Business principles and business goals are fundamental to the organization, and are usually defined much before the architecture activity was even conceived. But, in the preliminary phase, we need to restate them in a form relevant to the enterprise architecture. They are then further reviewed in the Architecture Vision Phase A.
Principles are often common across organizations. TOGAF standard proposes these set of Business Principles
This is perhaps the most fundamental of all the principles. Essentially, It announces that the principles are primary source of any decision in the enterprise.
These principles of information management apply to all organizations within the enterprise.
The only way we can provide a consistent and measurable level of quality information to decision-makers is if all organizations abide by the principles.
We are here because of the enterprise. That has to be our goal. The second principle highlights this aspect.
Information management decisions are made to provide maximum benefit to the enterprise as a whole.
This principle embodies "service above self". Decisions made from an enterprise-wide perspective have greater long-term value than decisions made from any particular organizational perspective. Maximum return on investment requires information management decisions to adhere to enterprise-wide drivers and priorities. No minority group will detract from the benefit of the whole. However, this principle will not preclude any minority group from getting its job done.
Information and information security are increasingly important for any enterprise. This principle highlights the fact that it is not a one man job. Everyone in the enterprise has to work towards achieving information security.
All organizations in the enterprise participate in information management decisions needed to accomplish business objectives.
Information users are the key stakeholders, or customers, in the application of technology to address a business need. In order to ensure information management is aligned with the business, all organizations in the enterprise must be involved in all aspects of the information environment. The business experts from across the enterprise and the technical staff responsible for developing and sustaining the information environment need to come together as a team to jointly define the goals and objectives of IT.
Interruptions are a part of life. We must live with, and in spite of these interruptions. This is the purpose of business continuity.
Enterprise operations are maintained in spite of system interruptions.
As system operations become more pervasive, we become more dependent on them; therefore, we must consider the reliability of such systems throughout their design and use. Business premises throughout the enterprise must be provided with the capability to continue their business functions regardless of external events. Hardware failure, natural disasters, and data corruption should not be allowed to disrupt or stop enterprise activities. The enterprise business functions must be capable of operating on alternative information delivery mechanisms.
Consistency is an asset. Consistency naturally eliminates several boundaries in the information flow. Such consistency is highlighted in this principle
Development of applications used across the enterprise is preferred over the development of similar or duplicative applications which are only provided to a particular organization.
Duplicative capability is expensive and proliferates conflicting data.
This provides an approach to splitting the enterprise into a set of smaller elements. Among the many different ways of doing that, TOGAF recommends the service oriented approach.
The architecture is based on a design of services which mirror real-world business activities comprising the enterprise (or inter-enterprise) business processes.
Service orientation delivers enterprise agility and Boundaryless Information Flow.
This is a must - unless you are working on digitization project for the underworld! Any enterprise wants to comply with the law to ensure sustenance
Enterprise information management processes comply with all relevant laws, policies, and regulations.
Enterprise policy is to abide by laws, policies, and regulations. This will not preclude business process improvements that lead to changes in policies and regulations.
The IT organization is only a small part of any enterprise - with a defined set of impacts and responsibilities. This principle highlights the responsibilities of the IT organization.
The IT organization is responsible for owning and implementing IT processes and infrastructure that enable solutions to meet user-defined requirements for functionality, service levels, cost, and delivery timing.
Effectively align expectations with capabilities and costs so that all projects are cost-effective. Efficient and effective solutions have reasonable costs and clear benefits.
Intellectual property is perhaps the most valuable, hardest to acquire and easiest to loose. Protection of IP is an important aspect of any enterprise, especially the IT domain.
The enterprise’s Intellectual Property (IP) must be protected. This protection must be reflected in the IT architecture, implementation, and governance processes.
A major part of an enterprise’s IP is hosted in the IT domain.
Note that these principles seem to be the most common sense - "In know that" kind. But it is important to list them down. They cover the various domains of work and help us with kind of a very high-level checklist to make sure we refer to each aspect of the business when we make any decision.