erwin Expert Blog Enterprise Architecture

Post-Pandemic Enterprise Architecture Priorities

Enterprise architecture priorities

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many enterprise architects were focused on standardization. Identifying and putting into practice standard approaches to deploying systems, from the IT infrastructure and network protocols to the integration with other components, decreases the time to market for businesses and increases efficiency. In a world where agility and innovation are highly valued, speed is a critical factor for success.COVID-19 forced many businesses to radically change their business models – or re-evaluate their business processes – shifting the focus of enterprise architects. The top priority became mobility through a cloud-first strategy. By evaluating and deploying the right combination of cloud-based platforms and security tools, enterprise architects played a key role in keeping businesses up and running in a remote-work world.

As the world moves forward, enterprise architecture (EA) is moving with it. The enterprise architect needs to develop an understanding of the organization’s business processes and business architecture. With this understanding, enterprise architects can play a key role in both customer and employee experiences, which are central to growing a business today.

Responding to a Crisis

According to Deloitte’s Enterprise Architecture’s Role in Recovering from a Crisis report,  organizations typically respond to a crisis over three phases: respond, recover and thrive.

EA provides a way to drive change through every phase of recovery by providing an understanding of technology assets with business needs. Enterprise architects have been a critical component to helping businesses navigate the pandemic to reimagine the business, ensure business continuity, and identify the tools to survive and ultimately thrive in a post-COVID world.

We saw in the first phases of the pandemic how organizations had to navigate business continuity to survive. For example, a COVID EA response plan could have been used to ask: Are employees working from home? What roles do they have? What work do they do? And when are they available?

New Priorities

According to a survey by McKinsey and Co., the pandemic acted as an accelerant for digital transformation efforts, speeding up the adoption of digital technologies by several years.

As the world moves forward, so must enterprise architecture. Instead of focusing on standardization, the enterprise architect must play a key role in both customer and employee experiences, aspects that are central to growing a business.

Three priorities have emerged for enterprise architects as we move into this next phase:

Priority 1: Business Process and Business Architecture

Enterprise architects are accustomed to thinking about technology architecture and processes. With IT now being seen as an enabler of the business, enterprise architects need to think in terms of the customer journey and how people interact with the business across the value chain.

Priority 2: The Application Portfolio

Oversight of the application portfolio is not a new responsibility for many enterprise architects. Understanding the applications you have, the applications in use, and the applications that are ripe for retirement is an important part of running an efficient IT operation.

Priority 3: Risk Management – Security and Compliance

Businesses are paying close attention to risk from internal and external sources. With more connections between systems and companies, more third-party partnerships and more advanced attacks from cybercriminals and nation-states alike, security is top of mind from the boardroom on down.

The New Normal

As we move into recovery mode, organizations are assessing the processes, systems and technologies that will help them assimilate to the new normal and thrive post-pandemic. However, the role and priorities of enterprise architecture likely will continue to evolve to include responsibility for products, deployments and customers, as businesses continue to transform.

Whether documenting systems and technology, designing processes and critical value streams, or managing innovation and change, you need the right tools to turn your enterprise architecture artifacts into insights for better decisions.

erwin Evolve by Quest is a full-featured, configurable enterprise architecture and business process (BP) modeling and analysis software suite that tames complexity, manages change and increase operational efficiency. Its automated visualization, documentation and enterprise collaboration capabilities turn EA and BP artifacts into insights both IT and business users can access in a central location for making strategic decisions.

To learn more about the new priorities for enterprise architects post-pandemic, read our latest white paper: Enterprise Architecture: Setting Transformation-Focused Priorities.


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erwin Expert Blog Enterprise Architecture

6 Steps to Building a Great Enterprise Architecture Practice

Enterprise architecture provides business and IT alignment by mapping applications, technologies and data to the value streams and business functions they support. It defines business capabilities and interdependencies as they relate to enterprise strategy, bridging the gap between ideation and implementation.

An effective enterprise architecture framework provides a blueprint for business and operating models, identifies risks and opportunities, and enables the creation of technology roadmaps. Simply put, it enables IT and business transformation by helping technology and business innovation leaders focus on achieving successful, value-driven outcomes.

