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The 7 New Rules of Enterprise Architecture

Discover all the latest insights inside the updated 2020 edition.

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Why are up to 72% of organizations either starting, restarting or renewing their EA efforts?

Broadly speaking, initiatives that aren't well-understood aren't well-supported: "For too long, Enterprise Architecture (EA) has existed as a black box, a mystery to the rest of the organization."

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However, a growing number of organizations are learning how to clarify the value of EA.

"With the right technology and culture, EA has the potential to become a driver of business change."

To help your business meet the challenges of the future, EA will need to undergo 7 fundamental changes:

1. Enterprise Architecture for the Enterprise, not just the Architects

There's no great 'secret' to selling business leaders on the value of EA. Simply demonstrate how the increased amount of higher-quality data helps stakeholders make better informed decisions.

As you plan your future EA capabilities, consider this factor:
What are the questions my stakeholders are struggling to answer?

Enterprise Architecture for the Enterprise

2. Start with Real Business Problems

Unfortunately, many traditional EA efforts have resulted in widespread perceptions that the practice was too bureaucratic, technical, and a barrier to achieving business results. Your EA initiatives will only succeed if they help address hard business challenges.

As you focus your EA development efforts, answer this question:
How can we frame the EA value in terms of business performance measures?

Start with Real Business Problems

3. Build Decisions on Data, Not Opinion

If your EA still relies on traditional, complex tools that only a few can interpret, then your efforts will have little material impact on the organization. Begin by shoring up the accuracy of your data, then prioritize which metrics are most important, and help stakeholders better understand it through data visualizations.

Build Decisions on Data, Not Opinion

To move forward, address this question:
Does our existing EA toolset offer live API and integrations, or do we need to consider a more capable alternative?

4. Governance is Good, Collaboration is Better

Moving towards open data encourages greater collaboration and alignment between stakeholders. It also helps reduce the need for resource-draining retrospective governance.

To move forward, consider addressing this key question:
What level of engagement do we require from stakeholders to achieve the EA strategic goals?

Governance is Good Collaboration is Better

5. Turn Data Into Insight Into Action

Data is good. Insights are better. But action is best. Building strategy-focused metrics on top of EA data allows you (and your stakeholders) to make sense of disparate information. This generally leads to smarter business decisions.

To move forward, address this question:
Can we create a digital twin of our organization using current tools, or do we need to consider our options?

Turn Data Into Insight Into Action

6. The Future is a Work-in-Progress

The future is unpredictable. That means your EA function must help your business adjust strategy quickly and accurately. Automation is key here – it allows you to increase your ability to model many more futures quickly and efficiently.

Consider this important question:
Do we have a suitably flexible mindset to encourage flexibility?

The Future is a Work-in-Progress

7. Build Scalability in EA

There are few certainties in life – but the exponential growth of your data estate is one of them. Your EA, processes, and delivery must all be scalable.

Aim to answer this key question:
Do our EA tools scale automatically as our estate develops? What needs to change?

For Your EA Efforts to Succeed, You Must Demonstrate Value and Embrace Collaboration

To redefine EA, you must invite stakeholders from across the organization to participate in – and benefit from – your efforts. Educate stakeholders about what they should expect and how they can better utilize data for strategic decision making.

For Your EA Efforts to Succeed

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Discover more about the seven rules of new EA by downloading your copy of the Playbook.