A Theory Building Study of Enterprise Architecture Practices and Benefits

08/18/2020 ∙ by Ralph Foorthuis, et al. ∙ 0

Academics and practitioners have made various claims regarding the benefits that Enterprise Architecture (EA) delivers for both individual projects and the organization as a whole. At the same time, there is a lack of explanatory theory regarding how EA delivers these benefits. Moreover, EA practices and benefits have not been extensively investigated by empirical research, with especially quantitative studies on the topic being few and far between. This paper therefore presents the statistical findings of a theory-building survey study (n=293). The resulting PLS model is a synthesis of current implicit and fragmented theory, and shows how EA practices and intermediate benefits jointly work to help the organization reap benefits for both the organization and its projects. The model shows that EA and EA practices do not deliver benefits directly, but operate through intermediate results, most notably compliance with EA and architectural insight. Furthermore, the research identifies the EA practices that have a major impact on these results, the most important being compliance assessments, management propagation of EA, and different types of knowledge exchange. The results also demonstrate that projects play an important role in obtaining benefits from EA, but that they generally benefit less than the organization as a whole.

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