Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Architecture Tools

3 October 2013 ID:G00247545
Analyst(s): Julie Short


The EA tool market continues to evolve toward delivering targeted business outcomes. Used effectively, EA tools enable leading organizations to meet the demands of today's complex business environment by capturing, integrating, analyzing and communicating information to guide business decisions.

Market Definition/Description

This document was revised on 4 October 2013. The document you are viewing is the corrected version. For more information, see the Corrections page on

To provide significant value to organizations, the discipline of enterprise architecture (EA) must deliver business outcomes. Organizations that are past the getting-started stage are often challenged with a number of problems that are beyond the capabilities that office productivity tools can support. These challenges include managing a large number of artifacts; capturing the complex relationships between many elements across those artifacts; conducting gap analysis, impact analysis, scenario planning and modeling; and presenting information to stakeholders for making strategic investment decisions and supporting governance, risk and compliance (GRC). The EA tool market continues to evolve to produce tools designed to address these challenges.

Gartner redefined the EA tool market in March 2011, and this definition is still valid today. EA tools capture, store, structure, analyze and present information pertaining to EA, and should facilitate the implementation of a business strategy focused on business outcomes and risk mitigation. The information must be presented to a variety of stakeholders set on operationalizing the future-state architecture across a number of viewpoints, including business, information, technology and solutions. This is done to enable business change to support the direction and strategy of the organization, while confronting many types of business disruptions. At a minimum, these EA tools should integrate with project and portfolio management solutions to ensure the best investment mix of projects to execute on business direction, vision and strategy.

EA tools must address the requirements of a variety of business and IT stakeholders in the organization, and must contain:

  • A repository that supports, at a minimum, the business, information, technology and solution viewpoints and their relationships. The repository must also support business direction, vision and strategy, as well as business disruptions.
  • Modeling capabilities that support the minimum viewpoints of business, information, technology and solutions.
  • Decision analysis capabilities, such as gap analysis, impact analysis, scenario planning and system thinking.
  • Presentation capabilities that are visual or interactive to meet the demands of a myriad of stakeholders.
  • Administration capabilities that enable security, user management and other tasks.
  • Configurability capabilities that are extensive, simple and straightforward to accomplish, while supporting multiple environments.
  • Support for frameworks and standards, often used while providing the flexibility to modify the framework.
  • Usability, including intuitive, flexible and easy-to-learn UIs.

See "Market Drives Gartner to Redefine the Enterprise Architecture Tool Marketplace" for more information on the market definition.

EA teams are interested in other tools and occasionally use them. However, these tools do not meet the Gartner definition of the EA tool marketplace and, as a result, are not included in this research. This Magic Quadrant focuses primarily on the vendor's placement in the market and not specifically on the product functionality. One out of the 15 criteria in this Magic Quadrant is related to the product. The remaining 14 are focused on vendors and their ability to meet the requirements of this market.

For this Magic Quadrant research, Gartner received information from vendors, end-user customers and Gartner clients. We analyze company information databases according to the Gartner methodology.1 Vendor evaluation against our defined evaluation criteria yielded vendor placement in the Magic Quadrant figure. In the Vendor Strengths and Cautions section of this report, we have not attempted to mention all the strengths and cautions for each vendor. Rather, the purpose is to provide guidance on the most important points to consider.

When evaluating vendors, enterprise architects should pay particular attention to the key strengths and cautions analysis for each vendor. Placement on the Magic Quadrant is not an indicator of appropriate fitness for the needs of a particular user organization, nor does it resolve the challenges of new, intermediate or advanced practitioners.

A Variety of Approaches Exist to Deliver Business Outcomes

This year has marked a significant departure from the traditional approach to EA tools. In the past, many tool providers focused on the technical aspects of their product suites, such as the strength of their repository or the smoothness of their modeling tools. It was the era of EA tools for the sake of EA. Gartner has seen a marked departure from this approach and a much-needed refocus on delivering business outcomes.

Some vendors have distanced themselves from the terminology of EA. They concentrate on delivering solutions for operational excellence or enterprise portfolio management, or state that they now focus on business architecture. EA, by any other name, is still the same discipline it was, and business architecture has always been an integral part of that discipline. While the discipline has always been focused on delivering business outcomes, many EA practitioners have forgotten that purpose (see "EA Stage Planning: Target Business Outcomes" and "Define the Business Outcome Statement to Guide Enterprise Architecture Efforts").

