e.g. production,
warehousing, sales and delivery as well as various supporting activities including HR, finance and legal
Division Beta has a more complex, dynamic and diversified business model. It offers three core lines
of products focused largely on different market segments and customer groups. These product lines
require substantially different manufacturing processes, distribution channels, sales approaches and
marketing campaigns. However, all products are fabricated from similar raw materials and
components procured from the same suppliers. Moreover, customer bases of these products also
partially overlap and the department’s leadership is planning to leverage cross-selling opportunities
more actively in the future. Organizationally, Division Beta is structured into three major units aligned
to its three product lines and an additional supporting unit providing shared division-wide services to
the main business, e.g. HR, finance, accounting and IT. Its IT department employs around 450-500 IT
staff qualified in different technologies used in the division’s IT landscape. To accommodate with the
quickly changing market conditions, Division Beta invests a significant share of its profits in new IT
systems and infrastructure. It has an aggressive IT investment strategy aimed at enabling innovative
ways of working.
1. Write a report on how should SteelCo structure its architecture function in terms of
necessary architecture positions?
2. How many architects does the company need for each of these positions? Provide
Report 1.2 (Determining the Operating Model of a Multi-Profile Company)
MultiCorp is a diversified, multi-profile company. Essentially, it is a conglomerate company
consisting of three diverse strategic units acting as independent businesses under separate brands in
different industry sectors: Unit Alpha, Unit Beta and Unit Gamma. MultiCorp is governed from the
central head office, which oversights the three subsidiary business units and their financial
performance indicators, though without any operational interventions. Each strategic business unit
has its own managing director with full discretion and responsibility over its competitive strategy,
investment priorities, budget allocation and ensuing yearly profits.
Unit Alpha is in the food manufacturing business. The unit produces and distributes a variety of
goods including, but not limited to, vegetables, groceries, meat and dairy products. Each of these
product lines requires unique production processes, storage arrangements, transportation
approaches and underlying equipment and is organizationally implemented by a separate
specialized product department. However, these products are delivered largely to the same circle of
customers, including both major retailers and local food shops. All product lines are also served by a
number of common unit-wide functions, e.g. HR, finance, accounting, logistics, legal, marketing and
Unit Beta competes in the restaurant business. Specifically, the unit controls a chain of small fastfood restaurants occupying the low-cost market niche. In total, the chain includes more than 80
restaurants located in different geographies and more restaurants are planned to be opened in the
foreseeable future. All restaurants offer same interiors, menus, prices, meals and services to their
customers and imply standardized policies, working procedures and supporting equipment.
However, each restaurant is run separately by a chief manager responsible for its overall financial
well-being and all necessary business processes, e.g. recruiting, training, procurement, cooking,
servicing, cleaning and complaints management. With the exception of Unit Beta’s lean central
office, where chain-wide branding, marketing and other strategic decisions are made, the
restaurants operate independently from each other and even have their own profit and loss
Finally, Unit Gamma runs a chain of resort hotels. These hotels gravitate towards the high-end price
segment and offer premium-quality services to their customers. Unit Gamma’s competitive strategy
implies improving its brand recognition and achieving consistent customer experience. For this
purpose, the unit’s leadership plans to standardize all customer-facing and, to a lesser extent, backoffice processes across all hotels of the chain as well as all its suppliers and service providers.
Moreover, Unit Gamma also intends to become “closer” to its customers and build lifelong customer
relationships. This strategy requires collecting more information about customers, their individual
preferences and transaction histories, aggregating this information globally and leveraging it for
providing customized services, launching loyalty programs, developing special offers and promoting
1. What is an operating model of MultiCorp and each of its three strategic business units?
2. What particular business processes are standardized company-wide and within each of its
3. What specific types of data are integrated across the whole company and each of its
4. What is the highest-level structure of the IT landscape in the company and in each of its
FinCorp is a mid-size financial company. A couple of years ago FinCorp decided to establish a fullfledged EA practice to accommodate with the growing problems around non-transparency of its IT
investments and poor business and IT alignment in general. In order to boost its EA initiative, the
company decided to purchase a specialized software tool for enterprise architecture. For this purpose,
its IT leaders studied the available offerings on the EA tool market, contacted most promising vendors,
organized meetings with vendor representatives and listened to their presentations. As a result,
FinCorp had selected and acquired a rather powerful and expensive tool for enterprise architecture
from a well-known vendor. Then, the company had installed and configured the tool, established a
central repository for storing architectural information and sent its architecture team to a special
training supplied by the tool vendor. After the training, architects had documented most areas of the
organizational IT landscape and associated business processes in the EA repository and started to
update this information to keep it current. Architects were also impressed with the modeling,
visualization and analytical capabilities offered by their new EA tool.
