Is digital transformation changing your role as an Enterprise Architect?

The changing role of Enterprise Architects into Opportunity Architects

LoQutus and Vlerick Centre for Excellence in Enterprise Architecture jointly conducted a white paper that marks the conclusion of the Digital Transformation Research Project. Throught a series of surveys on 13 organisations such as CM, Colruyt and Eandis we discovered some striking results that identified opportunities and risks for EA practitioners.

6 main findings

The analysis of the data resulted in 6 main findings on the role of EA in a digital transformation context.

1. Digital transformation is becoming a priority of the executive committee

As digital transformation is high on the executive's agenda, it's an opportunity for the EA to get visibility in the company and take on a proactive approach.

2. Enterprise architects are getting access to the board room

Where C-level executives used to perceive EA as being too technical, relying on complicated techniques and elaborate frameworks, today executives have become more acquainted with EA as a management discipline.

3.When architects are invited to the digital party, they often leave early

The involvement of enterprise architects in large transformational programs is generally established. However an enterprise architect's tasks and responsibilities are mostly situated at the start of the project, and mainly include scope definition, budgeting decision and requirements setting.

4. Enterprise architects are gradually accepting semi-formal methods

To be successful, architects must find a balance between creating useful EA models and frameworks into easy-to-understand models in a common language.

5. Architects are struggling with innovation

The case studies revealed that enterprise architects play a role as enablers of innovation but are less seen as creators of innovation, although most express a desire to contribute to their organisations (more radical) innovation processes in a more substantial way than they are currently doing.

6. Bimodel IT is a major challenge for architects

Bimodel IT, by Gartner defined as the practice of managing two separate coherent modes of IT delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility is a huge challenge for EA. Overall, architects reported to be well acquainted with mode 1, while this is far less the case for mode 2.