FAQ: What’s the difference between enterprise architecture and information architecture?

14th October 2016

The Casewise FAQ blog series provides insights from our top consultants into key issues impacting the business process and enterprise architecture industries

Many people consider enterprise architecture (EA) and information architecture (IA) to be one and the same. Others describe a difference.

Think of EA as the whole company and everything within it. It envelopes the applications and the infrastructure – the hardware, middleware, networks. You can describe EA is managing the information managers.

If EA is all about the infrastructure and how you do things, you can think of IA as being about the data – what you are actually doing.

Enterprise architecture answers the who, what, why, when, and where of a company and what it does.

Many companies grow through acquisition, meaning the organisation becomes fragmented. Re-engineering the architecture of the whole enterprise, and the information within it, becomes a necessary step change in aligning the disparate parts of the organisation.

EA brings everything under one roof and one repository and helps manage the entire enterprise in making sure that, at the end of the day, companies are making proper investments and they have the awareness of impacts going across the company for the long run.