business benefits


Measuring the realization of benefits from Enterprise Architecture Management

Enterprise architecture management (EAM) has become an intensively discussed approach to manage enterprise transformations. While many organizations employ EAM, a notable insecurity about the value of EAM remains. In this paper*, we propose a model to measure the realization of benefits from EAM. We identify EAM success factors and EAM benefits through a comprehensive literature review and eleven explorative expert interviews. Based on our findings, we integrate the EAM success factors and benefits with the established DeLone & McLean IS success model resulting in a model that explains the realization of EAM benefits. This model aids organizations as a benchmark and framework for identifying and assessing the setup of their EAM initiatives and whether and how EAM benefits are materialized. We see our model also as a first step to gain insights in and start a discussion on the theory of EAM benefit realization.

Delivering Business Value Through Enterprise Architecture

There is a substantial interest and investment in enterprise architecture worldwide, exemplified by the number of enterprise architecture-related professional bodies, consulting services, frameworks, methodologies, and the increasing prevalence of full-time enterprise architecture teams. It may seem surprising in this context, therefore, that the value of enterprise architecture is still poorly understood. Organizations cite difficulties in justifying their enterprise architecture investments and anecdotal evidence suggests that the existence and funding of the enterprise architecture function is often based more on the beliefs of the incumbent management team than on demonstrated value. Although there is no shortage of enterprise architecture benefit claims, explanations of why and how enterprise architecture leads to the proposed benefits are fragmented and incomplete. This article aims to take a step towards improving the understanding of the value of enterprise architecture by focusing on how it leads to organizational benefits. Through a careful review of the existing practitioner and academic literature, the article consolidates knowledge on enterprise architecture benefits and refines the explanations by drawing on relevant IS and management theory. The resultant EA Benefits Model (EABM) proposes that enterprise architecture leads to organizational benefits through its impact on four key benefit enablers: Organizational Alignment, Information Availability, Resource Portfolio Optimization, and Resource Complementarity. The article concludes with a discussion of some potential avenues for future research, which could build on the findings of this study.

EA Heavy and EA Light: Two Examples of Successful Enterprise Architecture

Often literature reports on unsuccessful attempts at enterprise architecture. Many exercises do not progress beyond their initial stages, losing momentum during their execution, or they run to conclusion without delivering the promised benefits. This article reports on a significant experience by the authors—engaged as consultants to two Australian-based multinational companies—during the execution of two very different, successful enterprise architecture projects that managed to deliver and demonstrate tangible benefits to the respective organizations. Although both projects included important IT technical components, their success was based on enterprise architecture teams that clearly understood the business objectives, linked the enterprise architecture activities directly to them, and clearly communicated the benefits in business terms. We argue that to engage and maintain support an enterprise architecture exercise must have a business purpose that is clearly understood by all stakeholders, and it must be carefully tailored to the intended purpose, both in terms of effort and deliverables, and no more. Our discussion includes the strategy, methods, and tools used by the enterprise architecture teams to conduct each engagement, and a discussion of the results and lessons learnt.