Architecture Current Vs Future State

My biggest challenge while working in Traditional EA environment was current state analysis. Everyone was really big fan of current state analysis, because if we see everything, we can easily create a scope for the initiative. As you must have seen as well, by the time the current state analysis is done, depending on size of your analysis, the current state has changed already. The current state of IT systems is part of well trained Ecosystem where changes are delivered in synchronous fashion.

Current State

We actually do need current state analysis 1, but that needs to be at the level of analysis of the in-scope items. That analysis should be a live document where as a task that is completed and never updated since the beginning of project. EA has to do the risk analysis for each migration plan considering how does it impact existing system and business interaction with both new and old components. Further more, an Enterprise Architect needs to understand current state business process preferably documented in some BPMN tooling. Apart from that an Architect focuses more on future state vision and it’s implementation. The current state analysis is done while working closely with Business partners or stakeholders. The analysis is valued very less by the stakeholders because they knew that already.

Future State

Future state documentation should be defined as needed and should be strictly aligned to business need. EA should be able to document and create lineage to each architecture artifact or even part of the artifact to documented business value. Stakeholders would value more the plan to migrate out of current state to future state. They want to see your architectural vision aligning to business vision. Enterprise architects must use their future-state visions to inform, guide, and constrain the breadth (people, process, information and technology) and level of detail (contextual, conceptual, logical and implementation) of the current-state documentation efforts 2. The most important is to articulate impact and value of EA in terms of business value creation not in terms of EA capabilities and functions 3.

Gap Analysis

This is the most important step, analysis of Current State (just enough) and Future State (elaborated) with the background of migration plan. Now you can start articulating the difference between current and future state in steps. This analysis can be one single artifact or can be created per migration phase. This allows business to clearly see the outcome of architecture work. The Architect can align to clearly documented goals and achieve the objectives in phases or in full. The phases can also provide a deeper link to constraints and their root-causes addressed while implementing business vision.



  1. Burke, B., Papegaaij, B. & Guevara, D. (2011, Jan 21). Enterprise Architecture Pitfalls: Don’t Start With the Current State, Gartner, Inc. (ID: G00210232)
  2. Burke, B., Papegaaij, B. & Guevara, D. (2011, Jan 21). Enterprise Architecture Pitfalls: Don’t Start With the Current State, Gartner, Inc. (ID: G00210232)
  3. Burton, B, (2009). Link EA to Business Outcomes to Demonstrate Value, Gartner, Inc. (ID: G00167681)


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