Enterprise architecture is becoming more and more important especially to large companies. Businesses employ enterprise architecture in order to get a clear description of how the company is currently built so that it can be transformed into a target state. Taking into consideration company goals and policies, the company designs company processes and company IT applications geared towards their end goal which is usually operating the business in the most optimal way and therefore maximizing business opportunities and profits.
In designing a specific enterprise architecture for a target, enterprise architects then turn to the patterns of enterprise architecture as their guide. These patterns are solutions and ideas that have been helpful in other business situations. In these architectural patterns, a set of policies are provided, subsystems are specified and interrelationships are provided with guidelines as well. In short, it defines how the organization should be organized so that a particular pattern can be used in the same context.
Note that these patterns are to be used in context. It is only a basis for coming up with a new combination of enterprise architecture. The new combination should have the business aims, current structure and enterprise applications in mind. In order to be able to use a particular pattern, you should know when that pattern is applicable and you should know the pros and cons of applying such pattern to the current problem. You should be able to describe how the pattern is going to solve the problem. In the end, you would also be able to define immediate effects it will have on the organizational structure and on the different actors interacting inside the organization. Depending on which book one would refer to, one would probably come across TADG (Treasury Architectural Development Guidance) Architecture Patterns and IBM Patterns among others.