5 days ago

Unveiling the 2024 Enterprise Architecture trends report!

Link: https://bizzdesign.com/blog/2024-enterprise-architecture-insights/

In the last few years, we’ve seen extraordinary changes in technology with the rise of generative AI. As a result of health emergencies, conflict, and extreme weather, supply chains have been interrupted. Costs have been rising across the economy. It’s clear that now, more than ever, organizations must be able to adapt and innovate. Each year, we survey the community for trends in our 2024 State of Enterprise Architecture report. This year, we wanted to see how enterprise architecture functions help their organizations to adapt to change.

The result? Mature enterprise architecture practices not only help to identify cost-saving opportunities, freeing up resources for innovation, but also smooth the path to planned and unplanned change.

State of EA 2024 Insights

Our methodology

We surveyed more than 500 professionals. We asked them to assess their maturity, by telling us to what extent they agree or disagree with seven statements. These included:

  • Our enterprise architecture development process is well-defined, understood, and executed.
  • Our enterprise architecture helps align IT investments with a long-term strategy to reduce risk and deliver business value outcomes.
  • We use an enterprise architecture management tool that supports governed, collaborative design, adherence to industry standards, and powerful analysis.

Using these self-assessment answers, we could identify the top 25% and the bottom 25% of respondents, based on an average of their enterprise maturity scores. These groups we named the leaders and laggards. By comparing their answers to other questions, we could see the impact of mature enterprise architecture practices.

Identifying zombie applications

The easiest way to find resources for innovation and change initiatives is to use what you already have but aren’t using. It sounds simple, but our research highlighted just how big a challenge it is.

We asked respondents to estimate how much of their IT budget they could save by eliminating redundant, obsolete, and duplicated applications. More than half thought they could save between 11% and 30%. 15% of respondents estimated even higher.

How much of your IT budget could you save by rationalizing applications? n=275 

Here’s the but: many organizations don’t know where they can make the cuts. A third of organizations have poor or very poor visibility into unneeded applications across their IT estate.

How would you describe your visibility into duplicated, obsolete, and redundant applications across your IT estate? n=501 

What’s more, 42% of organizations have poor or very poor visibility of data flows and application links. That makes it risky to remove an application and is likely to lead to ‘zombie’ applications that are kept alive although they’re not needed.

How good is your visibility into data flows and application links, so you can manage the risks of removing an application? n=501 

Our research found a clear correlation between having mature practices and having good visibility of unneeded applications and data flows: Those organizations who have good visibility into unneeded applications more often use an enterprise architecture management tool that supports governed, collaborative design, adherence to industry standards, and powerful analysis.

Organizations with good visibility into duplicated, obsolete, and redundant applications more often use a mature enterprise architecture tool

Managing change

We invited people to score their organization’s business agility by asking them about their ability to respond to change.
Our analysis shows a huge gap between the leaders and laggards: Fifty-one percent of leaders cope well with unplanned change, as opposed to only 5% of laggards. Sixty-one percent of leaders execute planned changes well, far more than the 7% of laggards.
Leaders are also better placed to anticipate change and are more likely to out-change their competitors.

Enterprise architecture maturity strongly correlates with business agility 

Strong IT capabilities help to support change and innovation across the organization. Our research discovered a correlation between organizations that have increased their IT budget over the last year and those that say they regularly out-change their competitors and industry peers.

 

IT investors beat competitors on regularly out-changing competitors and industry peers. 

Achieving outcomes with enterprise architecture

Respondents told us the business and IT outcomes their enterprise architecture helps them to achieve, and once again, the leaders had the edge.

  • Fifty-three percent of leaders agree that their enterprise architecture identifies innovation opportunities, compared to 3% of laggards.
  • Sixty percent of leaders say their enterprise architecture identifies cost-saving opportunities, compared to just 10% of laggards.
  • Fifty-four percent of leaders say that their enterprise architecture enables faster time to market, compared to 5% of laggards.

Does your enterprise architecture program support these business outcomes? Many more leaders than laggards agree that they do.

Leaders also outperform laggards in IT benefits. They’re much more likely to agree that their enterprise architecture supports reuse of existing IT assets, reduced security risks, and better IT investment decisions.

Leaders outperform laggards in IT benefits. n=434

What else did we learn?

The State of Enterprise Architecture 2024 also reveals:

  • What encourages organizations to invest in enterprise architecture.
  • The top priorities for improving the impact of enterprise architecture.
  • How organizations assessed themselves on maturity, providing a useful benchmark for your organization.
  • How effectively stakeholders across organizations are collaborating with the enterprise architecture function. We share a breakdown of the tools solution architects use, and an analysis of which business roles are increasing (or decreasing) their engagement with enterprise architecture outputs.

To deep dive into the results, download your free copy of the full report.

 

About the author:

Marc Lankhorst
Managing Consultant & Chief Technology Evangelist at Bizzdesign
Marc contributes to Bizzdesign’s vision, market development, consulting and coaching on digital business design and enterprise architecture. He also spreads the word on the Open Group’s ArchiMate® standard for enterprise architecture modeling, of which he has been managing the development. His expertise and interests range from enterprise and IT architecture to business process management.