When you set up your EA shop, you inevitably encounter the conundrum of manning the deck with the right actors. Many times, you have little to no idea of what kind of EA projects you will be asked to manage, so you need, as always, as the EA role (see below), to prepare a list of questions for your EA sponsor to answer. Amongst those you will need to scope the types of projects, their expected size, breath across the enterprise or market, the possible technical depth you will need to be across to deliver a consensual solution and therefore the domains you will cover. We won’t talk about the time boxing here, I leave this for another post if you don’t mind. So here we are… Who do we need?
The roles in enterprise architecture can vary depending on the organisation’s size, structure, and needs. However, some common roles that exist in many enterprise architecture teams include:
- Enterprise Architect: The Enterprise Architect is a governance role with limited delegated authority from the EA sponsor, responsible for developing and maintaining the enterprise architecture framework and ensuring that it aligns with the organisation’s business strategy, goals, and objectives. They are also responsible for overseeing the implementation of the architecture and ensuring that it is integrated with other IT systems and processes.
- Business Domain Architect: The Business Architect is a role within enterprise architecture that focuses on aligning business strategy and processes with the overall enterprise architecture. Business architects work closely with business stakeholders to understand their goals, objectives, and processes and translate them into the enterprise architecture framework. Overall, the Business Architect role is critical in ensuring that the enterprise architecture framework is aligned with the organisation’s business goals and objectives. By working closely with business stakeholders, Business Architects can help organisations optimise their business processes and achieve their strategic objectives. The Business Architect role typically involves the following responsibilities*:
- Aligning business strategy with enterprise architecture: The Business Architect works with business stakeholders to identify business goals and objectives and ensures that they are aligned with the enterprise architecture framework.
- Process improvement: Business architects analyze existing business processes and identify opportunities for improvement. They work with business stakeholders to redesign processes to better align with the enterprise architecture and achieve business goals and objectives.
- Business capability mapping: Business architects map business capabilities to the enterprise architecture framework to ensure that they are aligned with the organisation’s strategic goals and objectives.
- Business requirements definition: Business architects work with business stakeholders to define business requirements and ensure that they are integrated with the enterprise architecture framework.
- Business process modelling: Business architects develop business process models to help stakeholders understand and visualise business processes and identify areas for improvement.
- Data Domain Architect: The Data Architect is responsible for designing and maintaining the organisation’s data architecture, including databases, data warehouses, and other data storage and retrieval systems. They work closely with business stakeholders to ensure that the data architecture supports the organisation’s business processes and objectives.
- Application Domain Architect: The Application Architect is responsible for designing and maintaining the application architecture that supports the organisation’s business processes. They work closely with developers and other IT professionals to ensure that the applications are aligned with the enterprise architecture framework.
- Technology or Infrastructure Domain Architect: The Infrastructure Architect is responsible for designing and maintaining the technology infrastructure that supports the organisation’s IT systems and applications. They work closely with other IT professionals to ensure that the infrastructure is aligned with the enterprise architecture framework and that it meets the organisation’s performance, security, and scalability requirements.
- Security Architect: The Security Architect is a role within enterprise architecture that focuses on ensuring the security of an organisation’s information and technology assets. Security Architects work to identify potential security risks and vulnerabilities and develop strategies and solutions to mitigate them. Overall, the Security Architect role is critical in ensuring the security of an organisation’s information and technology assets. By identifying potential security risks and vulnerabilities and developing strategies and solutions to mitigate them, Security Architects help protect the organisation from cybersecurity threats and ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of its information and technology assets involved in the EA project. The Security Architect role typically involves the following responsibilities:
- Risk assessment: Security Architects conduct risk assessments to identify potential security threats and vulnerabilities to an organisation’s information and technology assets.
- Security controls: Security Architects design and implement security controls to protect an organisation’s information and technology assets from security threats. These controls may include access controls, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and encryption.
- Security policies and procedures: Security Architects develop security policies and procedures to guide the organisation’s security practices and ensure compliance with relevant regulations and standards.
- Incident response planning: Security Architects develop incident response plans to address cybersecurity incidents that may occur. These plans should define roles and responsibilities, procedures for reporting and investigating incidents, and steps to contain and remediate incidents.
- Security architecture design: Security Architects design security architecture that supports the organisation’s business objectives and aligns with the enterprise architecture framework. This includes designing a secure network architecture, identifying security requirements for software development, and evaluating third-party security solutions.
- Solution Architect/Designer: The Solution Architect is responsible for designing and implementing specific solutions that align with the enterprise architecture design, conceived by the domain architects. They work closely with business stakeholders to understand their requirements and ensure that the solutions are aligned with the overall architecture. The solution architect is product/technology biased by nature and is considered an SME for specific products and vendor technologies.
Overall, the roles in enterprise architecture focus on developing and maintaining the architecture framework, designing and implementing solutions, and ensuring that the technology infrastructure and applications support the organisation’s business objectives. These roles work together to create a cohesive enterprise architecture that supports the organisation’s strategic goals and objectives. The Domain architects (EA, BA, DA, AA and TA) MUST stay vendor and product agnostic to avoid any bias and keep business driven, and typically work at contextual, conceptual and abstract logical layers while the Security and Solution specialists work at a physical level as well to ensure the solution to be delivered matches the logical design it is based on.
It is, however, not uncommon to sill see advertised roles, which are some kind of chimera of 2 or more of the above roles, and this, naturally, confuses the trained jobseeker. I can only hope to see more HR staff come to me and at the very least read this post to differentiate between those roles and even educate their own clients to ensure the best fit between candidates and employers.
* WBISCT delivered NEW TOGAF Business Architecture Foundation 2-day course will detail all this along with applied practical exercises, quizzes and workshops, so you can get started on the role delivery quick and easy.