Enterprise Architecture Debt in the Insurance Domain

IT initiatives have constituted a major proportion of the overall strategic initiatives in today’s businesses. To fulfill the full potential of IT investments, bridging all gaps between business and IT is the first fundamental step. Such alignment has been the core focus of Enterprise Architecture, a discipline for establishing and maintaining strategic governance and management of IT decisions in complex and dynamic businesses.

The framework of EA dissects the overall architecture of IT into four architecture domains: business, data, applications, and technology architectures. The business architecture, which describes business goals and the designated business capabilities as well as strategies to achieve them, drives initiatives for the other architectures. To cope with dynamic opportunities and threats posed by the business’ external environments, business architecture must often change; therefore, the strengths and weaknesses of related initiatives need to be continuously assessed and adapted if the business is to succeed. IT strategies, capabilities, and assets which are currently viewed as strengths may need to be adapted/replaced soon or later. In the current state of EA knowledge, not much has been understood about systematically tackling such phenomenon.

To address the aforementioned issue, the metaphor of “EA Debt” has been coined which refers to the obligation to solve any weakness/missing strength in an EA. Inspired from the concept of “Technical Debt”, the field of EA Debt aims to facilitate the communication about the matter–especially, from the financial point of view–and to motivate further research into the systematic management of it. Possible research topics in this field including but not limited to

  • EA Debt Identification
  • EA Debt Measurement
  • EA Debts Prioritization
  • EA Debt Monitoring
  • EA Debt Repayment
  • EA Debt Prevention


Peter Alexander,

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