This paper is presenting a discussion of feral information systems (FIS) in relationship to enterprise architecture (EA) thereby aiming to better qualify the architectural understanding of information systems not in line with corporate IT/IS strategy and policies. A qualitative and case-based approach is used as empirical foundation of this paper. With users developing own IS, classical strategy-based EA approaches are challenged. Identifying FIS can strongly improve insight into organizational processes and shortcomings official EA. A functional and temporal perspective is proposed to guide EA processes to embrace unofficial, user-driven systems. As FIS tend not to follow any rules of corporate IS, EA embrace of FIS is more complex. Using a meta-model for the social and operational character of FIS this complexity can be managed along with the improve business insight. The recognition of FIS in EA both opens up for insight in local adaptations of business processes, but can also create room for low-cost innovation and rapid response to changes in business conditions. Several forecasts are suggesting corporate IT/IS to be more user-driven and with reduced control from IT/IS professionals. This paper is opening a discussion on EA practice when centralized control is assumed to decline. EA has a tendency to be developed “top-down” emphasizing strategic alignment. In this contributed it is suggested to include social and operational alignment in EA practice.
International Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Conference (edoc): 9-13 September 2013, Vancouver, Canada, 2013, p. 289-295