Establishing Enterprise Architecture on AWS
AWS Whitepaper

Establishing Enterprise Architecture on AWS

Publication date: March 2018 (Document Details)


This whitepaper outlines AWS practices and services that support enterprise architecture (EA) activities. It is written for IT leaders and enterprise architects in large organizations.

Enterprise architecture guides organizations in the delivery of the target production landscape to realize their business vision in the cloud. There are many established enterprise architecture frameworks and methodologies. In this whitepaper, we will focus on the AWS services and practices that you can use to deliver common enterprise architecture artifacts and tools and provide business benefit to your organization.

This whitepaper uses terms and definitions that are familiar to The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) practitioners, but it is not restricted to TOGAF or any other EA framework.


A key challenge facing many organizations is demonstrating the business value of their IT assets. Enterprise architecture aims to define the target IT landscape that realizes the business vision and drives value.

The key goals of enterprise architecture are to:

  • Analyze and evolve the organization’s business vision and strategy

  • Describe the business vision and strategy in a common manner (for example, business capabilities, functions, and processes)

  • Provide tools, frameworks, and specifications to support governance in all the architectural practices

  • Enable traceability across the IT landscape

  • Define the programs and architectures needed to realize the target IT state

A key value proposition of a mature enterprise architecture practice is being able to do better What if? analysis or impact analysis. Being able to identify what applications realize what business capabilities lets you make informed decisions on delivering your organization’s business vision.

For example:

  • What is the impact on our IT landscape if we decide to outsource a certain business service?

  • What business capabilities and processes are impacted if we retire a certain IT system?

  • What is the cost of realizing this aspect of our business vision?

This whitepaper will help you create end-to-end traceability of IT assets, which is one of the main goals of enterprise architecture teams.

Traceability, audit, and capture of current state is a perpetual challenge in a world of vendor-specific hardware and legacy systems. Often it is simply not possible for enterprises to catalog all of their assets. In this scenario, they cannot determine the business value of their IT landscape. Moving to the cloud gives enterprises an opportunity to achieve traceability of their assets in the cloud.

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