Strategy & Architecture

The importance of enterprise architecture to turn strategy into action

April 12, 2024

With the technology landscape constantly changing and permeating into new areas of business operations, the importance of enterprise architecture cannot be underestimated.  

Determining the optimal mix of information systems and technologies to address current and future business needs is the elusive ingredient to a successful digital journey. Enterprise Architecture analysis assists in driving informed and effective decision making through your organisation’s digital journey.  

Expanding business strategy into tangible business and technology capabilities

When starting your digital journey, an effective enterprise architecture approach will break down your business strategies to identify your company's required business and technology capabilities. By identifying the specific capabilities required to achieve your objectives and drilling down to individual components you can lay the foundation for an effective roadmap for implementation.  

For example, if a company's strategy involves expanding its market share through digital innovation, an enterprise architecture strategy would depict the necessary digital capabilities such as enhanced customer experiences, streamlined operations, and data-driven decision-making. This clarity ensures that resources are allocated efficiently, and efforts are directed towards areas that will directly contribute to strategic success.

Expanding technology capabilities into target state technology architecture

One of enterprise architecture's core functions is to expand existing technology capabilities into target state technology architectures, thereby aligning IT with the company's strategic goals. This process involves identifying the desired future state of technology that covers information systems and infrastructure, areas for improvement, and defining the necessary enhancements to support the previously identified business and technology capabilities.
By defining the future state of your technology ecosystem, enterprise architecture aids in fostering collaboration and innovation between business and IT stakeholders as it serves as a common blueprint of the business and IT landscape. Without a common blueprint, any division between business and IT will continue.

Defining the technology roadmap necessary to achieving target state technology architecture

The technology roadmap provides a structured and strategic approach to guide the organisation through the process of transforming the technology landscape to align with the business strategy. It pulls together the business and technology capabilities and the target state technology architecture, to set out a tailored roadmap with a view to maximising enterprise value.

When building out your roadmap you will need to consider your:

  • Current State: A review of the current state of your organisation in terms of its strategy, business model, operating model, structure, processes, current constraints, and technology landscape.
  • Target State: Defining and describing the desired future characteristics and architecture of your technology landscape.
  • Gap analysis: A comparison of the defined current and target states of your organisation, resulting in the development of a prioritised roadmap that defines the key improvement initiatives that address the needs of your organisation.
  • Adapting to challenges: Remaining flexible and adaptable to challenges along the way by incorporating risk management and contingency plans into your roadmap.


Providing the basis for governing technology projects

Governance is essential in maintaining alignment with business strategy and mitigating risks. Enterprise architecture serves as a detailed governance instrument, providing a framework to assess project alignment against your strategic objectives and overarching architectural principles and defined target architecture.

By establishing standards, guidelines, and best practices, enterprise architecture ensures that technology projects adhere to the desired direction set forth by your organisation through the defined target architecture. Over time, a pragmatic architecture approach will transition your organisation from a reactive approach to technology investments to a strategic approach.  

This ensures that any technology investments are inherently strategically aligned with business priorities, maximising the return on investment, and driving sustainable growth.

This not only enhances consistency and coherence across initiatives but also facilitates better decision-making. Whether it involves evaluating proposed investments, assessing technical debt, or managing vendor relationships, enterprise architecture provides the necessary governance structure to steer technology initiatives toward success.

So why is enterprise architecture important?

Enterprise architecture acts as the link between strategic vision and tangible actional outcomes, particularly in the realm of technology investments and improvements.  

Through the definition of target state technology architectures, enterprise architecture ensures that technology is not just aligned but optimised to support your desired objectives, fostering resilience and innovation. The development of technology roadmaps provides organisations with a clear path forward, guiding decision-making and resource allocation to maximise the impact of technology investments.

Furthermore, enterprise architecture acts as a sturdy governance tool, guaranteeing the alignment of technology projects with overarching business strategies.

Our approach to enterprise architecture

Seisma has expertise in guiding organisations through their digital journey with the practical use of enterprise architecture disciplines.

At Seisma we follow a flexible approach, progressively drilling down to more detail, or broadening out to cover a greater scope in response to feedback from stakeholders. We have adapted The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) based on our experiences and apply it pragmatically to all our engagements.   

The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF)

In an ever-changing landscape, investing in enterprise architecture remains critical for driving sustainable growth and maintaining competitive advantage.
Contact us today to discuss how we can support you with your strategy and architecture needs.

Michael Copcutt
Director | Strategy & Architecture

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