Thursday, April 12, 2007

Changing Role of Enterprise Architects

Being an Enterprise Architect, I always thought what value can I bring to the table to the organization?. I always have questions, Architect - as a position, How can it add value and command the business case for survival and growth?

There are lot of disruptors arising in the industry that influences the role of Architect, especially, the Enterprise Architect.

The key difference is, its not any more technology factor alone that can influence enterprise Architecture. Nowadays, there are lot of other non-technical factors as well trying to influence the role of EA.

Some of them are:

1. Changing Business Models because of Open Source, SaaS.
Companies are evaluating Open Source, SaaS not necessarily because of technical advantages but on economical advantages.

2. Offshoring/Outsourcing
Again, yet another economical factor, where the complete technical solution is outsourced / offshored to an external vendor. Some of the solutions are even contracted for longer-term for economical reasons. These solutions are typically out-and-out managed by the third-party vendor rather than an in-house EA.

3. Industrialization of IT
The big IT vendors are working on the lines of Software Factories/MDA/MDD to industrialize the software development. During my college days, in one of the workshops, I remember reading a poster that says "In future - there is no Programmer". Its mostly becoming true. Now, when I went to SFDC site, it says "There is no Software". Stunning, but a practical viewpoint.

If there is no software, what is the need for EA?. This might look like silly. But It certainly has implications.

In such cases, where the need of a software is more determined by the economical reasons, the technology takes a back seat. Every new technology that comes to the market, need to sell itself, needs to market itself, why it is so cool. The hard truth is - its is business that comes first and Technology comes behind. But, the scenario every EA and CIO want to hear is 'Business and IT comes together always'.

4. Innovation
The Innovation is no longer a fancy word. Its becoming survival in the hypercompetive world. you will have to be innovative in the way you are using solutions as well.

Some of these pressures apply to management positions as well. In the changing world, the managers always need to ensure there are ways to reduce cost and ensure growth.

The conclusion is, the EAs / Architects need to constantly look for new ways to grow their career path considering the above factors.

No comments: