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TOGAF Adaption for Small and Medium Enterprises · PDF fileTOGAF Adaption for Small and Medium...

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  • TOGAF Adaption for Small and MediumEnterprises

    Rebekka Alm and Matthias Wissotzki

    The University of Rostock, Institute of Computer Science, Chair of BusinessInformation Systems, Albert-Einstein-Str. 22, 18059 Rostock, Germany

    {rebekka.alm, matthias.wissotzki}@uni-rostock.de

    Abstract. Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) includes theplanning, management, control and improvement of enterprise architec-ture. The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is the bestknown and most trusted enterprise architecture standard used to im-prove the operational eciency. It brings many benefits, but is also asso-ciated with costs. While the applicability to large enterprises is beyondquestion, the application in small and medium enterprises (SME) in con-sideration of costs and benefits is controversial. Scientific literature givesno satisfactory recommendation to SME. A survey with TOGAF expe-rienced users was performed to get a better understanding of the mostimportant parts of the framework and the possibility of adapting TO-GAF to the requirements of SME.

    Keywords: TOGAF, Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM), smalland medium enterprises (SME)

    1 Introduction

    Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) includes the planning, manage-ment, control and improvement of enterprise architecture [5, 12]. The OpenGroup Architecture Framework (TOGAF1) is the best known and most trustedenterprise architecture standard [10]. It includes a recognized methodology anda framework for enterprise architecture. TOGAF is used by leading companiesworldwide in order to improve the operational eciency2.

    There are four architecture layers in EAM that can be distinguished, whichare referred to in the context of TOGAF as business architecture, data architec-ture, application architecture and technology architecture. The development ofthese four interconnected architecture layers is fully supported by TOGAF. Theframework is divided into seven parts as shown in Fig. 1.

    The Architecture Development Method (ADM) is the core of TOGAF asshown in Fig. 1. The ADM is illustrated not only centered, but is connected


    2 An overview of the institutions and companies that use TOGAF: http://www3.opengroup.org/togaf/users-by-market-sector

  • Fig. 1. TOGAF Content Overview [9]

    to all the other parts. It describes the process of developing and managing theenterprise architecture life cycle.

    The development process is divided into eight stages. It is triggered by thepreparation phase and monitored by the requirements management. The archi-tectural requirements management is a continuous phase, ensuring requirementschanges are met through appropriate governance processes and are consideredin all other phases. Additionally all phases are divided into steps and each phasecontains well-defined inputs and outputs, which are processed or generated bythese steps. According to the standard document the numbering of the phasesis not fixed, but rather exemplary. The architect should change the order inconsideration of the requirements of the company, existing repositories and thetools used [9].

    The large size and complexity of such a framework makes it more dicult tohandle for the user [6]. This problem is well known and often cited as generalizedreason why a framework driven EAM is not profitable for SME. However, theproblem itself is barely addressed. The TOGAF documentation refers to theadaptability of the framework [9]. Several reasons for adaption are mentioned,one being the need for a customized, possibly reduced form of the framework forSME. However, no indication is given what parts should be reduced in this case.

    There are a variety of reasons for implementing EAM, such as summarizedby Weinberger [15]:

  • Supports delivery of the business strategy Eective management and exploitation of information is key to business

    sucess and competitive advantage Manage stakeholder concerns that needed to be addressed by IT systems Manage complexity and changes to business/IT Enables the right balance between IT eciency and business innovation Improvement of transparency and manage risks Optimizes the (fragmented) legacy processes (manual and automated) to an

    integrated environment

    The applicability to large enterprises is beyond question, as The Open Groupsown website lists some familiar names3. Yet there is no sucient exploration onwhether the implementation of TOGAF in SME could be reasonable.

    To answer this question two research approaches were used that will be intro-duced in Sect. 2. The approach and results of the literature analysis are describedin Sect. 3. Here the problem of Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) inSME is explained and pros and cons of TOGAF are compared. Since the prob-lem has not been addressed satisfactorily by the literature sources, a survey wasperformed. The contents and results of the survey are presented in Sect. 4 andlimitations are assessed in Sect. 5.

