Title of the Profession
Thought our readers would be interested in some of the views from practicing architects. 95% have more than 12 years experience.
It's fairly obvious that there are holes in the understanding of what an architect is (or the overarching concept of technology architecture is altogether) among clients of architects. This might stem from a majority of topical issues/concerns within the immediate scope of their view. Many (but not all) engagements from my experience point away from the quick-win or the quick-fix set of solutions but instead to business-wide systemic practices.
It's more relevant to talk to clients about which domain the transformation is affecting together with the business outcome and any relevant culture and process changes needed for a positive outcome.
I think we should move away from inventing new architect titles and coming up with new definitions the titles. Instead, we should call ourselves things that make sense outside the profession, such as solution responsible or scrum master.
A Enterprise Architecture team consists of Business architects, Solution Architects and IT Architects. Information architects and Process Architects are specialization within Business Architecture, Information Technology (IT) is becoming a legacy term. IT is so much of a commodity that is just "pure" business. But at the moment we have nothing better, I guess. I think that will be a matter of change in the near future.
I chose 'The Business Technology Architecture Profession' as the title for the overall profession because an architect cannot be effective in their job without having some influence and knowledge of both the IT and business domains.
Domains of information architecture have grown up independently, often constrained by a parent corporate or agency specialization and agenda, along the lines spoken about by CPSnow in his r view of the effects of compartmentalization. This organization would have opportunity now to bridge gaps and define many terms more usefully.
Employers, Clients basically the people who fund the works of an architect poorly understand the role. Expectations and deliveries have rifts which cause the profession questioned time and again. Rather than getting into the nuances of terminology, we should all affiliate to the term Architect and continue planning, designing and supervising the construction of our solutions. To convince the stakeholders who support us financially (Clients via Employers) we should represent a forum and worldwide idea of this profession. In my humble belief no architect should ever restrain from the noble act of construction even though the person is involved in higher abstractions of the solution.
Any additional qualification to "architect", be it information, business, enterprise etc., is potentially a source for misunderstandings. When we would leave these qualifications out, we are left with "architect", which raises another confusion with the physical architects who are responsible for our buildings etc. Therefore I would prefer the general qualification "digital" in order to make the difference with the physical architect. A "digital architect" can be defined clearly, is distinct from the physical architect. For "internal" communications the other qualifications can be continued, e.g. "digital information architect", "digital business architect", "digital solution architect" etc.
I find that most organizations use the term Architect with many different meanings. What one client may expect as an Architect is a super developer while others are looking for a strategist. There is no consistency in the market place.
I think the title 'Enterprise Architect' is all encompassing and all bodies of knowledge can fall under this title. So the title on a business card could go something like 'Enterprise Architect...(I)' or 'Enterprise Architect....(S)'. Where 'I' designates a concentration in Infrastructure and 'S' designates a concentration in Software. Just my 2 cents!!!
Firstly, there was an error in this survey, which forced me to choose an option for question 3, despite wanting to provide my own alternative. As a result, I was forced to choose "Does not matter" despite the fact that it does not represent my opinion. I've chosen a title that recognizes a distinction between the three major groups within the scope of IASA's remit. This could be reduced if, for instance, IASA was to concentrate on a subset of the architecture discipline, such as handing off responsibility for Business Architecture to an organisation such as IIBA. Without that sort of radical change, I feel Business, Enterprise and Technology are sufficient to provide coverage of all of the sub-domains, recognizing that some Information, Application, Solution and Infrastructure Architects may not be happy. It also provides the acronym BETA, which could be viewed negatively, but also allows for easy memory should the name change and/or related material have an accompanying marketing campaign. I hope my thoughts are of use.
People are confused mainly between Enterprise Architect and the rest of the specialized architects. Some feel that Enterprise Architect is higher than IT Architect. However, personally I feel that IT architect title is their specialization while enterprise architect is more suitable for those who is in the Enterprise Architect Office.
My view is that our community is IT and we need to stay close to that for now. We can add our specialisms e.g. IT Architect - Software, IT Architect - Infrastructure, IT Architect - Enterprise, IT Architect - Business Strategy etc. While I like the term enterprise architect very few architects are doing that that job in its truest form and IT is only one part of it, however important. And we have enough on our hands clarifying what an IT architect does, in all of its different flavours, for the moment.
Business Professionals and their strategists have lack of clarity in understanding value benefits â€“ Is IT Worth the investment or is IT a cost center? Their priority focus is in improving supply chain or customer retention and product innovation based on economics and market dynamics for a profitable growth.
- The value of dedicated Business strategists and domain modelers are not very recognized in organizations. They are not easily available in the market . Few internal drivers are executing this role, in each of their own methods within their area. They are unable to perceive an enterprise wide impact on any changes to their domain, for e.g. Customer acquisition, product innovation, billing, marketing etc, on overall landscape of enterprises. Technology Professionals and their strategists are in a silo of their own. They lack in understanding the business, to provide value. These professionals are more focused on software or â€˜wareâ€™ sale with newer hype terms â€“ SOA, BPM, Cloud, Big Data to name a few, which business are not able to comprehend how it benefits them.
- The art of Enterprise Architecture is in an IT wrap, rather than an enterprise value. There are few experts who provide solutions to domain issues through architectural transformation, which are tactical in nature. This is limited to Vendor product suites or limited to domains. Applicability of this to cross functional domain solutions, purely enterprise are rare with a transformation or strategic approach.
- Even if direction to adopt right technology is provided, implementation partners do not seem to understand how best to execute, especially transformation program. There is lack of strategists group who understand Business to direct or deliver best value from technology, more so in Information technology. This is often driven by knowledge shared by IT vendors with conflict of interest in directing business to adopt the right technology
Keep it simple
Too many conversations by companies selling products whom themselves do not understand the various architecture types.
Recruiters do not understand the various architecture types when advertising positions - often a Soln Arch is advertised for an App Arch role.
Dev role are considered a commodity role, so to maintain relevance for on-premise roles, they've been adopting architecture titles exacerbating the confusion for recruiters.
No statutory body in each country that can formally articulate the roles consistent across the IT industry, and is responsible for certification thus anyone with experience can call themselves an architect in IT.
Multiple frameworks can be used at various architecture levels, but some are more IT aligned even though they are presented for use at a higher level.
The maturity of Enterprise/IT architecture in different countries or regions around the world is different, despite architect has the experience and skills, this situation face the architect with challenges almost impossible to resolve. In my experience many companies think only one architect is enough to attend an overwhelming demand of projects and a complex IT landscape, so, what is wrong? the company? Does the architect need a new job? can the body of knowledge offer some advices to tackle these situations?
For some reason I need to select two options on question 3. I think the overall profession should be titled - The IT architecture profession
Enterprise Architecture is defined within US federal legislation as a discipline very different than software architecture. These terms are not interchangeable.