Today´s content forms the fifth of six parts of the series called “Who is still interested in Enterprise Architecture?”. In this series, I provide my view on the footprint of today´s Enterprise Architecture, the potential death of the role of an Enterprise Architect, the big players, such as TOGAF from The Open Group, AWS, or Azure, as well as the role of EA tool providers and other related certificates and developments on the market.
In today´s part five, we consider the role of Enterprise Architecture tool providers in developing new best practices for their area. We also try to understand what that implies for the future.
Regardless of whether you are reading this article or whether you are listening to the podcast version, make sure to also check out the other parts of the series as soon as they are available!
Who is still interested in Enterprise Architecture? – Part 5 of 6
New tool functionalities enable new best practices
In the last part of this series, we discussed best practices emerging from prominent cloud providers, as well as from organizations developing new frameworks and operating models not specific to Enterprise Architecture. Today, we focus on the role of EA tool providers in modernizing Enterprise Architecture.
Quick research confirms the initial impression. EA tool providers focus on leaner functionalities but also include new use cases. For instance, such use cases allow architects to capture data in real-time and to run different complex scenarios – strengthening EA´s capability to support decision-making and business planning.
An example would be LeanIX, which has a functionality that automatically suggests suitable business capabilities for newly added applications. It also provides individual user dashboards that help to keep track of daily tasks, decision points, etc.
Also, the capabilities to design complex models and to automate large parts of the model help to increase the depth and width beyond traditional EA activities. Examples include external partners, releases, and support cycles. Several EA tool providers increasingly provide APIs to easily and regularly import third-party data.
EA Tool providers aim for communities, networking, and owning ecosystems
Interestingly, new impulses are driven by EA tool providers that understand themselves rather as part of a larger ecosystem, instead of being a service providers for stand-alone software. Also, those tool providers seem to be more active when it comes to networking and interaction with customers in terms of blogging, organizing webinars, and inviting them to events.
Along with those activities, they sometimes also provide their definitions and explanations of EA terms and maintain their Q&A pages for business-related questions. All those activities strengthen not only the sense of belonging but also foster best practices among those communities.
Is the EA Tooling market being disrupted?
Market disruption happens when there is a new technology emerging that is much more efficient or that provides a much higher value for the customer than the currently used technology. In our case, such technologies could be AI, machine learning, process mining, robotic process automation, etc. All those technologies could help to manage an Enterprise Architecture more efficiently and also create more value for an organization.
Usually, such new technologies are brought into the market by new market players. Some market players implement them into their offering, while others do not. As a result, the market becomes more heterogeneous and more diverse.
Is there a high heterogeneity in the current EA tools landscape? On the one hand, Gartner´s Magic Quadrants seem to always review the same set of tool providers and there seems to be little movement.
On the other hand, there are quite some organizations that are currently moving away from one tool to another. That implies that there are differentiating factors between the available tools.
Some tools are either traditionally designed or support more agile approaches. In terms of the disrupting technologies mentioned above, there also seem to be quite different adoption levels across the landscape.
All in all, I believe we likely see some further disruptions, market share changes, and consolidations in the upcoming years.