Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Organizations use enterprise architecture (EA), which describes an enterprise from an integrated business and IT perspective, to improve business and IT alignment. The literature describes many different methodologies to organize EA practice. However, organizations typically adapt these EA methodologies to their specific needs rather than use them directly “out of the box”. As a result, actual EA practices often differ substantially from the original EA methodologies. Unsurprisingly, establishing a successful EA practice remains troublesome even though multiple detailed methodologies exist. However, researchers have yet to investigate the adaptation of EA methodologies in organizations. In this paper, based on an in-depth qualitative case study, I explore the adaptation of the most popular EA methodology, TOGAF, to address this gap. In this paper, I holistically describe a TOGAF-based EA practice and analyze the adaptation of the TOGAF methodology in an organization. From my findings, I conclude that none of the TOGAF-specific recommendations proved useful in the studied EA practice. Supported by ample indirect evidence available in the existing EA literature, this study questions the value of TOGAF as a standard for EA practice. Moreover, the studied EA practice hardly resembles any established EA methodologies or theoretical conceptualizations. Therefore, the EA practice that this case study describes presents a new, largely unexplored empirical phenomenon. Although this study raises multiple “inconvenient” questions challenging the status quo in the EA discipline, it does not provide definite answers to most of these questions, which calls for further research on methodological aspects of EA practice.