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Enterprise Architecture

WHAT IS ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE (EA)?

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a professional area of practice that assists enterprises in designing solutions to achieve their current and future business objectives.  While enterprise architecture has most often been applied to complex technology environments with high technology investments, the practice is relevant for all types and sizes of enterprises.  All enterprises have business goals and objectives, and all have resources that must be aligned with those goals in an effective and efficient way.  Enterprise architecture is a critical first step in achieving those goals.  One of the most important lessons from enterprise architecture is the importance of design and engineering before implementation.  This insight is fundamental to Kent State University’s Enterprise Architecture program.   

Enterprise Architecture is a critical area today given the increasing complexity of our environment and the need for greater agility.  The virtualization of work, the multinational nature of work, the increasingly semantic and personalized nature of applications, the richness of technology, the increasingly networked nature of business, a shift from simple projects to complex projects — all speak to the need for architectural design. 

Today virtually every major global organization has an enterprise architecture division. Organizations such as Volkswagen, Procter & Gamble, Dow Chemical, Dell, 7-Eleven, Aetna, Barclay’s Bank, Discover Financial Services, Wells Fargo, UNICEF, and UPS are well known for both adopting enterprise architecture and achieving measurable benefits from doing so.

The US government strongly embraces enterprise architecture. Congress enacted the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 to improve the selection and management of information technology resources in Federal agencies. As a result, the US Office of Management and Budget initiated the development of the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF), which was mandated for use by Federal agencies.

The practice of enterprise architecture has matured over the past 25 years.  With that maturity has come a rich set of principles, methods and models that enterprises can use to design solutions.  Architects lead enterprises from design to construction, and architects are change agents who look for opportunities to improve and align.  To achieve change, though, enterprise architects must work with business units, with software engineers, and with technology teams and information managers.  Architects need a wide range of skills to work effectively with diverse business stakeholders — from technical competencies in architecture design and engineering to soft skills.

ACADEMIC CREDENTIALING IN EA

Until recently, most training and credentialing in enterprise architecture has come through internal corporate divisions, specialty training and certification organizations, Federal institutes, or trade associations and professional groups.

More recently, enterprise architecture courses and programs have started to emerge in universities. While several universities offer a course or two on enterprise architecture, very few universities offer certificate programs or degree programs in enterprise architecture.

In contrast to the non-academic enterprise architecture credentialing options, academic programs in enterprise architecture have several advantages. First, they can span multiple frameworks or organizations, offering a wider perspective. Second, they can include professional or scholarly literature to put current practice in context. Finally, they can provide depth in areas such as business architecture, information architecture, or knowledge management that may not be covered in non-academic training.


 

 

TWO ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE PROGRAMS AT KENT STATE:

Thanks to a gift of curricular materials from the Enterprise Architecture Center of Excellence (EACOE), a unique feature of Kent State University's new School of Digital Sciences is its offering of courses and degree concentrations in the field of enterprise architecture.  The School's Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Digital Sciences degree both offer a concentration in Enterprise Architecture, and a new graduate certificate program in that that area will begin in Spring 2013.

Since Fall 2011, Kent State University’s School of Digital Sciences has offered a 32-credit Master of Digital Sciences degree, which is a professional master’s degree for graduates from a variety of backgrounds.  The Master of Digital Sciences degree has five concentrations, one of which is Enterprise Architecture.

Since Spring 2013, the School of Digital Sciences has offered an 18-credit Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Enterprise Architecture.  This new certificate program is intended for students who do not have the time or funds to invest in a 32-credit Master's program, or who already have a Master's degree, or whose work environment values completion of a certificate program.

With judicious choices from the wide range of available electives, both graduate programs can be completed online.

 

MASTER OF DIGITAL SCIENCES (ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE CONCENTRATION):

Since Fall 2011, Kent State University’s School of Digital Sciences has offered a 32-credit Master of Digital Sciences degree, which is a professional master’s degree for graduates from a variety of backgrounds.  The Master of Digital Sciences degree has five concentrations, one of which is Enterprise Architecture.

