Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge
Developing an EA

Tools

Author: Rose Tykinski

Gartner describes Enterprise Architecture (EA) tools as “software applications designed to support enterprise architects and other EA stakeholders with strategically driven planning, analysis, design and execution. EA tools support strategic and tactical decision making by capturing and connecting context and information across business, information, solution and technology domains, along with other relevant architectural viewpoints.” (Searle and Kerremans 2017)

EA tools include those that produce models (architecture description artifacts) and those that store architecture data and their metadata. EA tools may be used by developers and designers to construct, represent, store, manipulate and share architecture data with both IT and business stakeholders. EA tools support collaboration across the EA development team. Some tools support static modeling or dynamic simulation of the enterprise and its systems. Tools may provide visualization capabilities to display architecture data in a way that supports enterprise IT design and analysis targeting business objectives, IT asset management, IT portfolio management, strategic transformation, or executive decision-making. Additionally, tools such as test tools or decision-support tools may also be used during the execution of an EA program to support analyses such as tradeoff analyses.

EA practitioners must weigh the cost-benefit of adopting EA tools. The time to learn to use an EA tool and put it in practice can be significant and can slow the time-to-value of a nascent EA practice. As is the case of many software tools, EA tools may have more features than an EA practice needs: each has strengths and weaknesses that must be considered against the needs of the EA practitioner. Finally, tools can be costly and should be considered in light of the expected value they will provide to the organization.

Tool Comparisons

Vendor Tool Name Strengths (adapted from Barnett 2017)
Avolution ABACUS IT portfolio management, strategic transformation, stakeholder engagement
BiZZdesign Enterprise Studio IT portfolio management
BOC Group ADOIT IT asset management, IT portfolio management
Dragon1

Dragon1

Strategic assessment, transition management, communication and reporting
Future Tech Systems ENVISION Modeling, IT portfolio management, and strategic assessments
MEGA HOPEX Portfolio analysis, communication and reporting, and strategic transformation
Orbus Software iServer Life-cycle management, business case, modeling, scenario planning, and strategic assessment.
Planview Troux EA frameworks, metadata management, security.
Software AG Alfabet

EA frameworks, financial management, asset life-cycle management, modeling, IT portfolio management, governance
UNICOM System Architect Portfolio analysis, strategic analysis, communication and reporting

References

  1. Searle, S., Kerremans, M., (2017) Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Architecture.
  2. Barnett, G., (2017) The Forrester WaveTM: Enterprise Architecture Management Suites, Q2 2017.
Developing an EA