Enterprise architecture supports management, strategy implementation, the continuous development of operations and services, the control of change and complexity, the managed use of digitalisation and interoperability. Enterprise architecture is part of the strategic work of an organisation, its management process and financial and operational planning.
Enterprise architecture work follows the enterprise architecture method (Public Administration Recommendation 179 v 2.0), which is based on the international, open and most widely used enterprise architecture framework, TOGAF® (v. 9.1). This method models both the current state and the target state at the principle level and from four different perspectives. The outcome of modelling is the descriptions shown in the diagram in Recommendation 179.
- The principle level describes the reasons for the development of operations, such as laws and statutes or the strategic goals of the organisation. The planning done at this level and the principles and policies it produces lead to guidelines at a more precise level and descriptions from different perspectives, which are an important part of the strategy implementation plan.
- The enterprise architecture describes the organisation’s operations, services and operational structures.
- Information architecture describes the information used by the organisation, its structures and relationships. Information architecture supports semantic interoperability.
- Information system architecture describes the organisation’s main information systems (including applications), their relationships and properties.
- Technology architecture describes the organisation’s technical infrastructure and technology choices. Technology architecture describes the organisation’s ICT infrastructure, standards and structures so that they can as a whole support the organisation’s objectives in the best possible way.
The current state of enterprise architecture describes how the elements forming public administration – the organisations, data, operators, operating processes, data systems and technical device and user environments – currently relate to one another and work as a whole. The purpose of the current state descriptions is to help in the better understanding of the links between organisations and the internal structures of the organisations, which improves the management of the existing environment.
The target state architecture is a tool for strategic and operational management which is used to develop and harmonise operations in accordance with the strategy. Enterprise architecture improves the ability of public administration organisations to achieve the desired future. It allows development of solutions to be proactive, and it can be linked to the development of core activities.
Using the descriptions of the target state architecture, an operating environment can be planned and created that can be managed and adjusted according to the changing needs of operations. In this environment, all elements are interoperable and the main components are implemented only once.
Development road map
The third tool in the architecture method is the development road map. It describes the implementation of the strategy: how the organisation will be developed in the long run towards the target state over a period of years. The aim is to communicate the plan and stages of developing the architecture, so that stakeholders can anticipate future outcomes and projects This creates a basis for achieving common objectives and avoiding overlap.