IT architecture inches into university curriculum

Global IT body's efforts to formally avail IT architecture methodologies to tertiary students in IT disciplines has made headway in Indonesia, says regional IASA rep.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor

SINGAPORE--The International Association of Software Architects (IASA) is working to formally incorporate IT architecture into university curriculum, according to a regional representative.

Aaron Tan Dani, founder and chairman of IASA Asia-Pacific, told ZDNet Asia on the sidelines of the IT Architecture Regional Conference Singapore 2010 here Tuesday that the IT body is in discussions with universities around the world to integrate the IT architecture body of knowledge (ITABOK) into the curriculum of IT-related disciplines.

To his knowledge, no university in the world currently offers such programs, said Tan Dani, who is also a co-author of ITABOK.

Developed in 2007 and currently in its second version, ITABOK covers 256 skills associated with IT architects, including softer skills such as communication and leadership.

Within Asia, IASA has already linked up with 710 universities in Indonesia to introduce IT architecture concepts and methodology into IT courses, said Tan Dani. The material will be introduced first as elective modules, rather than full-fledged courses, he said.

Apart from Indonesia, Malaysia is also receptive to the proposal to include IT architecture at the university level, he added. IASA is also in discussions with the Institute of Systems Science, which is run by the National University of Singapore.

IT architecture, admitted Tan Dani, is not yet established as a profession and varied definitions of an IT architect still exist. However, the role is an important one as business value can only be derived when IT architecture is fused with business strategy.

An IT architect who does not care about the business cannot be termed an IT architect, he pointed out.

Terry Goldman, Asia-Pacific senior principal architect for Oracle Fusion Middleware, said in his conference presentation that both large and small companies stand to enjoy a substantial amount of savings per user by putting in place an enterprise architecture.

On top of that, activities associated with getting rid of IT inefficiencies, such as cutting environment complexity, have "touch points with the architecture", Goldman said.

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