The Biggest Enterprise Architecture Trends in 2023

1 Mar 2023

by Ardoq

Just like the businesses it supports, Enterprise Architecture (EA) is constantly evolving in this ever-shifting market. To help organizations capitalize on new opportunities, EA must keep pace with current enterprise architecture trends – and predict future ones.  

At Ardoq, we continually track industry trends as they emerge and grow. It helps us answer important questions like: What recent technology trends are important to enterprise architecture?

From an Enterprise Architect to a CIO or COO, everyone in an organization wants to answer these critical questions and navigate change smoothly. We’ve compiled learnings from experts in digital transformation so customers can deliver more change and innovation faster, give greater value to the market, and achieve their objectives.

1. Map the Social Aspects of Architecture

Now architecture’s social aspects are becoming increasingly important. All organizations - not just those with significant IT development - are starting to embrace digitalization, develop, and grow. This means combining people with traditional architectural components. By putting people on the map, the organization’s social design becomes apparent, showing social interactions, autonomy, mastery, and the purpose of the people.

It’s beneficial for teams to see their organization and where, when, and how handoffs occur between teams. In addition, understanding the social aspects helps identify and fix pain points between teams and processes.

Change Mindset to Use Enterprise Architecture in New Ways

Using the social aspects of architecture means thinking beyond Enterprise Architecture as a way to view systems such as the enterprise's applications, processes, and information.

Now, EA takes on a new role by facilitating the understanding that an organization’s people are vital actors in the enterprise. In addition, employees are happier and perform better for the organization when they have a stronger sense of purpose and mastery over solutions. Using EA can help a company treat people as people, not machines.

Benefits of Seeing the Social Technical Picture

The workflow map shows how people interact. This overview can help adjust and optimize the best workflows while identifying areas that create bottlenecks or problems. As problems are alleviated, it’s possible to deliver successful and continuous change.

With the big-picture view of a company’s social and technical architecture, teams' workflows can be organized, and they can work more independently. This additional independence allows teams to decide faster and own their work, making them happier and more productive.

2. Adapt the Way-of-Working

Most Enterprise Architects endlessly tweak their systems to improve change delivery. As with all things in life, the changes aren't perfect the first time around, and adapting is essential. Each round of change, however small, ultimately improves the system. 

Many trends overlap and adapting way-of-working ties in with using the social aspects of the architecture described above. Organizations can track the history of change initiatives to see the applications, processes, and information impacted over time. Understanding how the change works gives leaders vital information to make decisions.

By tracking people, teams, and departments, organizational and communication pathways become clear. Over time, the tracking shows patterns of where change occurs. When it’s clear where change is happening and failing, the patterns can guide the reorganization of teams. It can also help teams work as independently as possible, improve cross-team coordination, and aid prioritization. 

Interested in seeing more of the big picture of mixing social aspects into technical architectures? Check out 5 Trends in Enterprise Architecture. 

3. Build Teams With a Product-Focus 

Traditionally, organizations build teams around projects, focusing on pulling talent into a temporary team on a fixed budget. When the project ends, the team often dissolves without receiving any feedback on the project’s results.

Successful IT-intensive organizations recognize the need for continuous change and have shifted their mindset towards continuous value delivery. As a result, teams are organized along product boundaries rather than functions or projects. The goal is to have long-lived, agile, and semi-independent teams continuously deliver for one product area or value stream.

Two Sides of the Coin: Product-Focused Teams

As with every way of doing business, product-focused teams have advantages and disadvantages. For example:

  • + Less need for centralized control and decision-making. With increased independence, teams have increased production.
  • - There are always issues that pop up along the way. To solve these problems, teams need to coordinate and prioritize differently.

The Benefit of Teams Built With a Product Focus

Mindset plays a vital role in any change initiative. Agile companies in today’s business environment require a product mindset. Focusing on the product rather than a specific project makes teams better meet customer needs and adapt when the business context changes.

These teams also have longevity and work towards the gradual delivery of features. By assessing the success or failure of small steps, teams can receive feedback faster and adjust their work accordingly. In addition, success is measured by the benefit to the company rather than project milestones. Overall, the team’s flexibility lowers the risk of failing to deliver on investments.

colleagues discuss enterprise architecture trends

Enterprise Architecture Trends

New and disruptive technologies are constant. Businesses operate in complex domains and chaotic environments. Organizations need, therefore, to be more dynamic, better adapted, and respond faster. Leaders need to know what technology trends impact enterprise architecture. 

Key Takeaways:

  1. Map the Social Aspects of Architecture

Including people in the Enterprise Architecture empowers an organization to improve how change is delivered. With it, organizations can deliver successful and continuous change and give team members a more prominent, active role in achieving goals. 

  1. Adapt the Way-of-Working

By adapting the way-of-working based on the success or failure of past projects, organizations can change with the business context quickly. Adapting makes the company more agile when reacting to changes in the external business environment.

  1. Build Teams With a Product-Focus

Instead of having business and IT in separate project silos, teams can be built with a product focus. The product teams usually have better delivery on long-term investments and smaller milestones. Their agility allows them to adjust their goals faster based on more frequent feedback.

Read more about the current trends and how to use them in an ever-shifting technical landscape in 5 Trends in Enterprise Architecture.

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Ardoq Ardoq They say it takes a village, and this is also true in content writing. This article has therefore several contributors, to make sure we get the facts right.
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