The role of an IT leader has evolved through the years, as technology makes its way to the forefront of the modern business world. As the need for effective IT increases in an organization, so must its ability to meet the needs and goals of the business. However, aligning two incredibly diverse organizations (the business and IT) is much easier said than done.
This responsibility often falls on the shoulders of the IT department, which may have limited insight into business goals and strategies, nor the proper infrastructure to make their goals a reality.
Navigating such a complicated relationship takes more than the average leader to succeed. That’s why many organizations are enlisting the expertise of an Enterprise Architect to guide their journey through digital transformation and beyond. If you’re looking for a better way to get your business on track, here are three reasons to consider an Enterprise Architect.
1. Bridging the Gap Between Business and IT
The first and most important characteristic of an Enterprise Architect (EA) is that they can understand both sides of the business. A good EA will usually have a technical background and sound understanding of the IT department, while also balancing valuable business acumen. According to Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software, this could include anything from network administration and cloud capabilities to project management, strategic thinking, IT governance, and more. This combination of skills and technical know-how allow the EA to speak in ways that both sides of the business can understand.
In addition, Enterprise Architects can provide valuable insight that might not be available from within the organization itself. Leaders on both sides of the business (while experienced in their own right) are often siloed in their departments and unable to see the full picture. An Enterprise Architect offers a valuable outside perspective to evaluate the pain points in the company and ways they can achieve true business value.
In many cases, the EA acts as a sort of translator, communicating the needs of either party to the other side, and explaining what must be done to help their initiatives align. With this valuable mediator in place, you can elevate the conversation and business goals and map out real plans to make them happen.
2. Increased Efficiency & Cost Savings
Disconnect between IT and the business is more than just frustrating-- it’s also expensive. With two departments running in two different directions, you’re bound to end up with setbacks, pivoting priorities, and wasted time on projects that distract from true business objectives.
While these deep-rooted patterns are hard to break, many companies waste more time maintaining outdated systems than they would upgrading to faster, more efficient software. Not to mention, without a clear direction, business leaders may invest countless sums of money in a direction IT is not equipped to run.
"EA Works to bridge the gap between strategy and execution by delivering business outcome-focused roadmaps, models, and frameworks that enable balanced and informed investment decisions."
- Aragon Research, 2019
According to Aragon Research, the role of EA is to “[deliver] business-outcome focused roadmaps that enable balanced and informed investment decisions”. This roadmap often includes infrastructure and tools that will help work get done more quickly and cost-effectively.
The sooner your team can start using efficient software, the sooner they can stop wasting money supporting outdated systems and start allocating time toward true business objectives.
3. Transformation Now and In the Future
Those who rule the tech industry know that if you’re not evolving, you’re quickly falling behind. For many organizations, the need for an Enterprise Architect stems from the realization that if they’re going to survive, they’ll need to transform.
While digital transformation is a popular buzz word, it is incredibly hard to achieve without the right leadership and guidance. The proper structure must be in place for IT to operate efficiently, and business plans must be created with technology in mind.
The right Enterprise Architect can support this transition through the many unique aspects it requires. By working hand in hand with the business and IT departments, the right plans can be created, infrastructure set in place, and efficiency achieved to help the business innovate, serve their customers, and stay relevant far into the future.
Though often overlooked, an Enterprise Architect could be the difference to achieving your business objectives and surviving the digital age. If one or more of these points resonated with you, it’s time you sat down with an expert.
Schedule a free expert hour to talk to find out how an Enterprise Architect could make the difference for your business.
Aaron Tan Dani, "Why Do We Need Enterprise Architecture in Digital Transformation?" IASA Global, accessed August 15, 2019, https://iasaglobal.org/why-do-we-need-enterprise-architecture-in-digital-transformation/
Calvin Smith, "[Infographic] Understanding Enterprise Architecture in 2019," Aragon Research, June 21, 2019, accessed August 15, 2019, https://aragonresearch.com/infographic-understanding-enterprise-architecture-in-2019/
Sharon Florentine, "Why You Need an Enterprise Architect," CIO, May 18, 2019, accessed August 15, 2019, https://www.cio.com/article/3197390/why-you-need-an-enterprise-architect.html