The overall market is improving its strategy to deliver business outcomes, as demonstrated by the many inquiries Gartner receives from clients on this topic.2 Clients are demanding that these tools have a short-term ROI so they can justify the investment. This is further evidenced by EA solution providers' ability to demonstrate an increasing number of business-outcome-related use cases that represent the challenges organizations face today. The new focus on delivering targeted business outcomes, on integrating all the viewpoints of EA, and on use cases demonstrating this ability has led to some significant vendor movement in the market this year. The criteria, weighting and use cases for the Magic Quadrant may change every year as this market continues to evolve.

Magic Quadrant

Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Architecture Tools
Figure 1.Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Architecture Tools

Source: Gartner (October 2013)

Vendor Strengths and Cautions

Atoll Technologies

Atoll Technologies ( offers System Architecture Management Utility (SAMU).

  • Atoll continues its steady improvement as a global player, as evidenced by its recent North American presence (see "News: SAMU is made available on the U.S. market"). In addition to its presence in the Middle East, it has regional strength in Central and Eastern Europe, and can provide strong support to these otherwise underserved markets.
  • Atoll is improving its focus on the business architecture aspects of EA to complement its technical product capabilities.
  • Atoll is providing configuration packs for new customers to make the setup of the repository more straightforward and easy to accomplish.
  • Atoll has understood that EA includes business architecture and has introduced some limited business architecture capabilities. For comprehensive EA program support, especially in the area of business architecture, additional tools may be required.
  • Atoll remains a small company with a primary focus on the technical architecture and solutions architecture areas. As a result, large global organizations should ensure that sufficient use cases and technical support can be provided.


Avolution ( offers Abacus.

  • Avolution's Abacus product provides advanced simulation capabilities, enabling decision analysis for portfolio and life cycle management of architectures using asset timelines and road maps alongside its fully configurable metamodel and XML base.
  • Avolution has demonstrated its understanding for addressing the needs of various stakeholders by adding extensive reporting and business intelligence capabilities.
  • Due to Abacus' flexibility and high degree of configurability, it is tempting for some tool users to become so enamored with the capabilities that they lose track of the tool's purpose: Help enterprise architects deliver business outcomes.
  • Avolution began as an organization closely aligned with university research. Currently, it leverages its university research along with customer feedback to enhance its product offering. It is important to keep this in mind when engaging with this vendor.


BiZZdesign ( offers Architect.

  • BiZZdesign is a young and fast-growing organization, with 140 employees. The vibrancy and collaboration of this workforce is clearly influencing the look and feel of Architect in products such as the Business Model Canvas and Decision Modeler, which contains business logic.
  • BiZZdesign continued to focus on its international growth during the past year by opening offices in France and Eastern Europe, and partnering with resellers in Australia and several South American and Eastern European countries.
  • As BiZZdesign originated as a pure EA modeling tool based on both academic and customer experiences, there is still some product functionality missing in its offer, primarily in the portfolio analysis or portfolio management capabilities.
  • Meta-model flexibility, which is required for meeting today's business challenges, is made through the use of a new graphical interface; but data entry controls and restrictions, which do not currently exist, as well as advanced reporting, continue to be achieved through the use of a proprietary scripting language. Organizations considering BiZZdesign should understand the technical skills required and prepare for this incremental support effort.


Casewise ( offers Corporate Modeler and related products.

  • Casewise continues to add product functionality, such as Casewise Harmony, a Web-based UI and platform for performing specific user tasks for decision analysis and collaboration, as part of its strategy to meet the needs of various stakeholders.
  • Casewise has improved its international coverage by adding partners from five South American countries and Canada.
  • Casewise has reduced its number of product offerings and simplified its marketing message, but its future product strategy remains somewhat unclear. Customers should understand how Casewise plans to differentiate itself, other than to collaborate, share and govern EA data.
  • Casewise has signed a number of new partnerships in recent years to extend its reach to a variety of potential users. However, it needs to clarify how it will continue to support and deliver business outcomes for users.


IBM ( offers Rational System Architect.

  • IBM has established a substantial presence, positive reputation and longevity in this market. Overall, Rational System Architect is a robust, feature-rich, mature product with configurability to meet user requirements, and an extensive business architecture capability.
  • IBM's global coverage and support structure make it a strong contender for clients that have an international user base, or are having difficulty finding an EA tool with support in their locations.
  • IBM continues to move forward with its strategy on the Rational Jazz platform, which includes life cycle data management encompassing EA and portfolio analysis.
  • IBM's global coverage and support structure does not always indicate that prices or licensing agreements are globally consistent. Potential customers should understand the limitations or constraints that may be imposed in their particular regions.
  • Rational System Architect has historically been challenging to learn and administer. Potential customers should consider this and prepare for a steep learning curve. However, IBM continues to make efforts to improve this.


