>IT Roles Are Changing and Enterprise Architecture

>These days, everyone likes to think that they are an architect and the ways things are going, soon this may become a reality.

ComputerWorld, 7 April 2008 reports that “New IT titles portend a revolution in IT roles.”

“Don’t expect to be part of an IT department. As a 21st century technology professional, your future—and most likely your desk—will be on the business side, and your title will likely be scrubbed of any hint of computers, databases, software, or data networks.”

Technology is being down-played and business requirements are in focus. This is good EA and common sense.

“IT is no longer a subset specialty. It is integrated into whatever work you’re trying to get done…IT is being disintermediated, but in a good way. It is being pushed farther up the food chain.”

IT is no longer being viewed as a mere utility to keep the network up, email running, and the dial tone on. Rather, IT folks are being seen as full partners with the business to solve problems. YES!

“No one know s exactly what to call these positions, but they definitely include more than pure technical skills. ‘If you’re a heads-down programmer, you’re at a terrible disadvantage.’”

The CTO of Animas, a web hosting company stated: “Outsourcing, globalization and the cost reduction for WAN technology all work to eliminate the need for systems administrators, help desk people, or developers. We don’t want developers on our staff for all of these technologies. We pretty much have kept only business-savvy people who we expect to be partners in each department and to come up with solutions.

Solving business problems requires the ability to synthesize business and technology and let business drive technology. Hence, the new glorification and proliferation of architects in today’s organizations.

David McCue, the CIO of Computer Sciences Corp. says “You’ll see titles like ‘solutions architect’ and ‘product architect’ that convey involvement in providing the product or service to a purchaser.” Similarly, the CIO of TNS, a large market research company, stated: “everyone is either an architect or an engineer.”

“Although job titles for all of these emerging roles have yet to be standardized, the overall career-focus seems pretty clear: It’s all about business.”

Wise CIOs are changing their focus from day-to-day technology operations to strategic business issues. That’s the sweet spot where value can be added by the CIO.

Enterprise architecture and IT governance are the CIO’s levers to partner with the business and plan their IT more effectively and to govern it more soundly, so that IT investments are going to get the business side, the biggest bang for their buck.