Going on twenty years now in IT I have worked for several organizations in many different roles and the one I found to be the most challenging is the Enterprise Architect role. Although the role is rewarding, it is also very challenging considering all the business realities that come with designing solutions for your enterprise. The expectations are very high that the architect takes into consideration all business factors so that the solutions they architect stand up to the rigors of the real-world, not just some textbook, pie in the sky environment.
With that said I recently spoke with several fellow architects from some of Scribe’s large enterprise customers to understand their challenges. As you can imagine I had a very lengthy list but I noticed some commonalities. Below I have highlighted the 5 major challenges that they face and included a quote from one of the architects showing how they describe that challenge in their own words.
1.Collaboration – Designing an enterprise solution requires more collaboration and input than ever before. It can be difficult to get everyone in the same room at the same time to design a solution. Selecting enterprise solutions that can encourage and or support collaboration is important
“Design-assistance from business unit experts is needed more now, given the complexity of tasks, disparate business groups, and systems to design an enterprise solution.”
2.Tools – Choosing the right tools is a critical and difficult challenge for any architect. The tools he/she chooses are crucial to the productivity of the IT organization and overall business enablement. Architecting a solution with a tool that can scale as the business grows and changes is paramount. “Manual” is a dirty word. Automation and real-time solutions are necessary for a modern business.
“The constant need for better real-time synchronization solutions across application platforms, so that better ‘translation’ of meaningful data can help in the business decision making.”
3.Broader Skills –The Enterprise Architect role is changing. Businesses are expecting the EA not only to know more about the tools they recommend, but also to use some of them in a project. Recommending tools that you can use and show how they fit into the solution you are presenting is now necessary.
“Specialization, is still good but also the need to extend skills from conceptual to actual by demonstrating usage helps with adoption when you can lead by example.”
4.Technical Governance – Governing the use of technology throughout the enterprise is not an easy task and the fact that an audit is around every corner makes it critical that your solutions provide the right mix of control to uses without compromising the essential elements of IT control. You cannot treat security, segregation of duties, or data as after thoughts. Instead they must be the highest priority in any solution.
“Knowing the chain of custody related to your company’s data and the ability to demonstrate change control standards is expected.”
5.Cloud Requirements – All new solutions must be cloud based! There is no more appetite for business solutions that burdens IT with the support and maintenance of an on-premise infrastructure. The expectation is that you are architecting solutions that fall in line with the business strategy today and in the future even when technology is changing at a fast pace.
“Not in my datacenter you don’t! Our IT departments are focusing on solution support not hardware support and application upgrades.”
These 5 major challenges are helping drive innovations around our Scribe cloud data integration platform, or iPaaS. Here are a few examples of how Scribe addresses these challenges:
- Scribe’s platform enables collaboration by enabling an integration developer to easily invite business unit experts into a project to help design the right integration flows related to their business process.
- Scribe offers a lengthy and still expanding set of enterprise connectivity options. When you recommend that your company invest in an application it can be nerve-racking. Choosing one that address today’s and tomorrow’s challenges is important. With its expanding library of application connectors (see our recent press release on the Connector Developer Program) and enterprise messaging capabilities, Scribe can address your application integration needs today and as you grow.
- Scribe helps those that aren’t integration specialists create complex integrations. Once you have made that application recommendation, being able to use it yourself helps drive adoption and trust. Scribe makes building complex integrations easy by providing a visual, self-documenting method of building integrations that allows architects, application developers, business analysts and others to build integrations without being an expert.
- Scribe has an architecture that enables governance. IT governance is something that has fast become a priority focus and there is no way you can design a project without taking governance into consideration. Scribe’s multi-tenant architecture segregates production from test and gives you the ability to export integration solutions for version control. These capabilities will help keep you remain compliant.
- Scribe Online is built for the cloud-based environments. Scribe Online is a cloud-based integration platform as a service (iPaaS) that not only supports a cloud-first enterprise approach, but is also agile enough to address hybrid environments. Remember the goal is to focus on designing the integration solutions for applications and leave the costs and effort of power, cooling, maintenance, and updates to someone else.
To learn more, read our guide for enterprise architects, “15 Reasons to Use an iPaaS for Cloud Service Integrations.” You can also visit our Developers Portal today to learn more about extending the Scribe Online platform and embedding into custom applications.