Most organizations today recognize the need to become customer-obsessed digital businesses. They need to map out customer touchpoints to fully understand their customers’ experiences and interactions with their firms’ processes and those of their partners. They also must transform their internal operating models and technology foundations, creating new systems of engagement and systems of insight as well as evolving their systems of record. Establishing this comprehensive understanding and planning for the transition to the desired future state are the chief concerns of an effective enterprise architecture (EA) program.

But EA programs have existed for more than a decade, and most of them have fallen short of these lofty goals. Why? Old-school EA has been too tactical, too technology-centric, or too disengaged from business priorities to have significant impact.

Effective EA Programs Address Firms’ Changing Priorities

What’s changed is that:

  • Firms have shifted their focus to customer obsession. For a firm’s technology management, this means an increasing emphasis on the investments that touch customers and drive revenue, rather than on improving operational efficiency. For EA programs focused on technology standardization to reduce cost, this is a significant shift—essentially a new value proposition.
  • Being fast and connected is an imperative for the tech organization. Responding to shifting business focus and the need for faster delivery of solutions, tech management is moving toward greater federation or using agile methods with blended business and technology teams. Purely centralized EA programs with waterfall methodologies are not designed for speed, and organizations view programs that cling to old methods as roadblocks.
  • EA sponsors want strategic EA on top of tactical EA. To prove their value, many EA programs act as hands-on project technology resources. While stakeholders appreciate these tactical contributions, they are now looking for strategic architectures that move their businesses forward. EA programs that base their value on being the smartest techies on a project need to shed that skin—but old ways of working and the preconceptions of key stakeholders can hold them back.

Nominate yourself for the 2018 Enterprise Architecture Awards

Each year, Forrester and InfoWorld highlight the EA programs that have made a significant impact on their organizations – embracing the opportunities for helping their business be customer-led, insights-driven, fast, and connected. We are now accepting nominations for the 2018 Enterprise Architecture Awards.

If you have a story to tell, we encourage you to submit it to the Forrester/InfoWorld 2018 Enterprise Architecture Awards. Describe how you are helping your firm succeed at its strategy, such as:

  • You helped your organization become an insights-driven business.
  • You guided the development and execution of a digital transformation strategy.
  • You helped your firm embrace agile methods and scaled these methods to the enterprise.
  • Your team has cracked the nut of measuring EA’s contribution and value.
  • Or any other way you helped your organization to be successful.

Want some inspiration? Read about previous Enterprise Architecture Awards winners:

As with the previous Enterprise Architecture Awards, what we look for and how we judge hasn’t changed:

  • We’re looking for submissions about an EA program—about what your EA program did, not about a project that you were peripherally involved with.
  • You should be able to point to concrete impact and benefits.
  • The judges for this year’s winners are all from previous years’ winners, so your submission needs to convince your peers that it shows impact and offers a model for other EA programs.

Submit your nomination by mailing your entry as a Word document of 1,500 words or less to Gene Leganza at Please use the phrase “Forrester / InfoWorld EA Awards” in the subject line. We will send an acknowledgement within two business days.

Be sure to include:

  • Contact info
  • A very brief description of your firm or organization.
  • A brief description of the problem you were trying to solve.
  • A description of what you did to address the problem.
  • A description of your results.
  • A brief overview of your EA program:
    • How long it has been in existence
    • Structure: federated, centralized, distributed
    • Approximate number of architects by role in central and distributed positions associated with the program.

Submissions close on June 30. We’ll notify semifinalists by August 1. At that time, we’ll ask for additional information. We’ll announce winners on Sept 18.