Enterprise Architecture Strategy: The Definitive Guide to a 5-Step Plan For Change

7 Mar 2024

by Ardoq

Enterprise Architecture (EA) strategy is like a secret weapon for businesses, helping them shape their future. However, to really make the most of it, they've got to tackle some common hurdles

With organizations moving and shaking in a fast-paced world, they're always upgrading their tech to stay ahead. But many miss out on all the capabilities of Enterprise Architecture strategy, limiting its use to overview purposes. 

Apart from simply mapping out the application landscape, EA provides in-depth insights. When fully utilized, it provides vital details about infrastructure and investments. As a result, businesses achieve clarity in prioritization, better planning, and improved decision-making.

What Are Enterprise Architecture Strategies? 

Enterprise Architecture strategies cover the overarching plans, methodologies, and approaches that organizations adopt to align their business objectives with their IT infrastructure and technology solutions. 

These strategies involve defining the structure, processes, and standards for the Enterprise Architecture management of an organization and the evolution of that architecture over time. They often include governance frameworks, technology roadmaps, portfolio management approaches, and collaboration mechanisms to ensure that the enterprise architecture effectively supports the organization's goals and objectives.

Ardoq strategy includes an Enterprise Architecture outcomes framework of three principles: Govern, Identify, Change.


- Perform Data Governance, Risk and Control

- Perform IT Governance, Risk and Control

- Improve Business IT/ Transparency and Collaboration 


- Change impact analysis

- Improve Business & IT Way of Working

- Improve Strategic (re)Prioritization and Planning


- Drive Business Transformation and Innovation

- Improve IT – Reduce Complexity, Improve Quality and Agility

Let’s take a look now at some of the most common Enterprise Architecture strategies.

10 Enterprise Architecture strategy examples

  1. Standardization and Rationalization: Establishing standardized technology platforms, systems, and processes across the organization to reduce complexity, improve interoperability, and streamline operations.

  2. Business Capability Mapping: Identifying and mapping the core capabilities required to achieve business objectives, enabling better alignment between business goals and IT investments.

  3. Technology Modernization: Developing a roadmap for upgrading or replacing outdated technology infrastructure and systems to effectively support evolving business needs and leverage emerging technologies.

  4. Cloud Adoption Strategy: Defining a strategy for adopting cloud computing services, including public, private, or hybrid cloud models, to increase flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiency while managing associated risks.

  5. Agile and DevOps Integration: Integrating agile development methodologies and DevOps practices into the enterprise architecture to accelerate software delivery, improve collaboration, and enhance responsiveness to changing business requirements.

  6. Data Management and Analytics: Establishing strategies for managing and leveraging enterprise data assets effectively, including data governance, data quality management, and advanced analytics capabilities to drive data-driven decision-making.

  7. Customer Experience (CX) Transformation: Aligning Enterprise Architecture efforts with customer-centric initiatives to improve the overall customer experience, enhance engagement, and drive business growth.

  8. Security and Compliance Framework: Implementing a comprehensive security and compliance framework within the enterprise architecture to protect sensitive data, mitigate cybersecurity risks, and ensure regulatory compliance.

  9. Vendor Management and Sourcing Strategy: Developing strategies for managing vendor relationships, evaluating technology providers, and optimizing IT sourcing models to minimize costs, mitigate vendor lock-in, and maximize value delivery.

  10. Digital Transformation Roadmap: Creating a roadmap for digital transformation initiatives, including the adoption of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain, to drive innovation, competitiveness, and business agility.

What Is the Connection Between Enterprise Architecture Strategy and Business Strategy?

The connection between Enterprise Architecture as a strategy and business strategy is fundamental, as EA serves as a bridge between an organization's business goals and its IT capabilities. Here are five ways they are interconnected:

  1. Alignment: EA strategy ensures that the organization's IT infrastructure, systems, and processes are aligned with its overall business strategy and objectives. By mapping IT capabilities to business capabilities, EA helps make sure that technology investments directly support the organization's mission and goals.

  2. Enablement: Enterprise Architecture strategy enables the implementation of business strategy by providing the necessary IT capabilities and infrastructure to support business initiatives. It helps identify gaps between current IT capabilities and desired future states, allowing organizations to prioritize investments and allocate resources effectively.

  3. Agility: EA strategy enables business agility by providing a flexible and scalable IT architecture that can adapt quickly to changes in the business environment. By establishing standardized technology platforms, processes, and governance frameworks, EA supports rapid innovation and responsiveness to market dynamics.

  4. Risk Management: Enterprise Architecture strategy helps mitigate risks associated with IT investments by providing a structured approach to managing technology assets and investments. By aligning IT initiatives with business priorities and objectives, EA strategy helps minimize risks related to project failures, security breaches, and compliance issues.

  5. Innovation: Enterprise Architecture strategy fosters innovation by promoting the adoption of emerging technologies and best practices that can drive business growth and competitiveness. By continuously evaluating and evolving the IT architecture, EA enables organizations to leverage new opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.

By integrating Enterprise Architecture into their strategic planning processes, organizations can ensure that their IT investments deliver maximum value and support long-term business success.

Business Architecture Strategy: Why Aligning Business and IT Matters

Aligning business and IT is crucial for the success of any organization. Here's why:

Strategic Alignment

Business Architecture Strategy ensures that the organization's business goals and objectives align closely with its IT capabilities and initiatives. This alignment allows the organization to execute its strategic plans effectively and achieve its desired outcomes.

Enhanced Efficiency

When business and IT are aligned, processes become more streamlined, and resources are used more efficiently. This alignment reduces duplication of efforts, eliminates silos, and promotes collaboration across different departments and functions.

