The 7 New Rules of Enterprise Architecture

Discover all the latest insights inside the updated edition.

Why are up to 72% of organizations either starting, restarting or renewing their Enterprise Architecture 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."

  • New Rules of Enterprise Architecture
  • Enterprise Architecture business change
  • Enterprise Architecture value
  • Enterprise Architecture stakeholders

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

"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, Enterprise Architecture 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 Enterprise Architecture. Simply demonstrate how the increased amount of higher-quality data helps stakeholders make better informed decisions.

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

enterprise architecture

2. Start with Real Business Problems

Unfortunately, many traditional Enterprise Architecture 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 Enterprise Architecture development efforts, answer this question:
How can we frame the Enterprise Architecture value in terms of business performance measures?

enterprise architecture business problems

3. Build Decisions on Data, Not Opinion

If your Enterprise Architecture 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.

enterprise architecture decision

To move forward, address this question:
Does our existing Enterprise Architecture 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 Enterprise Architecture strategic goals?

enterprise architecture governance

5. Turn Data Into Insight Into Action

Data is good. Insights are better. But action is best. Building strategy-focused metrics on top of Enterprise Architecture 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?

enterprise architecture data

6. The Future is a Work-in-Progress

The future is unpredictable. That means your Enterprise Architecture 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?

enterprise architecture future

7. Build Scalability in Enterprise Architecture

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

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

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

To redefine Enterprise Architecture, 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.

enterprise architecture collaboration

Download the whole Playbook to learn more

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