The practice of enterprise architecture is about your business – guiding decisions and designing solutions for better, more sustainable business outcomes. 

Pretty much every EA leader would agree with this statement – but only a small percentage can say that this describes their program. Whether due to the situation they are in, or their own leanings, their impact is mostly on IT outcomes. It’s in this context that it’s such a pleasure for me to announce the winners of the 2013 InfoWorld/Forrester Enterprise Architecture Awards

Two words stand out in all these winning submissions:  “business” and “transformation.” These EA programs all share a singular focus on being central to how their business, not just their IT function, evolves.   

  • Many in our profession have said that EA should report into the business, not IT.  The EA program in the National Bank of Abu Dhabi; the second largest lending bank in the United Arab Emirates, does so. In their submission:  Building the Global Business Transformation Roadmap, they describe how the credibility and impact they had when they were part of IT lead to them being moved into the Transformation Management Office, reporting to the CEOThey are now responsible for the analysis and transformation road maps, transformation program design, and balanced scorecards for the overall bank as it seeks expand to 45 countries in five years.     


  • The submission by Verizon: Beyond System Change to Business Transformation is another great example of the shift of EA from an IT focus to a business focus.  To address need for sterling customer experience and innovation, they drove the creation of a program called Order to Bill Transformation (OrBiT) to change the ordering to billing experience and to address business process evolution. OrBiT covers all key areas of the business, such as call center transformation, dispatch automation, billing modernization and centralized business intelligence. The enterprise architecture team designed the change program that enabled Verizon agents to sell more, increased first call resolutions, reduced churn and improved personalization.


  • Yum! Brands is one of the world’s largest restaurant companies.  In their submission Customer Focused Business Transformation, the EA team, named Technology Innovation & Architecture (TIA), described how they helped their business partners begin thinking about ‘the age of the digital customer’ thru actions like a short ‘art of the possible’ video around consumers’ expectations and the impending impact of technology on the restaurant industry, a digital summit of over 300 marketing colleagues to promote digital excellence in Yum! Markets, and customer journey maps that showed technology-based opportunities for improving the customer experience. 


  • MasterCard International is continually seeking to invest in new capabilities while leveraging existing assets, and eliminate technology and processes that are no longer critical to the future of the company.  MasterCard’s EA practice developed their own innovative methodology for guiding the company: Business-centric Enterprise Architecture. This practice leverages capability maps, value maps, business information maps, and solution patterns to provide guidance for evolving business and technology strategy and shape business solutions. One of the impacts MasterCard is seeing is the ability to pace initiatives based on investment priority and funds available for reinvestment – and, for example, this allowed them to move up to 2013 many initiatives slated for 2014.


  • Due to aggressive acquisition, global growth, and changing customer business models, Cisco faced challenges in managing increasing complexity in systems, processes, organizations, and operating models – and in managing change in all this complexity. Their submission: Leveraging Business Architecture for Corporate Agility, describes how they instantiated a business architecture practice to simplify the business and give Cisco the agility to anticipate and profit from new market opportunities and business models. They leverage experts from IT and business & operations, to develop integrated road maps and common reference models to inform portfolio, priority, and design decisions, eliminate redundancies and roadblocks, and move everyone toward shared business outcomes. 

Forrester, InfoWorld, and the Penn State University’s Center for Enterprise Architecture have teamed up to conduct these annual awards to give all EA programs a guiding star to chart their own transformation. We wish to thank all the organizations who submitted their stories for this year’s awards. As one of our judges said, “With so many strong submissions, it’s very hard to select the best ones.”