Soon, all companies will be technology companies in one form or another. It's the only way to compete in a global, digital world. And there is but one breed of professional who can help with this journey: enterprise architects.
That's the view of Thomas Lawton, visiting professor of business administration at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, who makes the case for enterprise architecture to advance today's businesses. And he's telling this to a wide audience -- readers of U.S. News.
While IT is the best response to competitive pressures and a rocky economy, CEOs and business leaders are not particularly well equipped to deliver a strategic IT approach. They're too focused on "operational and strategic topics, such as managing cost drivers and finding new revenue sources," says Lawton. "Few CEOs really understand the implications of new, rapidly changing and complex IT systems and processes for the current business model or perceive a strategic potential and value in new technology implementation."
Enter the enterprise architect. These professionals know how to build the bridge between technology and business goals. As Lawton describes it:
"The role of enterprise architects is to act as partners to senior executives, understand what is on the CEO's agenda and how IT fits into it. [They] exploit IT efficiency, effectiveness and change potential and link it with strategic objectives and operational delivery."
As a result, there is growing interest in the process and practice of enterprise architecture, Lawton observes. Business leaders know IT is the future of their organizations. In fact, in many cases, IT is becoming the business. EAs are needed, desperately, to provide the guidance in this journey from widget-making to data and service provider.