What is an Enterprise Architect?

What is an enterprise architect?

To first clarify the basics of the position: what is an enterprise architect actually? You probably know the term architect. In the context of IT, this is an employee who is involved in designing various IT systems on which a company or organization runs. The word enterprise means business, and you actually already know what an enterprise architect is: an employee who devises, sets up and designs the entire system of a company or organization.

That is the difference with an IT architect and solution architect. These two functions are only concerned with IT systems. The enterprise architect also thinks about the rest of the organization, although IT remains a large part of the focus, and the business analyst? He leaves out the technical part and mainly looks at areas for improvement in the business organization. Of course, there could be an IT solution for this, but the business analyst is not concerned with that himself.

You have a lot of responsibilities within this position. But what exactly does an enterprise architect do on a day-to-day basis? You always start by identifying areas for improvement. You do this by consulting with upper management and listening to their wishes. But also by diving into your personal knowledge of IT and business and seeing whether you can use something to improve the state of affairs of the company. In any case, you are always sparring with different managers and colleagues.

Once you have identified the areas for improvement, as an enterprise architect you set up a project to implement the solutions. These are usually very large-scale projects that you carry out in small steps, because the improvement points are often ambitious and take a lot of time. Suppose the ultimate goal is to improve transparency between a company's departments and their collaboration. Then the solution consists not only of coaching the staff, but also of setting up and implementing a new system for information provision. Furthermore, there may need to be shifts in the hierarchy of staff. Of course, this doesn't all happen overnight.

During such a large project, you constantly consult with managers and other staff to monitor progress. As soon as a solution doesn't seem to work or complications arise, you intervene and determine what needs to change in the plan.