Gartner 2010 Hype Cycle for Enterprise Architecture

Recently Gartner released the 2010 Hype Cycle for Enterprise Architecture (EA).  It's an interesting report. I'm not sure if there are really any surprises here but it worth looking at the macro themes of the report. 

You can find additional resources here:

Gartner Enterpise Architecture Hype Cycle 2010 

Source: Gartner July 2010 

What the report reveals is a set of macro themes for Enterprise Architecture.

  • Traditional Enterprise Architecture that is technology focused and driven has become mainstream.
  • A fundamental shift in the architecture community from IT Architecture to true Enterprise Architecture where Business Architecture is a first class citizen. EA is past the hype of the standard lip service of "We align IT with Business" and we are actually doing it. 
  • Business focused EA that is executed through Enterprise Business Architecture (EBA), Business Process Management (BPM), Capability analysis and modeling, and EA Performance Management
  • Frameworks are not as mature as they could be. This capability for EA is estimated by Gartner to be 10+ years out until productivity is realized. As you have heard from me in past posts and articles, I believe there is a level of pragmatism that is lost on the EA Tool providers. If they nail that, they will shorten that time to productivity significantly. 
  • While there is mainstream adoption of Enterprise Architecture, the maturity level is still low. This is shown in the Hype Cycle survey it stated that 73% of EA organizations aspire to be "mature". Does this mean that those 73% are not mature? 

Gartner has published the following abstract to the EA Hype Cycle

"The artificial walls between business and IT are crashing down, and EA is the bridge to integrate business and IT," said Philip Allega, Research Vice President, Gartner. "EA's original promise was its ability to provide future safe guidance given the desires and vision of an organisation's senior leadership team. As IT roles shift away from technology management to enterprise management, EA is suited to bring clarity to these blurred boundaries, and, by 2015, increased adoption of EA processes and uses by business will further IT's alignment with the organisation's culture, future-state vision and delivery of business value outcomes."

Early-generation EA, situated on the right side of the Hype Cycle, is marked by long-standing and well-practiced approaches such as enterprise technology architecture (ETA) and architecture assurance that have been supported by traditional and federated approaches to EA. While these practices help to direct tactical IT operations, they are often supported without a business future-state vision and, as such, limit the ability for organisations to achieve and demonstrate significant business value.

"Overall, EA slipped into the Trough of Disillusionment, along with EA tools, because EA practitioners couldn't or wouldn't push EA efforts to become integrated with the business, drawing an invisible wall between the business and IT," said Allega.

As EA practitioners have become more business-focused and organisations have become more hyperconnected, new approaches of managed diversity and middle-out have emerged on the Trigger slope, forming the latest generation of EA. These disciplines are employed by end-users to try to integrate and engage with the business as a partner. One of the emerging disciplines includes a middle-out EA approach, which according to Gartner will have a transformational impact on business in the next two to five years.

"The middle-out approach enables the creation of an adaptable architecture that can help manage rapid change and enable innovation by focusing on coordination through interfaces, rather than on control through top-down standards," said Allega.

Gartner found that 73 percent of clients aspired to support "mature enterprise architecture" during the next three to five years, demonstrating that business strategy will be pervasively understood and supported within EA and across business and IT. "We predict that by 2015, the marketplace of EA practitioners will find a landscape very different from today's environment," said Betsy Burton, Research Vice President and Distinguished Analyst, Gartner.

"To prepare for 2015, EA practitioners need to ensure that EA practices are driven by a clear business vision and defined business context, and that their EA program has stabilised the practices and disciplines that are less than two years to mainstream adoption."

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