However, FinCorp’s CIO is pretty skeptical towards the chosen EA tool. He believes that the company
is only wasting money on the tool as it is essentially nothing more than a sophisticated repository of
current-state information. Furthermore, the tool is used by only 4-5 people in the entire organization
(all architects), does not facilitate informed decision-making among business stakeholders in any
sense and does not contribute to achieving the original objectives of the EA initiative to improve
business and IT alignment.
1. What is wrong with the installed EA tool?
2. Is the tool adding value to FinCorp?
3. How can the tool be used to facilitate business and IT alignment?
4. What should be done to maximize the value of the tool for the company?
1. Report on how SteelCo should structure its architecture function in terms of necessary architecture positions:
The present enterprise architecture assignment examines that one of the leading Italian steel manufacturing enterprises SteelCo needs an ameliorative architecture to systemize a productive environment. It needs to extend their enterprise architect efforts and rather incorporate operational systems like application performance management, EQMS, IEM, message-oriented middleware software, and environment, health and safety. It should further process the automa tion systems (Smith, 2017). Thus, the SteelCo enterprise architecture can become about the social welfare more, and less about the IT systems if it follows the steps taken by IoT; smart connected assets enable smart operation systems and can achieve smart products. The process increases the need of bringing the two halves of the business together. The best way of implementing the architecture strategy is of making an EA team first. The team would be comprised of multiple-layers with large cross-functional representation. The team also will be subsumed in managerial activities to guide the direction and strategies. Besides, the team must involve in the responsibilities described below within the enterprise architecture assignment: -
- To illustrate the planning strategy through a session for the team and employees
- To demonstrate a visual notion about what EA is
- To identify the architecture core
- To affirm the management's buy-in to the architecture process such as the maintenance team would buy the solutions to solve maintenance problems. Next, the IT team would buy the ERP. The operational team would buy the MOM system for the plant floor and the Quality team must buy specific quality solutions.
In this manner, it can be stated in the enterprise architecture assignment that the enterprise architecture effort will help to eliminate the excessive duplication of functionality and thence optimize the number of IT systems. Thus, it will improve the overall information flow.
2. Numbers of architecture the company need for each of these positions with detailed explanation:
SteelCo needs various architectures for handling near about 180 to 200 skilled enterprise architects for the below mentioned artefacts that will help it to manage the evolution: -
- Consideration: This is a high-level imperative defining the enterprise. The team of consideration artefacts will represent the planning decisions taken by the architect team (Hansen & Hacks, 2017). Considerations have dual nature that allows the business executives to implicitly shape SteelCo’s IT landscape. Though considerations do not often mention explicitly the IT infrastructure.
- Standard: This is a specialized low-level technical guideline. This artefact prescribes an idea about how the IT landscape should be built and organized(Antoniou, Bakas, & Varlagkas, 2016). It helps to achieve homogeneity of the IT landscape and reduce complexity. Thence, this architect accelerates the construction of new IT systems.
- Vision: As per the research on enterprise architecture assignment, this artefact is a one-page diagram. It provides a high-level view of the entire organization. It is very consistent with the ‘consideration’. Vision helps in analysing what should be done for execution of the business development strategy(Ghazinoori, 2016). The two nature of Vision allows the business executives to implicitly develop their IT landscape.
- Landscape: Landscape is a formal-diagram. It depicts the IT landscape from the technological perspective. Landscapes that are used by the enterprise architects typically serve two different purposes:
- Helps in understanding which IT infrastructure is redundant for the architecture purpose.
- It helps to plan the designs of the IT projects and assists in connecting new projects to the existing infrastructure.
