Enterprise Architects Should Follow the Money
Enterprise architecture (EA) offers ways to steer and guide the design and evolution of the enterprise including its information technology (IT). One of the outputs of EA is improved decision-making about IT. Objective: This study aims to provide EA researchers and practitioners with insights into how IT decision-making actually takes place and what that means for them. Method: A systematic literature review was conducted in order to find and analyze primary studies about IT decision-making. Results: We found that IT investment and prioritization is by far the largest decision category. Money seems much more important than content. The IT decision-making process itself is subject to different variables and factors making every IT decision unique. We also found that both rational and bounded rational approaches are used in IT decision-making. EA has not a prominent role in IT decision-making. Conclusions: IT decision-making is a messy and complex process where money plays a prominent role. We argue that, if enterprise architects want to influence IT decision-making, they should follow the money by combining content with investment planning and prioritization. Further research is required into what distinguishes enterprise architects that are successful in IT decision-making, from those that are less successful.