Adaptive enterprise architecture theory

From IS Theory
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Adaptive enterprise architecture theory



Alternate name(s)

Agile Enterprise Architecture, Adaptive Enterprise Design

Main dependent construct(s)/factor(s)

Main independent construct(s)/factor(s)

Concise description of theory

Adaptive enterprise architecture theory, sometimes abbreviated to AEA, involves adapting, defining, operating, managing and supporting (ADOMS) enterprise architecture design (Gill 2015). The focus of design is on the design of adaptive enterprise as an "adaptive enterprise service system" operating in the networked and connected ecosystem (system of systems).


The AEA theory focuses on the data-driven capability to "continuously scan and sense the internal and external environment for data about known and unknown events (complex event processing), changes or disruptions, interpret and analyse the collected data, and decide and respond based on intuition and rationale to expected and unexpected changes (threats and or opportunities) for adaptations".


The AEA theory includes the ADOMS approach, which is organized into two layers: outer layer and inner layer. The outer layer presents the adapting capability and the inner layer presents the defining, operating, managing, and supporting capabilities. The integrated inner and outer capabilities collectively define the “ADOMS” approach for the adaptive enterprise architecture. The outer layer identifies and feeds the adaptation changes (threat and opportunities) to inner layer. The inner layer handles the changes through the integrated engagement and governance.

Outer layer: The adapting capability involves context awareness, enterprise architecture assessment, rationalisation, realisation, and unrealisation of changes for adaptation. The adapting capability includes: scan and sense, interpret and analyse, decide and respond to internal and external changes (data-driven adaptability). The adapting capability in the outer layer initially identifies the change requirements (initiatives or ideas) that may initiate 1 or many projects. These project(s) initiatives or ideas can be further defined and handled through the inner layer via integrated engagement and governance. Deferred or low priority changes are pushed to unrealisation, which can be pulled again and reprioritized for realisation, if required.

Inner layer: This includes defining, operating, managing and supporting the integrated adaptive enterprise architecture capability for handling the change for adaptation via identified projects from the outer layer.

Diagram/schematic of theory

Adaptive Enterprise Architecture Theory.png

Source: Gill, A.Q. (2015). Adaptive Cloud Enterprise Architecture. World Scientific Publishing.

Application of theory

The AEA theory can be applied to study and be embedded in the design of existing and new enterprise architecture frameworks. Following is an example of an AEA framework, which is organized into interaction, human, technology, facility, environment and security architecture viewpoints with overarching AEA theory elements (scan & sense, interpret & analyse, design & respond). Interaction centric viewpoint specifies the interactions between the human, technology, facility and environment elements. Human centric viewpoint specifies the business, information, social and professional architecture elements. Technology centric viewpoint specifies the application, data, platform and infrastructure elements. Facility centric viewpoint specifies the spatial, energy, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and ancillary elements. Environment centric viewpoints specifies the political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal elements. Security is an overarching concern or viewpoint that considers AEA elements as assets and focuses on their resilience based on asset value and risk to such value.

Adaptive EA Framework Example
Adaptive EA Framework Example

Source: Gill, A.Q. (2015). Adaptive cloud enterprise architecture. World Scientific Publishing.

Source: Gill, A.Q., Beydoun, G., Niazi, M. and Khan, H.U. (2020). Adaptive architecture and principles for securing the IoT systems. International Conference on Innovative Mobile and Internet Services in Ubiquitous Computing, Springer.

Originating author(s)

Asif Qumer Gill

Seminal articles

Haeckel, S.H., (1999). Adaptive enterprise: Creating and leading sense-and-respond organizations. Harvard business press.

Qumer, A. and Henderson-Sellers, B. (2006). Measuring agility and adaptibility of agile methods: A 4 dimensional analytical tool. In The IADIS international conference on applied computing 2006. IADIS Press.

Wilkinson, M. (2006). Designing an ‘Adaptive’ Enterprise Architecture. BT Technology Journal, 24(4), 81–92.

Qumer, A. and Henderson-Sellers, B. (2008). An evaluation of the degree of agility in six agile methods and its applicability for method engineering. Information and software technology, 50(4), pp.280-295.

Yu E., Deng S., Sasmal D. (2012).Enterprise Architecture for the Adaptive Enterprise – A Vision Paper. In: Aier S., Ekstedt M., Matthes F., Proper E., Sanz J.L. (eds) Trends in Enterprise Architecture Research and Practice-Driven Research on Enterprise Transformation. PRET 2012, TEAR 2012. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Gill, A.Q. (2013). Towards the Development of an Adaptive Enterprise Service System Model. Proceedings of the Nineteenth Americas Conference on Information Systems, Chicago, Illinois.

Gill, A.Q. (2013). Defining a Facility Architecture within the Agile Enterprise Architecture Context. Orbus Software, White Paper, WP0107.

Gill, A.Q. (2013). Defining a Social Architecture within the Enterprise Architecture Context. Orbus Software, White Paper, WP0090.

Gill, A.Q. (2014). Applying Agility and Living Service Systems Thinking to Enterprise Architecture. International Journal of Intelligent Information Technologies, 10(1), 1-15.

Gill, A.Q., Alam, S.L., & Eustace, J. (2014). Using Social Architecture to Analyzing Online Social Network Use in Emergency Management. Twentieth Americas Conference on Information Systems, Savannah, USA.

