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Special Issue "The Role of Enterprise Architecture for Digital Transformations"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 August 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Rogier van de Wetering
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Sciences Faculty, department of Information Sciences, Open University the Netherlands, Heerlen, the Netherlands
Interests: how organizations can gain organizational benefits from IS/IT alignment, dynamic capabilities, big data, and enterprise architecture competencies and capabilities
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Assoc. Prof. Sherah Kurnia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Computing and Information Systems, Melbourne School of Engineering, The University of Melbourne
Interests: technology adoption; inter-organizational systems; supply chain management; enterprise architecture
Dr. Svyatoslav Kotusev
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Interests: enterprise architecture; information systems planning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The strategic role of enterprise architecture (EA) in modern firms has gained considerable interest in recent years within the information systems and management community. The literature conceives EA as a blueprint of firms in the business ecosystem that documents the current and desirable future states of firms’ strategic goals, their collaborative efforts, business processes, and associated IT landscape. In the present turbulent economic environment, many firms face fierce pressure to enact strategic improvement programs to radically change their business models, synchronize firm resources, and operate toward a more sustainable and innovation-driven firm. EA allows firms (in the private and public sector) to timely and adequately adapt to these changing market and technological conditions while orchestrating firm-wide business and technology resources.

Using EA as a strategic asset is especially crucial in the age of digital transformation, where firms need to adopt new technologies that could substantially change the way they do business. However, our current understanding of how EA can be leveraged to embrace the digital transformation remains quite limited. This Special Issue aims to addresses these remaining gaps in the literature and tries to unfold the strategic role that EA plays in digitization and digitalization efforts. This is important, as these transformative efforts are considered cornerstones for firms to stay relevant and likewise drive innovative business capabilities across the firm.

For this Special Issue, we welcome a wide variety of original and high-quality EA papers, including both conceptual and empirically validated work (see our topic list). We explicitly seek papers that are original and innovative and that substantially extend existing EA work and concepts. Attractive papers are those that push the frontiers of the EA domain, drive best practices and further thinking in this domain, and advance our understanding of EA in the age of digital transformation.

Assoc. Prof. Rogier van de Wetering
Assoc. Prof. Sherah Kurnia
Dr. Svyatoslav Kotusev
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • EA in digital transformations
  • EA artifacts for digital transformation
  • lean EA practices
  • the role of EA in innovative and agile firms
  • EA resources, competences, and digital capabilities
  • EA as a dynamic capability
  • EA and organizational benefits
  • EA as a facilitator of strategic digital alignment
  • EA design and organizational sustainability

