Enterprise architecture is fast becoming one of the most in-demand skills in the technology world. EAs have shot up the skills shortage list in this year’s HarveyNash/KPMG survey, being the fastest growing of the “skills that are most scarce”, up 24% compared to last year.
Overall, 34% of businesses surveyed experienced a shortage of enterprise architecture skills, the survey found.
Key industry certification numbers continue to increase, with standards body The Open Group, reporting that TOGAF certifications increased by 12,000 over the past 12 months to reach a record 70,000.[ii]
Dr Tim O’Neill from enterprise architecture firm Avolution said: “Tolerance for disorder, silos and ad hoc repairs is expiring. There is a will – particularly in the largest global organizations – to gain visibility of issues such as project duplication and technical debt, both of which can really cripple efficiency.
“A bimodal approach to enterprise architecture now means that enterprise-wide roadmaps for major change programmes can be run in parallel with project-based sprints.
“Enterprise architects are charged with ‘wiring’ everything together so that it works. They also need to maintain high standards on cross-business issues such as security and data governance and make sure systems and processes are financially efficient. To do this, they have access to some of the most powerful data-science tools available: for instance, they can use algorithms to understand the cost and risk implications of a range of alternative business-case scenarios.”
Senior enterprise architects will have broad experience across technology and IT domains such as solutions architecture, data architecture or increasingly, cloud architecture. In addition, they add business acumen, and the ability to manage projects and teams, quantify risks and juggle priorities.
Trends such as cloud migration and microservices – whilst simplifying functions at a line-of-business level – often mean the web of applications and IT assets behind essential processes becomes more complex. Most businesses also rely on legacy systems, and the migrations and transformations needed for upgrades is continual.
Dr O’Neill said: “Data analysis techniques and automated reports now allow architects to deliver analysis quickly – often in days or weeks. Impact analysis assessments can be completed in 1-2 weeks, turnaround time for upgrade of infrastructure components in days.”
“CIOs who haven’t checked in with their enterprise architecture team recently are often gratified to realize that new data feeds, APIs and analytics means the EA repository is a powerful question-answering and scenario-analysis device. The more complex and interdependent your systems, the more valuable an architectural view and visualizations can be for making confident decisions.”
[i] Harvey Nash/KPMG Survey – https://home.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2017/05/cio-survey-2017-infographic-web.pdf
[ii] Global TOGAF® 9 Certification Exceeds 70,000 in 134 Countries – The Open Group Blog, July 24, 2017 –https://blog.opengroup.org/2017/07/24/global-togaf-9-certification-exceeds-70000-in-134-countries/