Enterprise architects have sometimes been described as being disconnected from reality. They find it difficult to demonstrate the business value that results from enterprise architecture.
To be aligned with the evolution of the business, they should:
In their new role as an internal management consultant, enterprise architects will clearly show the value generated by the connections between people, processes, applications, and infrastructure.
As internal consultants, the new role of enterprise architects is to:
In the past, enterprise architecture (EA) was often seen as an intrusive cost center that builds “architecture for the sake of architecture,” delivering nothing more than noise throughout the organization.
Today, enterprise architects lead critical change initiatives by leveraging company assets and exploring new business opportunities, such as those delivered by emerging technologies.
Here are the steps that an enterprise architect can take to accelerate and elevate the value they bring to their organization and becoming influential by playing the role of true internal consultants:
But there is a way to move from “Initial” to “Influential”.
To create success in digital transformation, we recommend the following actions:
Step 1: From Initial to Useful. To start gaining influence in their organization, enterprise architects can start building an enterprise architecture baseline that consists of creating an inventory of applications and technology, set up some dashboards, and start socializing their initiative through an enterprise portal.
At this stage, it is important to show quick results by automating the inventory and focusing on the portal.
Step 2: From Useful to Trusted. Enterprise architects can leverage this new confidence as a catalyst to bigger projects that have more visibility throughout the organization and therefore expand the audience that recognizes the value of enterprise architecture. At this stage, they can implement additional use cases focused on business outcomes and establish a Center of Excellence that strengthens the discipline.
Step 3: From Trusted to Influential. Once enterprise architects are viewed as trusted, they’ll be seen as a source of truth for reliable information and the business will start asking for their help. As true experts and internal consultants, the C-suite will soon become their key stakeholders.
To foster innovation, they should establish a governance process and have a comprehensive view of the enterprise. This supports “what if” scenario decision making that drives transformation.
To remain in this stage, enterprise architects can continue focusing on new business-related or Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) use cases, providing tangible business value, and driving transformation and innovation.
In a research note published in 2020, Gartner suggests turning EA into an internal management consultancy by using a value-based selling approach.
Through a complimentary approach, Gartner identifies five steps to demonstrate EA’s value to business leaders:
If you want to learn more about Gartner’s perspective on how to position Enterprise Architecture as an internal management consultancy, please download Gartner’s research Note “5 Steps to Construct a Winning Value Proposition That Positions EA as an Internal Management Consultancy”.