Today’s enterprise architects have that seat at the table they’ve always wanted. The question now is, what do you do with it? How do you become the trusted advisor and go-to consultant on innovation?
If you are an enterprise architect, you need to be a futurist. You need to be looking three to five years out and even more than five years. It’s critical to have a solid grasp of the strategic technologies that you need to act on in the next three to five years, such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, robotic process automation (RPA), immersive experiences such as virtual reality and the concept of digital twins (digital representations of real-world entities). You also need to be well versed in emerging technologies that are a little further out, such as quantum computing. They need to be on your radar for long-term planning.
Today’s enterprise architects need to function like an internal management consultancy, planning and leading digital transformation. They must be able to communicate well with IT and non-IT leaders alike, not just about technology, but about what that technology means to the business. You have to be able to work with groups throughout the organization doing technology-driven innovation, not just in IT or on the EA team. You need to understand which new technologies are worth evaluating, and find the right balance of risk and reward when it comes to bleeding-edge technologies. Most of all, you need to know how to communicate your message to business leaders. When it comes to new ideas and innovation, how do you communicate what these technologies are about, and how do you manage the process of change? EA and technology innovation leaders need to master the art of change management.