As an enterprise moves and shifts, enterprise architecture is central to managing change and addressing key issues facing organizations. Today, enterprises are trying to grow and innovate – while cutting costs and managing compliance – in the midst of a global pandemic.


How Enterprise Architecture Guides QAD

Scott Lawson, Director of IT Architecture for QAD, which provides ERP and other adaptive, cloud-based enterprise software and services for global manufacturing companies, recently shared how he and his company use enterprise architecture for “X-ray vision into the enterprise.”

“We use the architecture of the moment, the stuff that we have in our website to understand what the enterprise is today. It is what it is today, and then we move and use that information to figure out what it’s going to be tomorrow. But we don’t have this compare and contrast because it’s a reference,” he said.

QAD uses the Zachman Framework, which is considered an “ontology” or “schema” to help organize enterprise architecture artifacts, such as documents, specifications and models, which has helped them build a strong practice.

Based on QAD’s success, Lawson explains the six steps that any organization can take to solidify its enterprise architecture:

1. Define your goals. (WHO) While Zachman poses this as the final question, QAD opted to address it first. The reason for the “why” was not only to have a vision into the enterprise, but to change it, to do something about it, to make it better and more efficient. The goal for enterprise architecture for QAD was to add visibility. They cataloged all their systems and what departments used them, and how they communicated with one another, and built a large physical map with all of the information.

2. Define the objects you will collect. (WHAT) Lawson says, “the zero step there is to determine what things you’re going to make a list of. You can’t make a list of everything.”

3. Define your team and the methods to build the pieces. (HOW) There are fundamental questions to ask: How are you going to create it? Are you going to do it manually? Are you going to buy a tool that will collect all the information? Are you going to hire consultants? What are the methods you’re going to use, and how are you going to build those pieces together? Lawson advises that enterprise architecture needs to be a consistent practice. His team does some architecture every day.

4. Define your team and stakeholders. (WHO) Who is going to be the recipient of your architecture, and who is going to be the creator of your architecture? When building a great practice, involve other departments, suggests Lawson. While his department is IT, they reach out to a lot of other departments around the company and ask them about their processes and document those processes for them.

5. Define the tools, artifacts and deliverables. (WHERE) According to Lawson, you have to define where this information is going to exist, what tools you are going to use, and what artifacts and deliverables you are going to produce. He pointed out that an artifact is different than a deliverable. It’s a single unit of things (e.g., one artifact might be a list of servers), while deliverables are typically sent out as diagrams and reports, but it’s a good idea to define them upfront.

6. Define time scale of models: As is, to be, both or one off. (WHEN) What time scale do you want? QAD does an “as-is” architecture (e.g., what is happening today). The company keeps it up to date by collecting information from multiple systems in an automated fashion.

Using erwin Evolve

QAD is an erwin Evolve customer. erwin Evolve is a full-featured, configurable set of enterprise architecture and business process modeling and analysis tools. With it, you can map IT capabilities to the business functions they support and determine how people, processes, data, technologies and applications interact to ensure alignment in achieving enterprise objectives.

With erwin Evolve you can:

  • Harmonize enterprise architecture/business process modeling capabilities for greater visibility, control and intelligence in managing any use case.
  • Quickly and easily explore model elements, links and dependencies.
  • Identify and understand the impact of changes. Increase employee education and awareness, helping maintain institutional knowledge.
  • Democratize content to facilitate broader enterprise collaboration for better decision-making.
  • Achieve faster time to actionable insights and value with integrated views across initiatives.
  • Record end-to-end processes and assign responsibilities and owners to them.
  • Improve performance and profitability with harmonized, optimized and visible processes.

To replay QAD’s session from the erwin Insights global conference on enterprise modeling and data governance and intelligence, which covers the six steps above and more about their use of enterprise architecture and erwin Evolve, click here.

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erwin Expert Blog Enterprise Architecture

Top 7 Enterprise Architecture Certifications

Enterprise architecture certifications and the professionals who obtain them give organizations more confidence in their enterprise architecture initiatives. This post outlines the best enterprise architecture certifications and certifications for enterprise architects.

Enterprise architecture (EA) helps align business and IT efforts by documenting and mapping data, applications and assets to the functions they support.

While a number of different approaches exist, EA must be performed in line with recognized frameworks in order to be sustainable. EA certifications serve as proof that an enterprise architect is familiar with these frameworks – benefiting both the organization and the EA professional.

