Exploring Causal Factors Influencing Enterprise Architecture Failure

Yiwei Gong*, Marijn Janssen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


Organizations have adopted Enterprise Architecture (EA) for managing their IT-landscape and ensuring coherence among projects and activities. There is much work about approaches, methods, and tools for EA based on the assumption that their use will create business value. However, the failure of many EA efforts results in the need to investigate the factors influencing EA failure in practice. In this paper, we used a literature review to identify ten EA failure factors. Then we employed the grey-DEMATEL method to explore and analyze the influence of the ten EA failure factors based on the input of five EA experts. The result shows that failure factors are not in isolation, and they can be divided into either causal or effect factors. The factors do not have equal importance but differ in the levels of influence. For the causal factors, the ranking from most to least important is the inability to handle complexity, lack of proven EA methodology, lack of EA knowledge, lack of communication, and lack of tools. For the effect factors, the factors are a lack of support, too high effort, lack of motivation, parallel processes, and unused artifacts. We recommend practitioners to pay more attention to the five causal factors in their EA efforts. Further research is needed to generalize the findings, to understand the dependencies among factors, and to take into account situational dependency of EA failure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRe-imagining Diffusion and Adoption of Information Technology and Systems
Subtitle of host publicationA Continuing Conversation - IFIP WG 8.6 International Conference on Transfer and Diffusion of IT, TDIT 2020, Proceedings
EditorsSujeet K. Sharma, Yogesh K. Dwivedi, Bhimaraya Metri, Nripendra P. Rana
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783030648480
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventIFIP WG 8.6 International Conference on Transfer and Diffusion of IT, TDIT 2020 - Tiruchirappalli, India
Duration: 18 Dec 202019 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
ISSN (Print)1868-4238
ISSN (Electronic)1868-422X


ConferenceIFIP WG 8.6 International Conference on Transfer and Diffusion of IT, TDIT 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Grey-DEMATEL
  • IT architecture
  • IT failure
  • Multi-criteria decision-making
  • Value


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