10 Things Nobody Told You About Being an Enterprise Architect

10 Things Nobody Told You About Being an Enterprise Architect

Becoming an enterprise architect can be an incredibly rewarding career choice. However, it's not always properly understood by those aspiring to the role. Here are 10 key things to know before pursuing a career as an enterprise architect:

  1. Collaboration is crucial. While enterprise architects need technical skills, the ability to collaborate across the business is equally important. You'll work with diverse stakeholders, so communication and soft skills are a must.
  2. Expect ambiguity. Enterprise architecture issues are often complex, with no single right answer. You'll need to get comfortable operating in grey areas and making decisions with incomplete information.
  3. Alignment takes time. Gaining alignment between business and IT requires persistence. Stakeholders may have competing demands, so expect establishing a unified roadmap to take time and finesse.
  4. Change is constant. Enterprise architecture must adapt to changing business landscapes. The ability to be flexible and pivot is critical as goals shift. You'll need to embrace change.
  5. Scope varies. Enterprise architects wear many hats, from strategist to technology advisor. The scope is often undefined, so you must define your own role.
  6. Politics are unavoidable. There are often hidden agendas, warring factions and power struggles in organisations. Savvy political skills are invaluable for an enterprise architect.
  7. Patience is vital. EA initiatives take time to bear fruit. The work involves gradual, iterative progress towards long-term goals. Manage expectations and take a marathon mentality.
  8. Leadership capabilities matter. Enterprise architects must lead stakeholders towards a common target state. Strong leadership traits help you mobilise and motivate.
  9. Creativity helps. Rules and structured thinking get you only so far. Creative problem solving is needed to develop elegant, well-rounded architectures.
  10. Passion makes the difference. Genuine passion for the work fuels persistence in the role. Enterprise architecture is a demanding job fit for the dedicated.

While challenging, a career in enterprise architecture offers ample rewards for those willing to embrace its multifaceted nature. With the right understanding and preparation, it can be an incredibly fulfilling path. What lessons did you learn becoming an enterprise architect?

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