The digital and organisational transformation of corporations has led the IT Department to reconsider the part that Architecture has to play. Traditionally seen as the enforcer of standards and architecture models, the role of architecture has evolved to integrate technology expertise.

The changing role of Architecture is based on 4 main trends

Trend 1: The first trend is responsible for technology choices and Information System coherence.

The digital transformation and its new associated requirements have radically changed the way in which Information Systems are organised and inspired. A new vision to introduce groundbreaking technologies in coherence with existing “blocks”.

Architecture is at the centre of this vision, ensuring transition from a relatively restricted legacy IS to a more open and modular IS.

Trend 2: Maintaining a permanent watch, Architecture is used to make sense of emerging technologies and to associate these with relevant usages.

The emergence of a new “Native Cloud” or “Big Data” ecosystem, for example, has radically changed the technology landscape through the advent of increasingly complex solutions that proliferate and demand the maintaining of a permanent watch.

The Architecture industry is tasked with discovering these evolutions, determining the conditions of their secure deployment, developing strong views and sharing these with IT Department players. Today’s architects are required to decode technology and bring other stakeholders on board with it.

Trend 3: The linchpin of the IT Department, the Architecture team knows how to mobilise expertise to provide optimum support for projects and business teams.

Developing multiple expertise in a rapidly changing digital world is difficult but all the specific skills required can be assured through the formation of cross-functional project or production teams.

The Architecture team’s global vision of the IS and future changes can be used to identify all technology experts within the IT Department, and architects can also combine their visions to provide solutions in line with the usages defined by business teams and projects.

Trend 4: Immersed in an agile culture, the Architecture industry accepts the need to place the architect at the centre of projects

Significantly altering project rhythm, the agile method has changed the role of the architect within these projects. The fundamental role of architecture, at the origin of standards and architecture models, must now focus on the essence and vision of technology to ensure greater autonomy within projects

with architects taking on a more operational role. Operations have become the focus of projects to better meet needs and ensure coherence in terms of the technology vision.

Towards a new architect vision

Beyond the role of Architecture as a whole, it is the architect as an individual who must evolve and broaden the scope of their skills by incorporating soft skills.

Curious by nature, architects are keeping firmly up-to-date in terms of current and future technologies. Keeping an open mind, they know how to stand back from dogmatic visions and how to remain free-thinking.

Technologically literate, architects work with different experts in the IT Department in order to decipher solutions and use their analytical skills to disseminate technical aspects which they tailor to their audience.

As influencers rather than decision-makers, architects advise project and business teams on the technologies that are best adapted to their usages constantly mindful of seeking and reaching a consensus.

In the light of the radical transformations taking place in this industry and increasing market requirements, it is important to pass on the following four key skills to new generations of architects to allow them to develop within the industry:

  • design and modelling
  • technology culture
  • methodology culture
  • soft skills
Photo Vincent Drapier

Auteur : Vincent Drapier

Partner Architecture & CTO