TOGAF – How to Document IT Architecture

Dynamic Workplace Blog / 11. Oktober 2011

In the T-Systems Global Delivery Unit Central Enduser Services (GDU CES), we use TOGAF for documentation of the IT Architecture. Of course Enterprise Architecture Frameworks are good for improving and documenting your IT, but have you ever heard about TOGAF?

To tell the truth, a few months ago I didn’t know about TOGAF either. So what is TOGAF? What is Enterprise Architecture? And how can your business benefit from them?


is the abbreviation for The Open Group Architecture Framework. The Open Group is a global consortium that enables the achievement of business objectives through IT standards. TOGAF is comprised of more than 350 member organizations. Their goal is to lead the development of open, vendor-neutral IT standards and certifications.

TOGAF is an industry-standard architecture framework that may be used freely by any organization wishing to develop an information-systems architecture for use within that organization; for customers, systems and solutions suppliers, tool vendors, integrators and consultants, as well as academics and researchers.

More information on the open group and on TOGAF can be found here:

But what is Enterprise Architecture and how can IT departments benefit from it?

Describing the architecture of an enterprise aims primarily to improve the effectiveness or efficiency of the business itself. This includes innovations in the structure of an organization, the centralization or federation of business processes, the quality and timeliness of business information, or ensuring that money spent on information technology (IT) can be justified.

Here is an example how the structuring of IT can be done:

 So what can Enterprise Architecture do for you? It helps to align business and IT, delivers the foundation for  Enterprise Portfolio Management, and enables organizations to effectively address critical business needs by:

  • Ensuring that everyone speaks the same language (business and IT)
  • Avoiding lock-in to proprietary solutions by standardizing
  • Saving time and money, and utilizing resources more effectively

Let´s return to TOGAF for a minute. TOGAF is developed and  evolved by the Architecture Forum of The Open Group to enable businesses to achieve the right balance between IT efficiency and business innovation, while also taking into consideration the constantly changing needs of the business environment. There is also a certification program for the framework.

TOGAF is based on four pillars, called architecture domains:

  • Business architecture or business process architecture which defines the business strategy, governance, organization, and key business processes of the organization
  • Applications architecture which provides a blueprint for the individual application systems to be deployed, the interactions between the application systems, and their relationships to the core business processes of the organization with the frameworks for services to be exposed as business
    functions for integration.
  • Data architecture which describes the structure of an organization’s logical and physical data assets and the associated data management resources.
  • Technical architecture or technology architecture which describes the hardware, software, and network infrastructure needed to support the deployment of core, mission-critical applications.

The Architecture Development Method (ADM) is applied to develop an enterprise architecture which will meet the business and information technology needs of an organization. It may be tailored to the organization’s needs and is then employed to manage the execution of architecture planning activities.The process is iterative and cyclic. Each step is connected with Requirements.

So why did we choose TOGAF for T-Systems GDU CES? It was an easy decision. It helps us to design, evaluate, and implement the right architecture for your enterprise. And best of all, it is free.



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