Linking BPM & EA with ArchiMate®

Combining Enterprise Architecture (EA) and Business Process Management (BPM) better aligns IT systems and the business functions they support. In doing so, it helps bring an organization’s IT staff and business process owners closer together to create a more agile enterprise.

Both BPMN and ArchiMate are open standards that improve communication and coherence within the organizations they were designed to serve. Traditionally, each has separate user communities with different needs. Business process owners on one hand, and enterprise architects on the other. Because IT and enterprise architects historically have used different modeling tools than the process owners, a significant amount of misalignment was a predictable outcome. BPM’s strength in supporting the definition and execution of business process can be made even stronger by using BPMN, a graphical modeling language maintained as an open standard by the Object Management Group (OMG®). As good as BPMN is in supporting a business user’s efforts to document and improve business processes, it was never designed to support EA modeling. In fact, much of BPMN’s success can be attributed to being focused on process modeling alone and being designed for business users rather than for programmers. One of the main benefits of process modeling is the creation of a process definition that the IT team can understand and support.

ArchiMate = Easy to define IT landscape.

ArchiMate® is also a powerful graphical modeling language, but specifically designed for use by enterprise architects. The ArchiMate® standard is maintained by the Open Group® and aligned with the TOGAF® architecture content metamodel. ArchiMate® enables an enterprise architect to model architecture layers of an organization in great detail (including IT systems and services), but is light on its ability to design and manage business process. The good news is that there is enough intersection between the two

standards to make a connection. By using a common tool that supports both ArchiMate® and BPMN it is possible to keep the Enterprise Architecture model maintained by IT in sync with a process landscape modeled in BPMN by the business process owners. Supporting both ArchiMate® and BPMN within the same collaborative modeling tool improves both architecture models by increasing visibility, ultimately bringing the business functions and IT together.

Why ArchiMate is Important to Enterprise Architects and IT staff?

In support of business objectives, enterprise architects and IT system architects typically collaborate in developing enterprise architectures that include detailed models for IT systems and applications. Ideally, all stakeholders need to share a common language when discussing high-level business models and also while developing applications to support the objectives. ArchiMate® offers a standards based representation of an

EA model for all stakeholders regardless of their viewpoints. Using Signavio’s ArchiMate® modeler allows enterprise architects to build a modular and reusable architecture repository. This portfolio of reusable architecture building blocks allow architects to work in a way that is more efficient. The architecture teams gets more work done faster and with better results.

Months to Days

Most EA tools available today are not SaaS-based and do not incorporate Signavio’s collaborative approach to modeling. Taking the usual approach, models under development can be difficult to share with anyone who has not purchased a license for the client-side software. Getting approval to buy the EA software, having it installed, defining that first meta-model for

applications and services and finally being able to share the result with the business can take months. By using Signavio’s collaborative SaaS-based modeling solution with ArchiMate®, architects will now be able to shorten this time to days.

A Collaborative Result

Signavio and Cisco Systems®  joined forces to create this ArchiMate® stencil set using Signavio’s Software Development Kit. The result of this collaboration is also available online as an open source project.

Additionally, Signavio announced a free to use cloud-based ArchiMate 2.1 modeling platform available at