According to literature, enterprise architecture (EA) is supposed to support IT investment decision-making. However, it is not yet clear how EA can do that. The objective of this study is to explore how EA can support IT investment decisions. A quantitative research approach was chosen, in which data were collected from a survey of 142 participants. These data were used to perform a comparative analysis between top and bottom quartile organizations on 1) the EA maturity, 2) the use of EA artifacts in the preparation of IT investments, and 3) the key insights that EA provides in preparation of IT investments. We found that top quartile organizations are more mature in all EA maturity areas. They also make more extensive use of different types of EA artifacts in the preparation of IT investment decisions, especially diagnostic and actionable artifacts. Finally, EA provides top quartile organizations with more key insights in the preparation of IT investment decisions, and in particular, strategic insights. As a result of our research we created a conceptual model that integrates seven propositions. Further research is required to test these propositions and develop instruments to aid enterprise architects to effectively support IT investment decisions.
- Enterprise architecture
- Enterprise architecture artifacts
- Enterprise architecture insights
- Enterprise architecture maturity
- IT investments
- Quality of IT investment decision outcomes