Iteratec ( offers iteraplan (Enterprise Edition).

  • Among the vendors evaluated in this Magic Quadrant, iteratec is unique in offering a product with a software source code base that is publicly available for download (because the Community Edition is open source). The commercially licensed and supported Enterprise Edition adds features such as support for MySQL, Oracle Database, users/roles/permissions, and data integration, as well as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) integration. Iteratec sells a SaaS-hosted alternative. No escrow agreements are necessary for the base (Community Edition) code; however, some customers may want to consider such agreements for the additional software unique to the Enterprise Edition.
  • Iteratec employs thought leaders on the topic of EA and aligns itself with several universities, which work on innovation of the product and the discipline of EA.
  • Iteratec focuses on creating and maintaining premier partnerships in many regions. Potential customers should ensure that the partner in their regions can deliver the same level of quality as iteratec is known for in Germany, Austria and the German-speaking region of Switzerland.
  • Large federated organizations should understand the ramifications that this federated structure presents to iteraplan. Multiple repositories may be necessary and require more administration than originally thought. Federated organizations must understand the level of information they need to maintain, as well as to federate.


Mega ( offers Mega Suite.

  • Mega has a clear identification and understanding of stakeholder expectations across the entire organization. This enables it to manage information that provides business value across this spectrum of stakeholders.
  • Mega uses the Holistic Operational Excellence (HOPEX) platform, a Web-based integrated platform that includes EA, GRC, and application portfolio management, and delivers an integrated set of solutions that deliver operational excellence for organizations facing complex integration issues with business and technology. The platform enables organizations to use assessments, campaigns and surveys, and to base business-technology decisions on business performance results expressed by a variety of business stakeholders.
  • Mega consistently integrates industry best practices in many aspects of its product offering. One example is the Object Management Group's Meta Object Facility (OMG MoF 2)-compliant repository that provides underlying support for the reporting and decision-making capabilities by adding any object/relationship type to the metamodel and making it available to end users for query and reporting. Another example is the rich out-of-the-box modeling capabilities. Both demonstrate the rigor Mega applies to its product and to the company.
  • Mega is a rigorously run organization with a strong management team and excellent resources in many key roles. Its strategy on retaining resources and providing recognition and incentives makes it a good candidate for acquisition.
  • Federated organizations can be handled using several methods in the Mega Suite. As a result, potential customers must understand how they want to implement it in their organization, by articulating specific use cases.


OpenText ( offers OpenText ProVision for Enterprise Architecture.

  • The ProVision product is positioned primarily as a business architecture tool for delivering business transformation, such as large ERP implementations, mergers and acquisitions (M&As), and process excellence initiatives. Organizations intent on transformation with a strong business architecture focus should consider ProVision.
  • OpenText has positioned ProVision as a strategic tool for organizations to approach their enterprise information management strategy, helping to connect enterprise content management (ECM), business process management (BPM) and customer experience management (CXM).
  • Since acquiring Metastorm in 2011, OpenText has made a strong effort to distance the product from the EA discipline and focus it primarily on business transformation capabilities. Potential customers are strongly encouraged to provide specific use cases to determine whether the product can meet their needs.
  • Customers report some technical issues and insufficient guidance when using ProVision to avoid setting up too many repositories or not taking advantage of all the capabilities of the product.


QualiWare ( offers QualiWare Product Suite.

  • QualiWare has continued its efforts to improve its product positioning and marketing, product usability, and quality of visual tool output, which have resulted in a positive market reaction.
  • QualiWare has focused on extensive collaboration capabilities in the design of its offering. Organizations requiring consensus building to ensure effective EA and decision making should strongly consider including QualiWare on their shortlists.
  • QualiWare has enjoyed considerable success in its Nordic-based region and has successfully established a presence in many locations outside this area. Potential customers should ensure they have adequate support from QualiWare to support their product implementations.
  • QualiWare has historically co-created industry-specific solutions with its clients and then maintained ongoing support for these solutions. Prospective customers should ensure this support continues to be in place and understand how enhancements will be made.


SAP ( offers SAP Sybase PowerDesigner EnterpriseArchitect.

