Despite the hype surrounding enterprise architectures, they have delivered little on their promise. In this paper, we argue that enterprise architectures built using component-based frameworks are fundamentally flawed, in that they model the enterprise as a set of independent structures with discrete boundaries. Disparate concrete metaphors are used to describe each of these structures, with the result that enterprise architectures can only achieve partial success, at best, in providing a unified view of the enterprise. This paper introduces the concept of ‘elastic metaphors’ as society-sourced metaphors for the conceptual modelling of information systems. By modelling the organisation using elastic metaphors sourced from naturally occurring enterprise structures, the enterprise architecture approach presented in this paper avoids the framework segmentation problem.
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