Description

Strategy is any plan or method for achieving a particular goal or overall aim usually over a long period of time. While technology strategy is the overall plan consists of objectives, principles and tactics related to use and development of the technologies within a particular organization. Usually written down in a document, it can be implied from the organization’s behaviors towards technology decisions which in the end confer advantage(s) to our organization.

Like any other strategy out there, it should be written and capitalized SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) as the main approach.

On the other hand, innovation is the activity or process of introducing new or improved things such as an idea, concept or method. Therefore, technology innovation is the activity or process which new or improved technologies are developed and introduced.

Overview

Why does an architect need this skill?

The Architect requires this skill in order to ensure technology strategy and innovation always align with business and organization goals at large as well as refer to the organization overall Enterprise Architecture. What’s needed is high-level view of logical architecture of Information Technology systems, high-level view of physical architecture of Information Technology systems and business understanding.

At the end of the day, the Architect shall be able to describe the makeup and structure of a business, know how to work with non-IT stakeholders and created technology strategies that influence a line of business or the entire business.

Common tasks involved in this skill?

The Architect will contribute IT and business value to achieve business and organization goals and objectives by leveraging particular skills and knowledge associated with technology strategy and innovation:

  • Logical analysis
  • Skill and knowledge of technology strategy
  • Knowledge of strategic planning
  • Knowledge of technology innovation
  • Visioning of emerging technologies
  • Knowledge of business fundamentals and its strategy
  • Knowledge of budget and investment management

What is their ownership in this skill?

The responsibility of the Architect often depends on the size of the organization, number of functions and entities such as department and division in particular. Putting this under the spotlight, often times Architect might be requested to give inputs to the development, improvement and enhancement of technology strategy plan. On top of that, Architect might want to capitalize his/her visioning skill of technology innovation so later on he/she could articulate, accommodate and adopt it into his current and future architecture as well as provide technology innovation for business objectives.

How is this skill used by the architect in daily activities?

The Architect would be expected to be able to:

  • Support technology executives and management with insights, guidance and advices in developing, improving and or enhancing technology strategy plan as an integral part of the organization strategy plan.
  • To ensure that their technology strategy actually supports their current business environment.
  • To effectively engage with other business owners.
  • Be a Subject Matter Expert in current and future trends in technology driven by the government or the industry for the organization.
  • Identify, adopt and drive technology innovation within the existing, transition and future architecture.
  • Identify, analyze and recommend the most worth-doing architectural and or technological change as the consequence of accommodating technology strategy and innovation.
  • Identify, analyze and propose future and transition architecture aligned with the directions revealed in technology strategy plan.

Proven Practices

Describe why an architect should be involved in this skill at a corporate level

The Architect is often requested by the management and executives particularly CIO, technology and business top management to give input and feedback on the development, improvement and enhancement of technology strategy plan in which IT and business alignment to meet organizational goals and IT contribution to improve organizational performance should be reflected in the plan.

With Architect involvement, the organization could expect a great number of advantages and benefits such as the success of IT to deliver value, good understanding of IT by business executives, clear vision with respect to IT, same worldviews of business executives and technology specialists, proper shared vision in relation to IT.

Through the Architect vision on technology innovation, he/she might want to identify, assess, analyze and in the end decide which emerging technology suitable for the organization to deploy and derive the benefits of at its most including the logical analysis to manage the impact of architectural changes.

Primary push back and/or challenges for architects

As an Architect it is challenging to balance the concerns between technology strategy, technology innovation and the concerns of architecture. We, as an Architect, always want to develop the best possible architecture but at the same time we may be constrained by the time, budget, resources, organization policies, laws, regulations, architectural concerns, process, tool, decision and framework whenever trying to fulfill requirements of the technology strategy plan and when trying to accommodate evolving technologies out there into our organization.

Another important push back to consider at is the Architect ability to convince and influence the business to adopt and widespread technology both strategy and innovation aspects. In particular when there is a cost associated with it and whenever IT is often perceived and seen as a Cost Center.

Moreover, Architects do not architect the business. They provide the technology strategy underpinnings to any successful business capability.

How would a stakeholder engage an architect for assistance utilizing this skill?

