Generalised Enterprise Reference Architecture and Methodology (GERAM)
Generalised Enterprise Reference Architecture and Methodology (GERAM) is a comprehensive framework for the development, implementation, and management of enterprise architectures (EA) in various organizations and industries. GERAM was introduced in the 1990s by the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) and the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) as a part of their efforts to standardize and harmonize various EA methodologies, models, and tools.
GERAM serves as a high-level meta-framework that incorporates and integrates different EA methodologies, reference architectures, and modeling languages. The primary goal of GERAM is to provide a unified and customizable approach to enterprise architecture, enabling organizations to select and adapt the most appropriate components and methods based on their specific needs and context.
The key elements of GERAM include:
- Reference models: GERAM provides a set of reference models that define the common elements and structures of enterprise architectures, such as business processes, information systems, and technology infrastructure. These reference models can be customized and extended to create organization-specific architectures.
- Methodologies: GERAM includes various methodologies for developing, implementing, and managing enterprise architectures, such as TOGAF (The Open Group Architecture Framework), Zachman Framework, and DoDAF (Department of Defense Architecture Framework). Organizations can choose and adapt the most suitable methodology based on their requirements and context.
- Modeling languages: GERAM supports multiple modeling languages and notations, such as Unified Modeling Language (UML), Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN), and ArchiMate. These languages can be used to create graphical representations of enterprise architectures, enabling better communication and understanding among stakeholders.
- Tools and techniques: GERAM provides a variety of tools and techniques for enterprise architecture analysis, design, implementation, and management, such as gap analysis, impact analysis, and performance measurement. These tools and techniques can help organizations identify areas of improvement, assess the impact of changes, and monitor the performance of their enterprise architectures.
- Best practices and guidelines: GERAM offers best practices and guidelines for enterprise architecture development, implementation, and management, derived from various industries and organizations. These best practices and guidelines can help organizations improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their enterprise architecture initiatives.
The benefits of using GERAM as an enterprise architecture framework include:
- Flexibility: GERAM allows organizations to select and adapt the most appropriate components and methods based on their specific needs and context, enabling a tailored approach to enterprise architecture.
- Integration: GERAM integrates various EA methodologies, reference architectures, and modeling languages, providing a comprehensive and unified framework for enterprise architecture.
- Standardization: GERAM promotes standardization and harmonization of EA concepts, models, and methods, facilitating better communication and collaboration among stakeholders.
- Continuous improvement: GERAM encourages the adoption of best practices and guidelines for enterprise architecture, helping organizations improve their EA initiatives' effectiveness and efficiency.
In summary, GERAM is a flexible and comprehensive meta-framework for enterprise architecture, providing organizations with a unified and customizable approach to developing, implementing, and managing their enterprise architectures. By integrating various methodologies, reference architectures, and modeling languages, GERAM enables organizations to select and adapt the most suitable components and methods based on their specific needs and context, leading to more effective and efficient EA initiatives.