The role of Architecture in Enterprise Change – Looking back on 10 years NAF

J.L.G. Dietz, J.A.P. Hoogervorst, 10 oktober 2012
Delft University of Technology, Antwerp Management School,

Inconsistent and incoherent approaches to enterprise change lie at the heart of numerous failures. After having reviewed historic developments in thinking about enterprises, the authors argue that considerable and unfortunate theory fragmentation hampers the achievement of coherence and consistency.
Hence, the need is discussed for an overarching, integrated, approach that is capable of effectively addressing the enormous complexity of enterprises in all their different aspects, and of ensuring unified and integrated enterprise design.
It is argued that such design is an essential condition for successful enterprise change, a position that is supported by a plethora of literature, covering more than a century of organizational studies. The theory and methodology of Enterprise Engineering is introduced as the answer to the aforementioned need. After outlining the theoretical foundations of Enterprise Engineering as a design science, rooted in proper and sound philosophical and ontological theories, the notion of architecture is clearly defined, and the crucial importance of Enterprise Architecture is discussed in light of the system perspective on enterprises. This allows the precise and  unambiguous definition of the notions of Business Architecture and Organizational Architecture as the two main components of Enterprise Architecture. The important role of Enterprise Architecture in bringing about enterprise change is extensively discussed and clarified. Lastly, the authors critically look back at the achievements of 10 years NAF, and observe that the available sound theories and methodologies are hardly used in practice. Worse, they are often carelessly brushed aside for irrational reasons.

Key words: Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Engineering, Enterprise Ontology,
Enterprise Change.

Great leaders may have great ideas, but only engineers can change the world.




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