ABIS Infor - 2011-08
TOGAF is an industry standard enterprise architecture framework to develop an enterprise information systems architecture for use within an organisation. TOGAF is a definitive and proven step-by-step method for developing and maintaining enterprise architecture. It covers four principal architecture domains: business, data, applications, and technology.
What is TOGAF?
The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) has emerged as one of the most widely accepted methods for developing enterprise architecture. Originating as the Technical Architecture for Information Management (TAFIM) in the US Department of Defense, the framework was adopted by the Open Group in the mid-1990s. The first TOGAF specification was introduced in 1995, and the latest version, TOGAF 9 (the Enterprise Edition), was released in 2009.
TOGAF is an industry standard enterprise architecture framework that is available free of cost to any organisation wishing to develop an enterprise information systems architecture for use within that organisation. More than 60 percent of the Fortune 50 and 80 percent of the Global Forbes 50 use TOGAF to reduce time, costs and risks associated with developing an enterprise architecture and improve overall business agility. TOGAF certification programs exist for individuals and over 15000 people have been TOGAF certified worldwide. TOGAF enables organisations to standardise on an open method for IT architecture and avoid lock-in to the proprietary methods of major vendors.
What is Enterprise Architecture and why are companies doing it?
Enterprise architecture is the capture of all behaviour that goes on in an organisation: the data that is processed, who does what, where everything is, and why everything is done. In a sentence, the who, what, why, when, where, and how of the business at every level from high-level corporate goals to the code of low-level programs that implement business processes used to achieve those goals.
A good enterprise architecture enables you to achieve the right balance between IT efficiency and business innovation. It allows individual business units to innovate safely in their pursuit of competitive advantage. At the same time, it ensures the needs of the organisation for an integrated IT strategy are met, permitting the closest possible synergy across the extended enterprise. The advantages that result from a good enterprise architecture bring important business benefits, which are clearly visible in the net profit or loss of a company or organisation.
How TOGAF works and why companies are now starting to use it
What makes TOGAF popular is that it is a definitive and proven step-by-step method for developing and maintaining enterprise architecture. It covers the four principal architecture domains:
- A Business (or Business Process) Architecture - this defines the business strategy, governance, organisation, and key business processes.
- A Data Architecture - this describes the structure of an organisation's logical and physical data assets and data management resources.
- An Applications Architecture - this kind of architecture provides a blueprint for the individual application systems to be deployed, their interactions, and their relationships to the core business processes of the organisation.
- A Technology Architecture - this describes the software infrastructure intended to support the deployment of core, mission-critical applications. This type of software is sometimes referred to as "middleware''
It also takes into account establishing the goals and objectives of the enterprise architecture effort itself, guiding users on determining how much of the enterprise is needed to model to realise significant gains, and the realities of getting buy-in from throughout the organisation.
Technical advantages of TOGAF
The technical advantages that result from a good enterprise architecture based on the TOGAF framework bring important business benefits:
- A more efficient IT operation:
- Lower software development, support, and maintenance costs
- Increased portability of applications
- Improved interoperability and easier system and network management
- Improved ability to address critical enterprise-wide issues like security
- Easier upgrade and exchange of system components
- Better return on existing investment, reduced risk for future investment:
- Reduced complexity in IT infrastructure
- Maximum return on investment in existing IT infrastructure
- The flexibility to make, buy, or out-source IT solutions
- Reduced risk overall in new investment, and the costs of IT ownership
- Faster, simpler, and cheaper procurement:
- Buying decisions are simpler, because the information governing procurement is readily available in a coherent plan.
- The procurement process is faster - maximising procurement speed and flexibility without sacrificing architectural coherence.
More info about TOGAF and benefits of TOGAF certification can be found on the ABIS web site: http://www.abis.be/html/en1594.html.