What Is IT Architecture, Anyway? (and Other Important Questions)

What Is IT Architecture, Anyway? (and Other Important Questions)

What Is IT Architecture?

Don't know what IT architecture is? You're not alone. Read on to find out the answer to this and other important questions!

Keyword(s): What Is IT Architecture

What is IT architecture? Building a computer system for your small business can cost tens of thousands of dollars. When you're spending that much money, you need to be sure of what you're doing.

Enter the IT architect. This employee is the guiding hand behind all of your computer systems. They will design every part of your business' network and let you get on with making cash.

But what does their job entail? Does every business need an IT architect? What different kinds of architects are there?

You've got a lot of questions, but we've got the answers. Want to find out what IT architecture is and why you need it? Then read on.

What Is IT Architecture?

Understanding just what is IT architecture can be difficult. In short, like an architect designs buildings, an IT architect will design your computer systems. There are three main types of IT architecture that do very different things for your business.

Enterprise Architect

An enterprise architect is a kind of architect that is less computer science-oriented. Instead, they focus on making IT work for your business.

They will often have technical backgrounds, but they are not the same as IT support. Instead, these employees will work on making your IT system fit your business' goals. They will look at your business strategy and find IT solutions to make it work.

An enterprise architect needs to be able to understand both IT and business at a high level.

Software Architect

Software architecture is a specific subset of IT architecture. They are exceptionally technical and are less concerned with the day-to-day running of your business.

Software architects will know how to code and will help you find cost-effective software solutions. They will act as a relay between the software development team and the business, acting as leaders to make sure that your needs are met.

Infrastructure Architect

You may have heard the term infrastructure architect bandied around and wondered "what is it, this infrastructure architecture?"

In short, infrastructure architects are responsible for keeping your business running smoothly. If you're planning to expand into a new market, they will create the solutions to handle the increased demand. They will keep your business' mobile apps and backends running smoothly.

They will also handle data security for your sensitive data. This part of their role could be ensuring your IT system is compliant with GDPR regulations, for example. Without an infrastructure architect, your business' IT system will struggle.

Do I Need an IT Architect?

Whatever the size of your business, you could benefit from having an IT architect on your staff. The position requires a great deal of knowledge, so we recommend having your staff trained in IT architecture. Larger businesses will require more than one architect.

Having an IT architect on your staff will ensure that everything is running smoothly. Once your IT needs are taken care of, you can focus on doing what you do best: making money and growing your business.

What to Look For in an IT Architect

IT architecture comes with a lot of responsibilities. You need to ensure that your new employee can fulfill all of these without any problems. A good IT architect should have the following qualities.

A Good Understanding of Business Technologies

Your IT architect needs to have a fantastic grasp of the latest business technologies. While a full grasp of business is only essential for enterprise architects, any IT architect worth their salt will understand business tech.

They should also have specialist knowledge of your industry's technology.

Design Skills

An IT architect needs to be a "big-picture" thinker. They should be able to put their knowledge into practice and design systems on a large scale.

This becomes even more important as the size of your business increases. The larger the business, the more complex its IT systems. A competent IT architect will be able to design systems of any size, either alone or as part of a team.

Communication Skills

It may not be related to IT, but excellent communication skills are key to the role of an IT architect. They will be required to document every step of their process in both technical and layman's terms.

They should also be good at giving presentations and should boast leadership skills. These two skills are particularly important given the IT architect's role as a leader. They need to be able to communicate well with superiors and subordinates.

Training an IT Architect

We've answered your question of "what is IT architecture". If you're ready to get an IT architect for your business, you should consider whether to hire a new employee or train an existing one.

Our training and in-house courses can give your existing employees the skills they need to succeed as IT architects. This cuts down on recruitment costs, time spent shortlisting and interviewing candidates and allows you to continue an existing business relationship, rather than starting a new one.

Whether you need one or more architects, our training will ensure that your business has everything it needs. We have trained architects for businesses from around the world and continue to build a reputation for excellence.

