CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

A Conceptual Framework & Enterprise Architecture Model To Support Information Systems Technology

Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Science in Information Science

Department

Center for Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Edward Lieblein

Committee Member

Gordon Fullerton

Committee Member

Jacques Levin

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation is to present a conceptual framework and enterprise architectural model to support information systems technology. The dissertation first discusses several information technology (IT) problems facing a typical enterprise in today's dynamic business environment, such as ineffective data management, non-integrated and fragmented systems, excessive system delivery times, user dissatisfaction, availability management, connectivity issues, Poor capacity and performance planning, inadequate data storage, ineffective security, and the question of centralization versus decentralization. Next, the rationale for the development of an effective enterprise architecture, together with a description of a new vision, is presented. An extensive literature review which addresses the significant work and findings of subject matter experts (SME) in the IT field are discussed. The dissertation then critiques and evaluates, with the assistance of these experts, fifteen already deployed information systems frameworks and architectures. Next, a view of information engineering (IE) as it relates to the enterprise architecture is addressed, because IE provides many of the foundations for the proposed enterprise architecture. The expanding role of IE has forced strategic systems planners to change the scope, objectives, style, and sources of expertise in planning. The dissertation then builds upon these concepts and proposes an enterprise architecture which provides enterprises with a structure that should allow them to support their visions, missions, objectives and goals. The enterprise architecture permits enterprises, by using open systems, to move computer application systems across different environments and platforms to various work groups and geographic locations within the various enterprises, and makes it possible for them to share processes and information with external business partners. After presenting the environmental impacts and driving forces which influence the enterprise architecture, the dissertation subsequently details each of the building blocks which constitute the enterprise architecture. The dissertation concludes by addressing several of the peripheral considerations which impact the enterprise architecture. Among these are a discussion of: business strategy development and the alignment of an organization's business strategies with information systems strategies ; the importance of perceiving information systems from a strategic perspective; strategic business initiatives; competitive positioning; an assessment of how risk analysis can be used to establish the business case for effective information systems; the development of a transition plan, and how an enterprise migrates from its embedded base of current information systems to a targeted portfolio of systems; a possible interoperability architecture; and closes with concluding comments on the enterprise architecture and its impact on the enterprise.

A definition of terms, concepts, acronyms and abbreviations is presented in Appendix A. Appendix B depicts some mappings to assist with functional data modeling. Appendix C presents a taxonomy of emerging technologies which should be considered by enterprises when addressing their technical architecture. Appendix D presents an enterprise architecture example and template.

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