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What is Enterprise Architecture?

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TOGAF 9.2 Foundation
What is Enterprise Architecture?

Course Description

This module starts by explaining what Enterprise Architecture is, and looks at the core concepts of the TOGAF Framework. This module is supported by videos and a PDF, and is followed by a quiz to help support your understanding.

Learning Objectives

This module will cover:  

  • Enterprise Architecture  
  • The Architecture Development Method  
  • The Architecture Content Framework  
  • The Enterprise Continuum  
  • The Architecture Repository  
  • Architecture Capability 

 Intended Audience  

This course is intended for anyone looking to understand Enterprise Architecture.  It is helpful however to have several years' experience in IT in a variety of roles, or to have an understanding of Enterprise or IT Architecture. 

Prerequisites of the Certifications 

There are no formal pre-requisites for this course.  


We welcome all feedback and suggestions - please contact us at qa.elearningadmin@qa.com to let us know what you think. 



- The TOGAF framework details a standard of enterprise architecture. To understand enterprise architecture within the context of the TOGAF framework, it's best to look at each of these words separately. So, what is an enterprise and what do we mean by architecture? Let's start with enterprise. An enterprise can be thought of as a collection of organizations that share common goals. There are many kinds of enterprise such as corporations; government departments; then smaller parts of those corporations and departments; holding company structures where the emphasis is on common ownership; multinational organizations such as the UN, UNICEF, or the EU; partnerships and alliances, such as the space industry, where both government funded and privately funded organizations closely collaborate such as NASA and SpaceX. The idea of an extended enterprise also exists to address the close relationships that exist. For example, between a retailing enterprise and its supply chain. So next, what is architecture? The TOGAF framework says it is the structure of components, their inter-relationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time. These components exist at the business, information system, and information technology levels. Enterprise architecture embraces four particular domains recognized by the mnemonic BDAT. Business, data, applications, and technology. So, why do we need enterprise architecture? Well, enterprise architecture coordinates and integrates all of these components so that their used to support the business strategy of the enterprise. By doing this, enterprises can gain competitive advantage. Lastly, what are the benefits of an enterprise architecture? It creates a more efficient business operation and looks at things like lowering the operational and management costs, sharing business capabilities across the organization, and improving business productivity. It generates a more efficient IT operation through lower software development and maintenance costs, easier upgrades, increased portability of applications, and the ability to address critical enterprise-wide issues such as security. It generates a better return on existing investments by reducing the risk for future investments and financial risk; maximizing return on investment; and allowing for the flexibility to make, buy, or even outsource business and IT operations. On top of this it enables simpler, faster, and cheaper procurement of systems for the organization. Enterprise architecture provides a strategic context for the evolution of systems, which is particularly important now with the huge emphasis on digital transformation. Whether the IT infrastructure continues using a physical IT infrastructure or moves to an infrastructure as a service, such as a cloud model, will be the decision of the architect. They'll need to take into account what the organization's goals are and how the designed architecture enables meeting these goals. And that's it for this video. Next, we'll be looking at the core concepts of the TOGAF framework.

About the Author
John Coleshaw
Senior Learning Consultant in Business Systems Development

In a varied career that began in 1974, John Coleshaw has trodden a relatively unusual path whereby his roles have split evenly between Business and IT. In the early 80s he was the Credit Manager for a multi-national electronics company, and at the same time built a computerised financial and credit analysis tool using the original version of the IBM PC. In the mid-80s, whilst performing the role of senior underwriter in the Credit Insurance industry, he managed the IT system, as well as developed an innovative risk analysis tool. At the start of the 90s, as a manager in a financial information company, he developed an early form of expert system whose purpose was to predict corporate failure.

His current career as an IT trainer began in 1998, specialising at the time in Object Oriented programming languages. In 2002 he started developing and delivering IT Architecture training and has now had the opportunity to meet and discuss architecture matters with over a thousand architects. The courses he trains now span both The Open Group (TOGAF and ArchiMate), and BCS.

He has a book to his name, one written in the late 80s on Credit Risk Analysis.