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Why you need an enterprise architect

Sharon Florentine | May 19, 2017
Large organizations are increasingly turning to enterprise architects to help bridge the divide between IT and the business and drive digital transformation.

That requires a combination of skills, from network administration to cloud to traditional systems administrator capabilities, Parsons says. In addition, someone in an enterprise architect role should be proficient in systems thinking, strategic thinking, project management, IT governance and operations, and project management skills, as well as extensive hardware and software knowledge, says Upwork's Pearson.

When it comes to necessary skills, 67 percent of the IDG Research respondents say strategic thinking expertise is key to their success in the enterprise architect role, while 56 percent cite business savvy as a key capability.


Being bilingual

In addition, 88 percent of respondents indicate that the need to be "bilingual" -- or, to communicate in terms that both IT and non-IT stakeholders can understand -- is a highly important objective. Understanding business context is also very important, with 85 percent of respondents saying there is a need to educate themselves about various siloed business problems across the organization. In fact, respondents report they spent an average of nine hours each week just getting themselves up to speed on business needs.

Most respondents, 81 percent, say that the enterprise architect role is rising in importance, and most are happy in their role, the research shows. Nearly two-thirds, 64 percent, say they would be happy to remain in their current role for the next twelve to 24 months; the research suggests that's because of the opportunity to "beneficially change the way [their]organization views IT," and that they "have originated ideas that have directly impacted the business model or go-to-market strategy," according to the research respondents.

As digital transformation continues to change the technology landscape, these roles will become even more important to bridge the digital divide.


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