to work

To create architecture is to put in order. Put what in order? Function and objects.
Le Corbusier*

Just like what happens to people, the context of organisations change. Philips Electronics used to manufacture most of its products and components in-house; now Philips outsources a major part of manufacturing to specialised companies. Where previously a few generic products were OK to meet market demand, nowadays a large amount of product variations are required, even within a single enterprise. Samsung delivers many types of mobile phones, with many detailed differences, for different customer segments, within a large price range. Consumers would previously buy products at one particular store and trusted the advice of the retailer, while nowadays the internet will tell the consumer where to buy a product at the lowest cost. Commercial products, in particular consumer goods, have a very short life cycle, one to two years. Consumers will readily switch from one retailer to another. The same happens to services. To have the lowest price for energy, just switch every year. The same goes for medical insurance, in the Netherlands, at least. Market forces compel organisations to innovate, increasingly faster, to do things differently, cheaper, faster, with increasing focus on the customer. As a vendor or service provider, if you can’t keep up, you’re finished. This forces the internal organisation to become extremely flexible and develop the means to leverage this structure. This is sometimes called ‘Business Agility’.

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As an organisation, how do you go about creating such agility and flexibility? How to systematically cope with emerging changes? For decades practices have been developed that allow organisations to be agile and flexible. These can be summed up as business architecture.

This series of papers introduces business architecture, based on the experience we have had with architecture. The first paper is a short introduction, followed by a few examples. The first is the case of the Volkswagen Group (VAG) and the second describes Sea-Land Service, the architect of container shipping. Subsequent papers describe the context of business architecture, the essence of business architecture and the different types of business architecture and finally some papers about AMM, the Architecture Maturity Model.

Most of the papers put architecture into perspective in commercial and non-commercial organisations and also relate to large-scale enterprises as well as SME’s. Some of the papers refer to the Nolan Norton Multi-Client Study on Architecture. The study was performed in 1999-2000 and John participated. Approximately twenty organisations co-operated.

* Please refer to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Corbusier

Introductie Introduction business architecture

Organisations base themselves on the products and services they deliver to clients. Because of that, they have no alternative than to focus on their clients, whether they are other organisations, customers or citizens. Occasionally, clients...

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Case business architecture The case for business architecture

For decades, organisations improve their business operations, their service offerings, their cost level, profitability and customer focus. The practices they generally use can be summed up as ‘working with architecture’ . Below two cases that illustrate...

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Types of architecture Types of architecture

One of the most important goals of business architecture is to reach Business Agility by improving, managing and co-ordinating goals and outcomes of business operation. In the picture below are some areas that for most organisations could be relevant when developing architecture. The collection of all relevant architecture domains...

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Voorbeelden van architectuurdomeinen Examples of architecture domains

Organisations that work with business architecture, usually do so in more than one domain. These domains occur frequently. For organisations that have adopted business architecture recently or who think they could do more with it, it is worthwhile to discuss the prevalent domains by showing examples of guiding principles...

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Bedrijfsarchitectuur in context Business architecture in context

Organisations have a stake in their own continued existence. To achieve this requires proper decision making for the long, medium and short term. Ensuring the long term goals are actually met, is a challenge. Short term actions are relatively simple: the response can be derived from the design of the...

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Wat is bedrijfsarchitectuur Business Agility and business architecture

What is business architecture? Business architecture is simply a means to make informed decisions about changes in business operations. Nothing more and nothing less. Business architecture comprises all high-level assumptions, principles, prerequisites, requirements and decisions that underlie the...

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Architecture Mautiry Model [AMM] Architecture Maturity Model [AMM]

Moving from nothing to complete integration of business architecture is quite difficult. Implementation requires investment in people and resources. Business architecture makes quite a few demands on the knowledge, abilities and skills of an organisation and its business partners. The path from nothing to...

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