On course, but not there yet: Enterprise architecture conformance and benefits in systems development

21/12/2011 15:00

Various claims have been made regarding the benefits that EnterpriseArchitecture (EA) delivers for both individual systems development projects and the organization as a whole. This paper presents the statistical findings of a survey study(n=293) carried out to empirically test these claims. First, we investigated which techniques are used in practice to stimulate conformance to EA. Secondly, we studied which benefits are actually gained. Thirdly, we verified whether EA creators (e.g. enterprise architects) and EA users (e.g. project members) differ in their perceptions regarding EA. Finally, we investigated which of the applied techniques most effectively increase project conformance to and effectiveness of EA. A multivariate regression analysis demonstrates that three techniques have a major impact on conformance: carrying out compliance assessments, management propagation of EA and providing assistance to projects. Although project conformance plays a central role in reaping various benefits at both the organizational and the project level, it is shown that a number of important benefits have not yet been fully achieved.

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