When doing Enterprise Architecture for any organisation, most people tend to start from bottom up. They would map out the infrastructure architecture (more or less what assets they have), application architecture and may be their information architecture. What often gets left behind is the business architecture, fundamentally what is the organisation trying to achieve and does all its assets support that objective. The key to achieving this is to have a solid understanding of what business motivations are what are its strategy and then map it back to its applications and infrastructure, while maintaining all the relationships that exist between all the entities.
Just trying to visualise (Business Strategy to Function to Application and finally to Infrastructure) the scenario will send most people into a head spin, often we try to visualise the complexity using Visio or PowerPoint. These are good presentation tools but lack the depth when it comes to modelling dynamic relationships. This then leads to simplifications and the risk of abstracting the reality away just so we can fit it into the modelling tool of choice.
In next couple of weeks I will try and blog around this concept and how it then translates into SOA (Business Services vs. Web Services).
Another blog from inside Microsoft Word 2007 Beta as you can see I am loving this.