Improved Decision-Making

A strong alignment between business and IT provides decision-makers with accurate and timely information to make informed choices. This means organizations can prioritize projects and investments based on their strategic importance and potential impact on business outcomes.

Agility and Adaptability

Aligning business and IT allows organizations to respond quickly to changes in the market, technology landscape, or regulatory environment. It means companies can adapt their strategies, processes, and systems to meet evolving business needs and stay competitive.

Customer Focus

By aligning business and IT, organizations can better understand and meet the needs of their customers. This alignment enables the delivery of innovative products and services that address customer pain points and deliver exceptional experiences.

A robust Business Architecture Strategy plays a key role in facilitating this alignment and driving the success of the organization.

5 Steps for Building Strategic Enterprise Architecture for Change

Ardoq wanted to understand what has held companies back from accessing EA’s full potential, so we put together a global survey. We asked nearly 300 EA professionals and related stakeholders worldwide about what obstacles they believe stand between their organizations and successful change.

Read on for a glance at the five steps, or simply jump straight to the full survey report with all the actionable tips.

Get your copy of the full study, 7 Tips to Improve Your Journey Towards Progressive EA.

Step 1: Collect Quality Data From the Key Users

All change plans require knowledge of where a business currently stands, especially when dealing with the IT landscape. Traditionally, Enterprise Architects could map a solid information overview using centralized documentation. However, EAs quickly find that the centralized method becomes a full-time job when they try to achieve a complete company overview.

In our survey, 24% of organizations noted they prioritize detailed and formalized architecture documentation over democratized and mass-consumable knowledge capture.

Democratized data provides the key to having a full organization-wide overview while saving everyone’s time by delegating the data collection to those with the most knowledge about their IT usage: the employees who use it.

Ardoq saves time for everyone. Instead of having to go into one-hour meetings three times a year with multiple employees to discuss what applications they use, own, or are knowledgeable about, you can literally do this in just 10 minutes with Ardoq Enterprise Architecture tools.

Start by using Ardoq’s configurable platform. Surveys involves everyone in data collection while doing the work for you. It comes with prepared templates and allows you to send survey invitations and reminders. Employees with platform ownership can inform you of processes, strategies, and other vital details. As a result, you have more time to spend on tasks that generate value for the organization.

Step 2: Manage Risk, Cost, and Change 

Organizations of all sizes and ages need a well-maintained overview of the organization’s governance to manage risk proactively. In reality, though, just one-fourth (26%) of organizations believe they have complete visibility and control of risk within their IT portfolio.

Comprehensive insight into the application experience helps you identify potential risks and provide confidence to stakeholders that tools are being handled correctly.

Some IT areas may require some additional outsourced expertise. For example, many companies outsource cloud migration to a commodity operator. With all systems in the cloud, EAs can quickly provide access to them. In addition, the cloud further reduces operating risks; there is little downtime in the cloud.

Step 3: Control Your IT Portfolio

Cohesive management of IT organizations requires having a complete overview of Enterprise Architecture governance. However, nearly half of the survey respondents (42%) admitted to their organization using significant amounts of shadow IT. In their organization, they have to deal with higher risk exposure because some IT infrastructures hide in the shadows.

Application Portfolio Management (APM) provides a complete overview of what’s happening in your organization. With it, you can compare systems and programs and weed out low-value systems, putting strategic enterprise architecture into action.

Step 4: Simulate and Compare From Now to the Future

A growing business is always changing, yet ironically, not many businesses plan for change. Only 20% of organizations model how future states will affect their business.

Conversely, 80% of organizations that don’t model are potentially caught in a cycle of reacting. They’re forced to put out the fires burning hottest without a solid plan. For them, there is no time for long-term strategic business planning while they are in a permanent state of fire-fighting.

To escape the state of reacting, you can use Ardoq’s Scenarios. Scenarios models an organization’s future state, which reveals the potential risks, outcomes, and challenges of potential change. With Scenarios, you can automatically track branches of the enterprise data, showing the As-Is situation while defining the To-Be changes.

Using Scenario modeling, you have a window into the future states. Looking through that window, you can isolate the areas that need attention or focus while moving towards reaching their target. 

Get the Guide to Future State Modeling

Step 5: Inform Stakeholders with Automated Insights

Stakeholders should be kept in the feedback loop, so everyone can use the information EAs have collaboratively collected for strategic planning and prioritization. Nevertheless, only 28% of organizations regularly share their EA insights with other teams in the business.

Sharing information with the stakeholders keeps them updated on how projects are progressing, giving them confidence in the EA team’s success and value added to the organization. You can filter out information for each specific stakeholder’s priorities with Ardoq’s Engagement Platform. For example, Presentations generate an overview of progress with the parameters you set for each group of individuals.

enterprise architecture maturity survey results

Impact of Enterprise Architecture Strategy on Change: 5 Takeaways

Transitioning to a strategic Enterprise Architecture requires involvement from the entire company, with colleagues contributing to data collection and decision-makers leveraging researched data from EAs to guide the company.

Based on our findings, here are the top five actions organizations can take to enhance their Enterprise Architecture function, navigate change effectively, and prepare for the future:

  1. Gather high-quality data from key users.
  2. Manage risk, cost, and change effectively.
  3. Govern your IT portfolio.
  4. Simulate and compare current scenarios with future projections.
  5. Provide stakeholders with automated insights

How does EA contribute to your company's success? What key questions should you consider before initiating a project? Explore insights from fellow EAs in the complete survey report: 7 Tips to Improve Your Journey Towards Progressive EA.
enterprise architecture future

Ardoq Ardoq This article is written by Ardoq as it has multiple contributors, including subject matter experts.
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