Why TOGAF is the Framework to Unite IT and the Business

Business transformation is driving a change in the relationship between IT and the business. Internal and external forces are requiring organizations to be more responsive to customer needs and achieve operational and technological efficiencies. IT professionals traditionally only had to focus on the technology architecture. Now, the overall enterprise architecture must be considered in order to eliminate barriers between technology capabilities and business strategy.

What is TOGAF®?

The Open Group’s Architecture Framework, TOGAF, is a globally recognized standard for developing enterprise architecture. The comprehensive framework includes techniques and a set of supporting tools to provide organizations with the capability to ensure all architectural components are aligned to the strategic direction of the business.

The Benefits of TOGAF

  • Ensure that everyone speaks the same language.
  • Avoid lock-in to proprietary solutions by standardizing on open methods for enterprise architecture.
  • Save time and money, and utilize resources more effectively.
  • Achieve demonstrable return on investment (ROI).

TOGAF Summary

The TOGAF framework can best be illustrated by the following five layers, as defined by The Open Group:

  1. Architecture Principles, Vision and Requirements: This layer describes the initial phase of an architecture development cycle. It includes information about defining the scope, identifying the stakeholders, creating the architecture vision, and obtaining approvals.
  2. Business Architecture: Describes the development of a business architecture to support an agreed architecture vision.
  3. Information Systems Architecture: This layer describes the development of information systems architectures for an architecture project including the development of data and application architectures.
  4. Technology Architecture: This layer describes the development of the technology architecture for an architecture project.
  5. Architecture Realization: This layer is the realization of the architectural components that are necessary for driving business value.

Traditionally, IT professionals have been focused on just the Technology Architecture layer, as well as specific technologies and technology solutions. Limiting the focus to a single layer is equivalent to working in a silo—making it nearly impossible to achieve a holistic view of the business. Attention needs to be devoted to all layers to ensure proper alignment with business principles, vision, requirements and architecture.

Organizations increasingly require IT professionals to gain a more thorough understanding of the business to ensure that technology solutions adequately support business requirements, vision and strategy. Incorporating TOGAF methods facilitates an understanding of the business and achieves IT results that help drive business value.

For a more detailed look at how organizations can ensure technology is aligned with business strategies, see my white paper, The Power of Linking Business Analysis and TOGAF® to Achieve IT Results.

Related Courses
TOGAF 9.1 Level 1 and 2

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