Over the years, my Forrester colleagues and I have observed that the maturity of enterprise architecture (EA) varies greatly among and within companies, industries, and geographies. Some EA practices are more IT-oriented, while others are more business-driven, but EA must always be outcome-driven and demonstrate its value. Therefore, we emphasize that architects and business stakeholders must align and collaborate closely to achieve significant results.

Practitioners in IT domains such as development, testing, and project management have clear metrics that they can use to demonstrate their performance, usefulness, or efficiency. But EA isn’t so lucky; architects lack publicly available dashboards that allow them to compare their work with that of their peers, so architects struggle to show, explain, and track the value of architecture.

In Forrester’s Modern Technology Operations Survey, 2023, we asked 559 technology professionals about the understanding and communication of architecture’s value. While 68% of global digital and IT professionals say that their technology organization understands EA’s value proposition, there are significant differences across countries; in France, that portion is 76%, while it’s just 55% in the UK. Globally, an identical 68% of respondents report that their technology organizations effectively communicate EA’s value proposition, but in France, 84% agree that their teams are effective in that communication while a much smaller 54% of UK respondents agree with this.

I’m currently working on a stream of research that articulates the value proposition for enterprise architecture; look for the next two reports to publish in the next month. In the meantime, if you’re a Forrester client and you’re interested in working on the value proposition for your architecture group, or your strategies for communicating that value, please request a guidance or inquiry session with me to discuss in detail.