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Archimate for Digital Transformation Map

Sogeti Labs
January 17, 2019

Can we use Archimate and the open source tool Archi to document and communicate our digital transformation map?

My first thought when I got that question was “Possibly – most of the components mentioned in a transformation map should have a representation in the Archimate standard”.

Transformation Map

We usually illustrate transformation maps like this:Traditional transformation map

The first observation was immediate – Archi doesn’t support a background with anything else than rectangular areas.

The graphical representation is not the most important part of a transformation map – so what about representing the content?


I made this diagram which does not comply with the Archimate standard as such but is based on Archimate object types and could be used to communicate the implications of the roadmap.Transformation map using Archimate in Archi

This diagram easily illustrates the different domains that are affected by the transformation as well as the overall planning.

The objects used will help document relations at this very abstract level as well as relations to more concrete architecture elements as work progress.

Conclusion: Archimate could be used as a relevant standard to maintain traceability from strategic level to a more operational level during the entire transformation program.


When we look at Archi as the tool… Then we have probably not made a good choice – at this point in time. It is a single user system as of now. But it would require multiple persons to update the model in a transformation program. A document management system with check-in / check-out could handle this, but it would probably be too cumbersome for the real world.

I know some people are working on enabling Archi to use an underlying repository for storage. I would be cautious using the tool for this purpose until this feature is implemented.

Other possibilities

Many repository-based (architecture) modeling tools supports Archimate, so it should be possible to find one. Alas, they are to my knowledge all commercial and comes with a cost. You should weight this cost against the value of traceability in the transformation program. I would recommend seriously considering such a tool.

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    3 thoughts on “Archimate for Digital Transformation Map

    1. Hello Erik,
      I like your idea of providing a transformational map wit ArchiMate. If you like to have a multi user access for ArchiMate you might check the Team Server by BiZZdesign. A customer of us is using this solution with a group of about 12 enterprise architects and they are using it on a dail basis.
      Kind regards,

      1. Thank you for your suggestion, Thorsten.
        Another suggestion I have seen in use at several clients is Orbus iServer.
        The sole reason I focus on Archi in my post is that a lot of clients prefer that tool because of the price tag, or rather the lack of a price tag 😉
        Kind regards,

    2. Hi Erik, just stumbled about this rather old post – as you may know Archi supports images by now. So you might overlay the initiative elements on a transformation roadmap canvas. Archi also supports multi-user modeling with GIT through the coArchi plugin by now. We also often use Arch as a (simple) starting point in consulting projects – before clients might jump to a “bigger” EA Tool. The Archimate Exchange format is a big benefit here. Kind regards, Thomas

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