Gill, A.Q., Alam, S.L., & Eustace, J. (2015). Social Architecture: An Emergency Management Case Study. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 19, 23-40.

Gill, A.Q. (2015). Agile enterprise architecture modelling: Evaluating the applicability and integration of six modelling standards. Information and Software Technology, 67(1), 196-206.

Gill, A.Q. (2015). Social architecture considerations in assessing social media for emergency information management applications. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 30(1), 17-21.

Gill, A.Q. (2015). Adaptive Enterprise Architecture Driven Agile Development. International Conference on Information Systems Development, Harbin, China.

Alzoubi, Y.I. and Gill, A.Q. (2016). An agile enterprise architecture-driven model for geographically distributed agile development. Transforming Healthcare Through Information Systems, Springer.

Korhonen, J. J., Lapalme, J., McDavid, D., & Gill, A. Q. (2016). Adaptive enterprise architecture for the future: Towards a reconceptualization of EA. IEEE 18th Conference on Business Informatics, Paris, France.

Srinivas, S., Gill, A.Q., & Roach, T. (2020). Analytics Enabled Adaptive Business Architecture Modeling. Complex Systems Informatics and Modeling Quarterly (CSIMQ), 23-43.

Alam, S.L., & Gill, A.Q. (2020). A Social Engagement Framework for the Government Ecosystem: Insights from Australian Government Facebook Pages. Forty-First International Conference on Information Systems. India.

Gill, A.Q., Beydoun, G., Niazi, M. and Khan, H.U. (2020). Adaptive architecture and principles for securing the IoT systems. International Conference on Innovative Mobile and Internet Services in Ubiquitous Computing, Springer.

Alzoubi, Y.I., & Gill, A.Q. (2020). An Empirical Investigation of Geographically Distributed Agile Development: The Agile Enterprise Architecture Is a Communication Enabler. IEEE Access, 80269-80289.

Proper, H. A., Guédria, W. and Sottet, J.S. (2020). Enterprise Modelling in the Digital Age. In V. Kulkarni, S. Reddy, T. Clark, and B. S. Barn, editors, Advanced Digital Architectures for Model-Driven Adaptive Enterprises, IGI Global, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 46-67.

Srinivas, S., Gill, A.Q., & Roach, T. (2021). Can Business Architecture Modeling be Adaptive? IT Professional, 23(2), 81-88.

IS articles that use the theory

Gill, A., Smith, S., Beydoun, G. & Sugumaran, V. (2014). Agile enterprise architecture: a case of a cloud technology-enabled government enterprise transformation. Proceeding of the 19th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, Chengdu, China.

Gill, A., Chew, E., Bird, G. & Kricker, D. (2015). An Agile Service Resilience Architecture Capability: Financial Services Case Study . IEEE 17th Conference on Business Informatics, Lisbon, Portugal.

Gill, A.Q. (2015). Distributed Agile Development: Applying a Coverage Analysis Approach to the Evaluation of a Communication Technology Assessment Tool. International Journal of e-Collaboration, 11(1), 57-76.

Gurung, A. (2015). A Reference Model for Trust Framework based on Identity Ecosystem. Macquarie University, Thesis, Sydney, Australia.

Vasauskaite, J., & Gill, A.Q. (2015). Rethinking Enterprise Architecture for Sustainable Energy System Development. JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, 13(3).

Gill, A., Chew, E., Kricker, D. Bird, & G. (2016). Adaptive Enterprise Resilience Management: Adaptive Action Design Research in Financial Services Case Study. IEEE 18th Conference on Business Informatics, Paris, France.

Masuda, Y., Shirasaka, S. and Yamamoto, S. (2016). Integrating mobile IT/cloud into enterprise architecture: a comparative analysis. Pacific Asia Conference On Information Systems, Chiayi, Taiwan.

Masuda, Y. and Viswanathan, M. (2019). Enterprise architecture for global companies in a digital it era: adaptive integrated digital architecture framework (AIDAF). Springer.

Cox, J. (2016). Denon & Marantz (D+M): Generating Growth the Customer Adaptive Way. Ovum, IT0020-000231.

Cox, J. (2018). A Customer-Adaptive Architectural Approach for Digital Business Transformation. Ovum, INT001-000040.

Gill, A.Q. & Chew, E. (2019). Configuration information system architecture: Insights from applied action design research. Information & Management, 56(4), 507-525.

Anwar, M.J., Gill, A.Q., & Beydoun, G. (2019). Using Adaptive Enterprise Architecture Framework for Defining the Adaptable Identity Ecosystem Architecture. Australasian Conference on Information Systems, Perth, Australia.

Masuda, Y. and Viswanathan, M. (2019). Direction of digital it and enterprise architecture. Enterprise architecture for global companies in a digital IT era, Springer.

Verhoeven, P.L. (2019). Adaptability by Design: Incorporating Adaptability Constructs in the Design of Digital Business Ecosystems. University of Twente, thesis.

Anwar, M.J., Gill, A.Q. (2019). A Review of the Seven Modelling Approaches for Digital Ecosystem Architecture. IEEE 21st Conference on Business Informatics, Moscow, Russia.

Originating area

Information Systems

Level of analysis

Design of a service, capability, enterprise, ecosystem

Links from this theory to other theories

Dynamic capabilities, Evolutionary theory, General systems theory, Competitive strategy (Porter)

External links

Original Contributor(s)

Please feel free to make modifications to this site. In order to do so, you must register.

Return to Theories Used in IS Research