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

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Inji Wijegunaratne, Peter Evans-Greenwood, George Fernandez


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.


Inji Wijegunaratne is an IT consultant with over 25 years of IT experience, in the past 12 years focusing on enterprise architecture and IT architecture leadership. He has occupied IT architecture management positions in the corporate sector, and consulting positions at Deloitte, IBM, and Capgemini. He is currently with Infosys Australia. Inji holds Doctoral and Master’s degrees in Information Systems from London University and a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Essex, UK.

Peter Evans-Greenwood provides business and technology consulting to executives across a range of industries. His 20 years of experience working between business and technology have seen him work across the full breadth of industry, with leadership roles in global players such as Deutsche Post DHL, and Capgemini through to innovative startups, including the Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute and Agentis.

George Fernandez is an Associate Professor at the School of Computer Science and Information Technology at RMIT University (Australia), currently teaching Enterprise Architecture and eCommerce and Enterprise Systems. George has more than 30 years of experience in Computing and Information Systems, working in academia, private industry, and government organizations. He is an active researcher, and often presents technical seminars in academic and industry forums. His research interests include Distributed Computing, Enterprise Systems, and Enterprise Integration.


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