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Enterprise Architecture


MIT CISR defines enterprise architecture as “the organizing logic for business process and IT capabilities reflecting the integration and standardization requirements of the firm’s operating model.” We view architecture as a strategic, rather than technical, exercise. A firm’s architecture describes a shared vision of how a firm will operate—thus providing a shared understanding of the role of IT. We have found enterprise architecture to be a critical tool for aligning IT and business strategy and for driving business value from IT. We emphasize three key concepts in our research:

  1. Operating model: a simple statement of the integration and standardization requirements for the firm’s core processes (“Forget Strategy: Focus IT on Your Operating Model”).
  2. Core diagram: a visual representation of the firm’s key business processes, shared data, and integrating technology (“Enterprise Architecture: Depicting a Vision of the Firm”).
  3. Architecture maturity: a description of the journey an established firm embarks upon as it transitions into more strategic use of IT ( “Maturity Matters: How Firms Generate Value from Enterprise Architecture”).


Enterprise Architecture: Four operating modelsEnterprise Architecture builds agility over timeEnterprise Architecture: Unification model core diagram


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Title Author Type Date
Building Business Agility: Cloud-Based Services and Digitized Platform MaturityFonstad, Nils O.
Ross, Jeanne W.
Research Briefing2015-02-19
Building Business Agility: Cloud-Based Services and Digitized Platform Maturity (Audio)Fonstad, Nils O.
Ross, Jeanne W.
Architect Your Business—Not Just IT!Ross, Jeanne W.
Mocker, Martin
Sebastian, Ina
Research Briefing2014-12-18
Continuous Transformation at IBM: Addressing Disruption from New TechnologiesMocker, Martin
Kagan, Martin H.
Ross, Jeanne W.
Working Paper2014-12-09
Making Architecture Matter Beyond ITMocker, MartinVideo2014-11-06