The Master of Digital Sciences degree program requires 32 credits of coursework, including 9-10 credits of breadth requirements, 9-10 credits of focused coursework for each concentration, and 12-14 credits of electives.

Every student in the Master’s program must complete 3 courses from a list of 5 courses to satisfy their breadth requirement. For the Enterprise Architecture program, one of those breadth courses would be the following:

  • DSCI 61010 Enterprise Architecture

Then they would complete 2 of the following 4 courses to finish their breadth requirement:

  • CS 61002 Algorithms and Programming I
  • ITEC 67403 Instructional Design
  • MIS 64042 Management of Information Systems
  • TECH 63411 Wireless and Telecommunication Systems Requirements Engineering

Students in the Enterprise Architecture concentration would then complete the following 3 courses to satisfy their concentration requirement:

  • DSCI 62010 Business Architecture
  • DSCI 64010 Data Architecture
  • DSCI 65010 Application and Technology Architecture

These required courses are then complemented by 12-14 credits of advisor-approved electives in Digital Sciences or related areas.  Both a Thesis and Non-Thesis option are available.

 

GRADUATE COURSE OFFERINGS IN ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE:

DSCI 61010 Enterprise Architecture (3)
Facilitates the alignment of IT and IS investment decisions with business goals. Enterprise architecture is increasingly used in industry as a result of the continued emergence of new technologies and ongoing pressures to re-engineer business processes to achieve improved efficiency and greater customer focus. Enterprise architecture identifies the main components of an organization and the ways in which these components work together. The components include performance and strategy, people, business capabilities, applications, technology, knowledge and information, as well as financial and other resources. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

DSCI 64010 Data Architecture (3)
Introduction to the concept of data and information architecture as a component of enterprise architecture. Students learn how to distinguish types of data, develop conceptual and logical data models, trace and map the use of data types across business capabilities, roles and applications, and prepare an enterprise level data dictionary. Students learn how to work with enterprise data architecture artifacts as they develop an enterprise information architecture blueprint. Prerequisite: DSCI 61010 and graduate standing.

DSCI 65010 Application and Technology Architecture (3)
Introduction to the concept of application and technology architectures in the context of enterprise architecture. Students learn how to define application and technology architecture principles and standards to support business performance, and to evaluate existing architectures in relation to performance goals. Students learn to work with application and technology artifacts and matrices, prepare a technology dictionary and develop an application architecture blueprint. Prerequisites: DSCI 61010 and graduate standing.

GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE:

Since Spring 2013, the School of Digital Sciences has offered an 18-credit Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Enterprise Architecture. 

This new certificate program is intended for students who do not have the time or funds to invest in a 32-credit Master's program, or who already have a Master's degree, or whose work environment values completion of a certificate program.

Every student in the certificate program must complete the following 4 courses as their concentration requirement: 

  • DSCI 61010 Enterprise Architecture
  • DSCI 62010 Business Architecture
  • DSCI 64010 Data Architecture
  • DSCI 65010 Application and Technology Architecture
These required courses are then complemented by 6 credits of advisor-approved electives in Digital Sciences or related areas.

 

ELECTIVES:

Both the Master of Digital Sciences and the proposed Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Enterprise Architecture include advisor-approved electives to permit degree customization for specific career goals.

The list of electives is long, but a short sample includes:

  • MIS 64185 Business Strategy
  • MIS 64285 Managing High Technology
  • MKTG 65060 Marketing Strategy and Planning
  • IAKM 60103 Researching the User Experience
  • IAKM 60311 Business Process Management
  • IAKM 60101 Information Architecture
  • IAKM 60301 Foundational Principles of Knowledge Management
  • IAKM 60310 Intellectual Capital Management
  • CS 63105 Data Mining Techniques
  • CS 63902 Software Evolution
  • CS 65203 Wireless and Mobile Communication Networks