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An IT architect, also known as enterprise architect is the main expert for software architecture in an enterprise. IT architecture is the process of translating your business strategy into enterprise change by identifying, communicating, planning for and enabling your organization’s evolution to the desired future state and helps the organization in business process management. If properly executed, it helps bridge the gap between business and IT and enables organization’s leaders to make better-informed decisions.
IT Architecture has grown from being just a set of small pilots to being a fully sponsored and supported initiative within enterprises. With the growing demands to reduce costs, increase agility, and standardize IT environments, there has been a surge of enterprise architecture activity. Due to these ever expanding demands, the duties and roles of an IT architect are constantly changing, aimed at making the IT architect the backbone of the organization.
Among the numerous important duties an IT architect has to undertake, there are three fundamental duties which are required from an IT architect in an organization:
1. Defining Future states: The IT architect is required to define the future state of the organization. A future state solution needs to meet the requirements of the enterprise at both strategic and operational levels and enable the enterprise to meet its strategic goals and objectives. This is a crucial stage in work integrated learning programs and uses Business Scenarios as a means to identify business requirements and as a mechanism to identify aspects of a future state design.
Sometimes referred to as the “to-be” architecture, this basically provides a road map for the enterprise to follow, so that all the resources of the organization are spent towards achieving the future goals of the organization. This will also aid in building your transition state architectures and enables efficient business process modeling.
2. Capturing current state architecture: IT architecture captures the current state to figure out “what you have”. By doing this, you can figure out what is working, identify duplications in the enterprise, or measure the health of key business processes that are supported by your architectures.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘as-is’ architecture, this duty is to ensure whether the organization is following the road map laid out by the future state architecture or not. If not, problems are identified and solutions are founded by working closely with solution architect.
3. Building transition architecture: Transition state architecture is the process by which we connect the current to the future state by creating an iterative roadmap to get to the desired future state. This includes creating innovative ideas and new technologies and software so that the target goals can be achieved and the current state of the organization is on the right path to future state.
Transition Architecture is used for individual work packages and projects to be grouped into managed portfolios and programs, illustrating the business value at each stage. It takes the current and future state as the start and end points and considers the practical steps required to transition from one state to the next. This provides an ability to continuously monitor the problems and to ensure that the organization will achieve the desired goals in the future.