The blend of architecture and strategy in IT is evident in the direction CIOs are taking in terms of their digital strategies, with enterprise architecture (EA) increasingly seen by the executives as a key element of those same strategies. According to analysts, digital technologies – from big data and analytics to social media and mobile – are leading to new opportunities and the creation of innovative business models.
Predicting exactly where a new idea or technology fits in terms of organisational direction, as well as the difference it will make is sometimes problematic. Nevertheless, EA can serve as a support mechanism for both harvesting and hunting, acting as a link between new technologies and innovations. Those EA professionals with jobs in technology can also provide support for hunting through the tracking and creation of innovation management processes. The driving force behind harvesting are such techniques as business capability modelling, which can serve as a foundation for the identification and delivery of outcomes. EA can also be used to identify potential synergies across an organisation, so that capabilities created in one area of the organisation can subsequently be harvested to the benefit of other areas. If both hunting and harvesting are to succeed, there is a need for positive relationships between those working in enterprise architecture and business executives, with the common goal of business-outcome-driven EA.
An additional challenge facing CIOs and EA professionals alike is how to go about developing the competencies required in order to provide the support needed for effective hunting and harvesting. In terms of EA, there is a growing emphasis on skills within the areas of business and information architecture, both of which can be difficult to acquire in terms of finding the right candidate. Core EA competencies are seen as including business strategy execution, business innovation and business strategy formulation. In addition, behavioural skills – establishing and maintaining positive working relationships with all relevant stakeholders – are also seen as critical. All of this does represent, of course, an opportunity for EA professionals to turn their role in a more strategic direction, with a clear focus on innovation and business growth.
It is clear that the challenge for IT recruitment professionals is to identify those candidates with a background and skills in EA who are best equipped to promote the role of EA as a key element in the overall strategic direction of the particular organisation engaged in the recruitment drive.
This artilce has been written by Hannah Young - Consultant - Architecture & Strategy. For more information please contact Hannah on:
+44 (0) 20 7014 0230 e:firstname.lastname@example.org
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