Enterprise Architecture is a ‘Foundation Skill’ for the Engineering Students

By Satya Misra, Associate Director, HCL Technologies

Can you envisage a business that has no clear idea of what it has to work with and how it will achieve crucial goals? Sounds bizarre right! But this is very likely to happen due to the lack of skilled people who can understand and align business goals with a technical strategy and architecture that’s capable of supporting the current needs. This introduces us to an imperative discipline, Enterprise Architecture, which is considered a silver bullet by most organizations. 

Nowadays, engineering graduates and post-graduates usually attain a cursory knowledge of Information Technologies and Information Systems during their curriculum as the majority of the educational programs followed in universities are not in conjunction with Business Informatics, which is an integral requirement for today’s digital organizations. There is a demand for professionals who possess in-depth knowledge in both technical and business spheres. They are required to not only manage the development of products efficiently, but also understand the business context and work to improve the business function by aligning IT with business drivers. This is why the Enterprise Architect’s role is increasing in importance to the business and provides an anchor in a sea of change.

Before we move on, let’s do due diligence and get to know what Enterprise Architecture is. It is the process by which organizations standardize and organize IT infrastructure to align with the business goals. These strategies support digital transformation, IT growth, and the modernization of IT as a department. 

Considering the prominence of Enterprise Architecture in meeting the needs established by industry, educational institutions wishing to remain competitive in their offerings have to make significant overhauls to their IT curriculum. They need to accommodate an Enterprise Architecture courseware that is essential for engineers and helps them gain an integrated knowledge of architecture and engineering. Acquiring this unique combination of skills will add immense value to your career by making you highly niche-skilled and employable, especially in modern digital organizations .

Digital organizations require professionals who both technology and business saving, and can improve the business function by aligning IT with business drivers.

Addressing these problems, we have started The Open Group INITIATE (India Academic Initiative in Architecture) Work Group that focuses on integrating Enterprise Architecture as a discipline for academic institutions in India. It introduces students to the concepts of Enterprise Architecture and explains how engineering views can be integrated with those required for Enterprise architecture. The program covers relevant global and enterprise standards, including the TOGAF® Standard, IT4IT™ Reference Architecture, and the ArchiMate® Modelling language and methodology. Effective assignments that are encompassed within this program, aid the learning process. They lay an emphasis on how Enterprise Architecture can support business evolution and change, and enable organizations to establish and sustain their own architecture practice. This discipline inculcates strategy-making skills along with an understanding of how strategies can be successfully implemented and also align business needs with the development of technology and the organization as a whole.

Let’s explore how the standards and frameworks covered in this program can be beneficial in inculcating Enterprise architecture skills. 

The TOGAF Standard, a standard of The Open Group, is an exemplary framework that sits head and shoulders above the competition. In fact80% of Global 50 companies and 60% of Fortune 500 companies utilize it to design their architectures. The TOGAF framework provides you with an encyclopaedia to understand the relevant architecture concepts along with principles for designing, planning, implementing, and governing enterprise IT architecture. Acquiring TOGAF skills can help you bridge the gap between being a technologist and how architects seek to understand business problems and deliver business outcomes as professionals. 

The IT4IT Standard provides a powerful model for standardizing the digital automation fabric for supporting constant innovation and accelerated digital service delivery. This standard provides an overall framework for creating a Digital Operating Model, covering the value streams, capabilities, and data flows needed to manage the entire Digital Product lifecycle. With IT4IT skills, you will be in a position to identify and mitigate the elements that are lacking in managing the digital lifecycle and that might pose a risk to the business. You will also be able to better predict how certain changes will impact the digital infrastructure overall and in turn, make far more constructive decisions. 

Now, let’s discuss a modeling language, the ArchiMate language, that is also incorporated in this program and will make Enterprise Architecture concepts far easier to understand. The ArchiMate modeling language helps in mapping out the structures of corporate architectures and creating a straightforward map depicting the various aspects of an organization. Through ArchiMate skills, you would be able to outline the concepts and relationships that govern modern businesses.

Time to get started

With today’s blistering pace of technological change and an intensely competitive business world, enterprise architecture is of paramount importance. This calls for the education institutes and universities to upgrade their course curriculum and include Enterprise Architecture as a subject. Enterprise Architects have an extensive technical breadth and usually start with a bachelor’s degree in engineering as it provides a solid grounding in the basics. You have already set your foot on this path! It is now time to put yourself on a fast track with this program and capture the opportunity to help businesses navigate the shifting seas of today’s technology by becoming an Enterprise Architect. 

Satya is an Associate Director of HCL Technologies working as a Product Manager and is responsible for architecting, designing, and developing the HCL DRYiCE Orchestration Product and Service. Satya leveraged the IT4IT™  Standard extensively in developing HCL’s XaaS Service Management product, solutions, and services for HCL and their enterprise customers. He is an ITSM professional with 21+ years of work experience in the IT industry.

Satya has been actively involved in The Open Group IT4IT Forum for more than four years as an elected officer and as a member of the IT4IT Forum Steering Committee, the IT4IT Core Standard committee, and The Open Group Governing Board IT4IT Adoption workgroup. He is a published author in The Open Group library for a case study and is currently leading the chapter on the Deliver Function in Version 3.0 of the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture Standard, with significant contributions to the associated IT4IT™ Release and Consume value streams.


4 comments

  1. Well-thought & extremely relevant initiative. Kudos to Mr. Misra & the Open Group.

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