The IT architecture of a business is one of the pillars supporting the execution of that business, and one of the critical components in both product architecture and enterprise architecture.
The IT strategy of a business must, however, take into account all products and services offered by the company, and also the whole portfolio of running projects – some of which may be development projects and other that may be customer implementation projects. Furthermore, changes to the IT architecture tend to involve expensive investments and are often risk-prone.
The primary goals of the IT strategy are therefore usually to optimize for the required level of service, at the lowest possible cost.
Very often, however, this optimization require decisions that are of a highly strategic nature, and often reversible only at a great cost – typically involving standardization on a single technology or outsourcing part of the operation.
The resulting rigidness stands in stark contrast to the necessary business agility that is required if business is to respond to changes and maintain its competitiveness.
Consequently, the IT architecture must be planned to accommodate for necessary adjustments to the IT strategy, which must follow as the business strategy adopts to changes in business context.