The strategic role of enterprise architecture in transformation

Connecting business and IT for better outcomes

Most organisations still consider enterprise architecture primarily as a department that supports technology instead of seeing it as the essential backbone for business development. For their part, enterprise architects remain optimistic about the evolution of their job and its relevance in organisations.

MEGA International, a global software company, presents the results of the international study conducted by the Enterprise Strategy Group institute on enterprise architecture trends in 2022.

The survey included 300 enterprise architecture professionals in Europe (50%) and the United States (50%), and provides information on:

  • The challenges faced by organisations in terms of enterprise architecture
  • The impact of enterprise architecture on business
  • The current and future priorities of the organisations and the means they intend to implement to achieve their objectives
An overview of the added value of the evolving enterprise architecture

44% of companies have a vision of enterprise architecture centered on IT compared to 26% centered on business. Only 18% of architects surveyed say they are systematically consulted on company development projects. However, it is emphasised that internal collaborations with enterprise architects mainly concern the security, R&D, and application development departments, areas in which the added value of enterprise architecture no longer needs to be proven.

In particular, the security department recognises 77% of the high added value of EA associated with Risk and Compliance Management (GRC). Similarly, organisations that consider enterprise architecture primarily as technological support recognize 46% of its undeniable value in data governance (collection, use, modification, prioritisation, security, and confidentiality) as well as for its efficiency in IT cost management.

The main challenges faced by enterprise architects

80% of enterprise architects surveyed say that their company still suffers from too many manual processes and 79% of them believe that they have a lot of difficulties collaborating with their entire organisation. When the main purpose of enterprise architecture is to support the company's businesses and their transformation, it comes up against difficulties related to collaboration with the businesses and objectives that conflict with IT priorities.

As a result, for a very large majority of respondents, projects take longer to set up (77%) and incur higher costs (78%) than expected. And yet, despite projects deemed difficult, long, and expensive, we can finally see that the architects are satisfied. Additionally, 7 out of 10 respondents believe that their EA teams add value in the key areas they have identified.

Enterprise Architecture: increasing investments

70% of organisations report that their investments in enterprise architecture have increased (15.7% on average) and 97% of them are planning several significant investments in the next two years.

The main motivations for these investments are the facilitation of information, the improvement of business processes and cloud architectures. Automation and reinforcement of artificial intelligence are the two major arguments put forward by respondents for obtaining funding. They will be able to count on major allies to convince their management: CTOs and CIOs.

In conclusion, there is reason to remain optimistic: the value of the business architect profession is considered positive within organisations with 56% of architects who feel recognised internally. A profession which, for 6 out of 10 architects, offers them both an increase in skills and development prospects. In their strategic role to support business in an increasingly digitised economy, enterprise architects more than ever are the essential link between IT and business, and the leaders of digital transformation for organisations.

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