What Does an Enterprise Architect Do?
An enterprise architect is responsible for analyzing and implementing IT structures to ensure they align with strategic goals. This requires strong IT skills, but also the soft skills that enable an enterprise architect to work closely with key stakeholders and bring together different departments.
Their main goal is to ensure their organization is maximizing the effectiveness of its IT systems but to achieve this, they need a complete view of what’s going on in the entire business. To do this, an enterprise architect must be up to date with the latest IT trends, but also have a keen business sense.
Soft skills are as crucial in the role as IT knowledge, making it an enticing and challenging career path.
Required Skills for an Enterprise Architect
Aligning IT structures with organizational goals requires a wide skill set. Not only must you have great IT skills, but you’ve also got to understand the business as a whole and be able to work with lots of different stakeholders.
- Leadership: An enterprise architect’s work cuts across departments, systems, personnel, applications, and technology. It brings together silos to make businesses more efficient, but to do this, you’ve got to bring a lot of people with you through good leadership.
- Project Management: Overseeing change isn’t straightforward. An enterprise architect may be making sweeping changes to an organization, and there’s a lot that can go wrong with this. Good project management skills are required to oversee the development of new IT systems.
- Analytical Skills: Analytical skills are the basis of an enterprise architect's work. Your job is to solve high-level problems, and you have to approach this from an analytical standpoint.
- Communication: This goes hand in hand with leadership and project management. As an enterprise architect, you’ll be communicating with multiple stakeholders, and you need to be able to manage expectations and guide people into making the right decisions.
- Collaboration and Negotiation: You can’t enact change on your own. You need to be able to bring people with you, and oftentimes make compromises. The biggest problems don’t have cut-and-dry answers, and you’ll have to use your collaboration and negotiation skills to get the best result.
Education and Training
The enterprise architect’s career path is firmly based on a strong education. It’s an industry in which rapid change is common, and this means an enterprise architect must always be updating their skills through further learning.
This path starts at the undergraduate level, where most enterprise architects will study information technology or something similar. This will often be supplemented by a master’s degree in enterprise architecture.
While this can set students on a path towards a promising career in enterprise architecture, it’s important that these skills are always being refreshed and improved upon.
One of the most common training courses is TOGAF 9 Certfication. This teaches students a specific framework for enterprise architecture that can form a fundamental part of their career success.
Getting the Job
Education can only take you so far. In any career, it’s the soft skills that can help take you to the next level. Sometimes, it’s not just about what you know - who you know can play a big part too.
Building your network of contacts is vitally important in this industry. While you’re busy improving your skills, make sure you’re also engaging with people in the industry, and expanding your contacts.
The more you immerse yourself in the world of enterprise architecture, the more opportunities are likely to open up for you.
For any open position, there’s always a mountain of applications, and sometimes, it’s that personal connection that can get you noticed in the crowd.
One of the greatest rewards of being an enterprise architect is being able to work in such a challenging, exciting role. You get to shape the future of an organization, and while this comes with its stresses, it’s incredibly rewarding.
Of course, your salary is also important!
According to Payscale, the average salary for an enterprise architect is $135,090 a year. For entry-level positions, this starts at around $79,000 a year and gradually rises with experience.
Conclusion: Career Guide for Enterprise Architects
Enterprise architecture is challenging. You’ve got to combine many different skills and play a key leadership role within an organization. The fast-paced, ever-changing nature of this career brings endless excitement and great rewards though.
One of the most important things for an enterprise architect is that they continue to invest in their knowledge and skills. There’s always more to learn in enterprise architecture, and Conexiam is on hand to help you through this process.
Take the next step in your career and start preparing for your TOGAF Certification today!
Do it Yourself Path to a Successful Enterprise Architecture Team
Top-to-bottom guidance for developing useful enterprise architecture
Free Kickstart program to be a better Enterprise Architect
Training for TOGAF Certification
Practical Enterprise Architecture Training
Conside Successful Enterprise Architect Case Studies
Enterprise Architects drive change. These case studies show high functioning enterprise architects in action.