Modeling and Understanding Complex Enterprise Behavior using a Hybrid Simulation Approach
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Today, the design of enterprises is much more art than science. The complex structure and behavior of enterprises makes it difficult to untangle cause and effect amidst the enterprise’s components and their relationships. In order for managers to understand how an enterprise’s architecture affects its behavior, they need tools and techniques to help them reduce the apparent complexity of the enterprise. The practice of enterprise architecting continues to make advances in this area with frameworks that can be used to guide the decomposition and communication of enterprise architectures, but it does not provide tools to analyze the potential behavior of a proposed enterprise architecture. This research seeks to extend the practice of enterprise architecting by developing an approach for creating simulation models of enterprise architectures that can be used for analyzing the architectural factors affecting enterprise behavior and performance. This approach matches the content of each of the “views” of an enterprise architecture framework with a suitable simulation methodology such as discrete event modeling, agent based modeling, or system dynamics, and then integrates these individual simulations into a single hybrid simulation model. The resulting model is a powerful analysis tool that can be used for “what-if” behavioral analysis of enterprise architectures. This approach was applied to create a hybrid simulation model of the enterprise architecture of a real-world aerospace enterprise. Model analysis revealed potential misalignments between the current enterprise architecture and its established strategy, and suggested relatively minor changes to the architecture that could be made to realize significant gains to enterprise performance.
enterprise, TechSys, simulation
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