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Enterprise Architect-Key Asset for Mitigating Business Complexity

By CIOReview | Monday, February 20, 2017

As complexity around business operations and processes grows, the role of enterprise architect (EA) becomes more significant in terms of enterprise-wide strategy, processes, and information technology assets planning. Typically, EA deals with IT leadership and domain experts and designs a comprehensive view of organizational strategy, processes, and technological tools and assets. Memberships of IT Governance Committee, Architecture Strategy group, and Architecture Review Board give impetus to EA in realizing his vision and in delivering the enterprise architecture that fulfills the business needs. However, with rapid variance in operational needs, creating sustainable business processes remains a challenge. Subsequently, the software architecture that encompasses the transactions, needs to be re-envisioned and redefined for quick incorporation of the processes.

Should the decision making process of EAs need to be fine-tuned?

EAs have to focus on multiple factors that constitute the enterprise architecture, which is inclusive of IT plan and organizational set of rules. Organizational scheme involving policies, standards, and reference models and IT strategy encompasses future state of the architecture, analysis of the current state, and preparing organization for the transformation. To sum up, EAs hold superficial view of the underlying processes and subsystems that underpin the enterprise architecture.

Also, there exists a communication gap among EAs, domain experts, and developers who posses in-depth knowledge and apply extensive efforts to address the challenges. The siloed efforts of EAs, domain experts, and developers lead to late-lifecycle changes in project lifecycle, which may pose risk of making the system architecture obsolete. As the organizations are largely focused on executing transactions, the software, which perform the pertinent tasks, they need to be continuously revised and updated. A change in response to parameters that ensure the execution of a transaction may orchestrate a chain of events, cast a significant impact on the working of the software at lower level, and expose the enterprise architecture at the higher level. There can be scenarios, which have not been envisioned by the programmers, software architects, and EAs, but may impel businesses to adopt crucial changes in the software to eventually maintain the usability of the system. The modern day enterprises allocate the resources and software to complete a gamut of transactions, thus categorically enterprise is an entity that performs an extensive range of transactions.

The crucial need of this hour is for EAs is to broaden the scope of their work and give due consideration to the underlying events that affect the enterprise. A spate of measures can save an enterprise from probable debacle. As transactions and business processes are divided according to domain areas like security, information etc. and incorporating the insights of domain experts will be helpful to resurrect the software architecture and eventually the enterprise architecture. The combined efforts of domain experts and EAs will not only align the software with the business objectives but will also bring cohesion among different parts of an enterprise. The programmers can also be participants in this discussion to mend the intricacies of the software. The knowledge transfer amongst all the stakeholders will also ensure the success of the enterprise architecture. EAs should also try to design the architecture that will optimally fulfill the requirements of all stakeholders in the organization.

What are the next steps to be followed?

All steps leading to architecture development should be documented. This measure will help to expedite the process of the future architecture build up. At the end of the day, EAs are in the driver’s seat in taking the organization’s progress further.