Enterprise Architecture: A Reconceptualization Is Needed
Enterprise architecture (EA) is a description of an organization from an integrated business and IT perspective. Current literature conceptualizes EA as a comprehensive blueprint of an enterprise organized according to a logical framework and describing its current state, desired future state and migration roadmap. However, the current concept of EA originates from non-empirical sources, lacks demonstrated examples of its successful practical implementation and deviates from the real practical use of EA in organizations in multiple important aspects. Due to these and other problems the notion of EA needs to be reconceptualized in order to more accurately reflect empirical realities. In this paper, based on an extensive EA literature review, I describe the problems with the current concept of EA, demonstrate the critical inconsistencies between this concept and the real practice use of EA in organizations and illustrate them based on a recent exemplary case study of a successful EA practice. Although this paper justifies the need for the reconceptualization of EA and points to the most essential aspects of this reconceptualization, it does not offer an alternative ready-to-use conceptualization and represents only the first step towards developing a new, evidence-based concept of EA.