Enterprise Architecture for Complex System-of-Systems Contexts

by Philip Boxer

This paper was presented in collaboration with Suzanne Garcia at the 3rd Annual IEEE Systems Conference in Vancouver March 23-26 with the following abstract:

An enterprise architecture is an accepted, widely used means for an organization to capture the relationship of its business operations to the systems and data that support them. Increasingly, enterprises are participating in complex system-of-systems contexts in order to meet changing customer demands that require them to collaborate with other enterprises in new and innovative ways. For a complex system-of-systems context, a shortcoming of enterprise architecture is that it presumes a single enterprise or a single, ultimate source of control.

This paper explores an approach to reasoning about distributed collaboration in the complex system-of-systems, multi-enterprise context, in which this single, ultimate source of control does not exist. It outlines the ways in which the long-used Zachman Framework for enterprise architecture would need to be modified to account for multi-enterprise collaboration and decentralized governance. It proposes a concept of stratification to meet this need and puts forward the main characteristics of the methods needed to model the stratified relationships of complex systems-of-systems to their contexts-of-use.

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