  • The SAP approach to EA sets it somewhat apart from the other vendors in this research. Its focus is on data and information, resulting in an in-depth approach to information modeling and architecture that is unsurpassed in the EA tool marketplace. Clients that need this functionality are well-advised to look at this product, especially because of its integration with other EA tools.
  • SAP Sybase PowerDesigner EnterpriseArchitect is fully integrated into the SAP family and enjoys the same level of commitment, marketing and sales support as the rest of the SAP products. SAP's EA consultants will use this product in their consulting engagements, which illustrates an approach consistent with the "SAP runs SAP" marketing efforts.
  • Although SAP has strong information architecture functionality, it may not provide the rich functionality required for a mature EA team in terms of dashboards and visualizations that include the other architecture viewpoints. Generating output from the tool to enable decision making is not handled natively in a user-friendly manner. Data must be exported into a spreadsheet or report writer tool and formatted as desired. Some "export to Excel" examples are provided.
  • The benefits of SAP are primarily recognized through a specific configuration to meet clients' needs. Potential buyers must be aware of this and plan for the time and money required to achieve such a configuration.

Software AG (alfabet)

Software AG offers alfabet's product suite called planningIT (

  • Alfabet continued to grow and expand into the EA tool market by increasing sales and becoming an attractive target for Software AG, which acquired alfabet in June 2013.
  • Alfabet focuses on providing Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis (IIPA) and contains all the EA components and viewpoints to support that analysis.
  • Alfabet states it will continue to focus on product releases every six months and to support an engaged and committed user community, which includes midsize organizations needing a quick-start configuration.
  • Customers of alfabet, a strong individual player in the EA tool market, should understand how the organization's expertise and experience will be integrated and positioned in the Software AG product suite.
  • Some aspects of the customer experience decision analysis are accomplished outside the tool functionality. Customers should know what decision analysis is included in the product.

Software AG (Aris)

Software AG ( offers Aris.

  • Software AG has complemented the Aris product with the Aris MashZone product to enable information sharing with senior business stakeholders via dashboards.
  • Software AG is well-known for its long-standing, solid participation in the business process analysis (BPA) market, and for its rich modeling and analysis capabilities. This makes it well-suited for organizations that want to use the same tool for EA and BPA.
  • Software AG has understood the impact of the digital organization challenges and plans to engage with business consultants to ensure its approach is more business-based in the future.
  • Software AG has acquired alfabet, which also participates in the EA tool market. The potential synergy of these two offerings may provide the market with some interesting alternatives.
  • Since the acquisition of alfabet in June 2013, customers should strive to understand how the alfabet product will be positioned.
  • Some Software AG products can be challenging to use without the assistance of the company's consulting practice. Potential customers should understand that implementing these complex solutions likely will require consulting services, and should consider the cost and effort required.

Sparx Systems

Sparx Systems ( offers Enterprise Architect.

  • Sparx Systems has a unique offering in this Magic Quadrant as a vendor that provides a low-cost product license for immediate online download.
  • Sparx Systems' product has broad EA capability and functionality that is commonly required by software engineers (requirements management and requirements engineering) for delivering new applications. Customers have acquired Sparx for this reason, and supplement it with other tools needed for more strategic decision-making capabilities.
  • Sparx Systems is an Australian company, and as a result, its technical support comes primarily from Australia. Therefore, response to a technical problem is usually provided by email, and it may take several rounds of emails to resolve the problem if it is a complex one.
  • Sparx Systems has a limited number of sister companies in several regions of the world and primarily focuses on training partners to help its user base understand how to use the product. Potential customers should ensure there is sufficient training support available in their regions.


Troux ( offers Troux Enterprise Portfolio Management Suite.

  • In addition to serving the traditional EA tool market, Troux has expanded its marketing to include positioning the tool for what it calls "Enterprise Portfolio Management" to expand its addressable market to other roles, including business leaders. This approach has led to some initial success, with a significant increase in sales.
  • In response to providing support to a variety of stakeholder concerns, Troux recently updated its product suite by adding a powerful Web-based analytic capability (Insight) in addition to its integrated visual modeling client (Architect) and Web-based information portal (Navigate), integrating modeling and enterprise portfolio management use cases. Troux has understood that investment decisions in organizations are not made purely on the basis of strategy and are now focusing more strongly on a portfolio analysis approach.
  • Troux has moved to align product strategy, product development and marketing under one responsible manager. This approach has strengthened the company's ability to deliver an integrated, whole product to the market. This effort, along with its renewed focus on expanding its geographic coverage, has resulted in more global market coverage than previously.
  • Customers should be aware that Troux uses the term "enterprise portfolio management" instead of "enterprise architecture" to attract a target market other than traditional enterprise architects.
  • Customers have remarked that there have been some technical problems with the SaaS offering. Because this is a key part of Troux's go-to-market strategy, potential customers should evaluate this offering carefully.
  • Troux may be a candidate for acquisition, given its innovative thought leadership in the EA discipline, and that it has been a consistent leader in the EA tool market with its attractive product capabilities and growing global presence.

