The 2023 Forrester Enterprise Architecture Awards have reached APAC — their last stop. As in the Americas and EMEA, Forrester has partnered with The Open Group, which contributed both publicity and judges.

Enterprise architecture (EA) is a strategic capability for many enterprises. It is essential that EA in all its permutations be pragmatic but, above all, results-oriented. In evaluating the entries for Forrester’s Enterprise Architecture Award, we look for stories of EA excellence resulting in tangible business and customer impact. The Forrester Outcome-Driven Architecture Model rests on a base of architecture principles (valuable, influential, continuous, agile, accountable, innovative, and pragmatic) that inform the EA capabilities of people, practices, artifacts, and engagement. This foundation provides the platform to drive and influence projects, products, and services for the ultimate outcome of adaptive, creative, and resilient customer value.

The three finalists for this award show how excellent EA organizations drive both internal and external value.

We congratulate Union Bank of the Philippines, this year’s winner, and finalists CLP Power Hong Kong and Virgin Australia.

Union Bank of the Philippines, a publicly listed universal bank, aims to empower all Filipinos to participate in the formal financial system — today, less than half of the country’s adult population does. In the past three years, the bank has succeeded in closing this gap by doubling its retail customer base to 10 million users, a change largely owed to a digital transformation grounded in a strong enterprise architecture foundation.

As part of the digital transformation, EA has been key in:

  • Developing artifacts that tangibly support analysis, which improves the bank’s strategic planning and investment processes. The result has been strong business backing for EA and the transformation itself, which saw the bank’s volume of digital transactions swell from 15 million in 2020 to 150 million in 2022.
  • Introducing composable platform architectures, like the bank’s retail loans engine, that allow product groups to swap different platform components to create new products in an agile manner. Among these is the platform that enables digital account opening (a first in the Philippines), through which 2 million new accounts have been established since 2020.
  • Establishing a dedicated risk architecture that anchors the bank’s infrastructure resilience. This meant that early in the COVID-19 lockdown, the bank was able to roll out a solution where account holders could send money to relatives from its app via remittance centers, which are ubiquitous even in isolated Filipino communities.

CLP Power Hong Kong provides electricity to more than 80% of Hong Kong’s population and is increasing its portfolio of energy production, product, and services as the world moves toward decarbonization. In this changing context, the enterprise architecture team repositioned from a governance focus to influencing and enabling business outcomes. Through its own transformation, the EA team has pushed CLP from “doing digital” to “being digital.”

Among CLP’s EA innovations were:

  • Instituting a federated architecture operating model. Over the past two years, EA’s new “community of practice” integrated domain architects (such as those covering data, security, integration, and cloud) to provide capabilities to key stakeholders. As a result, each domain architect can blend existing domain expertise with the company’s overall architecture principles.
  • Proactively influencing and improving the company’s strategic development and planning. This includes end-to-end technology portfolio management and architectural recommendations to the CDO and CIO on the synergies available through shared platforms and technology rationalization.
  • Shifting from project-siloed, application-centric architecture to future fit shared platform architecture that delivers commercial value to multiple programs. This shift enabled application rationalization with a unified capability model and allowed multiple business teams to innovate and develop new business capabilities with agility and scale.

Virgin Australia is Australia’s second-largest domestic airline. At the start of 2021, the company launched a $300 million technology transformation based on a six-year IT roadmap to accelerate its post-pandemic competitiveness. Crucial in its future success is EA, which has replaced a manual model-oriented approach with a dedicated data-based repository solution.

The transformation’s goals, supported by this new EA approach, have been:

  • Addressing risk from technical debt after previous underinvestment in technology. Progress has included major application modernization, which has enabled the implementation of event-streaming architecture to launch initiatives like baggage tracking notifications, onboard Wi-Fi, and BYOD in-flight entertainment.
  • Delivering initiatives that have enabled the business to successfully relaunch as a value carrier. As a result, the company has recently organized new strategies for payments, core airline systems, sales, alliances, customer experience, finance, data, integration, and emerging technologies like generative AI.
  • Optimize key digital capabilities to increase ROI for technology and drive future transformation. In response, the company has grown its technology workforce by more than 100 people, augmented its existing skills by adopting new partner approaches, and significantly improving the health of business-critical systems.

The announcement of our APAC finalists concludes Forrester’s EA Awards for this year. But you can learn more about Union Bank of the Philippines’ winning secrets by attending Forrester’s Technology & Innovation APAC Forum, taking place in Sydney and digitally, October 31–November 1, 2023.

And if you’re inspired to share the impact that your team is having, consider submitting your entry in next year’s EA Awards in early 2024!