The “modern” Enterprise Architect
Working in a quick paced and ever-changing industry brings many advantages, as well as disadvantages. On the one hand, it is unpredictable, exciting as well as entertaining for people who like challenges and like to be challenged at their workplace. On the other hand, one needs to be on their toes all the time and stay up to date with new tech and trends in the industry – which honestly can be quite energy-sapping. Talking about the IT industry – every day new technologies, software and solutions come up in the market and try to disrupt industries, and enterprise architecture is no exception. Working in the industry, enterprise architects need to be aware of those disruptive forces in order to be able to come up with a strategy and a plan to achieve desired business outcomes despite those unpredictable forces. The pressure is not being decreased by all the millions of dollars being spent by companies on Enterprise Architects.
So how should the modern Enterprise Architect cope with all of this?
” Enterprise Architecture is the sweet spot between tech and business.” Nigel Lang – Director of North Star Consulting
As Nigel Lang – Director of North Star Consulting – says in his interview with Third Republic:” Enterprise Architecture is the sweet spot between tech and business.” Implying that this role needs to be able to handle various soft as well as tech skills. It is essential that he (the architect) understands both the business as well as the tech side, as he will need to convince a variety of stakeholders of his plan. Keeping in mind that modern enterprises are impacted not only by its own business but often also by many partners in their digital ecosystem.
Mr. Lang also mentions in his interview that their plans need to be flexible and simple. It is important to temper yourself and not to build an “Ivory tower” in order to be able to adapt quickly to upcoming changes. Mr. Michael Litterick – Head of Architecture at Aimia – backs this up by mentioning that one of the most important traits of a good enterprise architect is humbleness. According to him, a good enterprise architect knows that he plays an important role and must make important decisions, however, he also knows which decision he to leave to others.
Lastly, one must consider the increasing speed of our whole society. The increase in speed due to the digital transformation is not only represented in the new technologies upcoming every day as mentioned beforehand but also in the change of consumer behaviour. Charles Wilkinson – Head of Architecture at River Island – explain how the main objective of enterprise architects nowadays must be handling that constant change.
To summarise, enterprise architects need to be able to enable both sides the IT & the Business to work collectively towards the common goal. He needs to explain both sides why this new common goal is important and how it can be achieved with the help of new solutions. This is highly complex due to the quick-paced industry, newly upcoming disruptive technologies and the fluctuating consumer demand. All of this is probably the reason why Enterprise Architecture jobs were ranked as the 4th highest paying job in 2018 according to glassdoor.com in the US…