Vendors Added and Dropped

We review and adjust our inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes as markets change. As a result of these adjustments, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant or MarketScope may change over time. A vendor's appearance in a Magic Quadrant or MarketScope one year and not the next does not necessarily indicate that we have changed our opinion of that vendor. It may be a reflection of a change in the market and, therefore, changed evaluation criteria, or of a change of focus by that vendor.




Future Tech Systems has been dropped as a result of not meeting the inclusion criteria for market presence (subsidiary or official partner) in North America, Europe and the Asia/Pacific region, as well as clients in two of these regions. As this market continues to evolve and mature, it is increasingly important for these vendors to support global organizations.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

To be included in this Magic Quadrant, vendors must:

  • Have tools that are positioned to address the Gartner-defined EA tool marketplace and possess the critical capabilities described in the Market Definition/Description section.
  • Have customer production deployments in at least two vertical industries.
  • Have a presence (office or official partner) in North America, Europe and the Asia/Pacific region.
  • Have customers in production for at least two of the three regions mentioned above.
  • Enable Gartner to acquire survey data from at least three users/customers — not necessarily provided by the vendor (during the customer survey period executed as part of the Magic Quadrant research process) — that demonstrate that the tool meets these criteria.
  • Have a substantial presence in this market. This will be determined by the number of active user licenses and the vendor's client references that are: (1) using a current release of the product in production, and (2) using the product to do EA as described in Gartner's definition of the EA tool market.

Evaluation Criteria

Ability to Execute

Vendors are evaluated on their Ability to Execute — the ability to compete effectively, impact revenue to a positive degree, and deliver solutions to clients that create vendor-client win-win relationships.

Here are the Ability to Execute criteria:

  • Product/Service: This includes the core products/services offered by the vendors that compete in this market. We looked in detail at 11 aspects of a vendor's EA product suite:
    • Repository/metamodel
    • Modeling
    • Decision analysis
    • Presentation
    • Administration
    • Configurability
    • Frameworks and standards
    • Technical
    • Interfaces
    • Usability
    • Differentiators
  • Overall Viability: An assessment of the vendor's financial health, the strength of its customer base and its presence in the market. For large vendors (IBM, SAP and Software AG), we also evaluated the relevant business units and the likelihood that the vendors will continue to invest in and sell their products.
  • Sales Execution/Pricing: The overall effectiveness of the sales channels and product pricing, including the cost of training and consulting.
  • Market Responsiveness/Record: The ability to respond to changes in the market as customer needs evolve and market dynamics change, recognizing the vendor's history of responsiveness.
  • Marketing Execution: The effectiveness of programs that communicate the organization's message to the market to increase awareness of its products, and to establish a positive identification with the product or brand and the organization among buyers.
  • Customer Experience: The customer's experience with the vendor and its products.
  • Operations: The organization's ability to meet its goals and commitments, including the vendor's technical support, training and consulting operations (see Table 1).
Table 1. Ability to Execute Evaluation Criteria



Product or Service


Overall Viability


Sales Execution/Pricing


Market Responsiveness/Record


Marketing Execution


Customer Experience




Source: Gartner (October 2013)

Completeness of Vision

Vendors are also evaluated on their Completeness of Vision — their ability to articulate logical statements about current and future market direction, innovation, customer needs and competitive forces; how consistently they map their strategies and plans to their stated vision; and the practicality of that vision. Ultimately, vendors are rated on their understanding of market forces and their plans to exploit the market.

