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A Design Theory for Architectural Coordination of Enterprise Transformations (ACET)

abstract Present day enterprises are confronted with a continuously changing environment. These changes are due to globalisation, new technologies, regulations, novel business models, etc. Enterprises therefore need to transform themselves regularly to meet these new challenges, while senior management of these enterprises needs to make conscious decisions about the future design of “their” enterprise and the path to “get there”. Such transformations may range from changes in value propositions and business processes, via changes to the information systems used to support the business processes, to changes of the underlying IT infrastructures. Since most real world transformations are large, they need to be divided into smaller programs and projects. This raises the need for a coordination mechanism between smaller programs and projects to safeguard that all contribute towards the strategic goals set for the transformation as a whole.

Traditional project/programme management does not provide such coordination, as it focuses on typical project parameters such as budgets, resource use, deadlines, etc. As a result, projects are “invited” to conduct local, project specific optimizations. As a consequence, the results of these projects may actually not contribute to (or even hamper) the overall transformation goals. It has been the mission of the field of enterprise architecture to provide such coordination mechanisms. Ample research has been conducted on different elements of enterprise architecture, such as: frameworks, modelling languages, model analysis, etc. Each of these elements is a valuable component to set up an effective coordination mechanism for enterprise transformations. However, how to combine these elements into an effective method support for architectural coordination of transformations, has not received much research attention yet.

The challenge, which the ACET project aims to meet, is the development of a theoretically grounded methodology that is an effective means for architectural coordination of enterprise transformations. Due to the diversity of contexts and goals in enterprise transformation, this methodology needs to be systematically adaptable to the situation at hand, e.g. industry, size of the company, or dominant organizational culture. In doing so, the ACET project will primarily focus on the so-called Business-to-IT stack. In other words, the layered series of aspects: business strategy, business processes, information processing, and the underlying IT infrastructure.
   
keywords Enterprise Transformation, Enterprise Architecture, Coordination of Transformation, Design Theory
   
homepage http://acet.iwi.unisg.ch
partner CRP – Henri Tudor, Luxemburg
type fundamental research project
status ongoing
start of project 2011
end of project 2014
additional informations
topics Enterprise Transformation, Enterprise Architecture, Coordination of Transformation, Design Theory
methods Design Science Research
profile area SoM - Business Innovation
contact Stephan Aier