Edward Jones is a technical writer for a provider of TOGAF 9.1 certification, Firebrand Training. Edward writes on a number of IT related topics including how to guides, industry trends plus the latest news and reviews.
Because business in the modern world has never been more competitive, a focus on global communications and the need to streamline current operational practices, effective and efficient business operations are tantamount to success, or perhaps even survival. The importance of translating business vision and strategic templates into reality has never been greater, so the proper implementation of a means to manage such goals has become a requirement for many organisations. Thus, the adoption of an effective model for enterprise architecture should be a concern for small and large enterprises alike.
If you are unfamiliar with the practice of enterprise architecture, it is perhaps time we bring you up to speed for the sake of your business. Enterprise architecture is the practice of aligning technology and business strategy to achieve company goals and promote development of the organisation. Enterprise architecture is applied using a “framework”, which defines the structure, views and objects of said architecture.
As there are many existing frameworks to choose from, in and of itself the process may appear quite daunting. However, one of the most widely utilised systems currently available is called TOGAF, which stands for The Open Group Architecture Framework. Let’s first define the unique characteristics of this framework and then examine a few of the key reasons why it has become one of the most popular choices for internal information management.
What is TOGAF?
TOGAF is an acronym for The Open Group Architecture Framework. This architecture is centered on the domains of business, data, application and technology. Like any framework, the goal of TOGAF is to improve a company’s approaches to planning, enacting and governing an internal information structure and therefore expediting the dissemination of information within this organisation. TOGAF incorporates such factors as:
- Providing a common business vocabulary
- Incorporating a list of operational standards
- Providing a set of tools to be used inter-departmentally
- Supplying the “building blocks” for effective information management
While TOGAF meets the requirements for any current enterprise’s architecture methodology, there are some unique aspects of this service which make it the framework of choice for a multitude of businesses.
The Benefits of TOGAF
As mentioned earlier, there are numerous current frameworks within the information architecture industry, therefore defining the correct choice may be difficult. This is especially true when taking into account any budgetary concerns. Although the merits of each of these operating systems cannot be denied, what makes TOGAF specifically desirable is that it is built on open-source standards. This allows companies to utilise this framework for free. As the principle of lean operations comes to the forefront of many business models during these trying economic times, this aspect alone makes TOGAF a very attractive choice as opposed to proprietary systems, which come at a cost.
Another aspect not to be ignored is the scope of operations and support that TOGAF enjoys. As open-source software, the user community, which supports and shapes current paradigms, is robust. This addresses one of the most common flaws of enterprise architecture to-date; the inability to acquire qualified personnel who are cognisant of how a specific company performs its operations. Hence, these support levels are unrivalled in the industry.
Additionally, this framework has been steadily evolving since the mid 1990’s. This allows the system to have incorporated all of the most effective practices that have proven their viability over time while having excised those which have not given the optimum results. Other frameworks may still be experimenting with different or yet-to-be-proven methodologies; with TOGAF you have a documented history of success and therefore confidence in application.
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