Is it possible to use Salesforce as a foundation for building an Enterprise Architecture?

by Alexander Birger
Enterprise Architecture
Enterprise Architecture (EA) has gained traction as the disciplined approach for managing complexities in business and IT systems. Essentially, EA helps provide decision support or IT/business alignment (ITBA) to enterprise stakeholders. Salesforce proponents argue that it’s possible to use it as a foundation for building an EA because it provides a single platform that brings together several IT and business components (sales, marketing, customer service, automation, and analytics). It also solves the governance issue by allowing IT and business to speak a common language. The net effect is efficient dialogue and faster decision-making.
Salesforce was built as a CRM first
Salesforce was built as a CRM first and has indisputable leadership in the CRM space and in many other areas as well. That said, it is just now being adapted as a platform that can be used for EA needs. The recent purchase of MuleSoft has certainly helped Salesforce become a worthy EA platform contender. It is a testament to how Salesforce seeks to expand.
SFDC in the Enterprise landscape
During our 20-year journey of project implementation, we have experienced many different ways of using SFDC in the Enterprise landscape. From our experience, Salesforce is not just a robust CRM platform but is also a worthy option for basing your enterprise architecture. Nevertheless, it is difficult to escape the fact that several other solutions were purpose-built for EA. Ideally, the best EA solution is one that has been built for EA from the ground up.
Salesforce be used to instantiate EA
Question is, can Salesforce be used to instantiate EA with successful results today? Have you witnessed or heard of any successful EA value propositions built on Salesforce that are supported by empirical evidence? If you consider your organization, is the convenience and robustness that Salesforce offers enough to make you use it instead of using a purpose-built EA platform? You are welcome to share your thoughts. I would love to know what you think.
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