The 2023 Forrester Enterprise Architecture Awards have reached their second stop: EMEA. As we did for the Americas awards, we have 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 of its permutations be results oriented and pragmatic. In evaluating the entries for Forrester’s Enterprise Architecture Award, we look for stories of EA excellence resulting in tangible business and customer results. 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 two finalists for this award show how excellent EA organizations drive both internal and external value.

We congratulate Schneider Electric, this year’s winner, and finalist Interswitch Group.

Schneider Electric provides energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability. Schneider’s “North Star” architecture gives a roadmap for a global digital business transformation that seeks to clearly align investments to deliver superior internal and external customer experience. EA plays an important role in three companywide priorities:

  • Quality. By leading and managing key program risks, actions, issues, and decisions, EA assures high standards in technology systems through governance implementation.
  • Simplification. EA seeks to remove the complexity around the catalog of products, systems, supply chain, and commercial policies. This allows for a simplified technology landscape, standardized application capability delivery, and business process reengineering.
  • Growth. EA supports scale in new areas, such as sustainability and prosumer, by offering a repeatable framework and appropriate technology to coordinate with teams’ go-to-market plans. This lets teams drive easily scalable, standard solutions — and pivot their approach as consumer demand changes and the business pivots.

Also note that Schneider was selected as a finalist of this year’s Technology Strategy Impact Award for EMEA. Read more about that here.

Interswitch Group is a fintech company that pioneered an integrated digital payments and commerce platform in Nigeria. Interswitch is using an outcome-driven architecture strategy to support and rationalize a rapidly growing business — one that was identified in 2019 as Africa’s first unicorn. To do this, Interswitch has implemented a federated system of enterprise architecture, letting the organization maintain central governance while empowering business lines to be agile and accountable for their architectural activities.

Interswitch’s EA strategy has been instrumental in:

  • Restructuring the company’s divisions into six self-governing business lines to give clearer focus to existing products and drive growth in emerging sectors/markets with high growth potential. For example, Interswitch established its merchant acquiring and API marketplace business (Paymate) as a standalone to target merchants and SMEs more directly.
  • Building agile teams around products, such as a data team equipped to handle all data-related projects or an infrastructure team dedicated to all infrastructure-related initiatives. This approach has ensured that up to 95% of initiatives are completed — a significant improvement on prior performance.
  • Improving collaboration between IT and the business through the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM). This has identified more than $500,000 in savings via rearchitecting, rightsizing, and cold data tiering initiatives.

Stay tuned for the last of the EA awards: APAC! And if you want to learn more about Schneider Electric’s story, attend Forrester’s Technology & Innovation EMEA Forum, which will take place in London and digitally, October 12–13, 2023. We hope to see you there!