Here at MEGA, we’ve been curious about the current state of affairs regarding enterprise architecture (EA) practices and if the business’s perception of EA is beginning to change from being an innovation blocker to an innovation supporter. We’ve been hearing lots of chatter that enterprise architecture’s value is finally starting to be recognized by business leaders – but is this true? Has the tide finally started to shift so that EA is seen as a must-have instead of a nice-to-have? We took advantage of being in the presence of such a great group of attendees at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo and decided to examine how enterprise architecture practices are perceived by the business. We ran a survey from our exhibit booth asking attendees:
Attendees had 4 options to choose from:
We had 223 responses to our survey and discovered that almost 40% felt their organization viewed the enterprise architecture practice as useful, which is encouraging. However, almost 30% responded that their business viewed enterprise architecture as having little or no value, illustrating that there’s still much work to be done educating senior leaders and business executives about the power and value of EA.
Here’s a breakdown of our survey results:
Although we’re thrilled to see some enterprise architecture practices have gained status and are trusted and influential within their organizations, many EA programs still struggle to earn trust and be viewed as valuable. Enterprise architecture is often seen as an intrusive cost center that builds architecture for the sake of architecture, delivering nothing more than noise. But there is a path that can be followed where the efforts of the enterprise architecture team will deliver value back to the business. Identify short-term projects, deliver small wins, and soon you will be appreciated as useful to a few key stakeholders. Leverage this new confidence in EA as a catalyst into bigger projects that have more visibility throughout the organization and you’ll expand the audience that recognizes the value of enterprise architecture and become trusted then influential.
We know EA practices are delivering business value, but as we discovered from our survey results, too frequently they are viewed as offering little value and creating extra work. If you focus on delivering tangible results back to the business, you can elevate your EA practice and increase your influence throughout your organization. Check out our blog post Does Your Enterprise Architecture Practice Amount to Anything More Than Noise? for a step-by-step guide to increasing enterprise architecture’s influence and business value in your organization.