Think about it. If your organization’s EA was modeled and mapped according to an enterprise architect’s own standards – with no basis in recognized frameworks – your EA projects become tied to that employee.

With this approach, complications become inevitable.

A few of the potential issues with tying your EA standards to a person rather than using enterprise architecture frameworks are:

  • The enterprise architect would have to teach the relevant stakeholders how to understand their models to effectively communicate their plans.
  • Should the enterprise architect leave the organization, the enterprise architecture practice leaves with them, so future projects would have to be built from the ground up.

Top 7 Enterprise Architect Certifications and What They Cost

Each of the following certifications for enterprise architects have their own advantages – from cost, to versatility, to their suitability in specialist use-cases.

Below lists the top 7 enterprise architecture certifications in order of cost:

Enterprise Architecture Certification

The Best EA Certifications

While the enterprise architecture certification that’s best for you is subjective, you should let the context influence your decision.

As a new enterprise architect, prioritizing widely recognized certifications for the most common frameworks makes the most sense. The Open Group TOGAF 9 Certification is a good place to start

Vendor-agnostic and globally-recognized, the versatility afforded by a TOGAF certification is certainly worth pursuing.

However, some organizations will prioritize recruiting enterprise architects with more specialty or platform-specific certifications.

A common example here is Amazon’s AWS certification: AWS Certified Solution Architect.

Amazon state that AWS Certified Solution Architects can “effectively demonstrate knowledge of how to architect and deploy secure and robust applications on AWS technologies” among other skills the certification validates.

Earning this certification requires hands-on experience with AWS services. Amazon recommends “experience using compute, networking, storage, and database AWS services” as well as “an understanding of the basic architectural principles of building on the AWS Cloud.”

And considering current trends, certifications for cloud platforms are becoming increasingly relevant.

The Google Professional Cloud Architect certification and the Professional Cloud Solutions Architect Certification are two cloud-oriented certifications.

Benefits of Enterprise Architecture Certifications for Employers

Employing certified enterprise architects benefits organizations in the following ways:

  • Organizations can ensure candidates they interview and eventually hire are up to speed with the frameworks currently observed within the organization
  • They can achieve faster time to markets because new enterprise architects are brought up to speed more quickly.
  • They have greater ability to and ease in expanding and upscaling their enterprise architecture initiatives
  • They have greater confidence their efforts are sustainable beyond the tenure of any one enterprise architect

Benefits of Enterprise Architecture Certifications for Enterprise Architects

For enterprise architects, EA certifications offer these benefits:

  • Collaborative enterprise architecture becomes easier to implement and manage, since everyone speaks the same language
  • Certified enterprise architects have demonstrated their understanding of particular EA, solution architecture, cloud architecture or technical architecture frameworks and validated their skills
  • Certified enterprise architects enjoy improved employability because organizations will look for EAs with specific certifications for continuity in existing projects
  • Certified enterprise architects can command a premium; the average salary for a TOGAF certified enterprise architect is $137,000

More on enterprise architecture:

Enterprise Architecture erwin Expert Blog

The Future of Enterprise Architecture

The business challenges facing organizations today emphasize the value of enterprise architecture (EA), so the future of EA is closer than you think. Are you ready for it?

COVID-19 has forced organizations around the globe to re-examine or reimagine themselves. However, even in “normal times,” business leaders need to understand how to grow, bring new products to market through organic growth or acquisition, identify new trends and opportunities, determine if new opportunities provide a return on investment, etc. Organizations that can identify these opportunities and respond to them have a distinct edge over their competitors.

Of course, enterprise architecture plays an important role in helping to confront and/or capitalize on these use cases:

  • COVID-19 Global Response Plans
  • Digital Transformation
  • Data Security & Risk Management
  • Compliance/Legislation
  • Innovation Management
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Knowledge Improvement and Retention
  • Data Center Consolidation
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Cloud Migration
  • Application Portfolio Management
  • Data Governance (knowing what data you have and where it is)

Let’s dig into the first two and then look at the role of enterprise architects and how to ensure your EA tools are up to the tasks ahead.

change management enterprise architecture

Chaos Creates Opportunity

COVID-19 is not just accelerating digital progress, it’s also driving a radical change in thinking, as organizations reset. The most significant COVID business takeaway has been the readiness of organizations and their employees to challenge rules, break conventions, and cut through red tape to stay in business.

