Architecture Principles

1. Maximize Benefit to the Enterprise

All decisions about information management MUST be made based on the benefit of the enterprise.

That means that sometimes, what feels best for one organization within the enterprise might not be what's best for the enterprise as a whole.

All individuals and organizations within the enterprise must be willing to work together, following the guiding principles, for the maximum benefit of the enterprise.

2. Information Management is Everybody's Business

This TOGAF principle states that "all organizations in the enterprise must be involved in all aspects of the information environment."

Basically, this is another principle about the importance of working together across an enterprise. Everyone needs to take responsibility for doing their own part in managing information and participating in important decisions.

3. Business Continuity

This principle states that "hardware failure, natural disasters, and data corruption should not be allowed to disrupt or stop enterprise activities."

In other words, even though we're all depending on technological systems to get our job done, we also have to be prepared to keep the enterprise running even when those systems go down.

4. Data as an Asset

All data is a concrete, valuable asset to an enterprise. It is a real, measurable resource.

Because all decisions in an enterprise are made based on data, all that data needs to be carefully organized and managed. Everyone in the enterprise should know that their data is reliable and accurate.

They should also know how to access relevant data whenever they need to.

5. Data is Shared

This principle says that data should be stored within one application and shared across the entire enterprise. This is important so that everyone within the enterprise has access to the data they need to do their job.

Storing all the data within one application is much cheaper and easier than storing it in different applications.

6. Data is Accessible

This one means that everyone in an enterprise needs to have easy access to all data within that enterprise. This makes it easier to do their jobs.

One of the "implications" of this principle is that there needs to be some flexibility to make sure that all the different people of an enterprise are able to access data in a way that best works for them.

You can see that these three principles all tie together closely: data is an asset, data is shared, data is accessible.

7. Ease-of-Use

All technology within an enterprise needs to be easy to use.

The more time you spend trying to figure out how to use technology, the less time you have to spend on your actual task. That means less productivity and lower concentration -- never a good thing.

Keep the technology simple, so that everyone can do their jobs efficiently and effectively.

8. Control Technical Diversity

Although there will necessarily be some different technical requirements for the various applications across an enterprise, this principle states that you will try to keep the different technologies to a minimum.

The more different technologies that you throw into the mix, the more expensive and troublesome it gets for your enterprise.