What employers want from enterprise architects

Perusal of job listings shows EAs need to be advocates for business-IT communication.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

What do organizations look for in enterprise architects? Well, let's take a look at what they look for when recruiting and hiring EAs.

The market for talented EAs is thriving, and demand has never been better. EA as a profession has really come of age since it emerged alongside service oriented architecture and Agile practices in the mid-2000s. Here are some snapshots from recent job listings culled from the Dice recruiting site. What do they all have in common? They all call for a role in bridging the technology and business sides of their respective organizations.

E-commerce company: This company has a need for an enterprise data architect who serves as "the primary advocate on data governance, data management and data modeling best practices to ensure data quality standards are established and met.: The EA also helps "identify inefficiencies and non-standard data flows, data storage, data retention and propose strategies to improve them." The EA is also charged with developing best practices and strategies around data for internationalization.

Commodities trading company: The EA in this company uses architectural models as part of an IT strategy that also helps ensure "the effective governance and management of information security to meet the company’s legal and regulatory obligations." Responsibilities include "long-term strategic responsibility for the company’s IT systems" and leading the "design and delivery of IT standards, policies, processes, architecture and systems." In addition, the EA is expected to interact, on a daily basis, "with key stakeholders in the IT team," providing guidance, strategic direction and support to other areas of the business on areas of expertise.

Government contractor: The enterprise architect is "responsible for working with business leadership and other cross-functional teams to define enterprise level strategies and technical direction, for client management information system and business process and data systems. The EA defines the system, technical, and application architectures, and the business systems architecture for major areas of development. Ensures appropriate technical standards and procedures are defined. Will provide architectural vision to appropriately align IT infrastructure to Federal strategic business needs and goals."

Resort company: In this organization, the EA is charged with "leading the full lifecycle management of large scale, multi-tier systems and products including requirements gathering, design, implementation and support while driving projects to reduce development, deployment and support costs, create scalable architectures and meet dynamic business demands."  Service oriented architecture is core to this approach. The EA is also expected to "provide project leadership in all phases of systems design, development and support," as well as "prepare strategic plans, task development, estimates, work plans, project working papers, project schedules and reports for management."

Oil company: The EA is charged with overseeing shared processes, "including information about company IT standards, architecture models and architecture review findings." The EA here is also "responsible for developing, updating, and maintaining the overall architecture, inclusive of business, information, application portfolio, and technology architectures, including current and target states." The EA also works with the business side to "understand IT requirements generated by business strategies and operational requirements." as well as "act as an arbitrator for overlapping and conflicting activities related to business, information and technology architectures." The EA job in this organization also includes architecture and asset lifecycle management. Standards development also is part of the job.

IT consulting firm: As part of this company, the EA is also "responsible for validating the implementation of architecture, enforcing best practices, and conducting code reviews delivered by the development teams." EAs here also "lead high level design and architecture for key enterprise applications, and participate in department wide SOA strategic initiatives."

Retailer: In this instance, the company needs a mobile EA who oversees the company's mobile technology vision, and is responsible for "designing and developing cutting edge tools and frameworks enabling development groups and customers to quickly develop and deploy modern mobile applications for both consumer and internal users." The mobile EA is also expected to play a role in developing a "services-enabled architecture" for its back-end systemss. The mobile EA here also supports the effort to "build out next generation mobile technology tools and frameworks that assure consistency in code development, packaging and delivery."

Insurance carrier: In this company, the EA helps "drive strategy, planning, business-services alignment, and innovation" across all aspects of the company's enterprise architecture. Areas the EA addresses include "enterprise technical strategy, identifying opportunities to increase operational efficiency, expanding business capabilities, and creating a more flexible and responsive systems architecture." The EA here is also expected to "define, champion, and guide adoption of technical architecture standards, tools, best practices, and development methodologies," as well as "evangelize and be a key influencer for optimizing enterprise systems architecture for the present and future needs of the business."

(Thumbnail photo: HubSpot.)

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