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Enterprise Architecture

Managing very large information systems consisting of hundreds or thousands of systems requires a different approach to architecture from the solution architecture techniques used when designing a single system. During the course, we will study enterprise architecture through the example of a large bank, attempt to transfer what we have learned into the environment of course participants, and discuss some of the wider terminology, research, and standards in the field.

Course dates

28th October 2024Oxford University Department of Computer Science - Held in the Department11 places remaining.
10th February 2025Oxford University Department of Computer Science - Held in the Department07 places remaining.


At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Understand what enterprise architecture management is, and how it creates value
  • Understand enterprise architecture management as a holistic process, understand the key sub-processes, the methods and tools used, and the key deliverables
  • Understand Enterprise Architecture as a corporate function, understand various organizational options, understand the roles in enterprise architecture, understand the human factor and what makes somebody a good enterprise architect
  • Understand some of the standards, frameworks and tools in the market, understand the maturity and the current practice of enterprise architecture across the world
  • Understand the importance and the key concepts of integration architecture for evolving large portfolios of applications
  • Learn how to apply all of this in your own organization


  • What is enterprise architecture, IT complexity, managed evolution
  • Architecture management process, developing an enterprise architecture
  • Business architecture
  • Application architecture
  • Technical architecture
  • Integration architecture
  • Architecture “verticals”, such as security architecture, system management architecture
  • Architecture communication, culture
  • Architecture implementation, project reviews, architecture programs
  • Architecture controls
  • Architecture tools and architecture organization structures
  • Standard architecture frameworks, methods
  • Implementing enterprise architecture in a real-world organization


It is useful, although not absolutely necessary, that you have been exposed to the reality (even if only at the level of a single project) of how an organisation develops and manages the large number of business applications it uses. If you are with such an organization, you will be asked to bring material regarding enterprise architecture in your organization. In the class exercises, you will discuss key enterprise architecture concepts and their applicability in the context of your organisation. Obviously, you will profit most, if you are familiar with your situation and can utilise it during the exercise work.

A general understanding of solution architecture including how a modern application implements business processes and functions, manages data, and runs on an IT infrastructure stack is helpful. But solution architecture is not the focus of this course, and in-depth technical IT knowledge is not required. Although we will work with financial services examples, the business domain of your experience is irrelevant. This course will go beyond the technical aspects of information systems. So, a keen interest in the economic, organizational, cultural, and managerial aspects of evolving the IT landscape of a large organization is necessary.