Every organization has one. Sometimes it is complex and rapidly changing; sometimes it is relatively straightforward and stable. It supports an organization of 50,000 employees with billions of dollars in revenues or 100 employees with modest revenues. Whether or not it is formally documented and understood, it exists. What we are referring to is the enterprise architecture (EA). In most organizations, the enterprise architecture is viewed as an abstract concept that has little value. This view is false. In a world of rapid change, the enterprise architecture is real, has significant benefits and is more important now than ever.

Picture this: Your organization wants to embrace a new information technology, change a business process, decommission an application or conclude a merger or acquisition. Wouldn't it be great if you could figure out all the different changes you must make to business processes, roles and responsibilities, databases, applications and the underlying information technologies at the click of a mouse? With an EA, the impact of change can be easier to articulate and can be achieved with a much faster turnaround than traditional methods for impact assessment and gap analysis. An EA provides the blueprint of the current state, helps to identify the specific areas most affected by the change and then sets up a blueprint to transition to the future state.

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