Why should enterprise architecture be easily accessible? – 9 benefits

Enterprise architecture is often seen as a method to promote interoperability either within an organization in the form of its own architecture or between organizations through, for example, legislation or reference architectures:

  • Interoperability can be technical, semantic, organizational, or legal in nature.
  • Through modeling and documenting enterprise architecture, an organization can, as needed, remind itself of which elements are significant in a particular situation, which directly impact what, and what the cascading effects are. These elements include, for example, employees, software, capabilities, and processes.

Are your organization’s enterprise architecture documentation easily accessible and available to everyone?

Today, many development projects in organizations are somehow related to the creation, movement, and maintenance of information or the utilization and development of information systems.

However, enterprise architecture descriptions intended to be used in a development project are either completely absent or may be complex tables understood only by IT professionals.

For enterprise architecture descriptions to be truly utilized, they must be easily accessible, understandable, and readily available. And those that provide value to their users; for example, descriptions made solely from an IT perspective may not necessarily benefit a development manager or CEO.

9 benefits of easily accessible enterprise architecture

  1. Increased clarity and understanding of operations:

Easily accessible and visual enterprise architecture descriptions bring clarity to an organization’s structure, operations, information flow, and use of information systems. This helps internal stakeholders of the organization better understand how different parts, functions, and systems of the organization are interconnected.

  1. Towards sustainable decision-making:

Enterprise architecture provides decision-makers with the opportunity to view their organization’s big picture from various perspectives such as security, capabilities, or risks. This helps make better decisions when decision-makers have a common understanding of different areas of the organization and their interdependencies, such as which information systems are integrated and where, which information systems are used in which organizational processes, or which organizational capabilities need development.

  1. Increased productivity and cost efficiency:

Clear enterprise architecture enables the optimization of processes and functions. An organization can identify bottlenecks, avoid redundancies, and streamline its operations by modeling its operations through enterprise architecture. Cost savings are possible when overlapping information systems, processes, and functions are visualized through a visual representation. Better understanding of the organization’s operations and structures helps identify opportunities to improve cost efficiency.

  1. Facilitating change management:

When an organization has an easily understandable enterprise architecture tailored to its needs, planning and implementing changes becomes easier. Changes can be seamlessly integrated into existing structures and ensure they support the organization’s strategic objectives. Through describing capabilities, the organization can identify areas that need development to achieve its strategic goals.

  1. Enhancing interoperability and flexibility:

Enterprise architecture descriptions enable an organization to promote interoperability between information systems, processes, and information flows. This makes the organization more flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances.

  1. Increasing proactive risk management:

Understanding an organization’s enterprise architecture helps identify risks and vulnerabilities. This enables proactive risk management, such as managing the lifecycles of information systems or identifying the most important users of systems who should be trained, for example, in terms of cybersecurity.

  1. Identifying opportunities:

Clear enterprise architecture helps an organization identify new opportunities, develop new business models, and integrate new technologies into its operations.

  1. Improving communication:

Easily understandable enterprise architecture descriptions facilitate communication between an organization’s internal stakeholders. Visual modeling of a complex whole helps everyone understand the issue in the same way – a picture is worth a thousand words, and shared descriptions of organizational operations are especially useful when working remotely.

Enterprise architecture descriptions should be modeled to provide value to their users. Team leaders, ICT experts, development managers, or business managers may have different needs regarding descriptions, so do not settle for modeling enterprise architecture from just one perspective. We recommend involving users in the planning, maintenance, and development of descriptions.

  1. Developing customer satisfaction:

An organization with clear enterprise architecture can offer its customers better and more efficient services, which can improve customer satisfaction. For example, an enterprise architecture description of the information systems used at customer touchpoints can help improve the customer experience.