What Our Enterprise Architecture Can do to Help
Within any business there is the concept of an Enterprise. This is the embodiment of what the business does or offers, and on what enablers these capabilities depend.
Enterprise Architects work closer to the board and senior management of an organisation than other architects such as Solution or Technical Architects. This is because they are used to provide guidance to seniors on where to make changes which will give the most value. It is a common misconception that Enterprise Architects are able to do detailed solution or technical designs. They probably can, but this isn’t where their real skills lie. Many Enterprise Architects start in either infrastructure or software architecture, some start as Business Architects, so perhaps they do have the skills to maybe design the new enterprise-wide door security system or network solution. However, this is not the best use of their skills. Enterprise Architects are best used to architect the enterprise, rather than architect an enterprise-sized system.
As well as understanding the business capabilities, Enterprise Architects need to keep an eye on emerging business practices which can enhance the business. They also need a keen eye on emerging and disruptive technologies. This is possibly the more difficult part of the role to keep track of. Technology changes so fast that by the time some organisations deploy the latest storage or compute or the latest security appliance, the technology could already out of date. Enterprise Architects will provide the business leaders with the support they need to pull in the right technology to meet the needs of a revised business practice.
One of the areas of biggest concern to Enterprise Architects today is the Cloud. Mis-conceptions about the cloud being just a place to stand up servers and storage is one that puts many off adopting it. Cloud providers are adding functionality which is of great interest to Enterprise Architects when helping senior management to make decisions. Decisions can be taken on moving application functions onto Cloud providers which brings benefits such as cost saving on licensing, patching and support. Offerings such as Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service and Infrastructure as Code all assist in reducing the overheads of running application. Enterprise Architects will need to know what vendors can provide what functions (not all vendors provide all) and a mixed-cloud strategy will be needed.
The advantages of having an independent Enterprise Architect is you would have a fresh pair of eyes on the workings of your business. Gaps can be identified and suggestions made to help provide support to important business-change questions.
Provantage can provide help with your Enterprise Architecture, either by providing an independent view, back-fill a role or to help set up an Enterprise Architecture Practice to suit your needs.