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The Beginner’s Guide to TOGAF and Enterprise Architecture

TOGAF which is also known as “The Open Group Architecture Framework,” is a methodology used by businesses for enterprise software development.

It helps businesses by providing a systematic approach in the form of tools, frameworks, etc. to reduce errors, budgets, and produce quality results.

As the business world is increasing its dependency on technology, more organizations are looking to use enterprise architecture to align their IT resources for achieving their goals.

Hence, there is an increasing demand for enterprise architects who are proficient in TOGAF.

The elements of TOGAF covers the complete lifecycle right from setting up to monitoring of EA, i.e., Enterprise Architecture. Here the six elements of The Open Group Architecture Framework:

  • Architecture Capability: The element provides the necessary models who are looking for setting up an Enterprise Architecture. It also defines the respective rules and responsibilities to the individual users.
  • Architecture Development Method: It is considered as the central element of TOGAF and provides a step-by-step method for creating an enterprise architecture.
  • Techniques and Guidelines: This element helps in customizing the enterprise architecture based on the nature of the business.
  • Reference Models: It provides two reference models for setting up an enterprise architecture, i.e., TRM and III-RM.
  • Enterprise Tools: It provides the necessary tools and taxonomies for finding the total activity output of the enterprise architecture.
  • Architecture Content Framework: It is an important element of the enterprise architecture which outlines the content framework of TOGAF.

The History of TOGAF

The history of computer and enterprise architecture starts way back in the 1960s.

The technology company IBM along with other organizations and universities found different ways to build an enterprise architecture even though they knew that all the required elements to create a network is far more complicated.

Nowadays, most organizations use the internet to make the processes easy to work and more transparent.

Enterprise architecture has become an important tool to utilize the benefits of the hardware, cloud, and for ensuring maximum security of data over various platforms.

TOGAF or “The Open Group Architecture Framework” was initially developed in the year 1995. Later many newer versions or models were created with different iterations and theories.

It is said that TOGAF was inspired by another framework known as TAFIM. The Defense Department of the United States stopped using TAFIM after a few years of the development of TOGAF.

The updated version of TOGAF, i.e., its seventh version was released in 2001. The following year, its eighth version. i.e., TOGAF 8 was published.

The latest version of TOGAF, i.e., TOGAF 9.1 was officially released in the year 2011.

TOGAF pillars

There are three pillars of TOGAF which helps an organization to achieve its goals. These pillars organize the technology in such a way that it aligns with the business goals and objectives.

As software relies on the collaboration with different business departments of Information Technology, TOGAF helps in getting all of them on the same page to improve the overall productivity of the business.

The three pillars of TOGAF includes:

  • Enterprise architecture domains – It is further divided into four areas which are also known as the “BDAT” areas:
  1. Business architecture – It defines the organization strategy, processes, and standards.
  2. Applications architecture – it helps in providing a blueprint for building application systems for business purposes.
  3. Data architecture – It documents all the structured data sets and related resources.
  4. Technical architecture – It describes all the hardware, software and necessary infrastructure for mission-critical elements.
  • ADM or Architecture Development Model  – It is used to develop the actual enterprise architecture with the help of performance engineering. It can also be customized according to the business needs.

Once the architecture is developed, then businesses can create several departments in interactive cycles, to ensure minimal loss and errors which helps the company to communicate effortlessly.

  • Enterprise Continuum – It analyzes and tracks different architecture solutions, and also provide customized industry-based solutions.

According to many industry experts, ADM is the core pillar which helps TOGAF to stand out from the other types of frameworks.

ADM helps in figuring out where the business actually is and where it should be in the other four architecture domains. It identifies the gap between the present position and long-term objectives.

Benefits of TOGAF

TOGAF helps businesses to accurately define their goals and help them understand where they actually want to be.

It defines a clear methodology for organizations to know what are the necessary steps they should take to reach a particular point and highlight any potential issues in advance.

Here are some of the benefits of TOGAF:

  • It makes enterprise architecture more effective – The enterprise architecture is considered as the blueprint of an organization which takes many elements into account including IT infrastructure, departments, and many more.

As the competition is increasing, organizations need to make changes and adapt themselves in the marketplace. You need to find out what are the latest technologies your competitors are using and how you can implement them for your business success.

Enterprise architectures create strategies and reduce the risks to get the most out of the given budget.

  • Career Growth and Recognition – The popularity of TOGAF is increasing, and in being used globally. Hence, if you are a certified professional, then you are applicable to a variety of roles in an organization which will helpful for your continuous growth. One can make a wise choice of undertaking a TOGAF certification course to prove his capabilities and widen his knowledge about the whole concept of TOGAF and its implementations in depth. A certification in the same is considered as a visible trust-mark and will give you an edge in the hiring process to acquire the desired job.
  • It has a common language across the globe – One of the best advantages of TOGAF is that it has a common terminology all over the world. Trained TOGAF professionals can communicate with themselves in a single common language. It is highly beneficial for an organization as it helps in collaborating with highly skilled professionals all over the world. As of today, there are more than seventy thousand TOGAF professionals all over the world. It also helps in focusing on company-wide issues and problems and executing the solutions as fast as possible.
  • It is highly flexible and compatible with different businesses – TOGAF provides all the necessary tools which are required by organizations for creating the common architectures which are compatible for them.

Instead of forcing a change, it focuses on proceeding effortlessly. Even if your company situated in different geographical locations and have different goals and services; a certified TOGAF professional can create a framework which is both practical and useful to you.

The Final Say

TOGAF is constantly evolving and its each new and updated version introduce new tools to improve the overall process.

Even after two decades of development, its core framework has not been changed which helps the professionals to use it effectively.

TOGAF can’t be considered as a miracle tool, but it does help an organization whenever it wants to incorporate new technology or strategy.

It can work with organizations or businesses of any size or industry, but it is advised to first know about its pros and cons, and then use the parts that are beneficial for the success of the company.

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