Increasing the value of enterprise architecture for CIOs: A guided enterprise architecture approach

Oct 3, 2023
Written by
Nick Reed
Nick Reed

Increasing the value of enterprise architecture for CIOs: A guided enterprise architecture approach

Thriving in times of intense volatility requires organizations to realize operational efficiencies and productivity gains. However, they also need to pioneer new business models leveraging digital products and services – and do this faster and more effectively than the competition.

It’s a classic case of ‘do more with less’ while becoming more business-focused and agile through digital transformation. It’s no simple challenge for CIOs and IT leaders.

We’re now in the ‘era of intelligence’ where artificial intelligence in large language models (LLMs) has hit the mainstream with a faster, broader and deeper impact than any previous technology. Not engaging with this step-change in the technology landscape is not an option. However, it also presents significant risks around privacy, confidentiality, accuracy and ‘explainability’ of data and query results.

The key question is: How can CIOs meet this challenge reliably and consistently?

Value of enterprise architecture

Many organizations increasingly understand how enterprise architecture management can help IT leadership get their arms around this complex, multi-dimensional challenge. Enterprise architecture connects strategy, business capabilities and business processes with the data, applications, technology and digital products that support them in ‘connected architecture models’.

As such, enterprise architecture provides visibility of the complex dependencies and impacts across these assets. It also enables analysis of the models on a consistent and coherent basis to provide deep insights supporting better, faster transformation decisions.

The covid pandemic accelerated enterprise architecture adoption, as organizations scrambled to adapt to a dislocation of working practices, necessitating operations and services to become 100% digital and online in weeks or months rather than years. As daily life has returned to ‘in person’, the pace and variety of external disruptions have not lessened. Supply chain dislocation continues as global geo-political risks persist and increase. Financial correction and volatility continue to cause labor market impacts and budget pressure. Technology disruption continues ever faster and has a higher impact.

By providing a consistent business perspective through which to assess, plan and respond to these external forces, enterprise architecture enables IT leadership and their key stakeholders to see the full picture, find the right path and execute with confidence on their digital transformation. We call this change by design.

A vision for the future

It’s not just about being able to analyze the current state of the organization. Establishing a vision of the future enterprise is critical to success by providing a ‘north star’ to align stakeholders and guide digital transformation efforts and strategic roadmaps. This is where enterprise architects – and their counterparts such as business, information, solution and security architects – come to the fore, translating co-created visions of targeted future business and operating models into architectural model designs. These enable analysis to identify opportunities and gaps that drive new products, services and roadmaps to achieve targeted business outcomes.

By describing these business outcomes in terms of goals, objectives and results, enterprise architecture models can directly connect them with the strategic and operational key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that allow business and IT leaders to track, evaluate and improve transformation performance.

Getting enterprise architecture right

Despite the benefits of enterprise architecture, many organizations have struggled to adopt it successfully. Too often, enterprise architecture teams have focused on frameworks and theoretical correctness rather than engaging with business stakeholders on their challenges and aspirations, leading to a perception of ivory tower academia and a lack of business value.

Today, enterprise architecture teams must focus on accelerating successful business outcomes and delivering value. This requires maximizing time spent engaging with business stakeholders, facilitating co-creation of targeted outcomes, and identifying gaps and constraints that will impede success. According to Bizzdesign’s State of the Enterprise Architecture report, as demand for enterprise architecture services increases – we see demand for enterprise architects and their skills at an all-time high. Efficiency and productivity become critical success factors for teams.

State of EA 2023

That’s why Bizzdesign has created its guided architecture approach, which provides a simple and intuitive best-practice approach to doing enterprise architecture with pre-built solutions and templates that automate and accelerate value delivery.

Guided enterprise architecture is inspired by The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) and Design Thinking to provide a customer-centric and lightweight method for ensuring enterprise architecture value delivery through guided modeling templates that produce decision support analytics. Presented to users as a set of phases and steps, with comprehensive self-service guidance, the guided architecture allows teams to choose whichever aspects of the approach work best for them in their specific situation. It can also easily be changed or extended to align with customers’ working methods.

Architecture-lead engagement landing page diagram

Source: Bizzdesign Horizzon – Architecture-lead engagement landing page diagram


Application rationalization dashboard

Source: Bizzdesign Horizzon – Application rationalization dashboard


Pre-built templates and solutions in a single platform

Bizzdesign’s guided enterprise architecture allows enterprise architects to focus on the value-added aspects of their role. These include stakeholder engagement, co-creation and delivery of critical transformation insights to influence and guide impactful decisions, safe in the knowledge that their work aligns with proven best practice.

Moreover, this approach aligns with Bizzdesign’s other solution offerings that provide out-of-the-box templates and analytics for popular challenges, such as Application Portfolio Management, Solution Architecture Management and Business Process Management. This enables enterprise architects to orchestrate and facilitate transformation initiatives while aligning all stakeholders and architecture work across transformation value streams in a single platform, ensuring consistency, coherence and a single source of truth.

By connecting architecture models across these disciplines, enterprise architects can provide a line of sight from business motivation and strategy to business model, operating model and target architecture design, planning, execution and business operations. This gives stakeholders unparalleled transparency and traceability.

Strategy impact model

Source: Bizzdesign Horizzon – Strategy impact model

Advancing enterprise architecture maturity

For many enterprise architecture teams, getting visibility of the application landscape and how it supports the business is a sufficient initial challenge. That’s why Bizzdesign provides out-of-the-box pre-configured solutions to help teams get started with the basics and deliver value fast.

However, we recognize that enterprise architecture teams can increase value over time by advancing their maturity, supporting additional stakeholders with additional use cases that leverage more value from existing models, and also enrich those models with new data and relationships. As the richness of the architecture repository develops, the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts in terms of value.