An Enterprise Architecture is a "model" or a "framework" which represents an enterprise at one point in its life cycle. This framework can be used to assist with planning and analysis of the enterprise, to select hardware and software products, to design organizational "reporting structures", and to study flow of materials and information through the enterprise. Without an Enterprise Architectural model, executives, managers, and technologists in an enterprise are essentially "running blind": making decisions based on their personal perception of the enterprise which is often not shared with the rest of the organization.
|Until the multitude of providers of software tools adopts a common Enterprise Model (such as PERA), information integration between their tools will remain difficult if not impossible|
Many tools are available for modelling each of the three enterprise components individually, and these are discussed for each phase of each industry elsewhere in this web site. However, no tools are available which can effectively model all three, let alone all of the interfaces between them. This is the great challenge facing the next generation of enterprise architects, and it will require a fundamentally different approach to modelling, and software interfacing. Perhaps the new generation of OOP (Object Oriented Programming) and database interface tools can help, however, until the providers of such tools adopt a common Enterprise Model (such as PERA), no such interface between their industry-specific and phase-specific modelling tools will be possible.