The Cream Slicing Theorem

by Nov 3, 2021News Homepage

Today I will introduce you to the term and the thought model “Enterprise Architecture”. You will also learn what it has to do with yawave’s favorite dessert.

What is Enterprise Architecture?

Enterprise architecture is understood in the following as the joint consideration of IT architecture and business architecture. This results in five levels, so-called “stacks”. At the bottom is the hardware, i.e. infrastructures, networks, servers. On top of this – as the next highest level – runs software, i.e. middleware, but also applications. This application landscape is determined by the hardware below it. Above this, on level three, are the data and business functions of the company – historically grown, often inconsistent and heterogeneous data landscapes. Above them, on level four, are the business processes – very heterogeneous because they are separated by department, redundant, operational, and possibly distributed across all locations in many countries. Finally, on the top level are the products and the strategy of the company.


All five levels are interlinked and interdependent. They lie on top of each other like a stack of building blocks. If you carelessly pull out a building block in order to change it, the whole stack will shake and may collapse. In the worst case, this means that a company can no longer manufacture its products because it has changed the hardware.

Enterprise architecture models have been developed to prevent this from happening. They take into account the interdependencies between the layers and provide a framework that can be used to make changes to the stacks without causing failures in the system. In addition, processes, dependencies and costs become more transparent, which can ultimately lead to greater efficiency.


At yawave, the five layers are often referred to as the “cream slice” or “cream slice model”. For those who don’t know what a Swiss crème slice is, here’s a picture. I hope this post has whetted your appetite for the next one!

About the author


Arne König is Content Marketing Manager at yawave, a content suite that allows content to be centrally managed and shared via omni-channel publishing. He has been working in content marketing and as an author of trade books and novels for 20 years. 

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