Businessman looking at globe

Enterprise architecture seems to be a ‘hot topic’ at the moment. With many organisations creating such a role and training staff via certification, I thought it pertinent to ponder what would an organisation get if they employed either a strategic performance architect or an enterprise architect.

A strategic performance architect focusses the organisation’s technology, processes, people and information to achieve strategic outcomes. The ‘C’ level of management (e.g. CEO, CFO) is directly involved in these engagements to ensure that there is a unified vision of the strategy and future direction of the organisation. This unity then becomes a key differentiator for the organisation as all members of the executive drive the implementation of the strategic performance architecture.

An enterprise architect documents and maps the artefacts, technology and business applications in existence in an organisation and then plans how these enablers could be optimised with new/expanding technology. They are typically employed within the IT department and report to an IT manager. Certification in a commercially available product is commonly the entrance ticket required. What happens with the enterprise architecture plan will be dependent on the influence and authority of the IT department.

So if an organisation wants to drive towards a strategic outcome then a strategic performance architect would be most suitable. However if an organisation wants faster bits of technology and a new system to keep management at bay, then an enterprise architect would do.

What type of architect would you need in your organisation?