The IT Governance & Enterprise Architecture Benchmark 

How do organizations worldwide approach the challenges around innovation, governance and architecture? With the Innovation, Governance & Architecture Benchmark 2020, ValueBlue researches how leading organizations are performing on these area’s and how this affects their overall business performance.

This Enterprise Architecture Benchmark gives insight in which innovations have the biggest impact on business operations, which roles architecture and governance have in successfully, or less successfully, implementing these innovations and how much they contribute to the overall business goals of the organizations interviewed. Based on nearly 100 filled in surveys, Mart Hoogvliet & Jelle Visser guide you through the most important findings.

Download the IT Governance & Enterprise Architecture Benchmark!

Want to know exactly how we got to these results? Want to see all the questions we asked our respondents and want to read the extensive version of the benchmark research? Download the report below.

Research questions

In order to better understand the market that evolves around Enterprise Architecture and organizational transformation, we’ve asked the respondents a set of questions that together answered the following three research questions:

  1. What are the biggest challenges for IT executives at this moment?
  2. How does architecture governance affect the performance of the IT organization?
  3. How does the performance of the IT organization drive business results?


The respondents in this Enterprise Architecture benchmark were mostly executive or management IT leaders at large organizations. 61% of the respondents are CIO, IT director or IT manager. Other roles involved are mostly strategic roles like enterprise or business architects.

Of the companies that were involved in this benchmark 61% have over 500 employees. 39% of the respondents are working for governmental organizations, 18% in health care or education, and 43% in commercial organizations.

The first question we asked these respondents was how their organization is structured. On average the IT department entailed 7.2% of the whole organization. What stood out was that organizations with a focus on international expansion have more business architects on average, while organizations with more data architects on the payroll seem to have a competitive advantage to their competitors on average.

benchmark sectors

What are the biggest challenges for IT Executives in 2020?

We started by asking about the top 10 business goals for C-level in all participating organizations. Digital transformation is obviously the buzzword of the last few years on a strategic level, and was thus by far the number one goal of the organizations with 82% respondents naming it as priority. Salient detail is that for example customer satisfaction and retention was only the 4th priority on the list, with a 42% score. This seems to confirm the image that IT goals are not always fully aligned with business goals; digital transformation should always be a means to an end, not a goal in itself, for example in increasing customer satisfaction. One great way to align IT goals and initiatives with business goals is Project Portfolio Management. But what innovations are currently on the agenda of IT executives?

IT executives are currently focusing on the innovations that have been around for a while. Cloud computing, big data and application integration were by far the most mentioned IT developments when we asked which developments had the most impact on future business operations. Although the buzz is a lot around innovations like blockchain, smart sensors and process mining, these developments seem not to have landed in the agendas of most IT executives yet.

But what are the biggest challenges in implementing all these new innovations? Most respondents named the collaboration between business and IT as their top challenge. Not surprising since translating business needs into viable, usable, and user friendly input is a challenge nearly every organization understands. Close behind came keeping grip on the IT-landscape as well as being compliant to laws and regulations, both control related challenges. All top three challenges seem to call for a need for seamless collaboration between IT architecture, process and business architecture and quality management.

The next question we thus asked was; how are people within the organization currently collaborating? 50% of the answers noted that everybody within the company uses their own tools and systems for capturing information, and collaboration is hard because of that. A positive outcome was that 50% of the organizations have already started building a central source of information on processes, IT and data.

However; this central repository does not always lead to having all the information needed for the execution of projects easily available. A whopping 88% of respondents said that it was either impossible or taking a lot of time to get all needed information for executing the projects assembled. This is a huge obstacle in increasing the efficiency on the delivery organization, in need to keep up with the speed of digital transformation. Even more so if you realize that most companies already think that they have a lot of applications in use (65%) and that their application landscape is complex (56%). Application (Portfolio Management?) could be a great solution to keep in control, however only 17% on the participating companies have this in place sufficiently.


How does architecture governance affect the performance of the IT organization?

The next question is of course how we can optimize the performance of the IT department so that it contributes as much as possible to reaching organizational goals. We at ValueBlue believe governance can play a huge role in this. We used the model below to test how governance, existing out of 4 elements, affects IT performance and thereby end user satisfaction, and how this in the end contributes to reaching organizational goals.

user satisfaction

We measure IT performance based on the pillars integrations and collaboration, flexibility, risk management and delivering value. Integration and collaboration focusses on the collaboration within the IT organization as well as with the ‘business’, and having clear roles and responsibilities within the department. Flexibility focusses on the ability of IT to quickly adapt to changing circumstances. Risk management focusses on having risks mapped out and being able to act on preventing them from happening. Delivering value is focused on aligning IT goals with business goals and measuring how much IT contributes to these goals. Delivering value was given the lowest rating by nearly all respondents (average 5,4/10), especially monitoring the impact and results of IT initiatives got a very poor (4,7/10) score within their organizations.

What we found is that all four elements of the governance model have a significant impact on IT performance. IT performance also has a significant effect on reaching organizational goals. Indirectly IT governance is thus a great way of reaching organizational goals.

To summarize; to reach organizational goals, IT performance is a key performance indicator, while the elements of the IT governance model deliver a great contribution to the overall IT performance. The aspects that stood out as having the most significant impact on IT performance were:

  • Having sufficient grip on the organizations IT-landscape
  • Having a clear strategy and step by step plan for constantly optimizing the application landscape
  • Having one central repository with all information about business, IT and data, in which people collaborate on improving the organization
  • Having the right people and skills in house for managing governance is key to increasing innovation capacity and productivity.
  • A positive company culture in which IT is valued as an innovative resource

Want to know exactly how we got to these results? Want to see all the questions we asked our respondents and want to read the extensive version of the benchmark research? Download the Enterprise Architecture Benchmark here: