Asset-driven Enterprise Architecture

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Tue, Feb 23, 2010 22:02 EST
Asset-driven Enterprise Architecture

Should Enterprise Architecture be driven by asset-preservation goals?

Posted by: Simona Lovin in Questions

In his e-book “Primer for Enterprise Engineering and Manufacturing”, Zachman makes an interesting distinction between make-to-order engineering (aka job-shop type design, where each project is viewed and treated as single purpose) vs. assemble-to-order engineering (by which he understands mass-customization of architecture practices).

In Zachman’s view, the assemble-to-order architectural paradigm is the way to go: it presupposes the development of reusable, primitive models for each cell of the Zachman framework; it is process-oriented and integration-oriented; its inherent reusability orientation promotes faster deployment times; and it is asset-based.

Generally speaking, the main features advertised by Zachman’s assemble-to-order architecture have correspondents in today’s enterprise and segment architectures. Enterprise architectures – sliced and diced into segment architectures – are multi-layered model-driven concoctions anchored to a solid fundament of business processes, which, at least in principle, support the identification of potential redundancies (be it in terms of investments, system capabilities, data, or technologies) . What stands out in Zachman’s paradigm is the focus on assets as a driver for architectural priorities.

Which triggers my question: does anyone out there use asset-preservation (as opposed to cost-avoidance or cost-reductions) as the criteria for identifying high-priorities segments or areas to be architected?

If so, what industry are you in and what do you consider to be your organization’s primary assets?

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