Here are the weighted Completeness of Vision criteria:

  • Market Understanding: The ability to understand and accurately forecast buyers' needs in the EA environment, and to translate those needs into products and services.
  • Marketing Strategy: A clear, differentiated set of messages communicated consistently throughout the organization and externalized through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements, consistent with the market understanding.
  • Sales Strategy: The strategy that uses the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales channels, coupled with marketing, service and communication affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach for selling products and services.
  • Offering (Product) Strategy: A vendor's approach to product development and delivery that emphasizes differentiation, functionality, methodology and features as they map to users' requirements.
  • Business Model: The soundness and logic of a vendor's underlying business proposition.
  • Vertical/Industry Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual industries.
  • Innovation: The direct, related, complementary and synergistic allocation of resources, expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes.
  • Geographic Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographies outside its "home" region directly — or through partners, channels and subsidiaries — as appropriate for those geographies and markets (see Table 2).
Table 2. Completeness of Vision Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Criteria


Market Understanding


Marketing Strategy


Sales Strategy


Offering (Product) Strategy


Business Model


Vertical/Industry Strategy




Geographic Strategy


Source: Gartner (October 2013)

Quadrant Descriptions


Leaders provide mature offerings that meet market demand, and demonstrate the vision necessary to sustain their market position as requirements evolve. The hallmark of Leaders is that they focus on and invest in their offerings to the point that they lead the market and can affect its overall direction. As a result, Leaders can become the vendors to watch as you try to understand how new offerings might evolve. Leaders typically possess a large, satisfied customer base (relative to the size of the market) and enjoy high visibility within the market. Their size and financial strength enable them to remain viable in a challenging economy. Leaders typically respond to a wide market audience by supporting broad market requirements. However, they may fail to meet the specific needs of vertical markets or other more specialized segments.

In this Magic Quadrant, the Leaders have a broad range of capabilities to support EA, combined with the ability to deliver these capabilities to a diverse group of stakeholders. Although each of the Leaders has different strengths, they all provide good capabilities to assist the EA mission to translate business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change. In addition, they have a clear vision of the direction and maturation of the EA discipline.


Challengers have a strong Ability to Execute, but may not have a plan that will maintain a strong value proposition for new customers. Although Challengers typically have significant size and financial resources, they may lack a strong vision, innovative ideas/plans or overall understanding of market needs. In some cases, Challengers may offer products nearing the end of their lives that dominate a large, but shrinking, segment. Challengers can become Leaders if their vision develops. Large companies may fluctuate between the Challengers and Leaders quadrants as their product cycles and market needs shift.


These vendors have shown a thorough understanding of the necessary attributes required in the new definition of the EA tool marketplace. Visionaries align with Gartner's view of how a market will evolve, but they have fewer proven capabilities to deliver against that vision. They may reflect a competitive strategy for a smaller vendor — such as selling an innovation ahead of mainstream demand — or a larger vendor trying to break out of a rut or differentiate itself. For vendors and customers, Visionaries fall into the higher-risk/higher-reward category. They often introduce new technology, services or business models, and may need to build financial strength, service and support, as well as sales and distribution channels. Visionaries may become Challengers or Leaders, depending on whether companies accept the new technology, or whether the vendors can develop partnerships that complement their strengths. Visionaries sometimes are attractive acquisition targets for Leaders or Challengers.

Niche Players

Vendors in the Niche Players quadrant tend to have strengths in numerous aspects of EA, but may be relatively deficient in functional breadth, global presence, industry breadth or market focus. However, they may also have expertise in a particular niche market, which actually makes them the vendors of choice for that market. Niche Players do well in a segment of a market, or they have a limited ability to innovate or outperform other vendors. This may be because they focus on a functionality or geographic region, or because they are new entrants to the market. Alternatively, they may be struggling to remain relevant in a market that is moving away from them. Niche Players may have reasonably broad functionality, but with limited implementation and support capabilities, and relatively limited customer bases. They have not yet established a strong vision for their offerings. A Niche Player may be a perfect fit for your requirements. However, if the vendor goes against the direction of the market — even if you like what it offers — then it may be a risky choice, because its long-term viability will be threatened.


The EA tool market continues to incrementally evolve as EA teams, CIOs and tool providers grapple with unique challenges. For EA teams, these challenges include the growing need to:

  • Present analyses, recommendations and scenarios to multiple stakeholders that require different levels of detail and context setting
  • Support their analyses and recommendations with increasingly sophisticated forms of decision analysis
  • Run and test a range of possible scenarios that describe alternative investment plans

Chief architects and CIOs face the additional challenge of demonstrating the business value that EA efforts provide. EA tool providers are challenged to respond to a dynamic market that supports enterprise architects in their effort to show results by delivering targeted business outcomes.

Against the backdrop of these market trends, this Magic Quadrant addresses the concerns of new, intermediate and advanced EA practitioners regarding the use of tools to support their EA programs. These concerns include the selection, adoption, implementation and subsequent use of the tools to support needs that are specific to EA, and often to support complementary efforts, such as planning, compliance, BPM, data management and portfolio management. Organizations requiring integrated functionality across these areas should include integration/functional support criteria in their vendor/product evaluations.

