An enterprise architecture defines the global overview of all IT systems (applications) and their connections (interfaces) to each other. The IT department has per definition the function to steer all IT-related activities in an enterprise. Unfortunately, if the IT has no concrete knowledge of the existence of all IT systems and no idea of the communication between the systems with each other, the department is more or less a ship without control. As in my experience, most companies face such situations. When I startet at the Trodat Trotec Group I wanted to change this situation and proactively create a steering wheel for the IT.
Trodat Trotec Group GmbH
The primary goal was to identify a middleware solution to master the growing interface complexity at the moment and in future. The secondary goal was to get a first overview of all systems and applications running globally and all connections between each other.
To reach a more or less complete enterprise architecture map a series of workshops with various stakeholders and people with system and interface knowledge was necessary in the first place. Additionally, research and analysis of existing documents about systems, applications and interfaces was done. A third step was ongoing completion of the map by asking specific stakeholders for further knowledge.
A scientific analysis about how enterprise architectures could be represented, ecplained that most companies stick to database or excel-based documentations. Therefore, an excel list about all gathered data objects, interfaces and systems (applications) was created. To show the IT department and other stakeholders the complexity of the architecture in one picture a visual representation was created and regularly updated.
Another outcome was the concept of defining the ownership of all systems and interfaces. Many systems and interfaces were existing, but have no concrete owner neither on the IT nor on the business side. Each system and interface got at least one IT (service) owner who is acting as a contact person for detailed questions to the system or the interface.
The map was later the basis for the selection of a middleware solution.