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ROI for Enterprise Architecture

        posted by , June 02, 2011

There is no credible way to calculate a ROI for Enterprise Architecture — this does not mean there is no value.

Proactively Educate

It is a common request from executive management — establish a ROI for EA. The request itself indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of EA.

It is important to anticipate the request — constantly marketing EA and setting expectations about measurement.

Indirect Value

What is the value of strategic planning? Most will agree that strategic planning has value — most will also agree it is difficult to measure the value. That is because strategic planning (like EA) has indirect value.

Example of Indirect Value

ABC Carrot Company has a perfectly good CRM system. The CRM was selected after a lengthy RFP process and implemented at considerable cost.

A project comes along that wants to introduce a new CRM for a business silo. The main reason seems to be the personal preferences of the solution team.

The Enterprise Architecture team recommends against introducing the new CRM into the technology stack. Architecture Governance actions the project team to explain the need for a new CRM. The project backs down and decides to leverage the existing CRM — saving the company software licence and infrastructure costs.

Enterprise Architecture was indirectly responsible for saving the company millions of dollars. However, as an indirect value it can not be added to the ROI of EA.

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