Enterprise Architect Demand in Financial Services Industry
COVID-19 came crashing in with a guaranteed recession across the world, it has impacted all industries, causing everyone struggles to recover the economy. The pandemic has limited regular employment and business operations which lead to hiring freezes, loss of jobs, stretched out of all businesses and so on. The global lockdown immediately exposed the subtle matters, showing the limitation of business processes and technological immaturity. This also has made many financial services institutions seem vulnerable.
Transforming Digital Financial Services industry
The time has come for financial services institutions to speed up on digital transformation and get their current IT landscape ready for digital future. They need to re-adjust their digital strategies to confront the uncertainty that may affect the ongoing execution processes. Digital Enterprise Architecture (Digital EA) can help enhancing the maturity of their core business capabilities, and facilitate in creating new capabilities that deliver a seamless and connected digital experience to the customers. This requires subject matter experts to analyse, assess, plan and transform the entire organisation and services digitally. Enterprise architects as the Digital Transformer can significantly support in these areas by adopting and adapting the best fit EA strategies and practices into the institution.
Today, many financial services institutions realise that they need to backfill business and technology critical positions in order to survive and thrive over the next few years due to the new transformation challenges brought by the lockdown. For this reason, enterprise architecture roles have become essential and will be in high demand to assist in architecting digital transformation.
A Diverse Set of Roles is Needed
According to Singapore Business Review, in Singapore, some of the financial services institutions are dedicated to hiring people with digital skills as many existing roles have evolved into technology roles. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is urging financial services institutions to grow the local talent pool. Many local and foreign financial services institutions have already begun supporting their employees in reskilling and redeployment into new roles as an initiative to take a longer-term view in investing in their capabilities. Around 25 local and foreign financial institutions have committed to support close to 5,000 employees in reskilling and redeployment into new roles, such as Development Bank of Singapore Limited (DBS) and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) have dedicated in hiring more than 2,000 and 3,000 people respectively, recruiting talents who are able to realise and create opportunities in the digital banking solutions. Another financial services institution in Singapore, United Overseas Bank (UOB), is assisting individuals to secure new technology roles in the financial industry through Singapore’s Technology in Finance Immersion Program (TFIP) which currently has the highest number of trainees. Despite of the uncertain times, there are still many EA job openings as depicted in the chart below.
Figure 1: Numbers of EA Jobs Opening in Singapore as at 14th August 2020
While in Malaysia, the central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), has issued the Risk Management in IT (RMiT) https://www.bnm.gov.my/index.php?ch=57&pg=543&ac=816&bb=file that has made it mandatory for 120+ financial services in Malaysia to establish an Enterprise Architecture Framework (EAF) that provides a holistic view of technology throughout the financial institution. The EAF is an overall technical design and high-level plan that describes the financial institution’s technology infrastructure, systems’ interconnectivity and security controls. The EAF facilitates the conceptual design and maintenance of the network infrastructure, related technology controls and policies, and serves as a foundation on which financial institutions plan and structure system development and acquisition strategies to meet business goals.
With this pushed factor from the regulatory bodies, the demand of EA jobs will surge since many financial services institutions are aware of the importance of digital business in order stay relevant and they required candidates who understand the impact of business and IT integration and other skills that describe as an Enterprise Architect. There will be more and more demand to come with the current situation. However, without the right certifications, skillsets and experience, these roles are hard to fill. There are very few local talents in this area and foreign talents could no longer be recruited into the nation due to global lockdown and visa restrictions. This has urged many to take up new skills to fulfill the roles required by the financial services industry.
EA Certification plays an important part in starting the lucrative career journey as an Enterprise Architect. It is important to be familiarised with EA inside out when considering to take up an EA role. This role does not necessarily call people from IT as EA, it can be either business or technical. Those who understand the arts and science behind delivering value in technology strategy for business will be able to drive continuous transformation in the financial services industry. Thus, individuals with EA skillset who can comprehend thoroughly in both business and technology areas and able to make recommendations and provide advice on business technologies are highly demanded in the financial services industry.
Author: Aaron Tan Dani
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