Enterprise architecture provides the foundation for successful business-IT initiatives. When properly designed and implemented, enterprise architecture will help business leaders achieve their goals, enabling the organization to become more responsive, efficient, and competitive.
Unfortunately, just a few common mistakes can keep an enterprise architecture from meeting its designers’ intended goals and objectives. In fact, a flawed enterprise architecture can, over time, send an enterprise in an entirely wrong direction.
When developing or updating your enterprise architecture, step back and make sure it isn’t falling into any of the following seven traps.
1. Misaligning EA efforts to business needs
Enterprise leaders may design a coherent, detailed architecture, but it won’t be successful over the long term unless it’s focused on real-world business needs.
Before planning begins, Ginna Raahauge, CIO at communications infrastructure services provider Zayo, suggests rounding up the enterprise’s most impactful use cases to pressure-test the existing enterprise architecture to discover potential leaks. Make sure the use cases are relevant, she advises. “If you’re having order accuracy challenges, [for example,] make sure to think through what’s causing this on the front- and back-end and how a change in the architecture could fix that.”
Raahauge believes that an enterprise architecture is never really completed. “It’s living and breathing,” she says. Raahauge recommends revisiting the enterprise architecture at least once every five years. “As technology is moving faster and faster, we need to be able to survive five years of technology shifts,” she explains.