Elevate your Enterprise Architecture to make a difference

A recent Gartner survey shows that Enterprise Architecture practices are delivering business value, but how much value exactly do they provide?

An investment in IT should not only maintain the status quo. If you focus on delivering tangible results back to the business, you can elevate your EA practice and increase the outcome.
According to the survey 77% of respondents were either restarting or renewing EA efforts (18%), initiating EA for the first time (34 %), or focusing on taking EA efforts to the next level (25%).

EA practice - from noisy to influential

Noisy – EA seen as extra work and unnecessary

The first stage of EA will often be perceived as a lot of extra work and unnecessary as the enterprise architects hold back people from acting as usual because they need to catalog and architect everything. To move from this stage into stage 2, you should begin implementing use cases to illustrate real business value. EA needs to visualize the end-state and think strategically about the company’s future objectives.


Useful – EA seen as business operations support

In this phase the enterprise architects start implementing use cases delivering on business outcomes. As they are now producing real value they begin to transform into a business unit contributing to reaching goals of the organization and gaining traction and buy-in from business leaders. The architects should now start focusing on supporting business operations and implement additional use cases building towards the strategic plan, but always focused on business outcomes. As the number of use cases expands, the amount of data used and maintained grows, which increases the business value of enterprise architecture.

Trusted – Enterprise Architect seen as a business partner

The trust and influence of the Enterprise Architect grow along with delivering value. The EAs develop into a source of truth for reliable information and people will request them to assist on additional use cases. Once this happens they can move on from focusing on business operations to focusing on strategic planning and make the C-suite key stakeholders. By using the information now maintained in the repository the EAs are now able to produce rapid impact analysis and transformation scenario simulations.

Influential – EA seen as a strategic partner

At this point, business leaders start consulting EA before undertaking new initiatives because they see them as their strategic partners. To remain at this stage EA should continue focusing on the capabilities and needs of the organization to provide tangible business value and drive transformation and innovation.

Current perceptions of enterprise architecture practices (survey results)

The 223 responses that we got on our survey based on the below 4 questions showed that 40% felt their organization viewed the enterprise architecture practice as useful but 30% viewed it as having little or no value.

The conclusion is that there is still a long way to go to convince senior leaders and business executives about the power and value of EA.

NOISY – EA has no “perceived” value and is seen as extra effort
USEFUL – EA has produced value, but for too few stakeholders
TRUSTED – EA has a reputation for delivering value and is seen as a source of truth
INFLUENTIAL – The business says, “Let’s ask EA before we do…,” you’re in collaborative mode