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Strategic alignment of enterprise architecture management – how portfolios of control mechanisms track a decade of enterprise transformation at Commerzbank

Zeitschriftentitel: European Journal of Information Systems (EJIS), 31.01.2023



Enterprise architecture management (EAM) is commonly employed by large organizations to coordinate local information system development efforts in line with organization-wide strategic objectives while simultaneously avoiding redundancies and inconsistencies. Even though EAM tools and processes have become increasingly mature over the past decade, many organizations still struggle to generate impact from their EAM initiatives. To this end, we describe how enterprise architects at Commerzbank, a major international bank, employed a control mechanism portfolio perspective to more effectively anchor EAM within the organization. This approach allows to purposefully combine a wide range of different formal and informal EAM control mechanisms, thereby going beyond the formal, topdown driven mechanisms predominantly discussed in EAM literature. Furthermore, such EAM control mechanism portfolios provide an effective means to purposefully realign EAM in reaction to major strategic shifts. The application of this perspective is demonstrated by tracing the evolution of EAM at Commerzbank for more than a decade (2008 to 2018) through a turbulent and challenging competitive environment, resulting in several major strategic realignments that required corresponding adjustments in EAM. We believe that such consciously designed and diversified EAM control mechanism portfolios also provide a useful means for other large organizations to more effectively conduct EAM.

Jannis Beese, Kazem Haki, Raphael Schilling, Martin Kraus, Stephan Aier, Robert Winter

31 Jan 2023

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