Enterprise Analysis

A Big Picture About Enterprise Architectures: Why do we need them?

The increasing competitiveness drives organizations to promote change in an attempt to improve the quality of the services and products they offer. In recent years, many of the efforts related to managing change in organizations have been conducted in the scope of Business Process Reengineering (BPR) activities (Hammer, et al., 1993) (Hammer, 1990). BPR is based on the assumption that change in business processes should generate radical improvements in critical performance measures (such as cost, quality, service and speed) (Hammer, et al., 1993). Moreover, it is believed that implementing radical changes in business processes is the way to achieve dramatic and satisfactory results (Hammer, et al., 1993) (Hammer, 1990).

However, predicting how a given enterprise environment should respond to changes by simply adopting a business process centered view is unfeasible since there are a large number of issues to be considered, such as infrastructure, power and politics, managerial control, organizational culture, among others (Yu, 1995). In turn, these issues provide potentially conflicting quality criteria whose prioritization (or postponement) impacts in the performance of the organization as a whole.

To properly address the interconnection among these factors in organizations often requires the utilization of an enterprise architecture. An enterprise architecture comprises in “a coherent whole of principles, methods and models that are used in the design and realization of an enterprise’s organizational structure, business processes, information systems, and infrastructure” (Lankhorst, 2005). Thus, the insights provided by enterprise architectures help overcoming the difficulty of managing organizations, allowing the determination of needs and priorities for change a given business perspective (Jonkers, et al., 2006).

By Evellin & Paulo


Hammer, M. 1990. Reengineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate. Harvard Business Review, 1990.

Hammer, M. y Champy, J. 1993. Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution. London, England. Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Yu, Eric. 1995. Modeling Strategic Relationships for Process Reengineering. PhD. Thesis. Departament of Computer Sciences, University of Toronto.

Lankhorst, Marc. 2005. Enterprise Architecture at Work - Modelling, Communication, and Analysis. Springer-Verlag.

Jonkers, Henk, et al. 2006. Enterprise architecture: Management tool and blueprint for the organization. Information Systems Frontiers, Springer. Netherlands.


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