5 Characteristics of Modern Enterprise Architect
5 characteristics of a modern enterprise architect that everyone should know and 7 ways you can work on building these characteristics.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Enterprise architecture has come a long way in the past decade. With more and more technologies emerging every day, taking advantage of them and creating a better enterprise architecture becomes quite essential. By integrating new technology into the enterprise architectures, we can achieve fruitful results even during difficult times.
This article will give you the 5 characteristics of a modern enterprise architect that everyone should know. Besides that, you can also learn how to build the required characteristics to stay relevant and grow your business.
5 Characteristics of Modern Enterprise Architect:
1. Strategic IT Driver
Strategic IT drivers are the ones that help form the IT strategy. Even though there are several standard strategies in IT, the exact requirement for each product will vary widely depending on several aspects. The IT drivers consider all of these factors and help make a meaningful strategy out of the information.
Several aspects will influence a company's IT strategy. These aspects are called influencers. The influencers can either be internal or external, depending on the project and the impact. For instance, if you're thinking of creating an IT strategy for an internal department, the work will be much easier.
The problem arises when the influencers are external. This means that we won't control these aspects. Examples of external influencers include demand, competition, needs, regulations, rewards, etc.
Some aspects are also called static influencers because they will always be there. The static influencers such as cost play a major role in deciding the overall strategy of the enterprise.
The primary role of these drivers is to help shape the best strategy. The drivers are often the key makers of a strategy. You have to consider as many drivers as possible to make the best strategy to withstand the test of time.
It is crucial to have a strategic driver attitude in order to think out of the box and bring innovative and effective solutions to the table.
2. Agile Thinker
A good enterprise architect is one who can get the work done quickly. Creating a strategy or understanding all the variables involved is an extremely complex process. Sometimes, it may even take weeks to finish the first step. However, modern enterprise architects must be able to think on their feet. They should be able to come up with unique solutions before another enterprise does and implement them first.
Agile thinking is essential for not just the enterprise architect but many other IT jobs as well. However, enterprise architecture is one field in which it is essential. Agile thinking doesn’t just mean thinking fast, it means thinking fast and right. Agile thinking means that you have to adapt to situations as you improve your models and solutions.
Being an agile thinker is key to having a successful career as a modern enterprise architect. As the market conditions change rapidly, you must adapt to all the changes and make the solutions robust.
3. Data-Driven Decision Maker
Data-Driven Decision Makers use facts and logic from the available information to make an informed decision. As many professionals say, everything you need is in the data available to you. Therefore, data-driven decision-making is an essential quality for any enterprise architect.
This process will help identify management systems, operating routes, and much more that will align with your enterprise-level goals. One of the primary sources of data for decision-making are the users themselves. Companies usually collect data from the users in the sessions and use that data to analyze user behavior.
As you collect more and more data, it will become equally difficult to analyze all that data. So it is essential to stay updated on the latest advancements in the data analysis field to use that information to grow your company further.
Being a data-driven decision-maker doesn't mean that you shouldn't take any risks at all. Instead, it means that you can take calculated risks by analyzing the data and preparing proper risk management strategies.
4. Technical Expertise
One thing every enterprise architect needs is technical expertise. The skill-set varies from industry to industry, but it's essential to maintain some technical expertise in your respective field. Having some technical expertise will give you a huge advantage over others who don't. In addition, the technical knowledge will help you understand how the work happens and what you need to get the work done.
Technical expertise will help you plan your strategies better and will aid you in identifying the optimal resource allocation plan.
5. Drive Innovation
Drive innovation is one of the few skills that became essential because of modernization. Since everyone has access to the same resources, companies are looking for some innovation in their strategies and plan to give themselves an edge in the market.
The demand for drive innovation will keep growing as the technology keeps advancing.
7 Ways to Build These Characteristics:
1. Be Customer Driven
Being customer-driven helps you create the best strategies for any business. A solution depends on several aspects, such as the requirements and demand. The best way to identify all the needs to build the perfect solution is by being customer-driven.
You will also be able to understand the needs much better when you're working with the customer in mind.
2. Data-Driven Approach
A data-driven approach is in which we use the data to identify several factors and make informed decisions. The data-driven approach is popularized by the rise of data science and analysis, making it much easier to analyze the collected data.
By following a data-driven approach, you can avoid many pitfalls like making impulse decisions, taking unnecessary risks, or spending on unused resources. Always ensure that the data is your primary source of making decisions.
3. Adopt Agility
Being an agile thinker is essential for every architect. Adopting agility is the only way you can do this. This may not be that easy for you, especially if you're not very flexible. However, adopting agility will give you the confidence that you can get out of any situation without a loss.
Adopting agility is not something you learn to do. It usually comes with experience. However, getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things may help you become more agile and creative.
4. Champion Communication Skills
As they say, communication skills are the key to any successful career. Having excellent communication skills will help you understand the situation better. You will also be able to communicate your ideas with your team in a more effective way.
Mastering communication skills will also give you a tremendous advantage, as you'll have to interact with many people when creating a product or a solution. Even though all forms of communication play equally important roles, excellent speaking skills can take you a long way. The best way to get better at communicating is by talking to more people and identifying your mistakes.
If you're too nervous to do that, there are several podcasts and shows available for free on the internet that can help you get better at communicating.
5. Modern Enterprise Architecture Tools
With all the advancements in the field, using modern tools is the only way to stay truly ahead of the competition. As an enterprise architect, you'll have to look at the big picture and this will often make you miss the minor changes in technology.
However, by using modern tools, you can ensure that your team only has the best tools to work with. After all, the one with the sharpest ax can cut more trees.
6. Stay on Top of Industry Trends
Industry trends don't change that often, so keeping up with them shouldn't be much of a problem. Ensure that you're always on top of the industry trends. This gives you both a technical and a managerial advantage. If you identify a change in the trend, you can take the steps to change plans and solutions to make them the best, even in the new market.
7. Continuous Improvement
Finally, continuous improvement is the only way you can keep your skill-set relevant and grow as an enterprise architect. This includes staying up-to-date with the tech, learning new skills as you go, and spending some time to improve your tactical skills.
Being an enterprise architect is not an easy job. You need to have a lot of experience and a thorough knowledge of the market. Along with that, the five skills we mentioned in the article are essential for anyone hoping to be an enterprise architect.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.