In the first phases of the pandemic, organizations had to navigate business continuity and how they were going to survive. As we move into recovery mode, organizations are assessing the processes, systems and technologies that will help them assimilate to the new normal and thrive post-pandemic.

EA provides a way to drive change through every phase of recovery by providing an understanding of technology assets with business needs. For example, a COVID response plan will use EA to document if employees work from home, what their roles are, the projects on which they’re working, and what their schedules are.

Enterprise architecture has been critical to helping businesses navigate the pandemic to ensure business continuity, reimagine their business and operating models, and identify the tools to survive and ultimately thrive in a post-COVID world.

Digital Transformation

The key driver of modern EA is the demand for digital transformation. Data-driven business models and information-fueled business ecosystems provide the basis for new, innovative products and services.

The need for digital transformation has led enterprise architects to think about EA based on insights and outcomes throughout the architectural products. Architectural products are configurations of business capabilities to facilitate customer journeys, value chains, products and customer lifecycles, thus bringing the enterprise architecture much closer to the roles of product managers, customer success managers, digital platform and marketing experts.

However, digital transformation presents many challenges so it’s important not to focus on technology simply for technology’s sake. To realize successful transformation, an organization should establish new business models and the underlying supporting operating models. For example, an enterprise should start by developing a target operating model, which includes:

  • Key performance indicators (including goals, performance and benefits realization)
  • Technology (addressing business and operation systems, the assets, resources and the business)
  • Process (including the product life cycle, the development, the quality, the management and the assurance processes)
  • People management (addressing leadership, ways of working, skills and competencies and capabilities)

Enterprise Architects Become More Valuable

The importance of the enterprise architect role is recognized widely in successful businesses. An enterprise architect is now required to understand improved value through many different aspects of the business, including profits and loss, share value, risk, sales, customers and products, to name a few.

According to Gartner’s Vice President Analyst Marcus Blosch,”By 2021, 40% of organizations will use enterprise architects to help ideate new business innovations made possible by emerging technologies. EA and technology innovation leaders must use the latest business and technology ideas to create new revenue streams, services and customer experiences.”

Many organizations see business architecture as a starting point for EA, incorporating business processes and organizational design with the ability to connect to IT programs and goals.

Traditional EA is not forgotten and EAs continue to support IT governance, assurance, architecture standards and architecture review boards; however, there’s more focus on agility than command and control as has been traditionally the case with EA.

A good enterprise architect understands and tracks technology trends and appreciates how to apply these to business to enable good business outcomes.

According to Gartner, today’s enterprise architects play a transformational role in their organization. They lead and define business operating models and often have a seat at the table to advise executives and other important decision-makers. In this sense, they are trusted advisors and act in a consultancy capacity to the rest of the organization.

As with most professions, enterprise architect salaries tend to increase with years of experience and are healthy. It’s also noticeable that enterprise architects who add EA certifications to their resumes report higher earnings.

Future-Proofing EA Tools

Over the years, customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools have expanded to cover new business use cases based on customer and financial information.

It’s now important for organizations to develop an ecosystem with EA at the heart of it, with connections to ERP financials, risk systems, employees, etc. This will determine the value of EA tools and their ability to meet the needs of organizations and their EA use cases for today as well as over the next five or so years.

With that said, tools need to retain the traditional EA approaches to inspire architecture. They need to have the functionality to be built on and work up the underlying business operating models to deliver outcomes and to demonstrate real value.

Organizations need to ingest data as inputs from disparate sources within the organization — allowing the contents of the models with the help of artificial intelligence and analytics — to drive decision-making.

Business-driven applications also will be deployed through the EA repositories, which contain a wealth of information, such as strategies, processes, peoples and skills, locations, working practices, metadata, applications and technologies.

An EA tool also should offer technology trend tracking and be designed to showcase new innovation and how it can affect the organization’s goals at speed.

You can learn more by watching “The Future of Enterprise Architecture Is Closer Than You Think” from erwin Insights 2020.

