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Enterprise Architecture Frameworks Comparison Research Paper


With the advancement of the information technology and business, organizations have an opportunity to use the advanced approaches to improve their competitiveness and meet the company’s demands. In the process of using advanced strategies, the EA frameworks come into play. EA helps to develop information systems and business aspects of the enterprise that assist in fulfilling its mission (Rouhani, Mahrin, Nikpay, & Nikfard, 2013).

This research paper compares two of such frameworks: DoDAF and TOGAF. “TOGAF is an enterprise architecture framework that provides a comprehensive approach to designing, planning, implementing, and governing an enterprise information architectures” (Architecture Framework, 2015b, para. 1). DoDAF can also be applied to commercial systems even though it “defines how to organize the specification of enterprise architectures for U.S. Department of Defense applications” (Architecture Framework, 2015a, para. 2). Similarities, differences, and areas of implementation of the two frameworks will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

Similarities of DoDAF and TOGAF

According to Zwickl (2017), both DoDAF and TOGAF are similar at the very basic level as they support the same set of elements, e.g., goals, inputs, and outcomes, and address essential EA framework requirements of principles, artifacts, and processes. They also address the same enterprise architecture issues, i.e., evolution and system interoperability and architecture planning. Furthermore, they have the same long-term goals: the support of strategic architecture planning and the use of an architecture knowledge base that supports and maintains the architecture evolution (Tao, Luo, Chen, Wang, & Ni, 2015).

Overall, both frameworks can be used in various enterprise contexts and may define multiple viewpoints, e.g., computational, engineering, etc. (Architecture Framework, 2015b; Architecture Framework, 2015b). High functionality of the systems, as well as their ability to be used in conjunction with other frameworks, ensures their capability to adapt to various environments and remain continuously competitive.

The key element of TOGAF is its Architecture Development Method (ADM) which determines what process will be used for the development of the enterprise architecture (Tao et al., 2015). This methodology implies the process of the architecture development, and it describes the procedures for the artifact creation for both general or fundamental architectures and the more specialized ones.

Using Enterprise Continuum as the knowledge base, TOGAF ADM may support the architecture evolution (Zwickl, 2017). It means that the process of a particular EA development, e.g., for MedAManage, can be regarded as a transition from a general architecture to the specialized one. TOGAF ADM represents the process of such a transition. Despite the fact that activities in the each phase of ADM framework are defined, it still provides architects with the flexibility in its implementation so that they can determine what is needed for the system considering the defined set of possible outcomes (Tao et al., 2015).

A similar six-step process for the architecture design is used in DoDAF − it explains how to build an EA and facilitate possible changes (Zwickl, 2017). Although this framework is used specifically for the maintenance and support of defense operations, its architecture design processes are “generic” similarly to those of TOGAF in a sense that they can be applied to a great number of business processes within the organization (Zwickl, 2017, para. 2). Nevertheless, DoDaF was created as an organizational-specific framework and, therefore, it is rarely implemented in the private and public sectors.

Differences of DoDAF and TOGAF

Even though DoDAF and TOGAF have some similarities, they remain different. The major difference between the frameworks is in their purposes and scopes. It is observed that TOGAF can deal with the majority of system and organizational requirements, and it is very flexible in its nature (Zwickl, 2017). In contrast, DoDAF was created with a specific purpose of supporting the development of complex military systems and federal business operations by using a few core processes. Therefore, its use is highly limited outside the federal agencies. Secondly, TOGAF’s approach is considered “descriptive” as “it does not provide a specific list of architectural principles,” while DoDAF prescribes them (Zwickl, 2017, para. 3).

Moreover, these frameworks have a different emphasis. For instance, although DoDAF and TOGAF seem to pay similar attention to the concepts of alignment and repository, the latter is more concerned about artifacts and governance. At the same time, although DoDAF provides traceability, it does not possess a provision for recording the architecture rationale (Tao et al., 2015). Nevertheless, DoDAF’s Core Architecture Data Model (CAMD) (together with traceability matrix) can be used to trace operational requirements and design decisions.

Lastly, due to the “mission critical” character of the DoDAF, it can be more successfully implemented in the contexts that require taking into account safety (Zwickl, 2017). It can be efficiently used in the planning of the outcomes of various military events, risk management, etc.

