How Does Enterprise Architecture Add Value On: 12/12/2011 Views: 9426
This paper makes a business case for enterprise architecture - the authors present an EA Benefits Model (EABM) which proposes that "EA leads to organisational benefits through its impact on four key benefit enablers: Organisational Alignment, Information Availability, Resource Portfolio Optimisation, and Resource Complementarity."
There is a substantial interest and investment in enterprise architecture (EA) worldwide, exemplified by the number of EA-related professional bodies, consulting services, frameworks, methodologies, and the increasing prevalence of full-time EA teams. It may seem surprising in this context, therefore, that the value of EA is still poorly understood. Organisations cite difficulties in justifying their EA investments and anecdotal evidence suggests that the existence and funding of the EA function is often based more on the beliefs of the incumbent management team than on demonstrated value. Although there is no shortage of EA benefit claims, explanations of why and how EA leads to the proposed benefits are fragmented and incomplete. This article aims to take a step towards improving the understanding of the value of EA by focusing on how EA leads to organisational benefits. Through a careful review of the existing practitioner and academic literature, the paper consolidates knowledge on EA benefits and refines the explanations by drawing on relevant IS and management theory. The resultant EA Benefits Model (EABM) proposes that EA leads to organisational benefits through its impact on four key benefit enablers: Organisational Alignment, Information Availability, Resource Portfolio Optimisation, 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.
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