Our exams have a near 100 percent pass rate and we have over 450 satisfied clients on our books.

If you need an IT architect, we can help.

Final Thoughts on IT Architecture

We hope that while you may have started reading this article wondering "what is IT architecture", you now know, and realize why you need an architect.

In today's day and age, a secure, responsive and well-developed IT system is essential for any business. By training an employee as an IT architect, the sky is truly the limit for your business.

Do you have any further questions about IT architecture? Would you like to know more about what our training courses cover? Then get in touch with us, and we'll be happy to tell you more!

TOGAF Training: Reasons to Consider In-House Training

TOGAF training (The Open Group Architecture Framework) can help your team learn to utilize today's most efficient architecture principles. Of course, to put these principles to use, you'll first need to make sure your team has a thorough grasp of TOGAF standards and practices.

This means finding TOGAF training courses for your team. When seeking training materials, you'll have to make an important choice: should you train your team in-house, or look for outside assistance?

As surprising as it may seem, in-house TOGAF training is often your best bet, despite the need for a more hands-on development approach. To learn more about why you'll want to conduct TOGAF training inhouse and to find out how you find trainers and consultants, make sure you check out this video.

We'll highlight some of the most important reasons why inhouse training can ultimately work in your best interest. And if you'd like to learn more about TOGAF training, or you're ready to get in touch with consultants today, make sure to click the following link:

The Business Challenges Solved by Enterprise Architecture

The Business Challenges Solved by Enterprise Architecture

The Business Challenges Solved by Enterprise Architecture

When it comes to bridging the gap between technology and business, discover the challenges addressed and solved by enterprise architecture.

Keyword(s): enterprise architecture

The business landscape of today is changing at a breakneck pace.

Along with new opportunities, organisations face unique challenges, as well. Technology is the main driving force behind both of these developments. It holds the key to successfully steering transformation and dealing with complexities.

This is precisely where enterprise architecture (EA) comes into play.

The concept brings order and stability to organisations. It ditches the silo-based outlook of the internal structure and boosts productivity across the board. Its business case is rock-solid.

Alas, only a fraction of all companies actively practise enterprise architecture. They are yet to wake up to its full potential. On the other hand, early adopters have a chance to get ahead of the game.

So, let’s assume you want to join the ranks of the former group. Here is what EA can do for you and how to make the most of it.

A Blueprint for Change

Organisations across industry sectors are awash in innovation.

While this is a good thing, for the most part, there’s one problem. Various complexities are woven into the organisational fabric of companies. Over time, this process can cause many headaches.

We should underline right away enterprise architecture doesn’t automatically eliminate the problems. You have to deploy specific solutions and systems aimed at them.

But, EA does lay the groundwork for you to move forward. You can think of it as a roadmap for meeting present needs and future goals. Indeed, many enterprises use it to visualise and flesh out their plans for change and transformation.

The great thing is you don’t have to worry about facing the baggage of accumulated legacy assets. These elements refer to activities, tools, culture, policies, IT systems, and processes. They represent an intertwined matrix you can now begin to dissect.

The changes can include the endeavour of revamping of business models and technologies. This is to say organizations start pursuing different goals, make pivots, and enter new markets. These are abilities associated with higher organizational agility, which EA infuses you with.

You react to market changes and adapt to them faster than before. You’re less likely to be caught off guard and find it easier to navigate the competitive landscape.

A New Order Rises

EA introduces more strategic planning, business expertise, and systematisation.

You have a standard methodology and language to approach these vital functions.

More specifically, EA leads to the following outcomes:

As you can see, EA is it encourages you to base decisions on facts and figures.

It heavily focuses on accomplishing specific business outcomes. You can, for example, refine app development and other vital processes. The result is better product quality and faster market time– a win-win scenario.

As such, EA supports sound decision-making and removes the guesswork from the equation. It’s a means of managing your personnel, IT, information, and other resources.

