Oddly, the arrival of LeanIX’s annual EA Connect Days has come to signal the beginning of the holiday season for many at the intersection of Business and IT. This is either because the conference always takes place at the very end of November (this year on the 26th and 27th) or since it is when LeanIX gifts the international Enterprise Architecture community with product updates and IT modernization strategies aplenty.Or quite simply, it is entirely due to the abundance of food and wine that is served and the festive glow on every attendee’s face by the end of the evening.
But not even EA Connect Days can change the fact that Enterprise Architects remain the hardest people to buy presents for in-office Secret Santa exchanges. So to throw a lifeline to the unlucky colleague who picks your name out of the hat this year, we’ve compiled a list of the best books on Enterprise Architecture for you to discuss around the watercooler in the hopes that your special someone hears.
1. "Chess and the Art of Enterprise Architecture" by Gerben Wierda
The tagline to this 2015 book should strike a chord with those who have already read LeanIX’s EA Insights Study 2019: “making the right moves to manage Business-IT complexity”. Using real-world industry examples to introduce the subject of modern Enterprise Architecture, author Gerben Wierda offers insights on the discipline that are relevant to readers of all backgrounds—from general management to IT professionals.
2. "An Introduction to Enterprise Architecture: Third Edition" by Scott A. Bernard
Scott A. Bernard’s thirty years’ worth of experience is packed into this definitive guide on Enterprise Architecture, and while there is a good chance you may have already read it, it is always good to have another copy around the house or office. Bernard’s mission is threefold: (1) “to help move business and technology planning from a systems and process-level view to a more strategy-driven enterprise-level view”; (2) “to promote and explain the emerging of EA”; and (3) “to provide the first textbook on the subject of EA”. Trust us, it is good.
3. "Building an Enterprise Architecture Practice: Tools, Tips, Best Practices, Ready-to-Use Insights" by Martin van den Berg
To supplement LeanIX's many resources on establishing effective Enterprise Architecture practices, this 2006 guide from Martin van den Berg still hits the mark when it comes to modern implementation methods. Its focus is especially on helping readers avoid common pitfalls to Enterprise Architecture—the likes of which will also be discussed by Dr. David Heise from ALDI Süd in his presentation at EA Connect Days.
4. "Enterprise Architecture Management - Einfach und Effektiv: Ein praktischer Leitfaden für die Einführung von EAM" by Inge Hanschke
Inge Hanschke, managing director of the IT consultancy Lean42, has written five books on the subject of Enterprise Architecture and IT management. Each is great, but this is probably the one that gets circulated the most around the LeanIX office. Conveniently, Hanschke provides a holistic and step-by-step overview of Enterprise Architecture management derived from the experiences of IT managers and strategists, and of note, everything Hanschke advises has been tried and tested in her practice. Accessible, comprehensive, and unique—precisely what modern Enterprise Architecture should be.
5. "Architecture Principles: The Cornerstones of Enterprise Architecture" by Danny Greefhorst and Erik Proper
If Enterprise Architects could force their colleagues to read only one book in order to understand the importance of their discipline, this should be the one. Already in its 11th edition, Greefhorst and Proper’s textbook is a favourite of many around the LeanIX office thanks to its eternally relevant coverage on how to apply Enterprise Architecture principles in order to avoid overly complex business information systems.
6. "Enterprise Architecture Matters" by Adrian Grigoriu
This one seems to have flown under the radar of most in the industry, but this eBook is a 400+ page collection of insights originally posted by Adrian Grigoriu, an accomplished Enterprise Strategy and Architecture Consultant, in his award-winning blog. Of interest, Grigoriu’s writings throughout the years on the subject of Cloud-based enterprises have proven especially prescient.
7. “Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution” by Jeanne W. Ross, Peter Weill, and David Robertson
Published by the Harvard Business School, this is essential reading for anyone actually wanting to implement proper IT systems and digitized business processes. The three authors, each a seasoned expert in the field, present a perfect argument for why executing successful modernization strategies depends so much on Enterprise Architecture itself. Clear examples are also given on the discipline’s direct correlation to higher profitability and faster time to market.