The Economic Benefits of Enterprise Architecture


This book could be described as useful without being particularly interesting. If you are in to accounting you’ll love this book and if you’re not you should love this book. Because it gives you the ammunition you need to fight those “what’s the value of EA” battles.

The book starts off with a basic introduction to EA that will be familiar to those who have already read one of Schekkerman’s books. It proceeds quite quickly to deal with the big questions of business IT alignment, stakeholder viewpoints and data collection all explained in fairly simple, but effective terms.

From here the book starts to get into the ditty gritty with chapters on cost benefit analysis, return on investment and net present value, the usual set of techniques that few organizations seem able to rise above.

And the it really starts to get serious. There are chapters on activity based cost management, benchmarking, capital asset planning and business cases and IT investment management. And then it pours it on, more and more and more. Innovation benefits management, Six Sigma and a dose of applied information economics. But that’s still not enough, there’s architectural trade off analysis methods and enterprise value management. Then around page 240 the book turns it’s attention to the US government’s  EA and accounting standards and you almost feel sorry for them.

This is not a book to start your library with. If you are starting out in EA and are not an accountant I’d suggest you wait about five years before you even take a look at this book, make that seven. This is @ 300 pages of fairly hard core economic reasoning and modeling, not for the faint hearted or artistically inclined. Innocent souls will be crushed by this work! But is it good? Yes, very.

The only other book I can think of that covers these topics is Grigoriu who covers business cases, ROI and similar topics in a limited but competent way. If Grigoriu is a 5 on this stuff then Schekkerman is a 50.

This is a book for the CEO, CFO and senior architect only.

Schekkerman, Jaap (2005), The Economic Benefits of Enterprise Architecture, Trafford Publishing, Victoria, British Columbia.

ISBN 141206729-4

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