    2 Research Approach

    The first research approach used by this paper is a methodological review of re-search results. The approach aims to be transparent, conclusive, and repeatablefor the audience. The purpose of this paper is to summarize knowledge on TO-GAF and to identify its applicability for SME. We have conducted a systematicliterature review based on the guidelines of Kitchenham et al. [13]:

    1. Formulation of the research questions to define the important topics andrelevant research fields.

    2. Identification of literature sources covering TOGAF and EAM3. Selection of papers for inclusion in the analysis4. Data extraction from selected papers5. Presentation of results6. Interpretation of results

    Results of the literature review are summarized in Sect. 3. A preliminaryoverview has shown a limited amount of existing scientific papers with relevanceto this topic, as well as limited availability and access to the few sources weidentified. Therefore we decided to validate our conclusions through a survey.

    A survey is defined in the following way [8]:

    The purpose of a survey is to produce statistics, that is, quantitative ornumerical descriptions of some aspects of the study population.


  • The main way of collecting information is by asking questions; their answersconstitute the data to be analyzed.

    Generally information is to be collected from only a fraction of the popula-tion, that is a sample, rather than from every member of the population.

    Relevant research questions were identified through the literature review. Astarget population a sample of TOGAF certified experienced users was chosen.The survey was performed web-based4. Approach and results are represented inSect. 4.

    3 State of the Art

    This chapter provides an overview of the approach in the search for literatureon the subject of TOGAF in SME. The eort associated with the developmentof an enterprise architecture by applying TOGAF should produce appropriatebenefits. SME do not have the same means such as large companies and applyingEAM can result in noteworthy costs. It should be answered, what changes tothe approach could significantly reduce the eort for SME. It would be helpfulto analyze case studies of small and medium enterprises, which successfully useTOGAF or had reason to cancel a planned deployment. The list of publications5

    on The Open Group website contains some case studies. These, however, referto global players, therefore large companies. For the systematic literature reviewthere were used the academic search engines Springerlink and Bielefeld AcademicSearch Engine (BASE). Due to the lack of relevant results the general searchengine Google was used as well.

    Springerlink The advanced search in full text for TOGAF returned 348documents. The limitation of the search on title and abstract reduced thenumber to 22 hits. From this list only six titles were available from thenetwork of the University of Rostock [14, 7, 14]. These articles were notapplicable to the context of SME.

    Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) The default search with thekeyword TOGAF in BASE provided a set of 62 articles. This search yieldedno relevant results, since none of the articles were based on small and mediumenterprises, or if so, only in an indirect way.

    Google The search on Google Scholar6 was also discouraging. Following key-words were used in the search: TOGAF experiences, TOGAF in SME,TOGAF publication, TOGAF small medium business and TOGAF.This search yielded few relevant new results. To achieve further referencelitererature it was sought for general EAM in SME. The main result ofthis search was the book by Keuntje and Barkow [11], in which the relevanceof EAM for SME is analyzed. Since the literature results on Google Scholar

    4 LimeSurvey: http://www.limesurvey.org/de5https://www2.opengroup.org/ogsys/jsp/publications/PublicationsFree.jsp


  • were still not satisfactory, the same approach was repeated for Googles gen-eral search engine. Result of this search were some interesting articles withinstructions for use and adaptation of TOGAF in general and SME in par-ticular, however, no scientific publications.

    Results. Keuntje and Barkow investigate in [11] the relevance of EAM for themiddle class and analyze it regarding two drivers for EAM they identified:

    1. To support the systematic, holistic alignment of IT activities to current andfuture business requirements

    2. Management of complexity of the application landscape and associated in-frastructure

    The first point is for any company of interest, for SME as for large companiesalike. Critically is the question of the need for specific methods, models or possi-bly software solutions

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