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IT Landscape Complexity

High complexity due to uncontrolled growth makes it difficult to manage IT landscapes efficiently [SM14]. One major goals of EAM is to consolidate the IT landscape using portfolio management, standards, and a clear assignment of responsibilities [Han12a].

Reasons for IT Landscape Complexity

The complexity of a system is determined by its elements, their heterogeneity, their dynamic changes and their relationships to each other and the environment [Han12a]. An application landscape is such a system, where applications constitute the elements and data flows constitute the relationships connecting them with other applications and the environment.

Back when IT solutions were first used to support the daily business of enterprises, the amount of applications and their data flows were relatively limited and therefore easy to manage. Over the last decades, IT became a corporate asset and application landscapes grew rapidly and uncontrolled. As a result, IT landscapes of modern organizations comprise up to thousands of business applications and tens of thousands of interfaces. Additionally, drivers supporting the increasing complexity of application landscapes are manifold. Amongst others, those are the speed of technological innovation, the increasingly complex and fast changing business operations, the high amount of new legal requirements as well a local or tactical decision making [BBL12].


Consequences of IT Landscape Complexity

Due to this complexity, IT landscapes are difficult to manage. This again leads to higher IT maintenance and project costs, higher error rates, higher skill dependency, and a lower flexibility of the IT landscape when adapting to new needs of the business [SM14].


Complexity Management and EAM

EAM provides several means to address complexity and to support the consolidation of the IT landscape [Mat+12]. These measures comprise the creation and monitoring of standards, the use of reference architectures, a target-oriented portfolio management, a clear assignment of responsibilities and the use of modular IT landscapes [Han12a]. An extensive survey on standardization efforts with 47 experts has been conducted by the Chair for Software Engineering of Business Information Systems at Technische Universität München in the course of the CALM3 project [SGM15].

To quantify application landscape complexity and to measure the impact of EAM initiatives on the IT landscape complexity, metrics should be applied [Ale+15]. Possible metrics for measuring application landscape complexity are the number of applications, the number of information flows, the standard conformity of applications, the number of infrastructure elements, the functional scope of applications and functional redundancy within the IT landscape [Sch+15].



A. W. Schneider and F. Matthes. “Unternehmensarchitekturgestütztes Controlling zur Beherrschung der IT-Komplexität.” In: Zeitschrift für Controlling 26(12) (2014), pp. 694–699.


I. Hanschke. “EAM - einfach und effektiv.” In: Wirtschaftsinformatik & Management (WuM), Springer Verlag 04.2012 (2012), pp. 72–76.


S. Bente, U. Bombosch, and S. Langade. Collaborative Enterprise Architecture: Enriching EA with Lean, Agile, and Enterprise 2.0 Practices. Elsevier, Inc., 2012.


F. Matthes, I. Monahov, A. Schneider, and C. Schulz. EAM KPI Catalog v 1.0. Tech. rep. Munich: Chair for Software Engineering of Business Information Systems. Technische Universität München., 2012.

[SGM15] A. W. Schneider, A. Gschwendtner, and F. Matthes. IT Standardization Survey 2015. Tech. rep. Chair for Software Engineering of Business Information Systems. Technische Universität München., 2015.


P. Aleatrati Khosroshahi, M. Hauder, A. W. Schneider, and F. Matthes. Enterprise Architecture Management Pattern Catalog V2. Tech. rep. Munich, Germany: Technichal University of Munich (TUM), 2015.


A. W. Schneider, T. Reschenhofer, A. Schuetz, and F. Matthes. “Empirical Results for Application Landscape Complexity.” In: Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Hawaii, USA, 2015.