And if you’re ready to get started with an EA tool that can evolve with you and your organization’s needs, then I invite you to try erwin Evolve.

future of enterprise architecture, martin owen

Data Intelligence Enterprise Architecture Data Governance erwin Expert Blog

Integrating Data Governance and Enterprise Architecture

Aligning these practices for regulatory compliance and other benefits

Why should you integrate data governance (DG) and enterprise architecture (EA)? It’s time to think about EA beyond IT.

Two of the biggest challenges in creating a successful enterprise architecture initiative are: collecting accurate information on application ecosystems and maintaining the information as application ecosystems change.

Data governance provides time-sensitive, current-state architecture information with a high level of quality. It documents your data assets from end to end for business understanding and clear data lineage with traceability.

In the context of EA, data governance helps you understand what information you have; where it came from; if it’s secure; who’s accountable for it; who accessed it and in which systems and applications it’s located and moves between.

You can collect complete application ecosystem information; objectively identify connections/interfaces between applications, using data; provide accurate compliance assessments; and quickly identify security risks and other issues.

Data governance and EA also provide many of the same benefits of enterprise architecture or business process modeling projects: reducing risk, optimizing operations, and increasing the use of trusted data.

To better understand and align data governance and enterprise architecture, let’s look at data at rest and data in motion and why they both have to be documented.

  1. Documenting data at rest involves looking at where data is stored, such as in databases, data lakes, data warehouses and flat files. You must capture all of this information from the columns, fields and tables – and all the data overlaid on top of that. This means understanding not just the technical aspects of a data asset but also how the business uses that data asset.
  2. Documenting data in motion looks at how data flows between source and target systems and not just the data flows themselves but also how those data flows are structured in terms of metadata. We have to document how our systems interact, including the logical and physical data assets that flow into, out of and between them.

data governance and enterprise architecture

Automating Data Governance and Enterprise Architecture

If you have a data governance program and tooling in place, you’re able to document a lot of information that enterprise architects and process modelers usually spend months, if not years, collecting and keeping up to date.

So within a data governance repository, you’re capturing systems, environments, databases and data — both logical and physical. You’re also collecting information about how those systems are interconnected.

With all this information about the data landscape and the systems that use and store it, you’re automatically collecting your organization’s application architecture. Therefore you can drastically reduce the time to achieving value because your enterprise architecture will always be up to date because you’re managing the associated data properly.

If your organization also has an enterprise architecture practice and tooling, you can automate the current-state architecture, which is arguably the most expensive and time-intensive aspect of enterprise architecture to have at your fingertips.

In erwin’s 2020 State of Data Governance and Automation report, close to 70 percent of respondents said they spend an average of 10 or more hours per week on data-related activities, and most of that time is spent searching for and preparing data.

At the same time, it’s also critical to answer the executives’ questions. You can’t do impact analysis if you don’t understand the current-state architecture, and it’s not going to be delivered quick enough if it isn’t documented.

Data Governance and Enterprise Architecture for Regulatory Compliance

First and foremost, we can start to document the application inventory automatically because we are scanning systems and understanding the architecture itself. When you pre-populate your interface inventory, application lineage and data flows, you see clear-cut dependencies.

That makes regulatory compliance a fantastic use case for both data governance and EA. You can factor this use case into process and application architecture diagrams, looking at where this type of data goes and what sort of systems in touches.

With that information, you can start to classify information for such regulations as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) or any type of compliance data for an up-to-date regulatory compliance repository. Then all this information flows into processing controls and will ultimately deliver real-time, true impact analysis and traceability.

erwin for Data Governance and Enterprise Architecture

Using data governance and enterprise architecture in tandem will give you a data-driven architecture, reducing time to value and show true results to your executives.

You can better manage risk because of real-time data coming into the EA space. You can react quicker, answering questions for stakeholders that will ultimately drive business transformation. And you can reinforce the value of your role as an enterprise architect.

erwin Evolve is a full-featured, configurable set of enterprise architecture and business process modeling and analysis tools. It integrates with erwin’s data governance software, the erwin Data Intelligence Suite.

With these unified capabilities, every enterprise stakeholder – enterprise architect, business analyst, developer, chief data officer, risk manager, and CEO – can discover, understand, govern and socialize data assets to realize greater value while mitigating data-related risks.

You can start a free trial of erwin Evolve here.

