Enterprise Architecture for Information System Analysis : Modeling and assessing data accuracy, availability, performance and application usage

Abstract: Decisions concerning IT systems are often made without adequate decision-support. This has led to unnecessary IT costs and failures to realize business benefits. The present thesis presents a framework for analysis of four information systems properties relevant to IT decision-making. The work is founded on enterprise architecture, a model-based IT and business management discipline. Based on the existing ArchiMate framework, a new enterprise architecture framework has been developed and implemented in a software tool. The framework supports modeling and analysis of data accuracy, service performance, service availability and application usage. To analyze data accuracy, data flows are modeled, the service availability analysis uses fault tree analysis, the performance analysis employs queuing networks and the application usage analysis combines the Technology Acceptance Model and Task-Technology Fit model. The accuracy of the framework's estimates was empirically tested. Data accuracy and service performance were evaluated in studies at the same power utility. Service availability was tested in multiple studies at banks and power utilities. Data was collected through interviews with system development or maintenance staff. The application usage model was tested in the maintenance management domain. Here, data was collected by means of a survey answered by 55 respondents from three power utilities, one manufacturing company and one nuclear power plant. The service availability studies provided estimates that were accurate within a few hours of logged yearly downtime. The data accuracy estimate was correct within a percentage point when compared to a sample of data objects. Deviations for four out of five service performance estimates were within 15 % from measured values. The application usage analysis explained a high degree of variation in application usage when applied to the maintenance management domain. During the studies of data accuracy, service performance and service availability, records were kept concerning the required modeling and analysis effort. The estimates were obtained with a total effort of about 20 man-hours per estimate. In summary the framework should be useful for IT decision-makers requiring fairly accurate, but not too expensive, estimates of the four properties.