Information systems architecture is an emerging discipline directed towards the planning and control of information systems resources throughout an organization. It is seen as a vehicle for assisting managers in the task of dealing with the need for integration in a complex technological environment, and coming to grips with issues concerning the role of information systems in supporting the organization's business needs. One of the most important applications of architecture for some companies may well be in the area of competitive strategy. Architecture can provide the vision and structure that will enable a company to utilize its information systems resources to gain strategic advantage over its competitors. Thirteen companies facing architectural problems were organized in a consortium to exchange ideas on common issues and to work on developing architectural frameworks, guidelines and methodologies. This article presents the results of an exploratory research study which examined the state of architectural activities at each of these companies.
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