The TOGAF Standard is a framework for Enterprise Architecture. It may be used freely by any organization wishing to develop an Enterprise Architecture for use within that organization (see 1.3.1 Conditions of Use).
The TOGAF Standard is developed and maintained by members of The Open Group, working within the Architecture Forum (refer to www.opengroup.org/architecture). The original development of TOGAF Version 1 in 1995 was based on the Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management (TAFIM), developed by the US Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD gave The Open Group explicit permission and encouragement to create Version 1 of the TOGAF Standard by building on the TAFIM, which itself was the result of many years of development effort and many millions of dollars of US Government investment.
Starting from this sound foundation, the members of The Open Group Architecture Forum have developed successive versions of the TOGAF Standard and published each one on The Open Group public website.
This version builds on previous versions of the TOGAF Standard and updates the material available to architecture practitioners to assist them in building a sustainable Enterprise Architecture. Work on White Papers and Guides describing how to integrate and use this standard with other frameworks and architectural styles has highlighted the universal framework parts of the standard, as well as industry, architecture style, and purpose-specific tools, techniques, and guidance. This work is embodied in the TOGAF Library.1
Although all of the TOGAF documentation works together as a whole, it is expected that organizations will customize it during adoption, and deliberately choose some elements, customize some, exclude some, and create others. For example, an organization may wish to adopt the TOGAF metamodel, but elect not to use any of the guidance on how to develop an in-house Technology Architecture because they are heavy consumers of cloud services.
You are recommended to first read the Executive Overview (see 1.1 Executive Overview), which includes an outline of The Open Group understanding of Enterprise Architecture and answers to fundamental questions, such as:
- Why is an Enterprise Architecture needed?
- Why use the TOGAF Standard as a framework for Enterprise Architecture?
1.1 Executive Overview
This section provides an executive overview of Enterprise Architecture, the basic concepts of what it is (not just another name for IT Architecture), and why it is needed. It provides a summary of the benefits of establishing an Enterprise Architecture and adopting the TOGAF approach to achieve that.
What is an enterprise?
The TOGAF Standard considers an "enterprise" to be any collection of organizations that have common goals.
For example, an enterprise could be:
- A whole corporation or a division of a corporation
- A government agency or a single government department
- A chain of geographically distant organizations linked together by common ownership
- Groups of countries, governments, or governmental organizations (such as militaries) working together to create common or shareable deliverables or infrastructures
- Partnerships and alliances of businesses working together, such as a consortium or supply chain
The term "Enterprise" in the context of "Enterprise Architecture" can be applied to either an entire enterprise, encompassing all of its business activities and capabilities, information, and technology that make up the entire infrastructure and governance of the enterprise, or to one or more specific areas of interest within the enterprise. An enterprise may include partners, suppliers, and customers as well as internal business units. In all cases, the architecture crosses multiple systems, and multiple functional groups within the enterprise.
The enterprise operating model concept is useful to determine the nature and scope of the Enterprise Architecture within an organization. Many organizations may comprise multiple enterprises, and may develop and maintain a number of independent Enterprise Architectures to address each one. These enterprises often have much in common with each other including processes, functions, and their information systems, and there is often great potential for wider gain in the use of a common architecture framework. For example, a common framework can provide a basis for the development of common building blocks and solutions, and a shareable Architecture Repository for the integration and re-use of business models, designs, information, and data.
Why is an Enterprise Architecture needed?
The purpose of Enterprise Architecture is to optimize across the enterprise the often fragmented legacy of processes (both manual and automated) into an integrated environment that is responsive to change and supportive of the delivery of the business strategy.
The effective management and exploitation of information and Digital Transformation are key factors to business success, and indispensable means to achieving competitive advantage. An Enterprise Architecture addresses this need, by providing a strategic context for the evolution and reach of digital capability in response to the constantly changing needs of the business environment.
Furthermore, a good Enterprise Architecture enables you to achieve the right balance between business transformation and continuous operational efficiency. It allows individual business units to innovate safely in their pursuit of evolving business goals and competitive advantage. At the same time, the Enterprise Architecture enables the needs of the organization to be met with an integrated strategy which permits the closest possible synergies across the enterprise and beyond.
And lastly, much of the global privacy legislation demands that processes around personal data are fully documented in a way that can be easily understood by untrained readers — such as the data subjects and judges and lawyers. The penalties for failing to have this can be very significant. Clearly the creation of this basic documentation arises from the changed fundamental considerations and this is now crucial.
What are the benefits of an Enterprise Architecture?