A Magic Quadrant reflects the scoring and weighting that have been performed by analysts. This Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Architecture Tools reflects the positioning of a technology provider and is not primarily an analysis of its product's functionality. Of the 15 evaluation criteria, only one actually pertains to the product. The remaining 14 criteria evaluate the technology provider against the definition of the EA market. Gartner recommends that clients:

  • Review the Magic Quadrant research to help narrow the list of the most likely technology providers to meet the organization's requirements.
  • Use associated Gartner Recommended Reading on EA tools and the selection process.
  • Select a vendor/product using use cases and capabilities that meet their functional and nonfunctional requirements.

This Magic Quadrant describes a diverse market, but EA teams must consider that the best vendor for a given organization might be outside the Leaders quadrant. Niche problems may require niche solutions. When selecting an EA tool, organizations should consider a range of criteria and weight them according to their current and future needs. Given the continuing global economic uncertainty, organizations should consider the viability of their preferred vendors. Additionally, organizations should ensure that there is adequate support for a given tool in their geographic region.

Key Requirements of Enterprise Architects

In 2013, our focus on reviewing products has remained on capabilities that support and assist an EA team in its day-to-day activities. Some of these activities include modeling, future-state analysis, road mapping, presentational aids, dashboard analysis and scenario planning.

Although an EA team is likely to start off using drawing tools, spreadsheets, and other office productivity and content management tools to document and share the EA, this approach becomes extremely difficult once artifacts required for complex decision making appear in multiple places or have complex relationships. For example, representations of an application might appear on a diagram depicting a server, a business process and the application's interfaces — all on different content management systems, spreadsheets or diagrams. Changes to the application might require updates in all locations of this data, introducing additional complexity and opportunities for inconsistency and inaccuracy.

Adoption of an EA tool, together with the discipline of providing the right processes and security to keep it up-to-date, can help enterprises maintain all the artifacts in sync by designing and implementing an environment that enables changes to be reflected across all perspectives or viewpoints in the entire architecture. EA practitioners that contribute to business outcomes must create enabling, operational, diagnostic, actionable and measurable deliverables (see "EA Stage Planning: Frame EA Deliverables"). EA tools provide some of the diagnostic deliverables (decision analysis) and actionable deliverables (road maps) to enable the organization to realize business change.

Enterprise architects should realize that additional tools outside this market may be required to support business outcomes. Organizations make investment decisions based on various criteria, which may or may not be linked to strategy. Gartner research shows that 80% of organizations fail to execute their strategies (see "Using Risk-Adjusted Value Management to Close the Strategy Gap and Gain Competitive Advantage"). One reason is that many organizations treat strategy development and strategy execution as two distinct processes. This approach leads to a gap in understanding and a failure to reach desired goals — i.e., organizations do not necessarily execute what is strategically important. Gartner finds that application portfolio management and project portfolio management are becoming more important and influential in the investment decision-making process. However, without the full EA perspective to support their functionality, those recommendations are limited. At the same time, enterprise architects should be ready to accommodate those decisions if they deviate from the strategic road maps that EA produces. Enterprise architects must be ready to reflect these new decisions in their road maps at a moment's notice.

Market Overview

Although there is a wide spread of vendors across the quadrants, vendors are primarily in the Leaders and Niche Players quadrants. This is a reflection of the spread of functionality provided by vendors and their business models. There has also been significant movement by several vendors; these moves demonstrate their understanding of how EA tools deliver targeted business outcomes to their customers.

New Demands for EA Tools and Vendor Responses

Organizations are continuing to scrutinize their investments in technology, and often have an increasingly difficult time determining how to plan their investments. Adoption of EA tools has reflected the need to provide better management, analysis and communication capabilities to demonstrate the value EA brings to an organization (see "CEO Survey 2012: Executive Summary Report: The Year of Living Hesitantly").

The chief architect and EA team are not the only stakeholders benefiting from an EA tool. EA tool vendors have responded to this demand, and most of the vendors reported continued revenue growth in 2012. Those reporting product revenue increases said the increases ranged from 20% to 42% during 2012, compared with 2011.

Additional Focus Areas for EA Tools

Historically, many EA tools were used to do modeling. As the use of EA tools matured, organizations implemented analytical techniques (enabled through modeling) to closely match the analytical needs of enterprise architects. However, the functionality of tool capabilities has continued to expand, particularly in areas that enable EA tools to support an array of associated activities with high affinity to EA — including task management, GRC, communication and collaboration, and integrated IT portfolio analysis — while maintaining a common repository. Several vendors mentioned in this Magic Quadrant also participate in other markets.

