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The Value of an Enterprise Architect

From Tactical Responder to Collaborative and Strategic Advisor

The pivotal role of Enterprise Architects within an organisation is hard to overstate. Nevertheless, they are often systemically undervalued when the enterprise operates primarily from a culture of chaos rather than big picture thinking.

By transitioning from the role of tactical responder to a collaborative advisor and strategic enabler, Enterprise Architects can be empowered to play their part in driving success and transformation.

Unlocking Strategic Potential:

Unlocking strategic insights

Envisage your business as a complex ecosystem with various components and processes working in harmony to achieve your business goals. Enter the Enterprise Architect, armed with a comprehensive understanding of the organisation's intricacies, and relationships.

Their role is akin to a guiding compass, aligning IT initiatives with strategic objectives and ensuring optimal utilisation of resources.

Gone are the days when Enterprise Architects operated in isolation, merely reacting to business requests.

No, just kidding! The majority of organisations still have Enterprise Architects who are the tactical responders, operating in a constant state of flux and chaos, helping businesses put out fires on a daily basis. Unfortunately, this does nothing to improve the value of an Enterprise Architect’s role within the organisation, or the value that they could deliver.

Nor does it drive businesses to take accountability for their lack of efficiencies, something that could be addressed if the Enterprise Architect was less fire-fighter and more mains control.

 

Collaborative Partnership:

Today, Enterprise Architects should thrive as collaborative and influential partners, equipped with strong communication skills, empathetic understanding, strong business acumen, and a genuine interest in understanding the pulse of the organisation.

By actively engaging with stakeholders, they establish trust and foster collaboration among teams that were previously isolated.

Strategic Enablers:

Enterprise Architects possess a unique ability to think strategically and envision the bigger picture. They keep a finger on the pulse of industry, identifying emerging trends, predicting disruptions, and spotting opportunities for innovation.

By translating business goals into actionable plans, they guide organizations toward digital transformation and technological advancements.

Aligning Technology and Business:

Sharable common data - OConect

 

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology and emerging business threats, Enterprise Architects need to rise to the role of “consultative and influential advisor”, acting as a bridge between IT and business domains.

To maximize the value derived from IT systems and solutions, they need to ensure that technology investments are aligned with business needs and objectives. By bringing clarity to the complex world of technology, they enable the organisation to make informed decisions and drive growth.



Driving Efficiency and Agility:

Through a strategic lens, Enterprise Architects identify redundancies, streamline processes, and eliminate inefficiencies.

They provide a holistic view of the organisation's architecture, thereby enabling better decision-making and resource optimisation. By designing agile and flexible systems, they empower the business to adapt to changing market conditions and to seize new opportunities swiftly.

Repositioning the enterprise architect’s role within the organisation:

The future of enterprise architecture within the organisation will certainly be more consultative. However, in order for that to become a reality, there is a chasm to cross and a paradigm shift to be made, both from the business, organisation, ICT, and the Architect’s standpoint.

So, what needs to be done to facilitate this shift? Changing and aligning mindset and culture.

1.    Changing to a culture of “employee-led architecture”

Firstly, business needs the deliverables that the “tactical enablers” currently deliver, so an Architect cannot think about or move up an echelon until these tasks are taken care of.

With OConect, employees become the “Architects of the Enterprise” taking ownership of the automated enteprise mapping, change impact analysis and scenario planning, and data accessibility roles. Automation of such tedious and time-consuming tasks benefits all and in turn, empowers businesses.

2.    Embrace a strategic and collaborative mindset

By handing over the baton to business for some of the more tactical enterprise architecture functions, Architects are freed up to do what they do best: working on the vision and the strategic business.

Understand that the Enterprise Architect is the solution, not the problem

3.    Aligning mindsets and breaking down silos

Silos within organizations cost a ton of money and duplication of work effortsA key understanding needed to improve organisational coherency is that there is still a prevalent "us-vs-them" mindset between business, Enterprise Architects, and IT.

Even though people within the  organisation are pulling in the same direction, it's difficult to get the best out of everyone's unique skillset and expertise when they are not invited to be part of the solution. If you’re an Architect or in ICT wanting a seat at the table, put yourself in the shoes of business and think differently. OConects Enterprise Mapping feature gives you the detailed information you need to assess another department's perspective, and more importantly, the information that informs their reasoning. Silo's result in duplication of work efforts which costs a ton of money and people are inadvertently excluded fom collaboration

Everyone in the organisation thinks differently, which is why we all exist to make a difference in the business's success. Giving each team an insight into why other departments think the way they do allows entire teams to connect, empathise, and understand.

 

Conclusion:

  • Enterprise Architects bring immense value to businesses by transitioning from tactical responders to collaborative and strategic enablers, trusted advisors.
  • Their ability to align technology with business goals, foster collaboration, and drive efficiency is instrumental in achieving success and growth.
  • By embracing enterprise architecture, organisations can leverage their expertise to navigate the complexities of the digital era to stay ahead of the competition.
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