The Role of the Enterprise Architect

You may have heard of an enterprise architect, but what exactly is this role, and how can architects benefit an organization? To clear up the confusion as to how roles like domain architect and solution architect work and where they fit within a company, let’s uncover the correct definition of the role and how the function of an enterprise architect helps businesses achieve success.

How does Architecture Interact with Organizations?

For architecture, attention and focus typically surrounds planning and designing that can be classified into four high order architectures. With respect to business operations, items of importance include capabilities, processes, behaviors, and interactions. On the technology side, there is a focus on data, applications, middleware, infrastructure and complementary elements from security, compliance, and governance.

Next, we should understand the varying degrees of architecture roles and how each plays an important part in the organization.

The easiest way to describe the differences is in the focus of the skill set. Enterprise Architects focus on the strategic side of the house, where they are usually at the top of the architect hierarchy. They work with business leaders to understand business processes and determine how technology can assist teams, achieve goals, and improve business efficiencies. This position can also provide businesses with a competitive edge or prove mechanisms to reduce business operating liabilities.

Solution and Domain Architects focus more on the tactical aspects of architecture. These architects are key players in the translation of the strategic direction into tangible working platforms supported with solutions and applications.

It should be noted that there is an overlap between the two. Enterprise Architects can get tactical, and solution or Domain Architects can also perform strategic work.

Types Of Architectures

There are four main architectures: business architecture, data architecture, application architecture, and technology architecture.

Each plays a unique role in developing an overall architecture for an organization. Architects should have skills that support an open-mind approach, can look at the big picture, and be multi-skilled in understanding both technology and business aspects covering the four architectures. Enterprise Architects need to have a robust understanding of business operations and a solid understanding of technology capabilities. Business is the customer, and with technology, there is an enablement of tools that can improve, enhance, and extend the business capabilities and processes.

Overall, Enterprise Architects working in conjunction with Domain and Solution Architects are looking to create a bridge between business and technology. Enterprise Architects’ focus areas, in general, include business leaders’ concerns such as agility, scalability, efficiency, value propositions, change and overall cost control. The Enterprise Architect would be looking to use technology solutions or platforms to provide many of these capabilities to the business. Enterprise Architects would also be focusing on the maturity of the Information Technology Departments that supply and support many of the technological solutions. The maturity would focus on the structures, functions, policies, patterns, technology debt, and reference models that can be used to formulate, deliver, and maintain the technology solutions used in the business.

Governance, compliance, and risk management play an essential part in the whole picture and normally overlay many of the processes and decisions that must be taken when adding new or changing existing, or removing old structures from the IT landscape.

Enterprise Architects play a vital role in organizations as they have the responsibility to provide insights, direction, best practices, and functions that are the foundational basis for many planning and design decisions. They are responsible for carrying organizations to new levels and are able to face new challenges in the changing market space.

Are you looking to add an architect to your team to improve business functionalities? Contact Blue Acorn iCi to learn more about our resources.

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