n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - A framework for understanding and comparing enterprise architecture models

Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1019-567X



The different worlds of business and Information Technology (IT), and the necessity for their alignment to create business effectiveness and efficiency, are the topics of this study. Enterprise Architecture (EA) has been proposed as a tool to create business-IT alignment. Several EA models and frameworks have been proposed, each based on a different value-creation paradigm. Few case studies, however, demonstrate the integrated use of these models and frameworks.

This study addresses the need for a common reference for comparing alignment approaches in addressing business-IT alignment. More specifically, it analyses Enterprise Architecture (EA) frameworks and the components that are used to optimise business-IT alignment. Some common patterns are identified and re-packaged as part of a proposed business-IT alignment framework (BIAF). The conceptual BIAF components are used to demonstrate the interpretation of the framework for four prominent models : the Zachman Framework. the Open GroupArchitecture Framework (TOGAF), the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA), and the Gartner Enterprise Architecture Framework (GEAF).
The BIAF forms the foundation of the case-study approach to research in business-IT alignment in this study, and offers a framework for analysing business-IT alignment in a single organisation. The study also provides a common reference for cross-case business-IT alignment analyses for industry-related organisations.

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