Dev Zone

5 Enterprise Architecture Challenges (and How Low-Code Helps You Overcome Them)


Enterprise architecture articles abound. You can’t swing a cursor around a Google search on “enterprise architect” without hitting advice on how to develop a technology strategy that ties your technical landscape directly to your business goals.

On the topic of just what technology you should select, however, these articles don’t go into much detail.

For example, most don’t answer these important questions:

  • What software can I use to overcome the limitations of monolithic systems that are also fragile, and inflexible?
  • What technology can help me rein in numerous point solutions that only address parts of what I need to get done?
  • How do I equip my enterprise to address an unpredictable future and innovations that are currently still on the drawing board?
  • How can I also improve efficiency and accelerate application and system-time-to-market?

This article answers these questions and shows why a high-performance low-code development platform should be part of any IT ecosystem or enterprise architecture.

What Are the Top 5 Enterprise Architecture Challenges?

Five common technology challenges might be preventing your enterprise from addressing and fully supporting its business strategies.

  1. Inflexible legacy and monolithic system lock-in
  2. A fragmented application and software landscape
  3. The impacts of mission-critical app development on time-to-market
  4. Automation of siloed, manual, and partially digital business processes
  5. Scale, security, availability, and compliance.

Let's dive into these challenges to see why they might be holding you back.

1. Inflexible legacy and monolithic system lock-in

enterprise architecture challenge 1
Enterprise architecture challenge #1: Inflexible legacy and monolithic system lock-in. 
Image source: Diane Picchiottino.

It’s quite likely that aging legacy systems are the bane of your existence. These monoliths have locked you into older programming techniques and code.

What makes monoliths a challenge?

Designed to work like Swiss army knives, monolithic legacy systems are bloated, patched, slow, complex, and difficult to modify.

Many of the people who worked on them are gone, and some systems even run on end-of-life and sunsetted software. Therefore, these systems struggle to keep up with expectations for engaging web and mobile front-ends and rapid performance–if they can do it at all.

Why not just replace them?

At the same time, your business relies on them for a lot of critical business processes, so a rip-and-replace scenario could do more harm than good, increasing costs and possibly affecting transactions and data protection.

2. A fragmented application and software landscape

evolution of a marketing tech stack
Enterprise architecture challenge #2: A fragmented application and software landscape. The image represents the evolution of a marketing tech stack. 
Image source: ChiefMartec

Your company has gone software mad.

Hundreds of industry, department, and cloud applications have been adopted in hopes of enabling every functional area of your business to operate more efficiently. It’s everywhere in bits, pieces, and fragments spread across on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments.

Now, it’s up to you to solve any duplication or errors they cause with technology that not only streamlines them but also integrates them into mission-critical business workflows and systems as quickly as possible.

3. The impacts of mission-critical app development on time-to-market

app development
Enterprise architecture challenge #3: The impacts of mission-critical app development on time-to-market. 
Image source: Radowan Nakif Rehan.

Building enterprise applications today requires the following skills and knowledge:

  • HTML, CSS, JavaScript and other front-end languages and frameworks
  • NodeJS, ExpressJS, Django, Flask, C++, and other backend technologies and frameworks
  • MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Oracle Database, and other database management systems
  • AI/ML development and integration
  • DevOps and DevSecOps
  • Version control frameworks and hubs
  • Web hosting platforms

Is it any wonder that even the simplest application can take months to build? Since the business goals that your technology helps meet do not include “Offer a mobile banking app to customers in two years," you need a platform that reduces that time by 75 percent or more.

At the same time, you must be careful that the need for speed does not incur additional technical debt.

4. Automation of siloed, manual, and partially digital business processes

enterprise architecture challenge
Enterprise architecture challenge #4: Automation of siloed, manual, and partially digital business processes. 
Image source: Kaleidico.

If your company is like most, it has manual processes that the business and operations want automated because they believe they are preventing employees and customers from achieving their goals.

The challenges of automating

Even something that appears digital, such as email approvals or managing complex internal projects via instant messaging platforms can be improved through automation.

So, it’s up to you to find technology that can automate anything and everything to eliminate risks and gaps in core internal and consumer processes.

Bringing silos and teams together

To complicate matters further, it is possible that process automation isn’t even a part of a larger, enterprise-wide initiative and is instead being handled by different IT teams.

That means you must also make sure that the technology you choose facilitates cross-silo cooperation and the sharing of data.

5. Scale, security, availability, and compliance

scale, security, availability, and compliance
Enterprise architecture challenge #5: Scale, security, availability, and compliance. 
Image source: Dan Nelson.

Non-functional requirements have been and likely always will be on the top of your enterprise architecture technology list.

And, it’s a very tall order to select the technology that ensures that all new applications, current development platforms, updated or rearchitected legacy systems, automations, and integrations are scalable, secure, available 24/7, and compliant.

You must also consider solutions that support the enterprise, DevOps, DevSecOps, and security operations centers with technology and support to address regulatory requirements and increased cyberthreats.

High-Performance Low-Code: The Solution for Enterprise Architect Challenges

Given the proliferation of low-code tools that lack scalability and secure enterprise-grade capabilities, low-code may be mistakenly dismissed as “entry level.”

But a robust high-performance low-code platform can help you address these top enterprise architecture challenges and more.

High-performance low-code supports the agility needed to deliver business-critical and enterprise-grade applications, process automation, application integrations, and core systems at an accelerated speed — and the flexibility to make adjustments as you go.

Read our latest ebook to learn how your enterprise teams can use high-performance low-code to deliver business-critical applications that are adaptive, secure, resilient, and durable.