Enterprise architecture review

Enterprise Architecture erwin Expert Blog

What Is Enterprise Architecture? – Definition, Methodology & Best Practices

Enterprise architecture (EA) is a strategic planning initiative that helps align business and IT. It provides a visual blueprint, demonstrating the connection between applications, technologies and data to the business functions they support.
erwin Expert Blog Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise Architecture: Secrets to Success

For enterprise architecture, success is often contingent on having clearly defined business goals. This is especially true in modern enterprise architecture, where value-adding initiatives are favoured over strictly “foundational,” “keeping the lights on,” type duties.

But what does enterprise architecture success look like?

Enterprise architecture is central to managing change and addressing key issues facing organizations. Today, enterprises are trying to grow and innovate – while cutting costs and managing compliance – in the midst of a global pandemic.

Executives are beginning to turn more to enterprise architects to help quickly answer questions and do proper planning around a number of key issues. The good news is that this is how enterprise architects stay relevant, and why enterprise architect salaries are so competitive.

Here are some of the issues and questions being raised:

  • Growth: How do we define growth strategies (e.g., M&A, new markets, products and businesses)
  • Emerging Markets: What opportunities align to our business (e.g., managing risk vs ROI and emerging countries)?
  • Technology Disruption: How do we focus on innovation while leveraging existing technology, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud and robotics?
  • Customer Engagement: How can we better engage with customers including brand, loyalty, customer acquisition and product strategy?
  • Compliance and Legislation: How do we manage uncertainty around legislative change (e.g., data protection, personal and sensitive data, tax issues and sustainability/carbon emissions)?
  • Data Overload: How do we find and convert the right data to knowledge (e.g., big data, analytics and insights)?
  • Global Operations: How do we make global operations decisions (e.g., operating strategy, global business services and shared services)?
  • Cost Reduction: What can we do to reduce costs while not impacting the business (e.g., balance growth goals with cost reduction, forecast resources needs vs. revenue)?
  • Talent and Human Capital: How do we retain, empower and manage employees and contractors (e.g., learning and development, acquisition and retention, talent development)

Enterprise architecture

Undeniable Enterprise Architecture Truths & the Secrets to Success

As enterprise architects, we need to overcome certain undeniable truths to better serve our organizations:

  1. Management does not always rely on EA to make critical decisions: They often hire consultants to come in for six months to make recommendations.
  2. Today’s enterprises need to be agile to react quickly: Things change fast in our current landscape. Taking months to perform impact analysis and solution design is no longer viable, and data has to be agile.
  3. Enterprise architecture is about more than IT: EA lives within IT and focuses on IT. As a result it loses its business dimension and support.

What can enterprise architects do to be more successful?

First and foremost, we need to build trust in the information we hold within our repositories. That has been challenging because it takes so long to collect and keep relevant and that means our analyses aren’t always accurate and up to date.

With more governance around the information and processes we use to document that information, we can produce more accurate and robust analyses for a true “as-is” view of the entire organization for better decision-making.

Next, we need to close the information gap between enterprise architecture functions that fail to provide real value to their stakeholders. We also need to reduce the cost of curating and governing information within our repositories.

Taking a business-outcome-driven enterprise architecture approach will enhance the value of enterprise architecture. Effective EA is about smarter decision-making, enabling management to make decisions more quickly because they have access to the right information in the right format at the right time.

Taking a business-outcome approach means enterprise architects should:

  • Understand who will benefit the most from enterprise architecture. While many stakeholders sit within the IT organization, business and C-level stakeholders should be able to gain the most.
  • Understand your leadership’s objectives and pain points, and then help them express them in clear business-outcomes. This will take time and skill, as many business users simply ask for system changes without clearly stating their actual objectives.
  • Review your current EA efforts and tooling. Question whether you are providing or managing data the business does not need, whether you are working too deeply in areas that may not be adding value, or whether you have your vital architecture data spread across too many disconnected tools.

Why erwin for Enterprise Architecture?

erwin has a proven track record supporting enterprise architecture initiatives in large, global enterprises in highly regulated environments, such as critical infrastructure, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

Whether documenting systems and technology, designing processes and critical value streams, or managing innovation and change, erwin Evolve will help you turn your EA artifacts into insights for better decisions. And the platform also supports business process modeling and analysis. Click here for a free trial of erwin Evolve.

erwin Expert Blog Enterprise Architecture

What is ArchiMate? Top 6 ArchiMate Benefits

ArchiMate is an enterprise architecture (EA) modeling language from The Open Group that is used to communicate an organization’s enterprise architecture.

