Reference and Enterprise Architectures

Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) is an established function in many enterprises responsible for a systematic and coordinated development of business, information systems and IT technology. The de-facto industry standard TOGAF (developed and © by the Open Group) distinguishes between the business architecture (business model, organisation structure, processes), information architecture (data architecture and application architecture) and the technology architecture (hardware and software infrastructures and their deployment). Many enterprises frequently are forced to modify their business models or their established business architectures because of new market demands, changes in regulations or new technologies. IT often is not only a key resource to facilitate these changes but also essential for daily operations. Enterprise Architectures help to visualise the dependencies within and between the different architectures, develop and analyse alternative options for change, supervise the current status of the architecture or plan changes and roadmaps.

In the field of, the chair Business Information Systems conducts a number of research activities related to EAM methods and to Reference-Enterprise Architectures (R-EA). Methods concern the management of capabilities in EAM, the integration of EAM and Enterprise Modelling, policies and notations in EAM, and EAM use in small and medium-sized enterprises. Reference architectures aim at identifying and capturing typical and recurring architecture elements, their structures and relationships in a defined application domain, e.g., an industry sector. The chair has been working on a R-EA for IT-based compliance for financial industries (project COFIN) and medium-sized utility companies (project ECLORA). In the context of these R-EA development projects not only the actual R-EA were constructed but also the methodology for developing R-EA has been subject of research.