Blog post

Future Predictions for EA in the Next Decade

By Philip Allega | February 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

Strategy and PlanningEnterprise ArchitectureEnterprise Architect

Research for your Journey to the Future

In our everyday research, Gartner asks the question, “How can we help?” Gartner Predicts research asks the question, “Where will you need help tomorrow, and how will you make that journey?”

In a recent research note concerning the future of enterprise architecture into 2020 and on to 2022, we found that modern enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders are scaling for their role in the next decade.

Predictions are statements of Gartner’s positions and actionable advice about the future.

Enterprise Architects are Scaling their Role –
Surprising Statistics!

Gartner’s predictions in this research indicate that the role of the EA and technology innovation leader is scaling in terms of:

  • Supporting strategic planning for both the business and IT
  • Focusing on digital technologies within the business ecosystem
  • Enhancing integrated business and technology skills to deliver the role in the next decade
  • Adopting different tools for analysing the interrelationships and inter-dependencies of changing plans, in-flight projects and the state of existing assets over time

In this work, we revealed that 90% of enterprise architects are in involved in technology innovation today. Furthermore, we revealed that 90% of those engaged in technology innovation are focused upon the marriage of new technology to new business models. 63% are engaged in their organisation’s business strategy planning.

For those who have been in EA for a long time, these are heady days for enterprise architects. In our 2017 survey, we found that 68% of heads of EA report directly to a C-level executive, including to the CIO (45.7%), CEO (5.4%), CTO (16%) or CFO (1%).  The “seat at the table” many dreamed of a decade ago is there, and filled with savvy and eager to help leaders.

What will you do next to help your leadership teams make smarter decisions?

How will you prepare for the next generation of enterprise architects?

Important Recommendations

Amongst the numerous recommendations in the report, for EA in the future, were these:

  • Upskill the role to support leadership expectations in the next decade. Become more fluent in business strategy and business model techniques and terms, as well as your own business strategy and model. This may mean investing more in business architecture skills and capabilities, as well as partnering with business strategy leaders in the organisation.
  • Expand capabilities with millennial enterprise architects, as baby boomers exit the workforce.

Technology still counts in the future, but it counts more when it’s directly applied to the delivery of a business outcome. Innovation planning, monitoring in-flight projects, and assessing the fitness of current state assets are not done in a vacuum when done with desired business outcomes set before you.

This year, Gartner’s Strategic Planning Assumptions for EA leaders start with a view on the merger of strategic planning activities and then examine Gartner’s expectations of EA leaders’ continued involvement in digital platforms. We see further coming clarity in an expansion of skills and capabilities in the role, complemented by transparent governance and supported by the rise of new tools in support of a new digital, business and IT ecosystem. The themes of tools, strategy, skills and digital business continue to shape the role in the coming years.

These predictions help our clients understand not only the radical changes they face in the digital world, but also the nature of this role as it advises others about the shape and nature of future IT investments and its relationship to business outcomes. Gartner advises readers to:

  • Use Gartner’s predictions as planning assumptions on which to base strategic plans for the evolution of the role within the organization.
  • Evaluate the near-term flags that indicate whether a prediction is trending toward truth or away from it.
  • Position predictions with longer time horizons as having a lower probability of coming true than those with shorter time horizons.

Predictions About EA in 2020-2022

The analysis provides our reasoned opinion concerning the following predictions. If you are interested to know more, the note sits behind our firewall, clients may call, and I’m always happy to speak to vendors via our (vendors never need to be a client to speak to a Gartner analyst).

  • By 2020, 55% of organizations will have a continuous, and integrated, business and IT strategy planning effort.
  • By 2020, 75% of the heads of EA will be a key strategic business and technology advisor for at least one CxO.
  • By 2022, 80% of successful organizations will rely on EA to orchestrate digital business ecosystems and digital platforms.
  • By 2020, EA efforts that focus on enabling investment decisions with transparent governance will double their business value.
  • Through 2020, 55% of EA teams will focus their business ecosystem, but less than 10% will be able to analyze their ecosystem.

And, if you’re interested in our complete collection of predictions, please see Predicts 2018: Stimulate Creativity to Generate Success — A Gartner Trend Insight Report.

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

Comments are closed