An effective Enterprise Architecture can bring important benefits to the organization. Potential benefits of an Enterprise Architecture include:
- More effective strategic decision-making by C-Level executives and business leaders:
- Quick response to change and support for enterprise agility aligned with the organization strategy
- Organizational transformation, adopting new trends in business and technology
- Organizational change to support Digital Transformation
- Organizational and operating model changes to improve efficiency and effectiveness
- More effective and efficient business operations:
- Lower business operation costs
- More agile organization
- Business capabilities shared across the organization
- Lower change management costs
- More flexible workforce
- Improved business productivity
- Improved organization integration in support of mergers and acquisitions
- More effective and efficient Digital Transformation and operations:
- Extending effective reach of the enterprise (e.g., through digital capability)
- Bringing all components of the enterprise into a harmonized environment
- Lower development, deployment, operations, support, and maintenance costs
- Improved interoperability
- Improved system management
- Improved ability to address critical enterprise-wide issues (e.g., security)
- Easier upgrade and exchange of system components
- Better return on existing investment, reduced risk for future investment:
- Reduced complexity in the business and IT
- Maximized return on investment in existing business and IT
- The flexibility to make, buy, or outsource business and IT solutions
- Understanding how return on investment changes over time
- Faster, simpler, and cheaper procurement:
- Buying decisions are simpler, because the information governing procurement is readily available in a coherent plan
- The procurement process is faster — maximizing procurement speed and flexibility without sacrificing architectural
- The ability to procure heterogeneous, multi-vendor open systems
- The ability to secure more economic capabilities
What specifically would prompt the development of an Enterprise Architecture?
The reasons for embarking on an Enterprise Architecture review or development are varied, including:
- Business-driven initiatives to enable business transformation; for example, to leverage digital services and products as revenue generating assets
- Technology-driven initiatives for efficiency and cost reduction; for example, technology consolidation initiatives, where the consolidation destination can be physical, virtual, or a combination
- Merger or acquisition, where the return on investment is only realized after technology efficiencies are realized
- Management of technical debt accrued by agile development initiatives
In all of these situations, Enterprise Architecture review or development is needed to manage complexity when change involves multiple systems with multiple inter-dependencies.
Often key people identify areas of change required in order for new business goals to be met. Such people are commonly referred to as the "stakeholders" in the change. The role of the architect is to address their concerns by:
- Identifying and refining the requirements of the stakeholders
- Developing views of the architecture that show how the concerns and requirements are going to be addressed
- Showing the trade-offs that are going to be made in reconciling the potentially conflicting concerns of different stakeholders
Without the Enterprise Architecture, it is highly unlikely that all the concerns and requirements will be considered and met.
What is an architecture framework?
An architecture framework is a foundational structure, or set of structures, which can be used for developing a broad range of different architectures. It should include a method for describing both a baseline and target state of the enterprise, in terms of a set of building blocks for showing how the building blocks fit together and planning the evolution from baseline to target states.
A framework is typically tailored to meet the specific needs of the organization. Tailoring of the framework should establish a set of tools and a common vocabulary.
Why use the TOGAF Standard as a framework for Enterprise Architecture?
The TOGAF Standard has been developed through the collaborative efforts of the whole community. Using the TOGAF Standard results in Enterprise Architecture that is consistent, reflects the needs of stakeholders, employs best practice, and gives due consideration both to current requirements and the perceived future needs of the business.
Developing and sustaining an Enterprise Architecture is a technically complex process which involves many stakeholders and decision processes in the organization. The TOGAF Standard plays an important role in standardizing and de-risks the architecture development process. The TOGAF Standard provides a best practice framework for adding value, and enables the organization to build workable and economic solutions which address their business issues and needs.
The TOGAF Standard value proposition is to enable organizations to operate in an efficient and effective way using a proven and recognized set of best practices, across the enterprise and in different sectors to address specific business and technology trends.
A key consideration is that guidance provided by the standard is intended to be adapted to address different needs and particular use-cases. That means it can be used to create a sustainable Enterprise Architecture for a broad range of use-cases, including agile enterprises and Digital Transformation.
Who would benefit from using the TOGAF Standard?
Any organization undertaking, or planning to undertake, the development and implementation of an Enterprise Architecture for the support of business transformation will benefit from use of the TOGAF Standard.
Organizations seeking Boundaryless Information FlowTM can use the TOGAF Standard to define and implement the structures and processes to enable access to integrated information within and between enterprises.
