A disconnect between the way many organizations pursue enterprise architecture (EA) and the impact of EA has the businessis prevengint EA from delivering business value, according to a report from IT research firm Gartner. The report suggested EA practitioners need to re-examine old practices and shift their focus to deliverables that direct change and empower business and IT leaders to make better decisions.
Gartner has categorized five types of deliverables that could help EA practitioners deliver business value from EA efforts:
Measurable deliverables: these specifically measure the direct impact of EA on the business.
Actionable deliverables: these drive change and must have a direct relationship to business outcomes and stakeholder requirements, and present senior IT or business executives with a decision to be made or a specific action to be taken that moves the business toward a future state
Diagnostic deliverables: these include models, requirements and analysis tools that are designed to enable IT and business leaders to understand the impact of different decisions made in response to business disruption or business opportunity; they combine different views of a problem or opportunity to address a specific need.
Enabling deliverables: these are composed of information that is collected; they provide input to diagnostic deliverables that represent the business, people, processes, information and technology, and are collected from existing information sources, such as performance metrics, reports from PPM, or a business process diagram from BPM.
The report notes that EA practitioners need to find the right balance of resource investment (time, energy and money) between all of these deliverables, while understanding that stakeholders only value actionable and measurable deliverables. The deliverables must work with other business and IT disciplines such as:
business process management (BPM)
program and portfolio management (PPM)
business information (BI)
finance and human resources
Currently, less than 44 percent of EA organizations worldwide have defined metrics, the report said, and even fewer are focusing metrics on business outcomes. It s often the case that many of these organizations measure what an EA team is doing, for example how many deliverables created, rather than gauging the impact of EA on the business, the report said.