Learn how to begin with Enterprise Architecture tool selection, essential features to look for & how modern tools help you manage IT transformations through automation and cross-collaboration.
Moving from traditional IT solutions to modern, cloud-driven tools has become the new normal in the business sphere and companies are constantly looking for the right tools to facilitate this process. While leaders have relied on traditional planning tools like Excel, Visio, and PowerPoint in the past, today’s available technologies and the variety of projects and stakeholders underpinning digital business models require way more flexible EA management tools.
With linear IT planning becoming a thing of the past, users across industries are increasingly aware of what EAM tools can bring to the table in leading change across teams and departments. Thus, it is no longer a question of whether an updated EA approach is needed, but whether an IT architecture is good enough to support continued business competitiveness and transformation – and the critical tools that EA experts use in the process.
Read on and find out how EA management tools help you depict modular visions of your IT landscape and what to look for when choosing the right tools for your business.
While going through their own digitization process, some companies have to find out the hard way that their EAM legacy tools are unfit for a successful and continuous IT transformation. And the reasons are manifold.
For one, requiring a high technical aptitude, legacy EAM tools limit the potential for new, non-technical users to unlock the power of today’s modern SaaS-based solutions. Plus, the Ivory Tower mentality in IT – which is the result of old-school tooling and methodologies – is outdated and disconnected from driving business outcomes, thus blocking the integration of new technologies.
This “red tape” keeping non-IT entities and individuals at a distance, results in unreliable, manually maintained data, a lack of collaboration-based features, and high customization efforts that take time and drive up costs.
So, in order to take advantage of all the opportunities that SaaS-based applications have to offer, enterprises are advised to embrace modern EAM tools that don’t limit but enhance value creation and foster high usability with automated and intuitive features.
But why exactly should traditional legacy tools be replaced with modern EA tools?
First and foremost, a multi-functional EA tool is designed for the cloud and supports the adoption of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS as well as smart governance that ensures efficiency, security, and compliance in a way that is compatible with DevSecOps.
By switching to these nextgen enterprise architecture tools, any business can become cloud-native with optimal speed and maximum control. The data-driven nature of modern EA tools supports quick and seamless transformations and allows you to focus on IT business capabilities and customer journeys.
That way, you get to prioritize IT investments through the customer experience and become a product-centric organization that is driven by innovation.
Next, learn what to expect from modern EAM tools and how beneficial they are to your enterprise architecture environment.
In a cloud-driven IT environment that is becoming increasingly product-centric, enterprise architects and their ability to align IT strategies with business objectives are in high demand.
However, they can only succeed at their job if they are given the right tools. EAs have to be able to provide complete IT transparency and make complex topics easy to digest for all stakeholders. In this context, a good enterprise architecture tool provides much-needed visibility and enhances usability and collaboration across a BizDevSecOps team.
Thanks to its automated processes – like the gathering of data and providing reports with more configure ability – it is much easier for an EA to relate IT growth to business outcomes.
To break down old silos in organizations and to unlock seamless experiences across all company channels, the EAM tools have to function as a single integrated platform. And with a data-driven approach and an up-to-date certainty, they help EAs create much better conditions for continuous change.
In our next section, read about the essential characteristics of EAM tools in more detail.
Today’s leading enterprise architecture tools are designed to help organizations succeed while keeping an eye on the future.
When you are looking for the best solution for your team and company, pay close attention to the following enterprise architecture tool features to help align your business goals with IT:
An EA strategy stands and falls with the adoption of the right EAM tool and how quickly it delivers the first crop of value to an organization. Legacy tools take 3 to 6 months on average as well as a high degree of customization before an organization can expect any results.
Modern EAM tools however are more intuitive to use and yield much quicker results. They are based on best practices and a flexible data model that doesn’t require initial configuration but can still be adjusted to the needs of customers. Also, they gain valuable insights early on and have the option to adapt the model as they go.
Below are some of the characteristics of EAM tools that make them far superior to legacy tools.
Legacy EAM tools usually require previous IT knowledge and are therefore not accessible to those without a computer science degree. Modern EAM tools on the other hand have all kinds of users in mind and feature an intuitive interface and data models that everyone can understand.
This also means that EAs are no longer alone in their “Ivory Tower”, but they are front-and-center interacting across all business capabilities as part of their daily responsibilities. The usability in modern EAM tools helps foster an extended user base that is contributing to greater data diversity. The most important characteristics are listed below.
One of the bigger challenges that companies face in their EA efforts, is to initially locate and gather meaningful data and find a way to keep it up to date. That’s why modern EAM tools are built with seamless integrations and automated synchronization. They provide out-of-the-box integration into the modern IT4IT ecosystem and connect data sources with low-code efforts.
It is not at all surprising that with the growing market of SaaS vendors and applications, enterprises and their departments depend on an automated SaaS discovery to ensure full visibility of all applications across the organization. This transparency is essential for optimizing usage, keeping proper entitlements, eliminating waste, and controlling cloud spend.
Furthermore, some EAM vendors even offer marketplaces where users and technology partners can exchange custom-made reports and address specific industry concerns. Below are the three main characteristics related to automation and integration in modern EAM tools.
In order to make sure that EAM tools function as a holistic platform and increase visibility in an environment that is continuously transforming, modern EAM tools are built with complementary links to other products. So unlike legacy EA tools, EAM tools are compatible with other solutions for SaaS and Value Stream Management and are dedicated to converging the worlds of Corporate IT and Product IT.
Different platform views within the tools help EAMs accomplish core tasks like predicting, planning and executing transformation initiatives that give an enterprise the competitive edge its leaders are looking for. Below are the final three characteristics you should look for in EAM tools.
Choosing the right EAM tools and enterprise architecture tool adoption as a whole involves various steps that are aimed to ensure smooth integration and maximum benefits. Below, we’ve outlined 5 steps that you and your team should follow before, during, and after EA adoption.
With SaaS adoption moving at the speed of light, companies also need to update and adjust the ways they manage their IT environment. After all, legacy tools are not built for cloud-based applications and can hardly keep up with a culture of continuous transformation and cross-department collaboration.
Learn why Gartner recognized LeanIX as a Leader in EA Tools for the third consecutive year.
Why do we need an enterprise architecture tool?
How do I choose the best enterprise architecture tool?