Defining Technology Capabilities

4 min

Technology Capabilities are conceptual-level elements that capture what technology does. This tutorial introduces Technology Capabilities and describes how to capture them in Essential Architecture Manager.


Technology Capabilities are Conceptual View elements that define WHAT technology can do. These often have quite abstract names but it is important that they do not imply any particular class of technology or products.

Like other Capabilities in the Essential Meta Model, Technology Capabilities are used to understand whether two types of technology are fundamentally doing the same thing, and to identify where we have duplication in our technology portfolio.

When deciding on the name for a Technology Capability, we often use the ‘Services’ suffix to help convey the abstract nature of this element. It often helps to start with a specific class of technology (Technology Component) and abstract from that WHAT services that technology provides. For example, if we consider the following Technology Component:

  • Technology Component: Relational Database Management System – that provides services that give us the capability to manage structured data

  • Technology Capability: 'Structured Data Management Services'

In the example here we can see that we've abstracted one level above this example to put RDBMS under 'Data Management Services', along with other technologies that support Data Management. If we use the example given above we may have 'Structured Data Management Services' and 'Unstructured Data Management Services' on our diagram (we would probably create a hierarchy and put those under 'Data Management Services'). The important thing is to pick a level that works for your organisation and conveys the answer to the question(s) you are trying to answer.


If the Technology Capability that you need is not already in the model, add it by creating a new instance of the Technology Capability class, as follows:

  • Give the capability a name and description

  • Specify the Technology Domain that this capability belongs to by picking it from the list or creating a new one if no suitable domain exists.

  • Add or define any sub-capabilities that are contained in this one.

  • Capture any relevant technology objectives

  • Capture any relevant technology principles

Updated 31 October 2023

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