Usage

TOGAF can be successfully used to integrate different business units. It guides IT architecture for the whole enterprise. For example, the Dairy Farm Group restructured to a unified group of companies and developed a single IT infrastructure with its help. The UK Department of Social Security utilized this framework as the basis for tenders. Thus, it helped to control the outsourcing of service delivery.

Unlike TOGAF, in the majority of cases, DoDAF is used only by two industries. These are the defense and the aerospace industries. Commercial IT does not resort to it, even though such a possibility exists. In general, DoDAF deals with the efforts to “capture architecture information about net-centricity, support Departmental net-centric strategies, and describe service-oriented solutions that facilitate the creation and maintenance of a net-centric environment” (Silver Bullet INC, 2015, p. 1-1).

TOGAF and DoDAF might be used in different industries, but the synergy between them grows rapidly. As Gardner (2012) points out, TOGAF can be used for the delivery of new program capabilities with regard to DoDAF architectures. Firstly, TOGAF provides everything necessary for the end-user to establish the EA practice. Secondly, it can be used with regard to other existing taxonomies and frameworks (e.g., DoDAF), that end-users might require for the successful functioning of their organizations.

The advantage of TOGAF and DoDAF synergy is in TOGAF’s ability to provide “the backdrop for how to establish the overall EA capability, how to exploit it, and put it into practice to deliver new business capabilities” (Gardner, 2012, para. 6). However, due to DoDAF’s specific limitations in method guidance, it is assumed that professionals who work with DoDAF become aware of how such synergy between two frameworks might enhance business operations, functions, and how it can advance business.

Strengths and Weaknesses

TOGAF has a range of strengths, which allow enterprises to obtain a significant competitive advantage. It is an open framework that can be understood without critical issues by many individuals (Rouhani et al., 2013). Its main strength is also in its flexibility and ability to adjust to project’s requirements and needs (Rouhani et al., 2013). For these reasons, TOGAF is very popular in the market. It does not require additional testing as its credibility is proved by numerous organizations that use it (Architecture Framework, 2015b).

The system also has a strong architecture development model that can be easily adapted to various situations and organizations (Silver Bullet INC, 2015). This framework guides decision-making and urges businesses to pay more attention to the compliance to organizational principles. It reduces the risk in business and technology, supports the architecture evolution and function creation (Silver Bullet INC, 2015). However, because of the generic nature of the framework, TOGAF can be considered weak in situations that need a specified and diverse approach, i.e., when data-driven problem solving is required more than the technology management (Architecture Framework, 2015b).

The major concern associated with the use of DoDAF is the inaccessibility to the engineering system (ES) processes as they may require large financial and time investments in the development of the ES team (Zwickl, 2017). It is considered that its ES is focused on “defining problem areas which nobody likes to spend a lot of time exploring” (Zwickl, 2017, para. 5). This finding indicates an excess complexity and inefficiency of the framework.

Nevertheless, although from the point of view of public and private organizations, DoDAF’s focus on the military based enterprises can be considered a drawback as it narrows down the opportunities for its usage and reduces flexibility, it may be useful for the support of large federated projects. It is worth mentioning that even despite this small weakness, the DoDAF receives enormous attention, as it supports and describes interconnections necessary for warfighting functions (Architecture Framework, 2015a).

It should also be noted that both TOGAF and DoDAF require trained and highly skilled professionals, as well as organizational and practitioner maturity (Gardner, 2012). Otherwise, the effectiveness of the frameworks might be challenged.

References

Architecture Framework. (2015a). . Web.

Architecture Framework. (2015b). . Web.

Gardner, D. (2012). . Web.

Rouhani, B., Mahrin, M., Nikpay, F., & Nikfard, P. (2013). A comparison enterprise architecture implementation methodologies. In IEEE Xplore: International Conference on Informatics and Creative Multimedia (pp. 1-6). Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: IEEE.

Silver Bullet INC. (2015). DoD architecture framework. DoDAF Journal, 4, 1-166.

Tao, Z. G., Luo, Y. F., Chen, C. X., Wang, M. Z., & Ni, F. (2015). Enterprise application architecture development based on DoDAF and TOGAF. Enterprise Information Systems, 11(5), 627-651.

Zwickl, D. (2017). Comparative analysis of TOGAF to the DoDAF and the impact for enterprise architecture cybersecurity analysis. Web.

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