Gartner has predicted that enterprise architecture initiatives risk failure if they are unable to demonstrate value to the business.
By 2010, 40% of existing enterprise architecture programmes will be stopped owing to poor execution, according to Gartner. Failing to set the right expectations and get commitment from programme stakeholders - including senior executives within the organisation, IT managers and the wider architecture community - are the most common reasons for programme termination.
Richard Buchanan, managing vice-president at Gartner, said, "When companies fail, it is because they do not have the strong leadership necessary to bring the enterprise architecture programme together as an integrated portfolio or the right skills to do the strategic analysis."
He warned that programmes that fail tend to be the ones that are inaccurately defined internally as isolated engineering projects, such as integrating an enterprise resource planning system with customer relationship management.
Gartner believes enterprise architecture design is an ongoing, flexible process that needs to be revisited regularly to reflect and adapt to business change at all levels within the company. The best enterprise architecture programmes are those that become a way of life and are almost invisibly embedded in the organisation.