Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The nature of enterprise architecture

"An architecture never refers to reality, but only to some abstraction of it." Marc Lankhorst.

I like this quotation and it also reminds me of another maxim I hear in enterprise architecture circles that goes something like "as soon as you model an enterprise (or any part of it) the model is wrong." Change is inevitable. In enterprise architecture, it is the process of abstraction that allows us to plan in a state of flux.

This is why TOGAF includes the notion of transitional architectures. The truth is that you never will, and nor should you, reach your enterprise target architecture; it is an aspirational goal. If you reach an end point or a point of stasis then something is very wrong. If you aren't changing, you either aren't growing or you aren't adapting to the ever changing context in which your enterprise exists.

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