Enterprise architecture coming of age?

Enterprise architecture (EA) is no longer about producing pretty diagrams that end up in a drawer somewhere.

A recent study by Architecture & Governance Magazine, sponsored by Troux Technologies, found that enterprise architecture is now being used by organisations to fuel business growth, as opposed to simple modelling of the IT environment.

For a long time vendors like Troux, Popkin (Telelogic, now bought by IBM) and others have argued that EA needs to be ‘actionable’. In other words, rather than just modelling the enterprise with pretty diagrams representing process flows and the like, the models are used to actively underpin strategic initiatives.

Of the 289 enterprise architects that responded, 57% said enterprise architecture is being applied to growth and innovation initiatives.

The news was not all good, however. Another of the survey’s key findings reflected the respondents’ feeling that they do not have a reliable way to accurately view the changing IT and business landscape of their organisation for a year or more.

“This really demonstrates that today’s CIOs are flying blind,” said James Rogers, chief marketing officer at Troux Technologies. “Even though they are responsible for directing and funding business initiatives, they often don’t have a clear picture of the items which drive operations. This makes successful strategic planning very difficult, especially for growth initiatives.”

Other key findings include:

72% said the executive team was somewhat to very involved in making decisions regarding enterprise architecture.

Respondents were asked to select the top CIO-generated initiatives for 2007. The respondents were given six choices and could choose as many as applied. Out of the list:

– 65% are being tasked to standardise IT people processes and technology

– 54% identified integration/SOA/corporate agility as a priority

– 49% stated rationalising the application portfolio

– 46% must manage projects with more predictability

– 38% mentioned growth/innovation

– 32% selected improving operational risk management of IT

Of the 289 respondents, 37% were just getting started with their EA projects, while 10% were already able to demonstrate value across the organisation

According to the respondents, EA is being (or will be) used for a number transformation projects, including:

– 57%: growth and innovation

– 44%: cost management and/or reduction

– 41%: investment planning

– 33%: risk management and compliance

Architecture & Governance Magazine can be found here.

CBR wrote about Troux Technologies and their arguments about EA here.

And there’s a CBR podcast with former Popkin CEO and Telelogic chief strategist, Jan Popkin, here.

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Type: White Paper


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