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Building Enterprise Information Architectures: Reengineering Information Systems Paperback – February 1, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0134402567 ISBN-10: 0134402561 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (February 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0134402561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0134402567
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #889,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Less technical and detailed than other like texts, this book sets out to put Business Executives and Managers back in control of their Information Systems Architecture. The approach utilized in this book takes the mystery out of technology, and is based on information processing concepts and breakthroughs that have been largely ignored or buried in technical jargon. This worldwide approach is not limited to any language or cultural constraints.

From the Back Cover

The manager's guide to building a business-oriented information systems architecture. Written for IS and corporate management, CIOs, and consultants. Provides a practical, easy-to-use framework for developing and implementing an enterprise information architecture aligned with business requirements. Learn to eliminate redundancy, control costs, and deploy new technology in an orderly way.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Mike Tarrani HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on February 24, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ms. Cook takes a no-nonsense approach to building an enterprise architecture that puts business requirements first.
She starts this excellent book with a quick history, setting information architecture into a context. This is followed by addressing the hard part of architecture: overcoming political resistance and tackling the thorny problems of aligning systems to what the business needs. She pulls no punches.
The next part of the book, chapter 3, introduces the Zachman Framework, which I personally believe is one of the best foundations for an architecture that aligns IT to business.
Chapters 4 through 7 thoroughly delves into the layers of the Zachman Framework, and provides a coherent and comprehensive description of all of the "moving parts" from both an IT and a business perspective.
The theoretical underpinnings are translated into an actionable plan in chapter 8, titled, "Making It Happen". This chapter is pragmatic and gives a detailed roadmap to implementing an enterprise information architecture that will truly align information technology to business requirements.
Here are the key things I like about this book: (1) It focuses on the business, subordinating technology to a supporting role. This is refreshing. (2) It provides one of the best descriptions of the Zachman Framework I have ever read. (3) Political realities and organizational resistance are taken into account, and some excellent advice for overcoming these barriers is given. (4) Ms. Cook's approach to implementation is straightforward, and if followed, will greatly improve your chances for a successful implementation of an enterprise information architecture. Make no mistake, such an implementation is a daunting task with opportunities to fail lurking in many places.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
Definitely a book to read to understand what an Enterprise architecture is and how to develop one. The book provides a step-based approach to get you to the point where a company can define its EA and how to evolve it. If you are looking for technical details you are in the wrong place. But if rather you want to understand the business benefits, then I doubt you'll find something easier to read on this subject.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 29, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Melissa Cook's work is best suited for the reader possessing little exposure to the overarching concepts concerning the use of modern information systems to support enterprise environments. Viewed from this perspective the book appears to be successful. The text covers several EA topics and issues in a simple, relatively non-technical manner. It also devotes, where possible, a portion of its space to the historical background concerning a particular topic.
For the contemporary CIO or VP of information systems/technology who needs to wrestle with the demands of actually building an enterprise information architecture, the prospects for Cook's book may be different. Such readers may well want to search for texts that drill deeper into the issues and challenges to be faced when building or reengineering application architectures.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
In the modern world of objects and components, Melissa remind's us that there is nothing new under the sun. The strength of this book, appart from being a very enjoyable read, is the reference to classification theory - how to associate and classify real world things within the problem domain. There are many dimensions to understanding architecture and this book exploits the Zackman Framework to present the various perspectives. An essence of realism is presented that crosses the boundary between conceptual and logical thought within the context of Enterprise Architecture - first class. These thoughts and idea's can be applied to the design of gateways and distributed systems in unique and powerful ways. If you suffer from spaggetti or stove-pipe systems and are looking for some new idea's - then this book will provide the medicine you need.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Nick Careless on June 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Melissa has produced an excellent, non technical book which outlines:
- the reasons for taking a business led approach to the development of Enterprise Architecture
- the potential benefits to business of investing in an Enterprise Architecture approach
- practical steps for doing it and overcoming common roadblocks
Some readers will no doubt have wanted Melissa to move on to discussing the technical layers, but I feel this would have diluted one of the key messages of her book - that Enterprise Architecture is primarily a business issue focused on the company's core data and fundamental processes. Technology comes a distant second.
If I have any criticisms, it would be on the suggested representations of the data and process models in the business layers of the architecture framework. My experience working with CEO's and business executives is that they automatically associate the look of these models as being "IT" and mentally switch off.
In order to effectively market Enterprise Architecture and obtain the executive sponsorship necessary to drive it forward, some other ways of representing this information must be found. Representations that the executive team automatically regard as being in the business domain rather than in IT's. This varies from industry to industry and between organisations, but one example that has wide acceptance is the value chain model. Portraying the ballpark view process classes as a value chain does not corrupt the message and can help achieve the buy-in that is so essential.
As Melissa rightfully stresses, a successful Architecture strategy requires the business executive taking ownership and ongoing control of these layers of the architecture framework.
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Building Enterprise Information Architectures: Reengineering Information Systems
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