In this post:

What is ArchiMate?

Pronounced “AR-ki-mayt”, the modeling language’s name comes from a compounding of “architecture” and “animate.” The name conveys its aim to provide a way to visualize an organization’s EA.

Unlike other modeling languages such as Unified Modeling Language (UML) and Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), ArchiMate is designed to be narrow in its scope. The idea being that this makes the standard easier to learn and apply.

It’s narrow scope and ease of understanding could well be the driving force behind ArchiMate’s adoption within the enterprise architecture space.

Additionally, ArchiMate is often seen as a source of great background knowledge for enterprise architecture learning resources for anyone working towards becoming an enterprise architect.

Top 6 ArchiMate Benefits

Some of the key benefits of ArchiMate are:

  • It is an independent and consistent modeling language, meaning organizations and their enterprise architecture projects aren’t tied to vendor-specific tools or individual architects.
  • Its narrow scope and carefully developed concepts combine to provide organizations clear and actionable insight into their enterprise architectures.
  • Its narrow scope makes it easier to learn, and many enterprise architects use ArchiMate as a way to learn more about EA in general.
  • Its place under the Open Group umbrella means it is well integrated with the popular architecture framework, TOGAF.
  • It was designed to share concepts with existing modeling languages including UML and BPMN, and it can work as a bridge between them.
  • It’s tried and tested from an enterprise perspective and an in-demand certification for enterprise architects, so there are relatively low risks associated with adopting it.

ArchiMate in Practice

With ArchiMate, users have a common language through which they can discuss an organization’s business processes, organizational structures, systems and infrastructure.

By establishing a recognized standard to describe, analyze and map out an organization’s EA, organizations can limit the misunderstandings and ambiguity.

Such standardization is an important factor in ensuring consistency between departments, projects and even enterprise architects themselves.

It means that stakeholders can more easily acknowledge, understand and mitigate the consequences of making changes to an organization’s systems or structure.

Parallels can be found in construction, where enterprise architecture’s nomenclature is derived. As with enterprise architecture, architects in the construction space build and label diagrams based on pre-established frameworks.

This means that the project can be reviewed by different stakeholders, and the diagrams can be untethered from any one architect.

As well as insulating the project from stalling should the/an architect leave, the approach speeds up time-to-markets by making communication more efficient.

How it Works

With ArchiMate, organizations can use visual notations as a representation of their EA over time, by using “layers” and “aspects.”

ArchiMate Specification - Aspects & Layers


Layers are broken down into business (yellow), application (blue) and technology (green), and in each layer, three aspects are noted.


  1. Active structure elements can be subdivided into internal and external elements.
    1. Internal active structure elements are subjects that can perform behavior.
    2. External active elements represent a point of access where one or more services are provided to the environment.
  2. Behavior elements can also be subdivided into internal and external elements.
    1. Internal behavior elements represent a unit of activity that can be performed by one or more active structure elements.
    2. External behavior elements, called a service, represent an explicitly defined exposed behavior.
  3. Passive structure elements represent an element on which a behavior is performed.

The framework is populated with “concepts,” which act as visual indications of the nature of elements.

The following is an example of an ArchiMate Core Metamodel, demonstrating how concepts are structured across aspects and layers:

ArchiMate Core Metamodel
ArchiMate 3.0.1 Core Metamodel


Getting ArchiMate Certified

As with The Open Group’s Architecture Framework (TOGAF), a certification program is available for ArchiMate users.

The certification program helps maintain the standard and instills organizations with greater confidence in the enterprise architects they employ or contract.

Due to ArchiMate’s recognition within the EA discipline, ArchiMate certified architects are in greater demand and can command better salaries.

The Open Group have a number of resources that address how you can obtain an ArchiMate accreditation.

The erwin Expert Guide to Enterprise Architecture

Although ArchiMate helps standardize the language we use to describe an organization’s enterprise architecture, it’s just one piece of the puzzle.

The benefits of implementing an enterprise architecture management suite (EAMS)  go beyond just the benefits of using the ArchiMate modeling language.

