For the last four years, Forrester has run a longitudinal study on the “state of EA” — tracking the changes in focus, priorities, etc., since 2008. Our clients use it to get a sense of whether their progress and plans for EA is on par with their peers.
Based on the year-over-year comparison of the data in the upcoming “State of EA: 2013” document, as well as some anecdotal evidence I’m seeing in client interactions, I’ve got five predictions about what I expect to see happen with EA practices this year:
They’re going to kill off the usual EA metrics. They’ll do it even though technically they’re not supposed to (and they may not realize they’re even doing it). Our data shows that standard EA metrics (maturity, perception, value, etc.) are less and less likely to actually be used, even though they’re an extremely popular topic of conversation. A recent experience of mine confirmed that even when trapped in a room for a few hours, not even industry peers can agree on a set of common metrics. Powerful metrics are too company- and initiative-specific to standardize. And in the end, the usual metrics might become irrelevant because . . .
I just finished analyzing our Q3 2012 Global State Of Enterprise Architecture Online Survey, where we asked a number of questions at the end of the survey on how firms identify and introduce new technology – new technology that your firm is counting on for innovation and competitive advantage. The results underscore a conviction that is growing in me: IT’s “one-size-fits-all” approach to standardizing everything and general aversion to risk isn't cutting the mustard. Simply put, opportunities for competitive advantage through technology-fueled disruption get missed, and this means digital extinction. Some data from our survey of 207 enterprise architects:
58% reported that sales and marketing is among the top five most likely organizations to deliver technology innovations, and they are chasing windows of opportunity that close in months. IT typically takes at least a year to do anything.
52% say there is at least some business dissatisfaction with the level of new technology introduction. The top reason, given by 78% of respondents, is that IT is too slow.
70% of respondents admit their firms have trouble reacting to disruptions caused by emerging technology, and 60% admit to difficulty reacting to change in general.