Working Paper | HBS Working Paper Series | 2013

Visualizing and Measuring Enterprise Architecture: An Exploratory BioPharma Case

by Robert Lagerstrom, Carliss Baldwin, Alan MacCormack and David Dreyfus

Abstract

We test a method that was designed and used previously to reveal the hidden internal architectural structure of software systems. The focus of this paper is to test if it can also uncover new facts about the components and their relationships in an enterprise architecture, i.e., if the method can reveal the hidden external structure between architectural components. Our test uses data from a biopharmaceutical company. In total, we analyzed 407 components and 1,157 dependencies. Results show that the enterprise structure can be classified as a core-periphery architecture with a propagation cost of 23%, core size of 32%, and architecture flow through of 67%. We also found that business components can be classified as control elements, infrastructure components as shared, and software applications as belonging to the core. These findings suggest that the method could be effective in uncovering the hidden structure of an enterprise architecture.

Keywords: Complexity; Software; Product Design; Pharmaceutical Industry;

Citation:

Lagerstrom, Robert, Carliss Baldwin, Alan MacCormack, and David Dreyfus. "Visualizing and Measuring Enterprise Architecture: An Exploratory BioPharma Case." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 13-105, June 2013.