Building the Right Enterprise Architecture Team for Better Digital Transformation Initiatives

July 21, 2022
Aaron Tan Dani

Building the Right Enterprise Architecture Team for Better Digital Transformation Initiatives

As emerging technologies continue to accelerate the collaboration between business and information technology (IT) leadership, more organisations are looking to adopt digital transformation as a key strategic goal. The COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened the demand for innovation among businesses, particularly those who are striving to stay relevant and stay viable. Organisations must understand more than simply how to use the tools available to them to accomplish a successful digital transformation implementation. They also need to get well-acquainted with all the important concepts of Business IT integration. Learn their jargon, then fit in and work effectively with Business and IT teams.

Professionals with digital abilities are in high demand as a result of digitalisation. This is now felt across many industries across sectors and not just those on the cutting edge of technology. Digital talent with the necessary abilities, such as business planning and digital collaboration, must leverage on new technologies and how they can be applied and supported throughout the digital transformation process. Enterprise Architects play a critical role in the entire journey. Enterprise Architects synchronise and coordinate the development of all business units' architectures to ensure that they all work together supported by the relevant tools and technology platforms. Enterprise Architects ensure that the technology fits and supports the business and not vice versa. They are the driving force behind digital transformation initiatives and the backbone of the organisation's digital business plans.

Enterprise Architects must have the knowledge and abilities to be relevant in the age of digital and business transformation in order to be successful. They must be able to describe an IT project as a business solution rather than a showcase of cutting-edge technology. They must be able to perceive things from several perspectives and recognize the values of technology investment for the client, the company, and all of its divisions. Enterprise Architects must be able to support future innovative plan while remaining pragmatic enough to complete day-to-day chores. These are important requirements, which is why Enterprise Architects are in high demand today. Ultimately, having Enterprise Architects in your organisation will be your competitive advantage and they can help you to set your digital transformation course.

The Right Core Digital EA Team

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A core digital Enterprise Architecture (EA) team of architects who own the success throughout the digital journey is at the heart of every successful digital effort. Each and every architect has their specific roles within in an organisation and Enterprise Architect is a general term used to describe the several different roles that an architect specialises in.

  • -Business Architect - A business trouble-shooter and a digital strategist that focuses on innovations in delivering new business capabilities.
  • -Information Architect - An information trouble-shooter and also a data strategist who designs the information structure to support business decision making process.
  • -Infrastructure Architect - An infrastructure trouble-shooter and also a technology strategist who owns the server topology, network infrastructure and datacentre environment to ensure business continuity plan to support the business.
  • -Software Architect - An application trouble-shooter and also a software strategist who applies design patterns principles to achieve connected application components and integrated software services to support the business.
  • -Solution Architect – An IT strategist who designs the solution architecture and implements architecture compliance and governance tasks to ensure the alignment of system development and implementation to support the business.

For EA team to be successful and effective in driving digital transformation activities, they must be supported by the management team with a broad view of the business and industry landscape. The head of the core digital EA team should be well-versed with the organisation’s operations and stakeholders’ management. They should also be well-versed in new-age technologies and capable of people management. This skill is essential to persuade board members, manage people, politics and cultural change and align the digital transformation concepts to the entire organisation. Hands-on practitioners of various technologies and business units make up the core digital EA team. To develop the EA team effectively, organisations either needs to hire new employees or re-skill existing employees. Organisations must familiarise their people with new initiatives and give a chance to their existing employees by looking to change the course of their career. This will require extensive training programs and courses based on the new EA skills required by the organisation.

Many government authorities and associations such as Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) are working together to assist local organisations to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives through programmes like Digital Leaders Programme (DLP) and allowing them to develop innovative business models and capture new growth opportunities by putting in place the digital team structure. In addition, the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF) and IMDA are also working with the local training providers to encourage local workforce to upskill and reskill with the EA skillsets in order to adapt and grow in the digital era through training schemes like IBF Standards Training Scheme (IBF-STS) and Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme Plus (CITREP+).

The key success of digital transformation is based entirely on putting the right Enterprise Architects team structure that will drive the culture and play a key role in realising the digital strategy. It's therefore critical to assemble a long-term core digital EA team that is capable of implementing, maintaining, and sustaining the digital transformation initiatives. A high-performing team will consist of a mix of experienced Enterprise Architects who know your business and technology relationship in and out, as well as new team members who can bring a fresh perspective of innovation to the table when it comes to integrating business and technology.

ATD Solution is one of the training providers that offers digitalisation solutions specifically in Enterprise Architecture certifications from IASA and The Open Group.  90% IBF Standards Training Scheme (IBF-STS) course fee subsidy for self-sponsored individuals (Singaporean and Singapore PR) and company-sponsored individuals (Singapore-based financial Institutions and FinTech firms) till 31 December 2021. Training Grant Allowance is available for eligible companies. Retrain and upskill newly hired employees with IASA Enterprise Architecture Certification Courses. Malaysian companies can claim up to RM5,000/pax training subsidy and 40% of employee's monthly salary for 6 months upon completed EA courses under the MDEC MYWiT program.

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