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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
Transforming the LEGO Group for the Digital EconomyAndersen, Peter
Ross, Jeanne W.
Working Paper2016-03-21
Jeanne Ross: Five ways to successfully face digital disruptionRoss, Jeanne W.Video2016-03-07
Design Your Platform for Business Unit Agility and PerformanceReynolds, Peter
Coltman, Tim
Queiroz, Magno
Tallon, Paul
Research Briefing2016-02-18
mBank: Creating the Digital BankFonstad, Nils O.
Woerner, Stephanie L.
Weill, Peter
Research Briefing2015-10-15
Thriving with Digital Disruption: Five PropositionsWeill, Peter
Ross, Jeanne W.
Woerner, Stephanie L.
Research Briefing2015-07-16