With an EAMS, organizations can introduce more structure into the way they manage EA. Frameworks and common modeling languages help introduce efficiency, enable agility and improve collaboration.

Some enterprise architecture tools come with an array of collaborative features that make ad-hoc collaboration such as sharing PDFs look primitive in comparison.

For a more complete understanding of enterprise architecture, including its implementation and its benefits, get the erwin Expert’s Guide to Enterprise Architecture.

Enterprise Architecture erwin Expert Blog

What Is TOGAF? The Open Group Architecture Framework

The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is a type of enterprise architecture (EA) framework.

Enterprise Architecture erwin Expert Blog

Enterprise Architect Salary: What to Expect and Why

Enterprise architecture plays a key role in the modern enterprise, so the average enterprise architect salary reflects the demand.

In this post:

Average Enterprise Architect Salary

LinkedIn data from 808 self-reporting enterprise architects indicates that the average enterprise architect’s salary is $146,000.

As with most professions, enterprise architect salaries tend to increase with years of experience.

Enterprise architects who add enterprise architecture certifications to their resume also report higher earnings.

In Glassdoor’s 25 Best Jobs in the UK for 2020 report, enterprise architect came out on top.

It is “the first technology role to be named the ‘best job in the UK,’ beating marketing, finance and ops roles that have traditionally taken the top spot,” according to Amanda Stansell, Senior Economic Research Analyst at Glassdoor.

The report looked beyond just salary as a factor, encompassing job openings and job satisfaction as well.

Interestingly, DevOps engineer is one of 11 new roles to make the list.

Considering the trends of digital transformation and agile business, DevOps engineer and enterprise architect’s inclusion among the top jobs is likely linked.

What Does an Enterprise Architect Do?

An enterprise architect – not to be confused with a solutions architect, technical architect or data architect – is a specialist in collaborating to establish desired business outcomes by introducing the infrastructure necessary to achieve them.


For more info about how enterprise architecture differs from solutions, technical and data architecture, see:

Enterprise architects typically delegate the technical- and solution-specific tasks to technical and solution architects. This makes leadership, management and communication skills vital arrows in the enterprise architect’s quiver.

Often reporting to C-level roles such as the chief information officer, enterprise architects:

  • Align business and IT functions with the organization’s goals
  • Assess/analyze an enterprise’s systems and assets to establish both redundancies and current architecture gaps
  • Analyze risk and impact related to the acquisition of new systems or phasing out/changing current systems
  • Collaborate with stakeholders from different areas of the business to ensure a complete view of the enterprise architecture

Enterprise Architect Salary and Job Description

Enterprise Architect Salary Expectations

As with any career, enterprise architect salary expectations are driven by their value to an organization and the responsibilities they are expected to take on.

Enterprise architects help organizations develop a holistic, informative view of the organization to inform strategic planning.

Increasingly, the latter half of the above statement is foregrounded. Data-driven business has seen enterprise architects evolve from providing a support-focused, foundational function to one that is forward-thinking and business-outcome oriented.

Of course, enterprise architects have always been concerned with the latter but were hamstrung by their perception as working from an ivory tower.

Now the changing business landscape, as well as improvements to enterprise architecture management systems (EAMS) that have made them more collaborative, is helping organizations see them in a new light.

What’s Influencing Enterprise Architecture Salaries?

The demand for enterprise architects is increasing because of colossal changes in the way most enterprises do business.

And from SMBs to large, multinational corporations, most organizations now manage more increasingly complex architectures, more so than just a decade ago.

Organizations striving to optimize and not just manage their enterprise architectures need both the personnel and systems to facilitate this.

The Tools Enterprise Architects Need to Thrive

The demand for enterprise architects isn’t increasing because organizations want to recycle past approaches to the domain.

No, the days of enterprise architecture being viewed primarily as a support function are over.

Today, enterprise architects serve a valuable strategic function within the organization and should be equipped to succeed.

Enterprise architecture management systems (EAMS), as opposed to limited or repurposed Office tools that have to be updated and managed independently, enable enterprise architects to create a central source of truth for as-is and to-be states.

This prevents oversights and errors, allowing enterprise architects to be proactive in guiding an organization in fulfilling its mission with the necessary systems.

Learn more about enterprise architecture management systems.