What is Enterprise Architecture?

Enterprise Architecture (EA) can be described in a number of ways. According to Wikipedia, Enterprise Architecture can be defined as:

Enterprise architecture (EA) is “a well-defined practice for conducting enterprise analysis, design, planning, and implementation, using a comprehensive approach at all times, for the successful development and execution of strategy. Enterprise architecture applies architecture principles and practices to guide organizations through the business, information, process, and technology changes necessary to execute their strategies. These practices utilize the various aspects of an enterprise to identify, motivate, and achieve these changes.

Holistic View of EA

We at Radiant Consulting Services make EA realistic in terms of visualization. This is best described in the caption below, shown by a red rectangle:

You can say that Enterprise Architecture bridges the gap between Enterprise strategy and operations. It is a kind of glue that hangs all the elements of an an enterprise together.

How can Enterprise Architecture Help your Business?

Enterprise Architecture can help in the following:

  • Help your business in the journey of your business transformation.
  • Reduce your IT complexity.
  • Increase efficiency.
  • Capture your current state architecture to identify where major challenges lie.
  • Identify a future state architecture (Where you want to be).
  • Perform gap analysis at capability, process, technology and team & skills level and make appropriate recommendations based best-fit scenarios.

To discuss how we can help your enterprise, please contact us.

What Enterprise Architects do?

Here is a list of typical responsibilities performed by an EA:

  • Working with stakeholders including the business, vendors and engineers to evaluate and select the right
    technology for the enterprise.
  • Review and ratification of stakeholder requirements to ensure the IT engineering teams can deliver cohesive integrated business and technology solutions.
  • Identify new opportunities and improvements to current practices, ways of working and technologies.
  • Architect and design platforms and services to support the business goals and objectives while adhering to the IT architecture and Information Security principles.
  • Provide strategic insight and architectural oversight and input to the IT engineering teams in developing and enhancing strategies.
  • Look for ways to drive through IT cost efficiencies and effectiveness to optimise IT while continuing to deliver a great customer experience.

Responsible for delivering:

  • IT Vision, IT Roadmap, and Platform Roadmaps
  • IT and Architecture Principles
  • Enterprise Target Architecture (3 year)
  • Technology platform capability roadmaps
  • Architecture processes, guidelines and standards
  • Architecture Framework(s)
  • Create and communicate an Architecture Repository and architectural artefacts including IT and architectural principles, operating model and architecture processes, frameworks, standards and governance to enable consistent architectural practice and delivery through collaboration across IT engineering teams.
  • Architecture governance and management of exceptions
  • Architecture Community of Practice (CoP)

APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE, PROBLEM SOLVING & INNOVATION

  • Deep understanding of the technology platforms in use in at least one domain, and broad understanding of neighboring domains and the overall technology landscape
  • An acknowledged expertise in defining enterprise-wide architectures using an appropriate framework
  • Familiar with a broad range of IT in the wider industry, their strengths/weaknesses, and their relevance to future technical and business strategies. Awareness of the future impact of technology change.
  • Able to avoid ‘tunnel’ and ‘silo’ visions and be able to look at a problem from multiple angles to test rationale. Ability to see the ‘big picture’ and to evaluate and solve unique and complex architectural and technology ‘problems’
  • Being able to think in terms of ‘capability, service and process’ to enable the building of repeatable and reusable components. Understanding of the existing business processes and organisation specific to financial institutions
  • Being in ‘tune’ with the business and have a high level of business acumen and savvy, to help understand how the technology can really affect and support the business
  • Commercial awareness to understand market context and pressures, business requirements, competitive positioning, and the market context
  • A well-developed understanding of project and Enterprise life cycles and ability to apply a range of management artifacts and techniques to deal with a range of different project types
  • Embraces and drives a continuous learning culture where the development of new skills and knowledge is paramount to the success of both their and their team’s roles. In particular, a focus on automation and reliability engineering
  • Provides role model leadership behaviors in communication, collaboration and the recognition, in-time feedback and coaching
  • Stay abreast of trends and new capabilities in technology and identify effective and ways of utilizing them to provide a better customer experience
  • Work with Product Owners, Engineering Leads and the wider team to ensure that technical debt and service improvement activities are visible and prioritized alongside new features
  • Quickly identifying and implementing resolutions, ensuring lessons captured and preventative controls introduced for future delivery’s.

INTERACTION

  • Works with Product Owners, Technical Leads and business analysts to gather requirements and produce specifications to be presented to engineering teams.
  • Work closely with other Engineering Leads and engineering teams to ensure standards and best practices are used across the teams (API standards as an example).
  • Present analysis and proposals to Senior Management and various committees .
  • Liaise with the wider business to better understand their goals and challenges including market activities
  • Maintain relationships with 3rd parties that support and enable the business to ensure maximum value
  • Consults with Information Security, Software and Data Engineering on standards, policies and risks
  • Provide input to business forecasting/budgeting processes .
  • Experienced in providing trusted advice and consultancy to senior technical and business colleagues with authority, credibility and confidence.
  • Apply a range of techniques to model and explain complex problems in ways which can be understood by a range of technical and business audiences using a variety of written and verbal methods.
  • Persuade and influence key stakeholders
  • Communicate and engage with delivery and operational personnel on complex technical issues.
  • Written and spoken communication skills to summarize options and recommendations succinctly in business language for a non-specialist audience.
  • EA’s must be able to think quickly and respond quickly to technology issues and business challenges.
  • Be an enabler and a negotiator to get things done, in the decision-making process.
  • Thinks strategically beyond the way things are usually done to evaluate options for short, medium and long term and articulates their analysis in ways which enable others to readily grasp key aspects.
  • Able to operate at varying levels of detail according to the needs of different situations and able to balance technical detail with an understanding of strategic and business context.
  • Provide leadership skills and ability to influence and persuade colleagues to buy into the target architecture vision.
  • Function effectively in a matrix-management structure, working with different functional, technical and business groups. Able to lead and motivate cross-divisional teams contributing to the development and/or deployment of appropriate solutions for enterprise architecture.
  • Provide quantitative analytical skills to evaluate costs, benefits and other measurable features of potential options.
  • Experience of leading and motivating cross-divisional technology teams to deliver successful outcomes.
  • Experience of managing and delivering a technology Enterprise projects or a range of technology projects to a successful conclusion including the application of operating models or other architectural techniques, preferably gained working as part of a major business transformation initiative.
  • Experience of developing high-level technical and business architectures, gained working at an enterprise-wide level. This should include some experience of using technology to support and enable business-process change.

To discuss how we can help your enterprise, please contact us.