At least 50% of enterprise architecture (EA) practitioners have a significant impact on enterprise IT budget activities and decisions, according to a recent survey by Gartner.

A July 2012 Gartner survey of EA practitioners found that half of EA practitioners have an influence over their organisation’s IT budget allocation that is either “final decision maker” or “great deal of influence”.

Based on the EA survey results from Gartner events in North America and Europe, analysts estimate that EA practitioners have a “final decision-making” influence on $331-billion in worldwide enterprise IT spend and a “great deal of influence” on $774-billion in worldwide enterprise IT spending.
Overall, EA practitioners have an influence that is either “final decision maker” or “great deal of influence” on $1,1-trillion in worldwide enterprise IT spending.

“Overwhelmingly we find EA practitioners focused on delivering on business value and strategic transformation,” says Philip Allega, managing VP at Gartner.
“Gone are the days of just ‘doing EA’ with little value or impact. Sixty-eight percent of organisations surveyed stated that they are focusing their EA programme on aligning business and IT strategies, delivering strategic business and IT value, or enabling major business transformation.”
Gartner is leading the way in defining and mastering a radical new approach to EA, which is business outcome-driven EA. Leading EA practitioners are focussed on creating diagnostic deliverables to help business and IT leaders respond to business and technology disruptions.
“This new generation of EA practitioners offers technology and service providers (TSPs) with an opportunity as well as a threat,” says Allega.
“TSPs should develop targeted marketing to this new generation of EA practitioner as they have a significant influence on their organisation’s buying decisions. Those that fail to understand the priorities, strategic focus and impact of EA practitioners will jeopardise their ability to sell into an organisation.”
Gartner has identified the impact of EA trends on IT purchasing decisions, and has the following advice and recommendations to help TSPs target this audience more effectively:
* In organisations supporting EA as strategic, and as collaborative between business leaders and IT, TSPs will increasingly find EA practitioners influencing IT spend – EA practitioners have a high degree of influence over emerging technology purchases, with 52% of the EA practitioners surveyed reporting directly to a CIO or CTO.
They are also “very involved” in integration consulting services (64%) and business applications (52%). As EA practitioners continue to focus on integrating and aligning with business priorities and actively working with business leaders, their degree of influence on business intelligence tools, workplace tools and business applications will likely increase as well.

* Organisations starting, restarting or renewing their EA efforts present an opportunity for providers to market to and influence a new generation of EA practitioners – the survey revealed that 77% of respondents were either restarting or renewing EA efforts (18%), initiating EA for the first time (34% or taking EA efforts to the next level (25%).
In organisations starting EA for the first time, EA practitioners have a significant influence on IT budget decisions, but significantly less have decision-making authority. These new and restarting organisations present an opportunity for TSPs to target a new generation of EA practitioners.
* As organisations become more mature in supporting EA, they will have a greater degree of influence on IT budget allocations to products and services – many organisations begin their EA journey by focusing inside the IT organisation on system consolidation, standardisation and cost management.
As they mature, this evolves into looking more closely at the “alignment” between the business strategy and IT strategy. From here the EA programme evolves further to become “business outcome-oriented,” such that in a mature EA programme, other areas of decision making are guided and influenced by business outcome-driven EA.