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The Enterprise Architecture Principles:

1. Primacy of Principles

  • These principles of information management apply to all organizations within the enterprise.

2. Total Cost of Ownership

  • Technology investments are made to provide maximum benefit to the enterprise as a whole.

3. Business Continuity

  • Enterprise operations are maintained in spite of system interruptions.

4. Compliance with Law

  • Enterprise information technology processes comply with all relevant laws, policies, and regulations.

5. Treat Data as an Asset

Description
Data is valued as an enterprise asset and is managed accordingly. Users have access across enterprise functions and organizations to the data necessary to perform their duties. Users are provided with data in a form that answers their questions. Data is protected from unauthorized use and disclosure.

Rationale
Data is the foundation of enterprise decision-making. Shared data reduces maintenance, improves consistency and reduces costs. Information is the result of processing, gathering, manipulating and organizing data. Securing data from unauthorized disclosure and use helps ensure data integrity and protect constituent privacy.

Note: For further data principles, please see Enterprise Information Principles

6. Honor End Users

Description
End user applications can operate on a variety of technology platforms. Applications are easy to use. The underlying technology is transparent to users so they can concentrate on tasks on hand.

Rationale
The more a user has to understand or adapt to the underlying technology, the less productive the user is.

7. Lead with the Human Dimension

Description
Every IT investment has both a Business Owner and an IT Steward. Promote enterprise collaboration in all stages of the life-cycle of technology solutions.

Rationale
Aligning business expectations with IT capabilities helps to ensure efficient and effective solutions with reasonable costs and clear benefits. IT decisions based on collaboration provide maximum benefit to the enterprise as a whole and avoid creating additional silos of data and applications.

8. Keep Complexity Manageable

Description
Applications developed for use across the enterprise are preferred over similar or duplicate applications developed only for a particular organization. Technological diversity is managed to minimize the cost of multiple technology solutions. The use of modular and loosely coupled designs promotes interoperability between technology solutions.

Rationale
Common technology across the enterprise brings the benefits of economies of scale and simplifies maintainability. Business advantages include predictable valuations and returns and increased flexibility to meet new needs.

9. Be Responsive to Change

Description
Only in response to business needs are changes to applications and technologies made. New technology solutions are implemented after business processes have been analyzed, simplified or otherwise redesigned as appropriate. IT staff plan, design and construct for growth and expansion of services across the enterprise.

Rationale
Business needs are the fundamental drivers of change. The emphasis should be on process improvement and not just applying new technology to old processes. Assessments of the possible future expansion and growth of technology solutions will enable quicker and less costly responses to such demands.

Note: These principles were originally drafted (with Enterprise Architecture Staff participation) by the Tools Team of the Administrative Process Redesign Initiative (see under "Documents" at the Tools Team page).