In 2011 InfoWorld and Forrester Research “Enterprise Architecture Awards“, 6 winning companies show how their initiatives translate to business success.

An enterprise architecture (EA) is a rigorous description of the structure of an enterprise, which comprises enterprise components, the externally visible properties of those components, and the relationships between them. Enterprise architecture serves two main purposes: to provide a framework for collaboration between business and IT and to offer a pivot point for transformational change.

Infoworld and Forrester research

Forrester Research with InfoWorld has indicated six world global companies with the leading enterprise architecture, for the second year…

Each of the six took a different path to earning the 2011 Enterprise Architecture Award. But in all cases, despite challenging economic times, these companies’ EA practice offered a new way forward, streamlining processes and enabling more effective use of IT resources. We at InfoWorld and Forrester Research salute the fine work performed by our 2011 winners.

The full story of each winner can be found at “The 2011 Enterprise Architecture Awards” post.

American Express

American Express in particular — is undergoing a major transformation. To address the complexity of new product and service delivery channels, as well as the need for greater agility and shorter time to market, American Express’s EA practice was charged with helping the company deliver a consistent, global, integrated customer experience based on converged services that run on a common application platform.

Bayer Healthcare

Bayer’s program is designed to act as a “knowledge bridge” between business operations and IT. With 55,000 employees spread around the world and a rich history of mergers and acquisitions, Bayer Healthcare is a big, complex organization. In 2009, it launched its Enterprise Architecture Management program with the creation of a global, Web-based Standards Management Platform that today serves the entire Bayer group.

First Data

First Data’s global EA function has created a framework for strategic technology programs to coordinate technology adoption and development in a manner that maximizes value. Through them, First Data will transform three technology layers: application (SOA, platform rationalization), information (master data management, BI, data warehouse consolidation), and infrastructure (data center consolidation, internal private cloud, provisioning automation).

Singapore Ministry of Education

This is the of most important lessons to learn from… The Singapore Ministry of Education adopted an SOA approach. By enabling IT systems to share and reuse common data services (for example, the Student Information Service) and common business services (such as computation of results aggregates), the organization could respond with agility to the evolving education landscape and its changing policies. For example, when schools introduced a new syllabus or curriculum, the affected systems were able to construct new business processes in a shorter amount of time.

Procter & Gamble

The EA team established a BAF (business architecture framework), to digitize and simplify its end-to-end processes. The framework has four major components: Core process and information maps; Shared service architecture mapping into the company processes; Uniquely defined digital metrics on process standardization, automation, real time information, and employee technical competency; Platform of tools to maintain the data.

USAA

USAA is building a common repository, which will have joint ownership across disciplines and its own governance team made up of representatives from the architecture community. As USAA moves forward with Unified Architecture, one of the vital areas of skill set investment is in visualizations. USAA’s enterprise architects are taking classes and experimenting with different approaches to presenting data.

Would you like to see your company in the next year’s list?