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Organizations Must Leverage Enterprise Architecture as a Strategic Resource to Advance their Internet of Things Strategies

by Mike Walker  |  October 29, 2014  |  1 Comment


You’re probably thinking, “wow that is a bold statement”, and you would be right in thinking so. However, it doesn’t make it any less true. Over the past few months I’ve been working with Gartner IoT experts and listening and observing customers around the world in their usage of IoT technologies. One thing is clear, those that treat IoT as more than just a hobby or side project are certainly achieving substantial gains. As we know, the only way to do that is to create a meaningful strategy that put’s company value at the center.

This week I released two pieces of research that are directly tailored to the role of a chief architect enterprise architects. What you’ll find different in this research is that I go through IoT focused on the broad strategic impacts rather than a narrow individual solution. So language, methods and tools that come right out of the enterprise architectures toolbox is important. The goal of this research is to provide essential information that doesn’t necessarily go deep into the IoT space from an educational purpose but rather provides the constructs.

  1. Leveraging Enterprise Architecture to Enable Business Value With IoT Innovations Today
  2. Toolkit: What Enterprise Architects Need to Know About IoT Technologies
  3. Coming Soon. Research Index: IoT Resources for Enterprise Architects

The first piece of research, “Leveraging Enterprise Architecture to Enable Business Value With IoT Innovations Today” is about what enterprise architects can do today to leverage Internet of things. As I said before, I focused less on the actual technology, that’s the easy part. It’s about what you do with it, how do you architect it to maximize value and how do you reduce the risks of adoption of this technology to both your internal operations and to your customers. You’ll find key positions that will guide you through what you can do today as an enterprise architect, not five years from now but today. This research is all about “teaching you how to fish” rather than “catching fish for you”. This is important because every situation is unique and require customization based on the unique business outcome you wish to achieve.

In the second piece of research, “Toolkit: What Enterprise Architects Need to Know About IoT Technologies” is an action oriented deliverable that is in a toolkit format. I provide you with a PowerPoint presentation that will give enterprise architects the diagnostic deliverables that relate to Internet of Things. What is unique about this Toolkit is it isn’t comprised of a bunch of random deliverables but they are put together in a cohesive manner applied to real world scenarios. It includes:

  • I create a structured framework to understanding disruptions (see: “Leveraging Enterprise Architecture to Lead the Enterprise Response to Disruptive Technologies”) . In this research we exercise that framework with the Internet of Things.
  • Of the thousands of deliverables one could choose architecturally, this toolkit selects the impactful deliverables for IoT that tieback to the key positions made in the previous piece of research
  • Lastly, these deliverables are not just empty templates that are subject to interpretation but rather provide real-world business scenarios

So what you’ll find is not only a set of great guidance for enterprise architects but also the deliverable in which they need to be successful. Keep in mind these are not an exhaustive list and not to represent all situations. However these examples should give food for thought and inspiration into how to think about this pervasive technology.

I hope you enjoy it if you have any comments, questions or general feedback I would love to hear it in the comments below.

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Tags: digital-business  ea  enterprise-architecture  internet-of-things  iot  strategy  

Mike Walker
Research Director
1 year at Gartner
18 years IT Industry

Mike J. Walker leads, develops and establishes compelling enterprise architecture research that helps organizations understand how to improve or deploy an enterprise architecture program that will improve business outcomes, realize strategies and improve the quality of business and technology decisions. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Organizations Must Leverage Enterprise Architecture as a Strategic Resource to Advance their Internet of Things Strategies

  1. Todd Ray says:

    Interesting post, Mike. Unfortunately, I’m not a Gartner member right now, but as soon as I am again, I’ll make sure to check these refs. 🙂 Certainly, IoT innovations are already having a significant impact across a broad swath of industries and government. I’d be interested in thoughts on the types of organizations that should be looking into this, if not already, as IoT opportunities may not be as pronounced in some types of firms. Interesting application I noticed the other day: networked “smart” parking meters in San Francisco linked to phone app whereby you just enter the meter number and the amount. Sitting at lunch with my wife we got alerted to the meter running out and put more money in from where we were seated. Brilliant! check out

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