What’s New with the Zachman Framework?

Someone asked me a philosophical, yet, appropriate question the other day.

Why do I still continue to use a very simple framework in my coaching and consulting with Enterprise Architecture? I began using something called BAIT (business, application, information and technology), and turned to something else – BOAIT (business, organization, application, information and technology).

I thought for quite a while, and went through what has changed since I started working in the Enterprise Architecture space.

We went from application architecture, through system architecture (which now might be known as technical architecture). I saw Meta put forward a combined application and data layer called solution, and now we’ve hit the peak in the area of solution architecture (whereas no one really speaks of application architecture anymore).

Do we use Zachman, Dodaf, FEAF, or something else? It’s all a matter of classification, and the purpose is communication. The clearest method has to be sufficient. The rest is background noise – it’s about doing and using architecture, not just defining it.

My answer is simple. I started with a very excellent book that was very appropriate in the mid 90’s. It is Steven Spewak’s Enterprise Architecture book. At the end of the day, it all boils down to Applications (solutions if you may), Data and Technology. The business drives all of the other architectures, as they are wound within the strategic plans. None of that can really change – we can add SOA, Security Architecture, or change how we term what goes on in the operations and technical areas and we will still boil it down to all of this.

Our business strategy drives which data we need to collect, process and transmit. The systems/applications and solutions will provide mechanisms to make these transformations, and the technology in the areas of software, hardware, configuration, etc. will physically allow it to be so.

Nothing has really changed my perspective – just some of the details around how and why I would collect, analyze and interpret what I’ve categorized.

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