In the past couple of months, we’ve had an increasing number of enquiries and sign ups from clients that are moving to Essential from other, well known, tools. At least a couple have reported spending in the £m’s over the first year to 18 months with the result that they are only able to report simple lists of things! They are frustrated by the inflexibility and high costs and have selected Essential not only because of its low-cost base, but also because they see how it enables them to support the CxO and succeed in their own role.
The most common reasons they give us for switching to Essential are:
- Meta Model Limitations – many clients have been sold the ‘benefits’ of a simple meta model, however, once they have captured any amount of data the realisation hits that this just limits what they are able to understand about their organisation. They are genuinely impressed by the depth of Essential’s meta model and the rigour and thought that has gone into its development – allowing detailed understanding with minimum data. Equally, they find the ability to extend the meta model in minutes refreshing, advising that in many tools this is perceived as a major development.
- Technical Views – clients have found that the views are not suitable for conveying the architecture analysis and decisions to CxOs, meaning time must be spent creating high level presentations for CxO meetings. They feel the Essential views allow them to speak both up and down the organisational hierarchy, engaging the CXOs and the wider teams directly.
- Reporting Limitations – clients report that they were sold on the idea of flexible reporting and visualisation but often find that actually these are limited in substance and measurable benefit, as well as being extremely time consuming and costly to alter or add to. They tell us they love the look and feel of the Essential views as much as the real benefits they bring to them in their role; and the fact that they can easily alter, amend and create new views using the Essential framework after a day’s training or less is a real plus.
- EA Support – Despite promises during the sales process, they have found other tools unable to really support their day to day architecture work. In Essential, they like the decision support given by views such as Design Authority, Principles Compliance, NIST, Application Comparison, Business Application Footprint to name a few. They also like the views aimed at senior management that enable them to demonstrate and explain their decisions, such as Business Strategy Footprint, IT Asset Dashboard and so on.
- Practising Architects – they like the fact that we, in EAS, are all practising architects; we understand the power of a strong, flexible meta-model; we base our view design on our experiences of taking on roles such as Chief Architects and Lead Architects in client organisations; we understand their issues and how best to resolve them – whether using Essential or not!
Coupled with the fact that Essential is a fraction of the price of most commercial tools, the switch seems obvious.
Interestingly, we recently saw an infographic from Gartner – ‘Can your EA Tool do that?’