How to create value from Enterprise Architecture management?

An enterprise is not a monolithic entity but a complex system of many interacting components, such as processes, functions, competencies and skills, data and information flows, applications, technical infrastructure, etc. Moreover, an enterprise does not operate in a vacuum: it is part of a larger system, an ecosystem of other enterprises, organisations and individuals. And both the system and the ecosystem are continually changing.

Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) is the discipline that seeks to map the components of the system, as well as their interrelationships and dependencies, in order to align them as closely as possible and manage its complexity and continuous change. In doing so, EAM contributes to achieving business objectives in an ever-changing environment.

Why does your organisation need EAM?

If your organisation successfully embeds EAM, the benefits are manifold:

  • EAM helps you to maintain an overview and prevents different projects from being initiated at random.
  • EAM encourages and facilitates reusability and helps you to avoid duplication of effort, which will ultimately lead to cost savings.
  • EAM helps you to align business requirements, business processes and IT or other infrastructure more effectively.
  • EAM makes your organisation more flexible and more agile. With a better structural overview, you will find it easier to assess whether and how to respond to changes, which is all the more important as things are changing faster than ever before.

“When EAM is truly embedded in an organisation, it will become an impetus, a driving force of innovation”
Professor Stijn Viaene, Head of Operations and Technology Management

Why do you need to know about EAM?

To unleash the full potential of EAM, technical skills alone are simply not enough. Enterprise architects need to be creative organisational designers who can build bridges between IT and business, and who are focused on delivering value to the entire organisation. They also need to be networkers with strong communication skills who can influence and convince people, and provide guidance and direction.

So, if you are a manager or in any other way involved in project, programme or portfolio management, you should know about EAM because:

  • Awareness ensures that all the necessary enterprise architecting skills are brought into play.
  • The mind-set and way of thinking characteristic of EAM are just as relevant to the business world, especially as organisations are becoming increasingly dependent on technology.
  • No single person can have all the skills that make a good enterprise architect, but a team can. And you are part of a team.

“In a well-established enterprise architecture practice, there are core, applied and implicit enterprise architects, and enterprise architecture is a general management discipline practiced across boundaries by enterprising people with dialectic and dialogic skills.” John Gøtze, The Changing Role of the Enterprise Architect (2013)

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