Organizations that design and implement Enterprise Architectures using the TOGAF Standard are assured of a design and a procurement specification that can facilitate an open systems implementation, thus enabling the benefits of open systems with reduced risk.
Organizations that need to adapt to face new business and market challenges, to improve value propositions to their customers as part of Digital Transformation.
When should Enterprise Architecture be done?
To get the greatest benefit from Enterprise Architecture it should be done early and throughout the change process to help decision-makers understand the implications of their decisions. Without this understanding, costly mistakes can be made and Enterprise Architecture is not serving it fullest potential. Enterprise Architecture done after decisions are made is merely documentation of those decisions or at best enforcement of those decisions. No insight is gained as to the effect of those decisions which could be far-reaching and perhaps detrimental.
1.2 Structure of this Document
This document introduces the TOGAF Standard and the TOGAF Library, and includes definitions and referenced materials relevant to the individual elements of the Standard.
- This chapter provides a general introduction to Enterprise Architecture and the TOGAF Standard
- 2. The TOGAF Documentation Set describes:
- The scope and structure of the materials that make up the TOGAF Standard
- The scope and structure of the TOGAF Library
- 3. Core Concepts describes the core concepts that are used across the components of the TOGAF Standard
- 4. Definitions contains definitions of terms that are used consistently across the components of the TOGAF Standard
- A. Referenced Documents contains a list of documents referenced in the TOGAF Standard
- B. Glossary of Supplementary Definitions contains a supplementary list of definitions of terms that may be encountered when reading the materials that make up the TOGAF Standard
- C. Abbreviations contains a list of commonly used abbreviations
1.3 Information on Using the TOGAF Standard
1.3.1 Conditions of Use
The TOGAF Standard is freely available for viewing online without a license. Alternatively, it can be downloaded and stored under license, as explained on the TOGAF information website.
In either case, the TOGAF Standard can be used freely by any organization wishing to do so to develop an architecture for use within that organization. No part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, for any other purpose including, but not by way of limitation, any use for commercial gain, without the prior permission of the copyright owners.
1.3.2 How Much Does the TOGAF Standard Cost?
The Open Group is committed to delivering greater business efficiency by bringing together buyers and suppliers of information systems to lower the barriers of integrating new technology across the enterprise. Its goal is to realize the vision of Boundaryless Information Flow.
The TOGAF Standard is a key part of its strategy for achieving this goal, and The Open Group wants it to be taken up and used in practical architecture projects, and the experience from its use fed back to help improve it.
The Open Group therefore publishes it on its public web server, and allows and encourages its reproduction and use free-of-charge by any organization wishing to use it internally to develop an Enterprise Architecture. (There are restrictions on its commercial use, however; see 1.3.1 Conditions of Use .)
Downloads of the TOGAF Standard, including printable PDF files, are available under license from the TOGAF information website (refer to www.opengroup.org/togaf/downloads). The license is free to any organization wishing to use the standard entirely for internal purposes (for example, to develop an Enterprise Architecture for use within that organization).
1.4 Why Join The Open Group?
Organizations wishing to reduce the time, cost, and risk of implementing multi-vendor solutions that integrate within and between enterprises need The Open Group as their key partner.
The Open Group brings together the buyers and suppliers of information systems worldwide, and enables them to work together, both to ensure that IT solutions meet the needs of customers, and to make it easier to integrate IT across the enterprise. The TOGAF Standard is a key enabler in this task.
Yes, the TOGAF Standard itself is freely available. But how much will you spend on developing or updating your Enterprise Architecture? And how much will you spend on procurements based on that architecture? The price of membership of The Open Group is insignificant in comparison with these amounts.
In addition to the general benefits of membership, as a member of The Open Group you will be eligible to participate in The Open Group Architecture Forum, which is the development program within which the TOGAF Standard is evolved, and in which TOGAF users come together to exchange information and feedback.
Members of the Architecture Forum gain:
- Immediate access to the fruits of the current TOGAF work program (not publicly available until publication of the next edition of the TOGAF Standard) — in effect, the latest information on the standard
- Exchange of experience with other customer and vendor organizations involved in Enterprise Architecture in general, and networking with architects using the TOGAF Standard in significant architecture development projects around the world
- Peer review of specific architecture case study material
1. The TOGAF Library provides an online publicly available structured list of Guides, White Papers, and other resources. Refer to TOGAF Library at www.opengroup.org/togaf-library.
TOGAF is a registered trademark of The Open Group
Any use of this material for commercial purposes is subject to the terms of the Annual Commercial License relating to it.
For further information, see www.opengroup.org/legal/licensing.