What Are Enterprise Architecture Tools?
Enterprise architecture tools are software designed to support the planning, analysis, design, and execution of enterprise architecture. They draw information from across the enterprise, adding context to facilitate efficient decision-making, ultimately leading to the completion of targeted business outcomes.
The key element to architecture tools is being able to store, structure, analyze, and present data in a way that gives enterprise architects quick access to powerful insights. A clear overview of the entire business structure enables stakeholders to take efficient action to deliver IT solutions that drive business success.
What Should You Look for in Enterprise Architecture Tools?
When doing your enterprise architecture tools comparison there are five key elements you need to consider:
Does it Support an Optimized Metamodel
You need your tool to support your enterprise architecture team. Every enterprise architecture team is designed to support stakeholders answer different questions. Many tools are designed to use a locked enterprise metamodel, which is fine if your problem is exactly what the software was designed to support.
How Long Does It Take to Offer Value?
You want to see a return on your investment as quickly as possible. To do this, your tools need to be intuitive. Modern EA tools should need minimal customization and be able to offer early insights, adapting their models as they go.
Does It Facilitate Full Collaboration Between IT and Stakeholders?
Stakeholders need to be able to look at the data and be confident in their business decisions. If your EA tools don’t do a good job of presenting the data so that someone without a computer science background can understand it, then it’s going to be far less effective.
Does It Automate Key Functions?
Software is all about automating basic functions to make your processes more efficient. Enterprise architecture tools should come with helpful integrations, allowing them to find, access, and maintain up-to-date data.
Does It Offer an Integrated Platform for Corporate and Product IT?
Corporate IT and product IT are often kept separate but in the modern business environment, they’re becoming more aligned. To facilitate this, your EA tools need to be compatible with other solutions in SaaS and Value Stream Management.
4 Enterprise Architecture Tools Compared
We’ve compiled an enterprise architecture tools comparison that looks at five of the most popular options on the market.
Enterprise Architecture tools at a Glance
ABACUS is our preferred enterprise architecture management tool. It is useful out of the box. More importantly it is designed to support an analytic approach to enterprise architecture. ABACUS helps you make decisions, and manage change through an outcome-driven approach. It enables enterprise architects to analyze business scenarios, model people, processes and technology, build roadmaps and align IT and business strategies.
ABACUS four key capabilities:
- Collaborative browser-based editable catalogs helps keep information up to date.
- Use in built-in ability to calculate business-critical metrics or export key data to Microsoft Excel. Unappareled ability to perform option analysis and gap analysis to guide your roadmaps
- Develop a single source of truth usable across the enterprise by architects, implementers and stakeholders.
Through real-time overviews of your business capabilities, ABACUS helps you to accelerate your business transformation.
LeanIX Enterprise Architecture Management
LeanIX helps you leverage technology, make decisions, and manage change through an outcome-driven approach. With immediate access to relevant data, you can accelerate decisions, reduce risk, and save on costs.
LeanIX offers three key modules:
- Application Portfolio Management: for real-time overviews of the IT landscape.
- Technology Risk Management: Detect risks from obsolete IT components.
- Business Transformation Management: Enable business and IT teams to work more collaboratively.
Through real-time overviews of your business capabilities, LeanIX helps you to accelerate your business transformation.
We find that LeanIX is very focused on addressing IT-centric problems. While that is a common requirement if your enterprise architecture team is focused on providing enterprise Architecture to Support Strategy or Portfolio you may find it constraining. You always need to align your enterprise architecture team to purpose.
Progress OpenEdge helps you choose your path to application modernization through powerful monitoring and agile functionality.
Many critical enterprise applications were built years ago and have evolved in an unwieldy way. OpenEdge powers the process that allows you to take control of your application evolution.
- Architecture: Refactor and expose codebases to allow apps to be easily adapted.
- Cloud: Scale applications quickly and efficiently.
- Data Integration: Boost uptime, increase extensibility, and fortify security.
- Security: Continue to evolve the security of your applications.
- UI/UX: Update and improve user interfaces for a better user experience.
- DevOps: Optimize resources and improve efficiency.
OpenEdge provides an innovative and affordable solution to help you thrive in these areas.
Ardoq visualizes data to help you make more informed decisions. Using meta-analysis and the power of a graph database, it can help you uncover powerful insights to inform your decision-making.
- Business Capability Modeling: Manage your resources to ensure they’re working more effectively.
- Strategic Execution and Alignment: Reduce operational risk with security threat detection.
- Data Flow and Integrations: See your enterprise architecture in a simple, visual way to streamline complexity.
- Business Process Modeling: Automatically record activities to ensure compliance.
This is a powerful, data-driven tool that will help you with your digital transformation journey.
iServer is a highly flexible enterprise architecture tool that can immediately improve productivity. It’s easy to install and configure, and can quickly help businesses align to industry standards, reduce risk, and ensure robust governance.
This helps businesses see a fast return on their investment and improve performance more quickly.
- Unify Enterprise Data: Bring data together in one central repository.
- Engage with Stakeholders: Communicate across business functions and engage stakeholders on the tools they use.
- Visualize Future Performance: Turn data into compelling reports and visualizations.
With very focused onboarding and excellent support, iServer is an excellent enterprise architecture tool.
We find that the utilization of Viso, and the resulting focus on diagrams, keeps the enterprise architecture team at a low level of maturity. See our cautionary tale on just developing Architecture Diagrams.
Conclusion: Enterprise Architecture Tools
Software is a crucial part of enterprise architecture, and these powerful tools can make a big difference to a business’s performance. The enterprise architecture tools market is well stocked with options, it’s just about finding the software that best matches your needs.
As we’ve seen in this enterprise architecture tools comparison, there are lots of tools to help you implement architectural changes, now it’s up to you to choose the right one.
Conexiam offers an Enterprise Architecture Capability Workshop to identify the best enterprise architecture team and supporting tools.