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Building Blocks for Enterprise Architecture Management Solutions

Enterprise architecture (EA) management has become a commonly accepted means to guide enterprises in transformations responding to their ever changing environment. Organizations seeking to establish an integrated and effective EA management function are typically faced with a challenging lack of standardization in the field. Although the topic is heavily researched by practitioners, researchers, standardization bodies, and tool vendors, no commonly accepted understanding of the scope, reach, and focus of EA management exists. This fact can be explained by the distinct organizational structures, contexts, cultures, and requirements, which are specific for each enterprise and therefore ask for an enterprise-specific realization of the EA management function.

In response to the aforementioned challenge this article presents building blocks for EA management solutions (BEAMS). BEAMS on the one hand provides practical guidance for organizations to support the design and development of an organization-specific EA management function by presenting method and language building blocks, which can be selected and configured based on the specificities of the organization under consideration, i.e. the organizational context and the goals pursued. On the other hand BEAMS gives hints for researchers willing to contribute to the discipline of EA management. The theoretic discussion on the developing BEAMS approach is complemented by an example to illustrate the applicability of the approach. Finally, a critical reflection of the achieved results is given and future areas of research are discussed.