Here is a summary of the EA tool vendors that participate in other Magic Quadrants:

  • Enterprise GRC platforms: Mega and Software AG (Aris) (see "Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Governance, Risk and Compliance Platforms")
  • BPA tools: Casewise, IBM, Mega, OpenText, Software AG (Aris) and Sparx Systems
  • Integrated IT portfolio analysis: Software AG (alfabet) (see "Magic Quadrant for Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis Applications")


Software AG acquired alfabet in June 2013 subject to the German federal cartel office's antitrust approval. It was subsequently approved by the German federal cartel's office on 24 June 2013. This was a significant acquisition, as alfabet is a strong player in the EA tool market and recently expanded its role in the IIPA market as well. Gartner clients should speak with a Gartner analyst to find out the current status of a vendor if they are concerned about possible acquisitions, mergers or other issues.

Additional research contribution and review: Chris Wilson.


1 Extensive research based on the Gartner methodology approach was conducted on the EA tool marketplace to produce this Magic Quadrant. Information was acquired and analyzed for 14 vendors, including:

  • Vendor-specific responses to all 15 evaluation criteria that define the Magic Quadrant
  • Vendor-specific responses to 11 tool capabilities, including tool differentiators in this marketplace
  • Vendor briefings
  • Vendor presentation of tools that support two common use cases, which address the use of the tool in performing complex decision analysis and providing information back to key stakeholders about strategic road maps
  • At least three customer responses per vendor to a survey, including 18 questions on their use and opinions of vendor tools
  • Client inquiries and comments received by Gartner during the past year regarding any of the tools and the EA tool marketplace in general

2 During the past year, Gartner conducted 232 inquiries with Gartner clients about their challenges needing EA tool support, EA tool usage and functionality. Gartner conducted more than 50 face-to-face discussions with clients and vendors. These client inquiries represented a broad cross section of organizations of every size worldwide. Gartner had more than 14 in-depth briefings with EA vendors.

Evaluation Criteria Definitions

Ability to Execute

Product/Service: Core goods and services offered by the vendor for the defined market. This includes current product/service capabilities, quality, feature sets, skills and so on, whether offered natively or through OEM agreements/partnerships as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria.

Overall Viability: Viability includes an assessment of the overall organization's financial health, the financial and practical success of the business unit, and the likelihood that the individual business unit will continue investing in the product, will continue offering the product and will advance the state of the art within the organization's portfolio of products.

Sales Execution/Pricing: The vendor's capabilities in all presales activities and the structure that supports them. This includes deal management, pricing and negotiation, presales support, and the overall effectiveness of the sales channel.

Market Responsiveness/Record: Ability to respond, change direction, be flexible and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act, customer needs evolve and market dynamics change. This criterion also considers the vendor's history of responsiveness.

Marketing Execution: The clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to deliver the organization's message to influence the market, promote the brand and business, increase awareness of the products, and establish a positive identification with the product/brand and organization in the minds of buyers. This "mind share" can be driven by a combination of publicity, promotional initiatives, thought leadership, word of mouth and sales activities.

Customer Experience: Relationships, products and services/programs that enable clients to be successful with the products evaluated. Specifically, this includes the ways customers receive technical support or account support. This can also include ancillary tools, customer support programs (and the quality thereof), availability of user groups, service-level agreements and so on.

Operations: The ability of the organization to meet its goals and commitments. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure, including skills, experiences, programs, systems and other vehicles that enable the organization to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis.

Completeness of Vision

Market Understanding: Ability of the vendor to understand buyers' wants and needs and to translate those into products and services. Vendors that show the highest degree of vision listen to and understand buyers' wants and needs, and can shape or enhance those with their added vision.

Marketing Strategy: A clear, differentiated set of messages consistently communicated throughout the organization and externalized through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements.

Sales Strategy: The strategy for selling products that uses the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales, marketing, service, and communication affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base.

Offering (Product) Strategy: The vendor's approach to product development and delivery that emphasizes differentiation, functionality, methodology and feature sets as they map to current and future requirements.

Business Model: The soundness and logic of the vendor's underlying business proposition.

Vertical/Industry Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including vertical markets.

Innovation: Direct, related, complementary and synergistic layouts of resources, expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes.

Geographic Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographies outside the "home" or native geography, either directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries as appropriate for that geography and market.