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Business and IS Architecture Design

  • Teacher(s):   C.Legner  
  • Course given in: English
  • ECTS Credits: 6 credits
  • Schedule: Spring Semester 2021-2022, 4.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  sessions
  • site web du cours course website
  • Related programme: Master of Science (MSc) in Information Systems
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Many organizations are currently undergoing digital transformation. They actively look for opportunities to radically change their business models and their way of working through digital technologies, in particular social media, mobile, analytics, cloud computing and Internet of Things (SMACIT). At the same time, the complexity of corporate IT landscapes has been steadily growing, and keeping pace with an everchanging business and technology environment is challenging. In response, architectural considerations have become a key concern for IT departments in their digital transformation initiatives.

This course introduces students to business and IS architecture concepts and their application in digital transformation initiatives. It will provide the foundational knowledge needed for analyzing, modeling and designing information systems, based on enterprise architecture concepts.

Upon completion, students will be able to:

  • understand the importance of architecture thinking in digital transformation,
  • analyze and model an enterprise in its current and target state from an integrated business and technology perspective,
  • systematically capture and analyze business requirements and design to-be solutions,
  • understand and apply architecture concepts and methods in strategic planning, project life-cycle and operations

Students will apply their knowledge in case studies and modeling exercises. Lectures will cover examples from different industries (consumer goods industries, retail, financial industry, and healthcare) and illustrate different architectural challenges.


The course is structured in three parts.

The first part will provide a motivation for architecture thinking in digital transformation based on an introductory case study.

The second part of the course focusses on foundations and business and IS architecture modeling. Students will familiarize with contemporary enterprise architecture frameworks, such as the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architectures or The Open Group Architectural Framework (TOGAF). Based thereon, they learn to model the different layers of the enterprise architecture, namely business, application and technology layer. Students will apply the ArchiMate modeling notation in different exercises.

Once the basis has been set, the third part will focus on business and IS architecture design and transformation in an enterprise. We will thereby focus on three aspects specifically:

  • Strategic planning (analyze business strategy and requirements using capability maps, assess situation and plan architecture accordingly),
  • Project portfolio and life cycle (connect architecture and agile approaches with the SAFe Scaled Agile Framework; evaluate, design and implement solutions),
  • Operation and monitoring (monitor operational changes and establish feedback processes)

This course is given in English, but students can ask questions and get answers in French.


Class materials (copies of slides, exercices, and relevant readings) will be posted on the Moodle class website.

The following sources provide an introduction to the topic:

  • Ross, J., Beath, C., Mocker, M. (2019): Designed for Digital - How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Successy, Harvard Business Press
  • Lankhorst et al. (2017): Enterprise Architecture at Work – Modelling, Communication and Analysis, Springer
  • Ahlemann, F., Stettiner, E., Messerschmidt, M., Legner, C. (2012): Strategic Enterprise Architecture Management: Best Practices, Current Challenges and Future Development, Springer
  • Roth, R.M., Dennis, A., Wixom, B.H. (2018): Systems Analysis and Design, 7th Edition, John Wiley & Sons Inc.


Students need to have basic knowledge in information systems and in process and data modeling (cf. Bachelor courses "Information Systems" and "Modèles informatiques").


First attempt

Written 2h00 hours

The evaluation is based on two elements:

  • a written on-line exam at the end of the semester (50%) on the campus
  • two mandatory assignments during the semester (50%)

Specific regulations: A minimum grade of 3.0 in the written exam is required to pass the course. If the grade is <3.0, the written exam will determine the final grade and the other elements (i.e. assignments) will not be taken into account. Documentation is not allowed during the final exam. Only dictionaries are permitted.


Written 2h00 hours

In case of reexamination, the grades obtained in the assignments stay valid. A minimum grade of 3.0 in the written exam is required to pass the course (same rules apply as for the first exam session).

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