For enterprise architects and digital business strategy managers data emerging from the first half of 2020 reveals both good and bad news.
The bad news is that workload, stresses and the urgency of looking after technology infrastructure and business processes remain high.
The good news is that recognition and demand for core architecture and strategy skills is also increasing.
The top 5 skills shortages highlighted by COVID-19 are “cybersecurity, organisational change management, enterprise architecture, technical architecture and advanced analytics,” according to September 2020 research just released by tech recruiter Harvey Nashi.
The 2020 Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey is the largest IT leadership survey in the world in terms of number of respondents. The survey was conducted of 4,219 CIOs and technology leaders across 83 countries.
It revealed that companies spent the equivalent of around US$15bn extra a week on technology to enable safe and secure home working during COVID-19, as they moved workforces en-mass to remote working and to ensure ongoing access to digital services.ii
Avolution’s Dr Tim O’Neill said: “Architects have been putting their data to work to advise on IT portfolios and business outcomes. Details of systems, applications, infrastructure registers and the processes and capabilities they underpin are stored in a cloud-based digital repository in ABACUS, and our user data shows it is being viewed, queried and analysed to supply financial and technical metrics day-to-day.”
“Business divisions are turning to architects to manage technical infrastructure securely in the midst of upheaval. They are also having to map out multiple scenarios, rethink strategies, customer journeys and recalculate forecasts at speed. Two of the most common use cases are a big acceleration in cloud migration and increased focus on cybersecurity.”
A recent survey of IT executives from Flexera “State of the Cloud Report” found that even though enterprises are over budget for cloud spend by an average of 23 percent, they intend to increase spending even more on cloud services this year.iii
Traditional architecture techniques such as process diagramming are still part of an architect’s toolkit. Architects are also turning to graph database visualizations for navigating dependencies and impact analysis, and to data-driven algorithm-based analysis, which allow them to make cost and technical calculations available on-demand to business divisions.
“A big part of the risk modelling and enterprise resilience piece that architects are grappling with this year relies on properly connected and integrated data and processes. Architects are focusing on automating integrations and APIs, and also on making sure that business-friendly dashboards and reports are available within their remote working environments, for instance MS Teams.”
“The need for day-to-day accuracy means business continuity plans are moving out of PowerPoint and into digital environments where near future states or crisis events can be simulated and quantified.”