Do EA Tools Enable EA Pros To Deliver Value To Their Stakeholders?

As enterprise architecture (EA) practices mature and the demand for EA services grows, interest in enterprise architecture management suites (EAMS) continues to also grow. A lot has happened to the EAMS market since the September 2015 Forrester EAMS Wave, from divestures by certain major players (e.g., IBM) to takeovers (Planview of Troux, Erwin of Casewise). Before making a choice of EAMS tool, EA leaders need to take a step back and assess how they can demonstrate value, and then select the most appropriate toolset.

In Forrester’s most recent research, we have identified that although there are approximately 60 EAMS tools vendors, they can be categorized as follows:

·         Architecture modeling tools (AM). Vendors in this category aim to capture the architectural landscape and the relationships between them.

·         Technology asset management tools (TAM). This is a further evolution of the AM tools and includes additional functionality that is typically found in CMDB type solutions, but it also includes the management of technology projects.

·         IT portfolio management tools (ITPM). This category of tools is less focused on the asset management and more in line with capturing technology strategy, the associated target architecture state, and the portfolio that will deliver the strategic objectives. Additionally, there will be significant features to enable investment decisions to be made and portfolio scenarios to be analyzed.

·         Transformation tools (TT). This category of tools is providing a platform to enable the defining of business or IT strategy, planning, and architecture. It provides a collaborative environment so that strategists, portfolio managers, and architects work together to deliver the strategic objectives of the firm.

We would be interested in your feedback on this classification. Does it resonate with your own findings? Does your current tool easily fit into one of these categories?

We would also be interested in whether you would be happy to share an EAMS success or failure story. And, what is the one thing missing from your EA toolset?



This categorisation feels

This categorisation feels tightly coupled to the outcome that is expected from EA. We do not have any tooling to support EA currently. We have looked in the recent past but the prices tag has proved a stumbling point. Possibly that is because we have not looked at the problem in terms of the levels of capability which are included in the categorisation. At the lowest level a tool will be little more than a drawing tool, and perhaps that is what is required. At the top end the tool will support a mutli-disciplinary, collaborative approach. The first choice is what outcome you desire and I think the categories help bring that into focus.

Hi John, Totally agree. The

Hi John,

Totally agree. The most recent report by Alex Cullen of defining the EA service catalog also helps EA leaders determine the type of EA practice that is needed by the organization. Once you know 'what' you need to be, you can assess the outcomes/outputs needed to add value and then find a tool to support those outcomes.

Have you had a look at the open source options like essential project, archi, iteraplan?

To date, the toolset that is most used by Forrester clients is still MS Office Suite, largely due to the cost of commercial products.

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