The Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge as an Evolving Discipline
Enterprise Architecture (EA) as an area of interdisciplinary study relies on models, methods and theories of many disciplines. The article explores the linkage between the needs of enterprise problem domains, the evolution of domain specific disciplines, and the EA body of knowledge. A cybernetic view is presented in an attempt to explain the effects of an important driver of discipline development, namely the change in the complexity of application domains. For the EA discipline (EAD), as any other developing discipline, there should exist a commonly accepted terminology, allowing interdisciplinary theories to be stated, which in turn facilitate the creation of cross disciplinary models and methodologies. While there already exists a fundamental and generalised theory of EA, GERAM, it is a minimalist theory, not prescribing any particular reference models or any concrete methodology, thus there is a constant need to relate domain specific results to the generalised theory, whereupon the evolution of one needs to have impact on the other. In this article we treat the discipline-as-a-system, and use Beer's Viable System Model (VSM) to discuss three basic components of EAD as a viable system. A 'co-evolution mechanisms' for EAD is proposed, and a cybernetic model of co-evolution applied to EAD. We also discuss a cybernetic model of EAD using Checkland's model for discipline development.
Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing
Information Systems Management