Towards Enterprise Architecture-Infused Organizations

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Bjorn Cumps, Stijn Viaene, Pascal Dussart, and Joachim Vanden Brande

In this article, which is based on case-study research involving 13 organizations, we focus on two specific research questions: (how) are Enterprise Architecture (EA) practices changing in organizations, and how do organizations make their EA efforts sustainable? Through our case-study research, we have built a data set of practices, experiences, stories, and lessons learned. We discovered three clusters of challenges organizations are still facing. These challenges can be grouped into three main domains: skills and techniques, which are often Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-driven and very formalized; organizational fit and integration, which is sometimes lacking and puts EA on a path towards isolation; value and Return-On-Investment (ROI), because pay-off or added value is not easy to demonstrate. In order to meet these challenges, we see organizations evolving towards a more creative, pragmatic, future- and clientoriented approach for EA, with Enterprise Architects attempting to morph from engineers to creative designers for the whole enterprise. In order to have a good understanding of the process of architecting, we put forward a specific way of looking at design and designers. Finally, we discuss the characteristics of what we call the EA-aware organizations and the EA-infused organizations, a typology that characterizes the change in EA practices we discovered.

EA practices, design, Enterprise Architect, just-enough-architecture


Bjorn Cumps is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Vlerick Business School, where he is a member of the Technology and Operations Management Area and of the Centre for Financial Services. Bjorn also has several years of work experience in the financial services sector. His research interests include business-ICT alignment, ICT management, Enterprise Architecture, mobile technologies, digital business models, and ICT for development.

Stijn Viaene is a Partner at Vlerick Business School, where he is Chairperson of the Technology and Operations Management Area. He is a tenured Professor in the Decision Sciences and Information Management Department at KU Leuven. At Vlerick Business School, Stijn holds the “Bringing IT to Board Level” Deloitte Research Chair. Stijn is passionate about what it means to successfully create a digital enterprise, capturing the value that comes with big data, analytics, social media, and the cloud. He can be reached at

Pascal Dussart is an experienced Enterprise Architect assisting organizations in diverse industries such as public transport, federal agencies, banking, utilities, retail, and the service industry. As an Enterprise Architecture advisor for LoQutus, Pascal helps senior management define a vision for EA: how their organization can benefit from EA, and how to embed the EA discipline so that it becomes a powerful instrument in support of achieving the strategic and operational objectives.

Joachim Vanden Brande has been active for more than 20 years as a Senior ICT Architect and Managing Director of LoQutus. Joachim has a wide range of experience and expertise in defining and delivering complex IT solutions. He has applied this knowledge to a variety of implementation projects, in which the key focus was portal technology, business process management, and integration. Joachim is frequently asked to be a keynote speaker on topics such as business process management, processdriven development, and Enterprise Architecture, and he regularly publishes articles on these subjects.


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