Stakeholders can engage with the Architect at any stage in technology strategy plan from the development, improvement, enhancement and execution. Even in management review, when executives and top management are keen to explore the opportunity to adopt emerging, proven technologies to boost their organization performance or enhance their competitiveness in the industry.

As an Architect, we are expected to be able to define a business objective, match technology to the business objectives of a project, identify a technology strategy that positively affects the entire organization, and lead the executive sponsors and business managers in defining IT strategy.

Sub-Capabilities

Strategy Planning

Define organization strategy plan that aligned with the business goals, objectives and directions by leading executive sponsors, business managers and other stakeholders throughout the development.

The IT architect should have an understanding of the components of a sound architecture strategy and be able to evaluate a business problem and identify an appropriate technology direction.

Iasa Certification Level Learning Objective
CITA- Foundation
  • The Learner shall be able to identify the organization strategy and its strategic plan
  • The Learner shall know the organization environment such as their mission, vision, business, goals, objectives and directions
  • The Learner shall comprehend Enterprise Strategy Model (ESM) to represent the organization situation accurately and realistically for both past and future views
CITA – Associate
  • The Learner shall be able to describe the contents of a strategic plan as well as explain why these are important to an entire organization
  • The Learner shall be able to identify ESM tools such as Business Motivation Modeling (BMM) and Business Model Canvas
  • The Learner shall be able to describe the roles and responsibilities in an organizational structure including functions, entities, divisions, departments and groups
  • The Learner shall have practical exposure to involve or assist development of strategic plan for small organization
CITA – Specialist
  • The Learner shall have work experience in assisting the development of an organization’s strategic plan
  • The Learner shall have work experience in leveraging ESM with BMM and Business Model Canvas
  • The Learner shall be able to demonstrate how to develop an organization’s strategic plan
  • The Learner shall be aware how an organization’s strategic plan affect current and future IT requirements and architecture
CITA – Professional
  • The Learner can demonstrate experience of strategy planning for large organization
  • The Learner shall be able to demonstrate experience of development strategy planning utilizing ESM approach for large organization
  • The Learner has the ability to mentor other IT Architect
  • The Learner is able to support stakeholders in defining business objective and business model for development of an organization’s strategic plan
  • The Learner shall understand how IT can make strategic decisions to assist in implementing an organization’s strategic plan

Technology Strategy

Define technology strategy plan as known as IT Strategic Plan that aligned with the business goals, objectives, directions, and more importantly with the organization’s strategic plan that positively affects the entire organization by leading executive sponsors, business managers and other stakeholders throughout the development.

Iasa Certification Level Learning Objective
CITA- Foundation
  • The Learner shall be able to identify the technology strategy and its strategic plan
  • The Learner shall know the organization technology environment and functions such as their roles, responsibilities, objectives, goals and directions
  • The Learner shall comprehend the organization technology tactical and operational plan
CITA – Associate
  • The Learner shall be able to describe the contents of a IT strategic plan as well as explain why these are important to IT function and moreover entire organization
  • The Learner shall have practical exposure to involve or assist development of IT strategic plan for small organization
CITA – Specialist
  • The Learner shall have work experience in assisting the development of an IT strategic plan for large organization
  • The Learner shall be aware how an IT strategic plan affect current and future IT requirements and architecture
CITA – Professional
  • The Learner can demonstrate experience of developing IT strategy planning for large organization
  • The Learner is able to assess and manage the impact(s) of new IT requirements and architectural changes
  • The Learner is able to suggest insights, opinion and advice in the IT strategic plan’s role and influence onto an organization strategic plan

Technology Innovation

Provide technology innovation by keeping abreast of technology current and latest developments, as well as identifying, assessing, selecting, proposing and deploying emerging technologies to meet organization and business objectives and goals.