- Outline: This is also a high-level description of the IT projects from the perspective of values. Outline is generally initiated from Vision and consistent with considerations; leverage the landscapes(Gurr & Drysdale, 2018). It also has dual nature that allows the business executives to control all IT investments.
- Designs: It is a detailed technical description of IT systems for its implementers. As noted herein enterprise architecture assignment, it is based on the Outline and it follows the ‘standard’ and gets fit into the landscapes. IT teams use the ‘design’ for implementing the project as planned(Hansen & Hacks, 2017). Design’s dual nature allows IT teams to implicitly deliver globally optimized IT systems.
- Operating model of MultiCorp:
MultiCorp is a leading multi service provider company. The organization selected in this segment of enterprise architecture assignment is committed to provide from fresh groceries, vegetables and fast foods to luxurious hospitality. It involves in three different aspects: -
1) Food manufacturing- Unit Alpha
2) Small to medium chain restaurant business – Unit Beta
3) Chain of resort hotels business- Unit Gamma
Three strategic business units of the MultiCorp models: MultiCrop has three separate business unites that work independently under different service sectors (Proença & Borbinha, 2017). Each independent unit has its own director and it governs by central head-office. A brief discussion on the three business units are mentioned below-
Unit Alpha- This unit conducts the food manufacturing business. This unit is responsible for producing and distributing variety range of goods including meat, vegetables, dairy products, and groceries (Hwang & Witt, 2019). The product lines require unique production processes, different transportation approaches, underlying equipment and storage arrangements. These products get delivered largely among local food shops and major retailers.
Unit Beta- This unit mentioned in the context of enterprise architecture assignment controls more than 80 small restaurants that are located in different geographies. All the restaurants offer kind of same menus, prices, interiors, and services to their customers (Karnaushenko, et al., 2018). All the restaurants comprise of the same working procedures, policies, and supporting equipment. But each of the restaurants is run separately by a chief manager who is responsible for the overall financial covenant and all the necessary business processes.
Unit Gamma- The study developed within the enterprise architecture assignment signifies that this unit operates a chain of resort hotels. Unit Gamma consists of high-end business strategy that helps it in improving its brand recognition. Thus, this unit succeeds to achieve a consistent customer experience (Keneley, Wines, & Jain, 2017). Unit Gamma intends to become successful to build a life-long customer relationship. Hence, this strategy requires more information about customers, their transaction histories; therefore they aggregate this information globally.
- Particular business processes that are standardized company-wide and within each of its business units identified in the enterprise architecture assignment:
Being a diversified multi-service providing company, MultiCorp consists of three strategic units- Unit Alpha, Unit Beta and Unit Gamma, that possess the business wide and within. These three units perform independently in three different sectors. The organization is governed from its central head office. Each of these units is operated by its own managing director who is responsible for its individual market strategy, budget allocation, and ensuring the yearly profits (Kotusev, 2017). The first business unit, Alpha is a highly centralized food manufacturing firm that has specialized on fabricating single liner products (Shanks, Gloet, Someh, Frampton, & Tamm, 2018). The manufactured food products are distributed to the wholesale customers directly over the stable supply chain networks. This unit is based on conservative IT investment strategy that has intended to achieve a better automation of the existing operations. Thus, it intends to enable smooth and uninterrupted business processes.
Unit Alpha is responsible for the food manufacturing business. This business process is implemented by a specialized ‘product’ department. All of the product-lines are served HR, logistics department, finance and accounting department, sales and market support (Mei & Peng, 2018). Thereafter, Unit Beta conducts the chain restaurant business. This chain includes 80 restaurants from different territories. Now this unit has same standardized policies, supporting equipment and working procedures in all the restaurants. Unit Beta has its central office, where the chain-wide marketing strategy, branding, and other strategic decisions are made (Paliwal, 2020). The restaurants work independently and have own ‘profit’ and ‘loss’ statements.
Unit Gamma monitors the chain resorts and hotels business. These hotels offer premium-quality services. Unit Gamma illustrated in the present section of enterprise architecture assignment has competitive business strategy that implies improving its own brand recognition (Renjith & Badugu, 2017). Hence, this unit’s leadership plans to standardize all customer-facing. It also implements back-office processes across all the resorts and hotels. Unit Gamma intends to build lifelong customer relationships, thus they involve in collecting information about their target customers, their preferences and their transaction histories. Henceforward, they aggregate the information globally and leverage it for customized services providing. In this manner, standardization of the business processes facilitates the brand recognition.
