Enterprise Architects are now being reported as the highest paid discipline in IT, however with this realization organizations need to ensure they are getting the most out of these highly-skilled professionals. The skills and experience of Enterprise Architects combined with the right tools like Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect can support business agility with a lowered exposure to risk.
Glassdoor, the job posting and company feedback website, recently published its annual 25 Highest Paying Jobs in America list with the technology sector boasting 65% of highest-paying jobs. The title of 'Enterprise Architect' however did best, coming in at #4 overall. This annual list from Glassdoor is produced using employee-submitted salary reports, which are then used to rank them according to their annual base salary and the job openings/listings posted that year.
It's gratifying to see organizations are better-valuing the contribution of technically-skilled workers - especially given that IT capabilities are increasingly the wellspring of organizational growth. According to the list, Enterprise Architects are now the highest paid IT discipline and are highly sort-after in the workplace. This also bears out in last year's Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey which found enterprise architecture is the fastest-growing technology skill; up a "massive" 26 per cent compared with the previous year. All this begs the question - what is it about Enterprise Architects in particular that are commanding such wages and enjoying such standing in the workplace?
We know that Enterprise Architects are at the nexus of business and technology, working to align business strategy and IT execution. They are also increasingly responsible for envisioning and supporting future business capabilities by anticipating and evaluating IT investments and development. This all requires excellent strategic thinking, communication and problem-solving skills, along with a wide range of technical capabilities.
However, like many change-agents, Enterprise Architects encounter resistance and are required to continually prove the value and viability of their solutions. To this end, Enterprise Architects must demonstrably connect their work with long-term business strategy in a compelling fashion, otherwise the many competing elements at play within an organization - such as short-term vs. long-term business interests and business vs. IT prerogatives - can inhibit an architect's ability to get anything done. The ability to connect strategy and execution is essential for buy-in from the right business and IT stakeholders.
Wally McLaughlin, Director of Sales at Sparx Services North America notes, “We encounter leaders every day who have skilled and experienced architects on their teams – some really talented people. But in-spite of all of that knowledge, their teams are struggling to explain to business leaders and decision makers how to affect real transformational change. Companies are complex, but with the right modeling tools like Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect, Architects can help leaders break down the complexity into manageable parts that the rest of the organization can understand and act upon.”
Ideally by drawing a line between business strategy, architectures and outcomes like business processes, databases and source code, Enterprise Architects can hope to create clear demonstrable links between strategy and execution. Of course, extracting corporate strategy itself can be difficult (especially in cases where it's non-existent), but by referencing documented roadmaps and consulting executive staff, Enterprise Architects can at least begin to model the corporate strategies that should guide IT strategy. In fact, by allowing business executives to view the business roadmaps while they are defined, Enterprise Architects can prompt some useful discussions that help organizations identify opportunities for growth.
|Example diagram types useful for documenting this information in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect include Strategy maps that offer a coherent view of the enterprise business strategy and Value Chains that reveal where real business value lies. Enterprise Architects can then create linkages in the meta-model from strategy maps to all areas of the enterprise.|
When IT silos develop within an organization, often it can mean IT initiatives continue for some time without a cohesive approach. Enterprise Architects can help bring IT strategy back into focus by reviewing current processes, products and initiatives and their links to corporate strategy. This is especially simple where organizations are already using modeling platforms like Enterprise Architect to model their software and systems. With enterprise-wide collaborative tools, Enterprise Architects can begin to break down silos across business architecture, IT architecture and systems to better direct the organization's development priorities.
|Business Capability Modeling is a great way to represent and communicate the future and current states of business operations. It defines what a company needs to execute its strategy. Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect contains built-in business profiles and technologies that Enterprise Architects can use define current and future state architectures and then trace system deployment and business processes from management decisions and corporate strategy. A further GAP Analysis can be used to analyze model artifacts, identifying potential gaps between solution architectures. Staff competencies, data and information, business processes, lines of business and more can be modeled to analyze current and future states of an enterprise.
Architects can create incremental versions of their architecture models in Enterprise Architect with Time Aware Modeling, with tools that facilitate the migration of elements through multiple versions. This provides the ability to trace any changes as the underlying architecture evolves through each stage of development, in a manner that preserves the integrity of the As-Is model elements. This allows you to track changes of an individual element over time, in conjunction with understanding changes to the broader model using Enterprise Architect's numerous traceability capabilities. Architects can then see the evolution of an architecture over different versions, and create new versions of model elements automatically and conduct insightful model simulations without altering the underlying structure of the 'As-Is' architecture.
Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect supports frameworks like TOGAF, Zachman, UPDM and ArchiMate which provide a formalized methodology for planning, designing and implementing an Enterprise Architecture.
With all this investment, Enterprise Architects need the right tools to get the job done. Why offer the wages being reported by Glassdoor and Harvey Nash/KPMG and then give them a spreadsheet? There is a lot on the line. Not only is software and systems increasingly critical to both day-to-day operations and growth, there is a large financial investment in Enterprise Architects themselves. A platform like Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect equips Enterprise Architects with the tools to effectively execute corporate strategy whilst keeping teams connected and collaborating toward a shared vision.
If you would like a trial of Enterprise Architect, please visit: http://www.sparxsystems.com/products/ea/trial/request.html
To learn more, Sparx Systems has released a new Enterprise Architecture Guidebook.