Iasa Certification Level Learning Objective
CITA- Foundation
  • The Learner shall be able to identify the current and latest trends in technology
CITA – Associate
  • The Learner shall be able to assess and select the emerging technologies that suitable to meet organization and business objectives and goals
  • The Learner shall have practical exposure to involve or assist the assessment and selection of emerging technologies for small organization
CITA – Specialist
  • The Learner shall have work experience in assessing and selecting emerging technologies for large organization
  • The Learner shall be aware how selected technology will affect legacy and future architecture
  • The Learner shall be aware how to show value proposition of a technology innovation
CITA – Professional
  • The Learner can demonstrate experience of proposing selected technology as business case for projects that provide value to a large organization
  • The Learner can demonstrate experience of deploying selected technology for a large organization
  • The Learner is able to assess the dependency and impact(s) of accommodating new technology into existing architecture and future architecture.
  • The Learner is able to manage the dependency and impact(s) of architectural changes
  • The Learner is able to demonstrate value proposition of a technology innovation to convince and influence the business to adopt and widespread the technology

Resources

Articles:

Strategic Plan Template: What To Include In Yours

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davelavinsky/2013/10/18/strategic-plan-template-what-to-include/

What is a Technology Strategy?

https://canvas.upenn.edu/courses/608921/pages/what-is-a-technology-strategy

Anatomy of an IT Strategic Plan

http://www.cio.com/article/2437285/business-alignment/anatomy-of-an-it-strategic-plan.html

Technology Innovation

https://stats.oecd.org/glossary/detail.asp?ID=2688

Enterprise Architecture Program: Key Initiative Overview

http://www.gartner.com/it/initiatives/pdf/KeyInitiativeOverview_EnterpriseArchitecturePlanning.pdf

Enterprise Architecture: Driving Business Benefits from IT

http://cisr.mit.edu/blog/documents/2006/04/19/mit_cisrwp359_entarchslctdrsrchbriefs.pdf/

Enterprise Architects’ Role In Aligning IT With Business

http://www.informationweek.com/architecture/enterprise-architects-role-in-aligning-it-with-business/d/d-id/1096171?

Bridging the CIO-CEO gap: It takes two to tango

https://hbr.org/product/bridging-the-cio-ceo-gap-it-takes-two-to-tango/BH670-PDF-ENG

Blogs/Webcasts/News/Reference Resources:

IASA IT Architecture Body of Knowledge (ITABoK) http://www.iasaglobal.org/iasa/ITABoK.asp

The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) http://www.opengroup.org/publications/togaf

Training:

IASA Architect Core

http://www.iasaglobal.org/assnfe/CourseView.asp?MODE=VIEW&clCourseID=1&csCategory=&csFrom=&csTo=&csKeyWord=&csSortBy=1&clPageNumber=1

IASA Training http://www.iasaglobal.org/education-training/

TOGAF http://www3.opengroup.org/certifications/togaf9-program

MIT OpenCourseWare Technology Strategy

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/sloan-school-of-management/15-912-technology-strategy-fall-2008/

Certifications:

IASA Certification http://www.iasaglobal.org/certifications/

The Open Group Certification http://www.opengroup.org/certifications

Author

goutama_bachtiar1Goutama Bachtiar
Consulting Partner and Principal Advisor, Consultoria

An enterprise technologist and entrepreneur with 17 years of in-depth exposure in advisory, consulting, auditing, training in IT Governance, Risk, Assurance, Architecture and Management areas. To date, he is also an advisor at 6 companies and serving as ISACA International Subject Matter Expert, Program Mentor, Editorial Journal Reviewer, PMI International SME and Program Evaluator, The Open Group and SABSA Global Working Group Member, IIBA Reviewer Panel, Guest Lecturer at top-tier American and Indonesian universities for Master programs, as well as Moderator, Panelist and Speaker at various conference, workshop and seminar.

As an auditor and consultant, he has conducted such services to 35 companies. Double-digit international certifications are under his belt by far. Furthermore, he has been delivering and hosting 230+ sessions with 7,500+ attendees and 5500+ hours of training (face-to-face and online), lecture, conference, workshop, seminar across Indonesia and outside the country for 70+ organizations.

Today he already writes, reviews and edits 300+ articles, manuscripts and white paper on ICT and management on more than 20 media, publications, organizations, journals and conferences – ZDNet Asia, SDA Asia and TechWireAsia among others. Wearing his authorship hat, he writes two books and 25 courseware: IT Governance, BPMN and TOGAF to name a few.
Find out more about Goutama here.