Questions I’ve fielded at least several times in the past few years: a) “What is the ROI on enterprise architecture?”, and b) “Enterprise Architecture is overkill, isn’t it? You don’t really need it.” Here is my answer: Every organization already has an EA in place, whether you like it or not; whether you want it or not. Period. (Exclamation point!)
Now the questions back — how much do you want to know about your EA — that you already have, like it or not — and which is often completely screwed up, at least in some areas — so you can run your organization better — understand consequences of your actions before you make decisions; understand inefficiencies or redundancies or communication issues? How many duplicate applications do you have running across business units that serve the same purpose, and how much is it costing you to maintain those redundant or seldom-used applications? If you are about to spend money to introduce a new system, do you really need it, or are there existing systems already deployed that can do the job? If there are severe thunderstorms in a particular region of the country where one of your server farms is located, can they bring down your cloud? Are your workers banging their heads against the wall trying to get things done — constantly tracking down answers to process questions (ie, how to get something done in the organization — without having to send emails around all over the place)? How many inefficiencies exist at your organization that can be discovered by just a little bit of EA discovery work?
How valuable would it be to have such information at your fingertips?
You want ROI numbers? Here’s are some ROI numbers — an article in Computerworld highlighting some of the work done by our colleagues internally at IBM — in this case around application portfolio management: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9226430/IBM_on_path_to_cut_internal_apps_by_85_