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
The Role of Enterprise Architecture for Digital Transformations
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2237; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042237 - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 745
Abstract
In the current turbulent and unpredictable markets, competitive advantage can no longer be achieved through high product quality or efficient processes alone [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Enterprise Architecture for Digital Transformations)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Article
The Effect of Enterprise Architecture Deployment Practices on Organizational Benefits: A Dynamic Capability Perspective
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8902; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218902 - 27 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 979
Abstract
In recent years, the literature has emphasized theory building in the context of Enterprise Architecture (EA) research. Specifically, scholars tend to focus on EA-based capabilities that organize and deploy organization-specific resources to align strategic objectives with the technology’s particular use. Despite the growth [...] Read more.
In recent years, the literature has emphasized theory building in the context of Enterprise Architecture (EA) research. Specifically, scholars tend to focus on EA-based capabilities that organize and deploy organization-specific resources to align strategic objectives with the technology’s particular use. Despite the growth in EA studies, substantial gaps remain in the literature. The most substantial gaps are that the conceptualization of EA-based capabilities still lacks a firm base in theory and that there is limited empirical evidence on how EA-based capabilities drive business transformation and deliver benefits to the firm. Therefore, this study focuses on EA-based capabilities, using the dynamic capabilities view as a theoretical foundation, and develops and tests a new research model that explains how dynamic enterprise architecture capabilities lead to organizational benefits. The research model’s hypotheses are tested using a dataset that contains responses from 299 CIO’s, IT managers, and lead architects. Based on this study’s outcomes, we contend that dynamic enterprise architecture capabilities positively enhance firms’ process innovation and business–IT alignment. These mediating forces are both positively associated with organizational benefits. The firms’ EA resources and specifically EA deployment practices are essential in cultivating dynamic enterprise architecture capabilities. This study advances our understanding of how to efficaciously de-lineate dynamic enterprise architecture capabilities in delivering benefits to the organization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Enterprise Architecture for Digital Transformations)
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Article
Enterprise Architecture as Explanatory Information Systems Theory for Understanding Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprise Growth
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8517; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208517 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 962
Abstract
Understanding and explaining small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) growth is important for sustainability from multiple perspectives. Research indicates that SMEs comprise more than 80% of most economies, and their cumulative impact on sustainability considerations is far from trivial. In addition, for sustainability concerns [...] Read more.
Understanding and explaining small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) growth is important for sustainability from multiple perspectives. Research indicates that SMEs comprise more than 80% of most economies, and their cumulative impact on sustainability considerations is far from trivial. In addition, for sustainability concerns to be prioritized, an SME has to be successful over time. In most developing countries, SMEs play a major role in solving socio-economic challenges. SMEs are an active research topic within the information systems (IS) discipline, often within the enterprise architecture (EA) domain. EA fundamentally adopts a systems perspective to describe the essential elements of a socio-technical organization and their relationships to each other and to the environment in order to understand complexity and manage change. However, despite rapid adoption originally, EA research and practice often fails to deliver on expectations. In some circles, EA became synonymous with projects that are over-budget, over-time and costly without the expected return on investment. In this paper, we argue that EA remains indispensable for understanding and explaining enterprises and that we fundamentally need to revisit some of the applications of EA. We, therefore, executed a research study in two parts. In the first part, we applied IS theory perspectives and adopted the taxonomy and structural components of theory to argue that EA, as represented by the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture (ZFEA), could be adopted as an explanatory IS theory. In the second part of the study, we subsequently analysed multiple case studies from this theoretical basis to investigate whether distinguishable focus patterns could be detected during SME growth. The final results provide evidence that EA, represented through an appropriate framework like the ZFEA, could serve as an explanatory theory for SMEs during start-up, growth and transformation. We identified focus patterns and from these results, it should be possible to understand and explain how SMEs grow. Positioning the ZFEA as explanatory IS theory provides insight into the role and purpose of the ZFEA (and by extension EA), and could assist researchers and practitioners with mediating the challenges experienced by SMEs, and, by extension, enhance sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Enterprise Architecture for Digital Transformations)
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Article
Development of Transportation Management System with the Use of Ontological and Architectural Approaches to Ensure Trucking Reliability
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8504; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208504 - 15 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 921
Abstract
With the wide variety of information systems and applications for motor transport and transport logistics control we have today, one may think we are already living in the digital era of general welfare, and digital tools would easily ensure sustainable development and prosperity [...] Read more.
With the wide variety of information systems and applications for motor transport and transport logistics control we have today, one may think we are already living in the digital era of general welfare, and digital tools would easily ensure sustainable development and prosperity of businesses. However, the experience of deployment and introduction of such solutions shows that their value for transport business is significantly lower than expected. Moreover, in some projects, business performance of transport companies had no correlation with introduction of information systems. In the best-case scenario, they provided for a slight decrease in document flow transaction costs. The change of the strategic status of a company in the transportation service market is a fairly complicated task, which, as analysis of literary sources shows, is achievable for few enterprises, primarily small and medium-sized businesses. Such situations show that information solutions were introduced without analyzing or assessing the business models of certain companies which could be used a basis for digital landscape of business as a whole. In recent years, the basic concept of forming a single information space of an enterprise has been the enterprise architecture. It provided for coordination between all the business processes in order to achieve a company’s strategic goals. The fundamentals of the concept were developed by J. Zachman in his famous Zachman Framework, and it was later developed with numerous models of enterprise architecture (e.g., TOGAF (Department of Defense Architecture Framework), GERAM (Generalised Enterprise Reference Architecture and Methodology), DoDAF (Department of Defense Architecture Framework)). However, currently some researchers note that sustainable corporate development should stem not only from a “correct assembly” of all its business elements, which was the purpose of enterprise architecture, but also from the interaction of these elements when reaching the emergence effect. In this context, one should pay attention to comprehensive activity analysis of a transport and logistics business using ontological and architecture approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Enterprise Architecture for Digital Transformations)
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Article
Enterprise Architecture: A Business Value Realization Model
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8485; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208485 - 14 Oct 2020
Viewed by 947
Abstract
Today, as organizations face constant change, they must rapidly adapt their strategies and operations. This involves continuous business transformation. However, guiding and managing such transformation can be an intimidating task because of organizational complexity. Hence, organizations resort to Enterprise Architecture (EA) to address [...] Read more.
Today, as organizations face constant change, they must rapidly adapt their strategies and operations. This involves continuous business transformation. However, guiding and managing such transformation can be an intimidating task because of organizational complexity. Hence, organizations resort to Enterprise Architecture (EA) to address this complexity and achieve their transformation goals. Nonetheless, there is a lack of research on EA benefits realization and a dearth of conclusive evidence on how EA enables business transformation and delivers value to organizations. Therefore, this research uses a case study method to explore how EA investment is converted into organizational value. This research makes two contributions. The first of these is the development of an EA value realization model, which comprises three iterative and interrelated processes: the EA conversion process, the EA use process, and the EA competitive process. The second contribution is the identification of factors that may influence the value realization process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Enterprise Architecture for Digital Transformations)
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Article
Enterprise Architecture and Organizational Benefits: A Case Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8237; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198237 - 07 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 959
Abstract
Enterprise architecture (EA) is a framework that consists of multiple processes to align business strategies with information technology (IT) architecture. It helps the organization standardize business operations and incorporate systems in different layers to achieve business goals and organizational benefits. This study focuses [...] Read more.
Enterprise architecture (EA) is a framework that consists of multiple processes to align business strategies with information technology (IT) architecture. It helps the organization standardize business operations and incorporate systems in different layers to achieve business goals and organizational benefits. This study focuses on identifying organizational benefits that can be achieved through EA implementation. The study comprises three main phases: (i) benefits realization (from literature review), (ii) benefits reconfirmation (from EA experts), and (iii) benefits validation (through a case study). Specifically, the benefits considered in this study are related to EA products, services, and strategies are known as: (i) business agility, (ii) creating competitive advantage, and (iii) increasing value. The study covers a vast literature review to define the current status of EA and organizational benefits. In addition, the study incorporates a number of measuring factors for each EA benefits with the help of a literature review. The initial findings reconfirmed and modified based on the experts’ opinions collected through interview sessions. The research applied the grounded theory and qualitative approach to analyze the interview sessions. Accordingly, using the experts’ advice, we proposed a model to show the steps and guidelines for assessing EA organizational benefits using corresponding measuring factors and sub-criteria. Finally, the proposed model validated through an in-depth case study to get final confirmation and see the model fits reality. Overall, this research highlight the potential benefits an organization can achieve from EA framework implementation. The proposed framework can assist EA decision-makers to understand and realize the EA benefits and its assessment process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Enterprise Architecture for Digital Transformations)
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