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What is the role of a business architect in a company?

Recently, there has been a frequent mention of the role of the Enterprise Architect . I decided to delve into the topic and came across a bit of a messy, but quite interesting discussion at the round table, what is it or who is such an “Enterprise Architect”. Perhaps our colleagues in the shop look a bit one-sidedly at the role of “Enterprise Architect” exclusively by IT, but the discussion is in any case useful.

The panel discussion, moderated by Dana Gardner , chief analyst at Interarbor Solutions, began with the statement:

- The need for business architects is now more acute than ever, but at the same time, attempts to turn business architecture into a profession do not necessarily lead to an increase in confidence in such specialists and their adoption, at least for now.
Roundtable participants, Jeanne Ross , director and lead researcher at MIT Center for Information Systems Research, Dave Hornford, chief business architecture specialist at Integritas Solutions and chairman of The Open Group Architecture Forum, and Len Feskens, vice president of skills and abilities development The Open Group helped formulate the following:

- How to transform IT from mysterious skill into a developed and structured science and how business architects have a unique opportunity to anticipate the concept of business architecture and thus influence business flexibility.

According to Lena Feskens , business architecture is now, from the point of view of mass consciousness, on the same positions as now full-fledged professions like medicine or law 200-300 years ago. There is not only certification, but the body of this science itself is characterized, first of all, by the very particular nature of knowledge:

- We are now at about the same stage as the lawyers were at one time, the demand for which rested on secret knowledge and procedures that are known only to them and because of the ignorance of which you were shaking at the thought of a trial. Or here are the doctors who say: “Contact our clinic, because only we understand the treatment of this particular disease.”

Both Ross and Hornford agree that the stakes are now very high. An IT strategy is becoming increasingly important, and a well-designed architecture would have a positive effect on a company's ability to play in the market.

Ross also noted:

“The architect’s role is to provide a holistic vision ... Thus, the architect will have to coordinate the current aspects of the organization, anticipate or create new ones, and such activities are not just technology ... this art is the ability to foresee the development of the organization in the long run ... it seems to us that more innovation than anything else.

Based on the above, Hornford suggested that a successful business architecture should focus on business value. According to him, various organizations can understand business value in different ways:

- Everything should be based on what goals a particular business has set itself. How do you see him, what is his mission? Those who do business should be clear about what will be at the final stage, what is business transformation and how “digital assets” - in fact, IT assets - are able to create the conditions for achieving goals. All this is necessary for the business to develop more efficiently than its competitors do.

From this point of view, the fundamental requirement for the company's business architect is the ability to be a leader, without actually having anything:

- If you do not have leadership skills, then the rest will have little effect on it ... If you do not run a business and are not ready to take the risk of being a leader, transformation will be impossible. One of the barriers to the development of the architect's profession is the lack of readiness of the carriers of this profession to the risks of leadership.

In continuation of the discussion on the issue of the future value of business architects, Feskens stated:

“Ultimately, the influence of a business architect comes from his ability to articulate the high potential value of the architecture as a whole, as well as for a particular architect in a particular situation ... This is one of the main problems that business architects face from the technical environment. They can talk about the features and functions, but forget to voice the benefits.

The architect is required to: ensure that their activities and the architecture they have created meets the requirements and goals; An architect's approach to solving problems at the level of architecture means that flexibility and cost reduction are, in general, not short-term requirements. First of all, they are an important component of the business architecture itself as a need.

Ross warned that the potential value of a business is not always immediately available — it usually happens in perspective:

- It may take time for the natural transition to a new structure to take place after the architect announced the advantages of a certain information technology. In fact, perhaps, in many organizations it happens this way: the transition was not due to the fact that they were going to become more flexible - it happened because they announced their intention to work better and better every day.

Gardner drew a line under the discussion as follows:

“If we return to the very essence of what is required of an architect, it will be an understanding of the value of the business and how this value is conveyed to our clients.

The role of business architects in companies changes over time. If 20 years ago, few people knew what the architects are doing, but today many companies consider the architecture of an enterprise as the foundation of its efficiency. The responsibilities of architects have changed significantly - from technical responsibilities (super developer) to business architecture and leadership. This profession continues to experience changes, and it still remains a mystery what course it will take by the end of the current day.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/102327/

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