Architecture assessment

Sometimes assessment of an architecture is required, and few organizations offer it as a service. However, even architecture is part of a broader assignment of IT transformation. As part of transformation project, you have to do architecture and as part of architecture work you have to do assessment of current architecture.  Ideally this is not good (deciding transformation and then going for architecture assessment). Transformation projects should be decided based on assessment and recommendations. based on the assessment. Normally organizations should conduct enterprise architecture assessment and outcome from EA work should be transformation programs. 

Drivers for architecture assessment

Business consulting is a big subject and not the focus of this post. Here we are looking into IT Architecture assessment. There are several reasons why IT architecture assessment may be required. Different drivers or challenges need assessment at different level (enterprise, solution, application, ..... etc)

Business & IT alignment

IT should support business vision and should be aligned with business strategy. To succeed in achieving business goals businesses need to ensure if IT is aligning with business strategy and going to support it. If there are gaps they need to be fulfilled. These gaps are fulfilled by various IT transformation initiatives, programs and projects. 

Cost optimization

Duplicate IT systems, not much used systems, low quality, low business value, high maintenance IT systems eat a lot of cost of an organization. IT portfolio analysis and assessment can help identifying and categorizing such systems and defining strategy to optimize cost. Strategy may include: consolidating few into one, retiring some systems, and upgrading few. 

Performance optimization

End use efficiency may be impacted by inefficient IT systems and can be improved by improving performance of IT systems. Not only user efficiency directly but business process can be optimized through IT. 

Risk management

Assessment of IT can help identifying security risk, business risk (due to unstable IT systems, issue of resiliency and system downtime) and other risks. Mitigation and contingency plans can help avoiding business losses due to these risks. 

Architecture assessment steps


Inventory of current systems, applications, data is required to understand what is available. It is utilized to assess baseline. 


As is architecture, current situation forms the baseline. 


To achieve business objectives and to align IT with business there is a target IT architecture required. 

Gap analysis

Comparing baseline and target provides the gaps. Gap analysis identifies what is to be updated or upgraded, what is new required that is missing in the baseline but needed for the target. There may be situation where few things should be retired because they are of no use. 

Steps to reach to the target

Target can't be achieved in one step. There may be several steps to reach to the target from baseline. This is the roadmap that defined various transformation programs and projects.