Gartner: 91% of enterprise architecture efforts don't involve business collaboration

Enterprise architecture is supposed to be all about IT-business collaboration. At least one analyst says this has yet to happen in a big way.

Enterprise architecture is supposed to be about providing a technology roadmap for the business, and EAs serve as the facilitators and "translators" between IT and business teams.

Now, Gartner is saying that most EA efforts haven't reached that stage yet.  In fact, only 9 percent work closely with the business, while the rest are still focused on internal IT optimization.  (Thanks to ebizQ colleague Peter Schooff for the pointer to the Gartner release. Peter is also hosting an open discussion forum on this topic.)

Is this true? Is enterprise architecture still a function contained within IT departments, rarely seeing collaboration with the overall business?

Gartner analyst Betsy Burton says the enterprise architects themselves are moving in this direction. EA has passed a "tipping point," and is increasingly being recognized as an essential business function. "The majority of EA practitioners are aspiring to leverage EA to enable business value, growth and transformation, not only to drive IT decisions," she says.

But the percentage of organizations leveraging EA this way will only reach 30 percent in the next five years. Burton says that's a positive trend, but that still means six out of ten EA efforts will still not be collaborating with the business.

Is this over-optimistic? Or is Gartner overlooking the progress EA has made in recent years?