How To Leverage Enterprise Architects As CXO Advisors

July 21, 2022
Sudhir Pai

How To Leverage Enterprise Architects As CXO Advisors

In recent times, we have seen an increase in conversations on enterprise architecture. This is driven primarily by the increase in digital adoption across businesses, with cloud, AI and ML technology taking a front seat in various discussions.

The ability to quickly gauge the relevance of various technologies in the business vision is becoming imperative for organizations. Although organizations realize the importance of enterprise architecture, there is a general lack of understanding of the role of enterprise architects and the value they bring to the organization.

The Role Of Enterprise Architects

Enterprise architects work across an organization with various business units to build synergies between the technology and business to drive favorable outcomes. It is a complex role that involves helping the enterprise respond to the ever-changing environment and disruptive forces.

An enterprise architect identifies requirements for change and, using architecture principles and frameworks, maps transformations according to an enterprise’s business vision to deliver value. By staying on top of the latest trends and technologies, enterprise architects are constantly on the lookout for ways to make business processes more efficient.

The Value That Enterprise Architects Provide In The Evolving Digital World

My conversations and experience with company leaders have shown me that most believe enterprise architects are key contributors to the successful realization of innovation efforts. In fact, by 2023, the results of a Gartner study indicate that 60% of organizations will depend on the enterprise architect’s role to lead their business approach to digital innovation.

Enterprise architects create holistic transparency and expertise across all layers, from business to IT and infrastructure landscapes. They also proactively identify the potential for optimization when it comes to business models and processes. The most important value that enterprise architects bring to the table is overseeing technology selection and the design of solution architecture. This showcases the increasing importance of enterprise architecture in shaping the agenda of CXOs (chief experience officers).

Enterprise architects take a holistic approach in design, planning, implementation and KPI measurement. They are able to fully understand the business strategy and identify needed changes, as well as additional technological capabilities that are required. They not only identify the requirements but can plan and implement them. This is done by being cognizant of the organizational strategy, business environment, stakeholder interests, constraints and risks. Finally, they ensure that the relevant outcomes are achieved or if course corrections are needed. They have an overarching view of the capabilities of an organization, making them the perfect advisors for CXOs.

How To Leverage Enterprise Architects To Drive Innovation

• Shift to customer-centricity: Shift enterprise architecture to a more customer-centric or business-centric discipline, enabling enterprise architects to focus more on the needs of the business and its customers. It is important to understand the impact of new technologies on existing business processes, and a customer-centric approach provides a holistic view of the impact.

• Foster proactive involvement in digital transformation: Enterprise architects should not be limited to documenting the ever-changing IT landscape. Engaging enterprise architects early in the business not only provides the opportunity to gain from their advice on new and relevant technologies but also to employ holistic solutions, with enterprise architects taking accountability.

• Facilitate training and certification: With the ever-evolving digital landscape, it is important for enterprise architects to constantly ramp up their skills and keep in touch with the new and emerging technologies. Training enterprise architects in agility is another important factor to be considered by organizations to truly leverage them in leading transformations.

• Have measurable KPIs: Clearly define your KPIs so that enterprise architecture outcomes are measurable to facilitate quick course corrections. These KPIs should be continuously measured and communicated.

In today’s dynamic world, enterprise architects should strategically prepare themselves with the necessary skills and expertise to readily adopt new guidelines and deliver timely outcomes They must balance the business vision with new technologies to maximize returns and impact. Organizations should stop limiting the responsibilities and reach of enterprise architects and actively work toward transforming them into trusted business advisors by empowering them with both business and technology understanding.

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