3. Specific types of data are integrated across the whole company examined in the present context of enterprise architecture assignment:
MultiCrop has three different business units which are operated from its central head office. The management allocate three separate business area for the units but maintain an adequate data among these three business strategic units (Antoniou, Bakas, & Varlagkas, 2016). All these three business units have three different target consumers but it allow closely same strategy for building long-term client-customer relationships. Their company-within standardized integrated data enables increase transparency about their end-to-end transaction processing, agility and coordination process (Tairi, et al., 2018). Data integration increases coupling between business units, requires achieving a common understanding of shared data entities and developing their standard, commonly agreed definitions and formats.
Business units of the integrated data types:
There are five types of data integration present in the three business units. This are mentioned in the following section of enterprise architecture assignment-
- Consolidation: This is data consolidation physically brings data together from the three business avenues for creating data storage on consolidated data.
- Propagation: It is an application applied for copying data from one place to another. It can be done both synchronously and asynchronously.
- Virtualization: It uses an interface to provide unified, instant view of data from different sources with different data models. It retrieves data, but does not require any access.
- Federation: It uses virtual databases. It creates a common data model from different systems. It helps in providing a unified data of multiple sources.
- Data Warehousing: The investigation carried on the case scenario of enterprise architecture assignment illustrates that data warehouse is a storage repository for data. It also applies in the cleansing, and reformatting.
1. Dispute with the installed EA tool:
FinCorp’s CIO has not seemed satisfied with the EA tool they acquired. Henceforth, the organization also had difficulties in downloading EA, caused by numerous factors. One and foremost fault outlined herein enterprise architecture assignment that an organization might commit in EA too installation process is the vendor selection. EA tool is a costly sensitive installment. Though it doesn’t cost much in subscription but it needs huge effort and time to build out an enterprise model (Hwang & Witt, 2019). The EA tool should achieve the business objective which FinCorp’s EA tool had failed to do. Therefore, the FinCorp IT team has probably chosen wrong EA teams who doesn’t aware of the waves of technology and the rapidly changing organizational need. Thus, the EA tool had failed to drive the outcomes and conversations they need.
2. Discussion on the tool adding value to FinCorp:
As FinCorp is a leading investment company, it has certain EA domains that add value to its business strategy. That are- Business process design tool, non-technical tool, Business process management, Software design and software development tool. Such EA tools help providing storing domains as part of the same model (Vimaladevi & Vennilashree, 2018). It creates relations between different architecture parts that are actually part of the business model. It helps in enabling the analysis of changing impact of business. It helps in sustaining the consistency of the architectures. The tools are sometimes tailored for particular stakeholders. It allows the business strategy to change accordingly with the growing competitive market demands.
3. How can the tool be used to facilitate business and IT alignment
The EA tool mentioned in the enterprise architecture assignment can help in facilitating the business by several ways as it covers customer needs. The internal capabilities, updated business processes etcetera. The tools help in applications domain too like it covers the technical programs, IT systems. It monitors the custom software, and track the vendor products etcetera (Hansen & Hacks, 2017). Working on the data domain it covers data entities, and structures etcetera. From the integration domain it covers the interfaces, client-consumer and business to business connections, and the interaction protocols etc. The infrastructure domain covers hardware, operating systems and networks, etcetera. Security domain – covers firewalls, authentication mechanisms, identity and access management systems, encryption, etc.
4. What should be done to maximize the value of the tool for the company examined in the enterprise architecture assignment?
With some best EA tool practices, the company can get the maximum value of its EA tool as depicted below within the enterprise architecture assignment-
- It can evolve the function of the software packages and start piloting the enterprise architecture. A small investment can create a significant added value therefore the organization should seek support from the management on it.
- The organization should implement same framework and language in the entire enterprise. The organization must give effort in improving architecture for further situations.
Figure: - Balance Sheet of Fincorp and comparison with other organizations (Renjith & Badugu, 2017).
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