Information Systems and Enterprise Architecture: An insight to Zachman’s Initial Ideas on his Framework.

Implementation of Information Systems

The development of information systems have become more complex. The development of the systems and the cost of development has to lead to that the systems can minimize the barriers (constraints of the organization system).

The complexity of the systems leads to issues that the system only adds value to the organization when it is implemented. The barriers that have been diminished by the information systems have lead to that many organizations have become more flat in their structure.

The flatness of the structure leads to decentralization. The decentralized organization will end in anarchy if the system is not build upon an architecture. Zachman deduces that the information systems architecture is related to strategy both the corporate strategy and the IT strategy.

Since it becomes of strategic importance then the enterprise has to invest more attention to the concept of the Information Systems Architecture. The meaning of an Information Systems architecture is losing its meaning without the creation of a framework (this was later known as the Enterprise Architecture framework or Zachman’s Framework).

The framework and the paper is not supposed to present a new strategy planning framework though as before mentioned the foundation for IS architecture is closely related to the concepts like IT strategy and business strategy. The Focus on Architecture The framework was in its origin based on ideas that origin from the architecture paradigm. This means that Zachman is of the idea that enterprises (organizations and companies / corporations) can learn from the thousands of years of experience. The Bubble Charts and the Process Along The first step for an architect is to draw a bubble chart. The bubble chart shows the relationships among the various components.

Thereto the bubble char indicates the shapes and the size of the building. The purpose of the bubble chart is to deal with the communication between the architect (later the Enterprise Architect) and the customers. Then the bubble chart is refined to something a bit more “serious”. This is called the “the architect’s plan” of which the contractors and the sub-contracters will draw their plans. It is notable that the plan might change several times since the estimated costs will lead to changes in the design since the cost is a constraint. This means that the chart has to include more information in a more precise sketchup. Which leads us further into the analogy. The contractor then redraws the architects plan so it fits with the perspective of the persons who are building the systems. Zachman summarizes the various design plan purposes in a table similar to this. It is worth mentioning that the “Nature or Purpose”:

Representation Nature or Purpose (architecture) Nature or Purpose (EA)

Bubble charts

Basic concept of building

Basic outline of architecture.

Architect’s drawings.

Final building to be seen by the owner.

“AS IS” or “TO BE” outlined for the decision makers.

Architect’s plans.

Final building to be seen by the designer.

Transformation plan or a more detailed view on “AS IS” and “TO BE”.

Contractor’s plans.

Final building to be seen by the contractor.

This is the IT infrastructure and the various other infrastructures.

Shop plans.

Sub – contractors designs or sub segments.

Various artifacts within the various plans and charts.


The physical building.

The transformed Enterprise (“TO BE”).


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