|عنوان فارسی مقاله:||ارزیابی معماری سازمانی: بررسی ادبیات منظم|
|عنوان انگلیسی مقاله:||ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE EVALUATION: A SYSTEMATIC LITERATURE REVIEW|
|رشته های مرتبط:||مهندسی فناوری اطلاعات و مدیریت، معماری سازمانی، مدیریت سیستم های اطلاعات، مدیریت کسب و کار و سیستم های اطلاعاتی پیشرفته|
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By being holistically preoccupied with coherency among organizational elements such as organizational strategy, business needs and the IT functions role in supporting the business, enterprise architecture (EA) has grown to become a core competitive advantage. Though EA is a maturing research area, little has been done to understand how e.g. projects, application or other organizational elements contribute to the overall EA. The current paper presents a literature review on EA evaluation. Different types of evaluation are a necessity in order to ensure that EA demands are being met by disparate IT initiatives. Still, EA evaluation has attracted little attention within academic literature. Thus, the aim of the current review is to get an overview of the topic, which can serve as a foundation for further development of the field. Overall, the study shows that while little research has been done within this area, research is especially lacking regarding empirical studies of how EA evaluation unfolds in practice, while holistic views on EA evaluation is almost non-existing.
Keywords: Enterprise architecture, evaluation, literature review, measurements
1 Introduction In a world more and more driven by information technologies, and where increased efficiency through IT and enhanced decision-making through the use of data has become pivotal in order to obtain, or sustain, competitive advantages, EA, and related fields, have become more important than ever (Zachman 1997). Owing to the fact that EA, at its core, facilitates: “The analysis and documentation of an enterprise in its current and future states from an integrated strategy, business, and technology perspective” (Bernard 2012), EA enables coherence across the business – between business units, strategy, management and IT. Traditionally, EA has been concerned with understanding and representing the fundamental component of the enterprise through modelling methods and notations. Meanwhile, little attention has been paid to the set-up and implementation of EA concepts in organizations (Löhe and Legner 2012). As also pointed out by Löhe and Legner (2012), EA management (EAM) suffers from not being properly embedded into the organization and existing IT management practices. Thus, while EA research and practice has mainly been preoccupied with the overall analysis and documentation of the enterprise, knowledge is lacking when it comes to how the ideas and architectural plans are realized through everyday projects, system implementations etc. and how these elements contribute to the architecture. As a result of this lacking operationalization of EA, architectural teams in businesses and the field in general, have often been criticized for acting as an ivory tower (Koch 2005), whose models and theoretical discussions are disconnected from the practical concerns of businesses – thus not adding any value to the organization. Since EA is a rather new field, its attention to the conceptual levels seems like a natural point of departure. On the other hand, it also seems timely – more than 25 years after Zachman’s seminal paper (1987) –now to consider how the goals and benefits defined through EA can be ensured through the operational activities that shape and transform today’s enterprises. Furthermore, by moving from being a predominantly technical discipline focused on narrow technological problems and solutions towards being a business discipline, EA needs to provide more clear indications that IT initiatives are moving the business in the right direction (Fonstad and Subramani 2009). How to link both individual projects objectives with enterprise-wide objectives has been explored by Fonstad and Robertson (2006), who stress the importance of ensuring alignment between the three levels of the business: company level, business level and project team level. This is done through for example company-wide governance and linking mechanism (Fonstad and Robertson 2006). Though these general guidelines exist, both practice and theory seems to lacks actual indications on how each project contributes to the overall architecture. This motivated the research behind the current paper, with the aim to address the lacking knowledge on how EA can be implemented by seeking to understand the ways to evaluate how different elements contribute to a given architecture. The outset of the paper was the following research question: “What is the current knowledge and research on EA evaluation?” and “What are the research gaps that need to be addresses within this topic?” The paper is organized as follows. The next section further conceptualizes EA and EA evaluation in order to give the reader an overview of the studied field. This conceptualization of EA was additionally intended to guide the further analysis of the reviewed literature by identifying common ways to evaluate the contribution to EA. The conceptualization is followed by an elaboration of the methodology of the review, and successively the analysis of the contributions identified through the search process. Hereafter, current research on evaluating EA is discussed. Based on the analysis and discussion, a conclusion is made on the state of current research and directions for possible further research – hereby addressing the two research questions. In order to better understand how EA can be evaluated, an overall understanding of EA and its main concepts is necessary. Accordingly, the following paragraph will provide a conceptualization of EA as a foundation for the further review.