Humans often expect concepts to come with innate if vague meanings before being compelled to withstand endless and futile controversies around definitions. Going the other way would be a better option: start with differences, weed out irrelevant ones, and use remaining ones to advance.
Concerning enterprise, it would start with the difference between business and architecture, and proceed with the wholeness of data, information, and knowledge.
Business Architecture is an Oxymoron
Business being about time and competition, success is not to be found in recipes but would depend on particularities with regard to objectives, use of resources, and timing. These drives are clearly at odds with architectures rationales for shared, persistent, and efficient structures and mechanisms. As a matter of fact, dealing with the conflicting nature of business and architecture concerns can be seen as a key success factor for enterprise architects, with information standing at the nexus.
Data as Resource, Information as Asset, Knowledge as Service
Paradoxically, the need of a seamless integration of data, information, and knowledge means that the distinction between them can no longer be overlooked.
- Data is captured through continuous and heterogeneous flows from a wide range of sources.
- Information is built by adding identity, structure, and semantics to data. Given its shared and persistent nature it is best understood as asset.
- Knowledge is information put to use through decision-making. As such it is best understood as a service.
Ensuring the distinction as well as the integration must be a primary concern of enterprise architects.
Sustainable Success Depends on a Balancing Act
Success in business is an unfolding affair, on one hand challenged by circumstances and competition, on the other hand to be consolidated by experience and lessons learnt. Meeting challenges while warding off growing complexity will depend on business agility and the versatility and plasticity of organizations and systems. That should be the primary objective of enterprise architects.
- Where to Begin with EA
- Enterprise Architect Booklet
- Capabilities vs Processes
- Architecture Capabilities
- Feasibility & Capabilities
- Agile Architectures: Versatility meets Plasticity
- Business Agility vs Systems Entropy
- EA: Entropy Antidote
- EA: The Matter of Layers
- EA: Maps & Territories
- EA: Work Units & Workflows
- EA: Legacy & Latency
- Ontologies & Enterprise Architecture