We use cookies and other similar technologies (Cookies) to enhance your experience and to provide you with relevant content and ads. By using our website, you are agreeing to the use of Cookies. You can change your settings at any time. Cookie Policy.

Gartner Identifies Ten Enterprise Architecture Pitfalls

09/02/2009

Selecting the wrong person as lead enterprise architect, and not engaging business people are two of the biggest pitfalls organizations face when trying to establish an effective enterprise architecture (EA) program, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner analysts have identified the ten biggest EA pitfalls, as well as practical advice on how organizations can avoid them.



ebizQ received the following:

“Avoiding the pitfalls in the first place is much easier than climbing out of a hole you’ve inadvertently tumbled into,” said Scott Bittler, research vice president at Gartner. “Applying the ways to avoid these pitfalls results in achieving EA benefits faster and reduced risk of program failure. It will also improve the credibility of IT among business leaders.”

The ten EA pitfalls include:

1. The Wrong Lead Architect: Gartner identified the single biggest EA problem as a chief architect who is an ineffective leader. He or she may understand EA well but has ineffective leadership skills that even a good organizational structure and staffing levels cannot overcome. Gartner recommends that such a lead architect be replaced by someone with strong ‘soft’ skills such as enthusiasm, communication and passion, as well as being well respected and strategically minded.

2. Insufficient Stakeholder Understanding and Support: This happens when employees outside the EA team don’t participate in the EA program, EA content is not used in projects and management questions its value. Gartner’s solution is to make EA education and communication a top priority to secure executive-team sponsorship. “The key is to ‘sell’ first and architect later,” said Mr Bittler.

3. Not Engaging the Business People: When IT and business goals are not aligned, resultant problems include non-technical people trying to make technical decisions while enterprise architects become too reactionary and tactical in response to projects. To overcome this, Gartner recommends that enterprise architects get involved in the development of the business context and engage jointly with other employees in the business architecture.

4. Doing Only Technical Domain-Level Architecture: This dated EA approach is still in use in some organizations and is even narrower in scope than technical architecture. Holistic EA best-practice is much broader as it includes business, information and solutions architecture.

5. Doing Current-State EA First: Successful EA provides prescriptive guidance but current-state EA does not, so it delays delivery of EA value and hinders the creation of good future-state EA. “The temptation is often to do the easy – current-state – EA first,” said Mr Bittler. “Instead, establish the business context and then focus first on future-state EA.”

6. The EA Group Does Most of the Architecting: This is a pitfall because the EA content is typically off the mark as it was not informed by those on the business side. There is also consequently no buy-in for the EA. The primary job of architects is to lead the EA process rather than impose EA content on the organization. They should form virtual teams to create content and seek consensus on the content.

7. Not Measuring and Not Communicating the Impact: The value of EA is often indirect, so it may not be obvious to everyone in the organization. This then exposes the EA program to risk of failure. Gartner recommends that enterprise architects create a slide to demonstrate each success story of EA applied to a project. They should include measurement and documentation of EA in the program plan.

8. Architecting the ‘Boxes’ Only: Enabling better business agility and integration is key but architecting standards for the ‘boxes’ (business units) in process, information, technical and solutions models doesn’t address this. Integration and interoperability standards are high EA priorities and must account for more than just technical architecture. Architects should focus more on the links between the boxes.

9. Not Establishing Effective EA Governance Early: Enterprise architects must resist the temptation to wait for more architecture content before setting governance processes and instead develop content and governance in parallel.

10. Not Spending Enough Time on Communications: Key messages about EA are not intuitively obvious, so enterprise architects must work to educate the business. It is critical that organizations develop and execute an EA communications plan with messages tailored to each audience.

“The key for enterprise architects is to create not the perfect or most elegant architecture for the moment, but the most adaptable architecture for the future,” said Mr Bittler. “EA is a challenging discipline and careful attention to the basics can mean the difference between failure and success.”

Gartner analysts and others will be speaking in more detail about this and other leading-edge enterprise architecture topics at Gartner’s Enterprise Architecture Summits 2009, taking place at the Royal Lancaster hotel, London, on 14-15 September and at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando, on 7-9 October. Over two days, the Summits gather leading Gartner analysts who will help delegates use EA to manage volatility and change and to discover and react to patterns emerging around them. For more information, please visit www.europe.gartner.com/ea (London) or www.gartner.com/us/ea (Orlando).

  • Subscribe Newsletter
  • Contribute
Subscribe to ebizQ:

Enter your email address:

 Subscribe Blog Updates via RSS

 Subscribe News via RSS

ebizQ is very interested in what you have to say. To contribute an article, an opinion, or to become a blogger, please contact Peter Schooff.

  • Virtual Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Roundtables

SOA Cloud Qcamp

June 3, 2009

One of the most compelling trends in the enterprise business technology space over the past year has been the emergence of cloud computing. In ebizQ’s upcoming Qcamp virtual un-conference, leading industry experts and practitioners will explore the role of service-oriented architecture (SOA) and business process management (BPM) in supporting cloud-computing initiatives. Additionally, the new skills that developers and IT managers need for successful cloud development will be discussed.Register

View All Virtual Conferences

Smart Case Management: Why It's So Smart.

Date:Nov 05, 2009
Time:12:00 PM ET- (17:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!

Date:Oct 29, 2009
Time:15:00 PM ET- (19:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!
View All Roundtables
  • White Papers
  • Podcasts
  • Blogs

Joe McKendrick: Part II of II: Designing Evolve-ability into SOA and IT Systems

In part two of Joe McKendrick's recent podcast with Miko Matsumura, chief strategist for Software AG, they talk about how SOA and IT systems need to change and grow and adapt with the organization around it.

Listen Now

Phil Wainewright: Helping Brands Engage with Social Media

Phil Wainewright interviews David Vap, VP of products at RightNow Technologies, and finds out how sharing best practices can help businesses understand how best to engage with online communities.

Listen Now

Peter Schooff: Making Every IT Dollar Result in a Desired Business Outcome: Scott Hebner of IBM Rati

Scott Hebner, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for IBM Rational, discusses a topic on the top of every company's mind today: getting the most from IT investments.

Listen Now

Jessica Ann Mola: Where Will BI Fit In? Lyndsay Wise Explains

In BI, this tough economy and the increasing role of Web 2.0 and MDM are certainly topics on people's minds today. WiseAnalytics' Lyndsay Wise addresses each of them in this informative podcast.

Listen Now

Dennis Byron: Talking with...Deepak Singh of BPM Provider Adeptia

Deepak Singh, President and CTO of Adeptia, joins ebizQ's Dennis Byron in a podcast that gets its hand around the trend of industry-specific BPM.

Listen Now
More Podcasts
  • Most Read
  • Quick Guide
  • Most Discussed

Quick Guide: What is BPM?

Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Event Processing?

Smart event processing can help your company run smarter and faster. This comprehensive guide helps you research the basics of complex event processing (CEP) and learn how to get started on the right foot with your CEP project using EDA, RFID, SOA, SCADA and other relevant technologies. Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Enterprise 2.0?

A lot of people are talking about Enterprise 2.0 as being the business application of Web 2.0 technology. However, there's still some debate on exactly what this technology entails, how it applies to today's business models, and which components bring true value. Some use the term Enterprise 2.0 exclusively to describe the use of social networking technologies in the enterprise, while others use it to describe a web economy platform, or the technological framework behind such a platform. Still others say that Enterprise 2.0 is all of these things. Learn More