Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference The Open Group
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  Ahmed Fattah, Executive IT Architect, IBM Global Business, Australia  

Ahmed Fattah is an Executive IT Architect in IBM Global Business focusing on architecting large-scale SOA enterprise solutions. He also advises large organisations on leading practices regarding the developing, deploying and governing of enterprise-wide SOA business solutions.

He has over 25 years experience in IT with over 20 years with IBM.

Ahmed is an Open Group Master Certified IT Architect and has two software patents.  Ahmed has presented at many IBM and industry conferences on SOA and EA.



Enterprise Reference Architecture -- Addressing key challenges facing EA and enterprise-wide adoption of SOA

As a practitioner in the fields of Enterprise Architecture (EA) and Project-level Architecture I have observed situations of great synergy between the two where IT delivered true business value. I have also seen situations full of tension and lost opportunities with poor business and IT alignment. Such contrast implies that although the importance of EA has been accepted by many organisations, others face huge challenges in realising the promised benefits of EA on regular basis.

I contend that a root cause is the gap or disconnect between EA and Project-level Architecture. This burdens project architects with the interpretation EA principles, standards and guidelines. This is often difficult, time consuming and error prone. Similar burden is placed on Enterprise Architects to police Project-level Architecture for conformance which is also difficult, time-consuming and always controversial.

The presentation relates my experience in developing and applying an approach that successfully uses Reference Architecture to bridge this gap. Although there is a huge amount of information about Reference Architecture, there is considerable confusion about what it is and how it can be used effectively. I have analysed and positioned various types of Reference Architectures within a simple classification scheme that tries to clear up some of this confusion. The scheme delineates a category of Reference Architecture which I refer to as Enterprise Reference Architecture (ERA). The paper discusses how ERA can be used to address some of the challenges facing EA including the enterprise-wide adoption of SOA.  Cases studies are presented that show how the concepts behind ERA were developed and applied successfully in large organisations.

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