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Why do we need architects anyway? February 10, 2013

Posted by Chris Eaton in architect, architecture, architecture method, artitecture, careers, communications, competitive strategy, EA, Enterprise Architecture, IT Architecture, IT strategy, methodology, methods, people.
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I recently spent a very interesting day with IBM and the Corporate Executive Board on the future of architecture. Very interesting, very thought provoking. On the back of this, i have put together this paper Why do we need IT architects anyway?

‘The pervasive nature and continual improvement of technology in daily life presents vast opportunity but it is not always easy to see it. Armed with the right skills, methods and tools the IT architect can help you see the possibilities and exploit them’

Thoughts and comments are welcome. And i am very interested in how you live up to this vision…

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Business operational architect February 6, 2012

Posted by Chris Eaton in architecture, Enterprise Architecture, methodology, methods, people, profession.
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funny how time flys…200+ days since i made a post. Hard to believe it!  t’has been a busy time

One idea I have become very interested in recently is the idea of a Business Operations Architect (better names may exist!).

Let me explain this role. I am very interested if this role exists in organisations already and what i might learn from them

My starting hypothesis is:

  • most architects are working on project delivery, architecting new solutions or upgrades to existing ones. Typically they introduce new functionality to end users (business, application or functional architect)
  • some architects design infrastructure (technical or infrastructure architect)
  • some architects are working on Enterprise Architecture; they plan the future IT landscape of applications and infrastructure

No architects are looking at current applications, their functionality, infrastructure, incidints, problems and supporting environment such as monitoring, capacity, performance, etc .

Therefore: a new role is needed: the Business Operations Architects: they ask and answer the following questions:

  • Are users happy with the functionality? what needs to change to improve user experience and function?
  • What incidents have happened, how can they be prevented in future?
  • What problems exist in the current solution and how can we solve them with future releases?
  • Is the supporting operational infrastructure fit for purpose (monitoring, alerting, hardware type/age, software age/support arrangements and if not, what changes are necessary?

They would also play an assist role:

  • are new solutions fit for purpose; functionally and operationally? they would lead or participate in architecture reviews
  • ensure changes are accurately reflected to documentation such as system scope diagrams, interface specifications, architecture diagrams – these often are out of date relating to atrophy of design
  • provide expertise to support incidents and help restore service

is this a good idea, is anyone performing this role, does anyone have a better name for it!

thanks

Chris

IT Architecture as a profession – how the CAEAP is driving forward June 5, 2010

Posted by Chris Eaton in architecture, CAEAP, EA, Enterprise Architecture, profession.
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Lawyers, doctors, accountants and building architects are a profession – when you employ someone from one of these professions (a professional) you expect a certain level of skill proven by education and examination as well as a high level of accountability that their work will be to a high standard and will keep you on the right side of the law.
Calling yourself a lawyer or doctor, etc. is a protected term in many countries because the public automatically trust people who use these titles.

Personally i am highly in favour of protecting the term Architect, in the IT sense of it, to those who people who truly are Architects proven through qualification – hence i have taken just about every architect qualification i have found

One of the biggest challenges in my mind is:
what is an IT architect?
what do they do and produce?
what education and qualification is needed to prove you are an architect?

the sheer breadth of IT software, hardware, methods, business applicability and pace of change within all of these facets makes an IT qualification look out of date very quickly

However, the Center for Advancement of the Enterprise Architecture Profession (CAEAP) is trying very hard to define what the IT Architecture profession should look like
They are taking ideas like the Doctors hippocratic oath and creating Enterprise Architect version of this.

Today I received a notification of their latest deliverable – the Professional Practice Guide This attempts to define, at a high level, the expectations of someone calling themselves an Enterprise Architect and what the public might expect from an Enterprise Architect. This document is worth a look. It is a useful first step and there is more to do

There is not yet a statement about what an Enterprise Architect is, or is not, there are certainly lots of people using this title and in my experience you cannot be certain about what skills they have

There is not yet a statement about what education and qualification is needed to call oneself an Enterprise Architect and no corresponding course, examination or experiential qualification to prove yourself as an Enterprise Architect. CAEAP could do well to start off looking at the Open Group IT Architecture Certification and building on this

IT or Enterprise Architect is not yet a reserved name, i don’t even know how a job title like that achieves reserved status in law? (anyone know?)

not to belittle the efforts the CAEAP are driving in the right direction and every journey starts with a single step…

useful article on TOGAF certification June 1, 2010

Posted by Chris Eaton in EA, Enterprise Architecture.
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useful article on where to find the base materials for TOGAF certification

http://certification.8-c.org/where-to-get-materials-for-the-togaf-from/