You’ve heard the term “enterprise architecture”, and maybe you’ve been told it’s something your business should be looking at. But you’re not sure what it is, or worse – you’ve heard several different (and probably conflicting) explanations for it.

That’s possibly because when we are asked about enterprise architecture, we launch into a description of what it is and what it produces … in other words we talk about features. This is despite all the indications and exhortations that customers aren’t looking for features, they want to know the benefits; or “what’s in it for me?”.

That can be hard at times, because the benefits are dependent to a large extent on the problem, i.e. I don’t know what the answer is until I know the question. So what are some of the questions that businesses often ask that enterprise architecture can help provide an answer for? Here’s a few I came up with; you might recognise some of them:

Change: how do we handle change, whether we’re making it ourselves or it’s being imposed on us by the business environment?

Business design: how can we improve our business design – how we structure it, how we compete, how we manage it.

Investing: how can we ensure that we invest to our best business advantage?

Management conversations: how can we ensure that internal management discussions use a common language and understanding of the business?

How do we know we’re getting value from our IT investment?



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