Since 2010, Forrester has sponsored its Global EA Awards, which means this is the 15th annual occasion! This award offers the opportunity to showcase real excellence in enterprise architecture (EA), distinguish your company’s thought leadership, and give back to the broader architecture profession. Forrester has again partnered with The Open Group, which is contributing both publicity and judges. Last year, US Bank (Americas), Schneider Electric (EMEA), and Union Bank of the Phillippines (APAC) won. This year, will it be you?

Enterprise architecture award submissions are in full swing, and you’ve got less than a month to go if you are in North America. As you wrap up your submissions, please consider the following:

What Makes A Winning Submission

Both Forrester data and client inquiries suggest that EA is making a comeback. Between 2022 and 2023 the number of enterprises in the US reporting they had an architecture organization rose by 20% (yes, two years does not a trend make, and I’m looking forward to this year’s data).

Yet behind that number are many client stories indicating a deep concern that EA can no longer afford to be seen as an “ivory tower” activity. Forrester strongly promotes the idea that all architecture must deliver business outcomes in terms of reducing risk and cost, and/or improving customer experience and revenue and mission outcomes. For example, reducing the attack surface reduces cyber risk, and requires governance of technology acquisitions, which typically falls to EA. Improving vendor leverage through reducing the product footprint, improving customer experience through establishing master data, serving as a trusted advisor on transformational initiatives — all are ways we hear EA groups adding value.

Tell A Compelling EA Story

It’s not enough to say “As an EA group, we advise on transformational initiatives.” Which? GenAI? Cloud transformation? Major ERP uplift? What were the business objectives, how were they measured, and were they achieved? Did you reduce portfolio sprawl by X%? The application packet contains these “good” and “bad” examples:

Bad Good
Our EA team is a critical enabler of synergistic efficiencies. Good architecture enables good cost efficiency while reducing risk and supporting fast agile delivery. Our enterprise architects are collaborative and innovative and manage well through influence. Our EA program is a strategic partner to delivery teams. EA led an initiative to reduce the application portfolio from 1,200 to 800 applications and the supporting vendor technology portfolio from 600 to 400 software products. This had a direct impact on our staffing efficiency; we were able to reallocate 40 engineers from legacy technologies to supporting new ones. The CTO publicly recognized our efforts at the last company meeting.

How We Judge

Last year, each submission was judged by four judges rotated from a larger pool. This year is likely to be the same. The questions reflect Forrester’s outcome-driven architecture model:

So, expect questions on your priorities, capabilities, and how architecture influences delivery towards true business outcomes. This year, we also have two special awards categories: genAI and IT4IT architecture (see the packet for details).

Judges look for specific and, ideally, quantified activities and results. Platitudes and generalities score low.

If You Win

If you win or place, we request that you be willing to work with us to write up a relevant case study from your submission. You will have final approval over this case study. Please do not apply for the award unless key aspects of your achievements can be shared with the world.

How To Participate

You can find more information about the award categories, plus detailed submission packages and instructions, on the websites for our three Technology & Innovation Summits below. Please choose the appropriate link for your region:

North America



Submissions close on May 31, 2024, for North America; June 20, 2024, for EMEA; and July 9, 2024, for APAC. Join us in celebrating the achievements of those at the forefront of technological innovation and business transformation. Nominate your high-performance IT organization today!