A team of IT executives will launch the Enterprise Architecture Interest Group (EAIG), which aims to help companies develop and share tips on building well-structured IT systems.
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"Architecture is becoming a hotter and hotter topic," said Richard Taggart, General Motors' chief architect and a founding member of the group.
Taggart said EAIG's goal is to create standards, methods and practices for enterprise architecture. The group's website (www.eaig.org) emphasises that well-aligned businesses depend on well-defined IT architectures.
In June, EAIG was expected to release its first creation, a set of 12 meta models intended as architectural building blocks. It also has working groups studying ways to measure the benefits of formalising an enterprise architecture.
Developing a general architectural plan has helped GM reduce computing complexity by trimming the number of applications in use at the company from 7,000 to 3,000, and has contributed to saving $1bn annually for the past five years, according to Taggart.
Besides GM, EAIG's members include Booz Allen Hamilton, DaimlerChrysler, Oakland University in Michigan, Sandia National Laboratories and Volkswagen. Membership fees start at $5,000 (£2,700) a year.
For now, the group is user-driven and excludes suppliers. "It's important that we not be technology driven, but driven by practice," Taggart added.
Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service