Overall, there are always multiple layers of abstractions you need to grasp. Approaching them separately would only make you miss the broader picture. Contrariwise, tying them up together forms a holistic view of your path to success.

For instance, this practise formalises collaborative team and launch planning. It helps you establish a vision, as well as criteria for measuring performance. Of course, the idea is to run proper analysis and compare current output against key indicators.

It also helps if information flows freely, and all stakeholders can take part in the process.

Bring it all Together

Typically, enterprise architects act as stewards of digital transformation.

They help organisations move from domain and silo-based systems. The chief goal is to put together a unified, automated, and integrated ecosystem. This kind of setup brings forth benefits in terms of costs, modularity, redundancy, and reuse.

To make it happen, foster seamless integration of software solutions into the broader EA framework.

Namely, EA is supposed to improve solution deployment via supporting standards and technologies. You also solve dependencies between different tools that comprise your system.

They share parts of the enterprise architecture without causing any issues, crashes, and bugs.

The solutions themselves come in various shapes and forms. They can include apps, hosting platforms, business services, and reference architecture.

Among other things, you can let your business partners reuse common solutions. What is more, you have an opportunity to reduce resource waste and improve team productivity.

Tech Power-Up with Enterprise Architecture

Notice EA also encompasses areas of security and data management.

On these crucial fronts, it cultivates good governance and organisational maturity. This is in line with the benefits it adds to other operational areas.

When it comes to security, the avail is apparent. You’re able to do away with inadequate security measures and policies. In their place, you put advanced controls and privacy protection.

This is a way to achieve compliance and alleviate customer concerns. If you fall shy of these objectives, you can always rely on external EA professionals.

Finally, we should mention EA never loses sight of hardware requirements. After all, every business organisation must have strong pillars for running functionalities. They involve data centres/warehouses, hosting, cloud, virtualisation, and other platforms.

Ultimately, all the benefits we listed add up and empower your whole organisation. You’re propelled to leverage economies of scale and tap into growth opportunities. At the same time, you avoid perilous pitfalls that dot the road to triumph.

So, the main takeaway is clear. Start the multi-phased transformation endeavour sooner rather than later — bid farewell to the ordeal of having to juggle a bunch of disjointed IT components.

It’s a matter of surviving and thriving in a highly saturated market.

On Top of the Game

Enterprise architecture is a real game-changer, the glue that holds business transformation together.

It generates business value and facilitates various favourable business outcomes. You’re able to tackle rising complexities and constant change. Both of these factors profoundly shape your business prospects.

The EA adoption reflects on all organisational levels. You no longer have to implement improvements in business and IT silos. Seeing the big picture, it becomes easier to validate your plans, objectives, and ideas.

So, adopt a set of best practises and activities depicted above. Aline your resources around the axis of overarching business goals. Remember the benefits remain mere potential unless you seise and realise them.

Contact us in case you need training and consultancy services. It’s time to fine-tune business processes and ensure all teams work hand in hand.

How to Create a Thriving Agile Organisation

How to Create a Thriving Agile Organisation

How to Create a Thriving Agile Organisation

With lower risk associated and the demand to compete in today's marketplace, explore how to reap the benefits of creating an agile organisation.

Keyword(s): agile organisation

Agile transformation is a major pathway to success in the saturated markets of today.

Numerous organisations have already abandoned the rigid Waterfall approach. In its place, they’ve adopted Agile best practises. This move makes a lot of sense in the light of shifting demand and technological acceleration.

Indeed, Agile companies tend to outperform those that lag behind in terms of transformation.

But, making such a transition is far from a cosmetic procedure. Changes run deep and affect all levels of the company. There’s a slew of moving parts to juggle.

That can surely make becoming an Agile organisation a tricky proposition.

The good news is many entrepreneurs have been where you are. They showed us what trademarks all would-be practitioners must exhibit. So, here is your actionable blueprint for joining the ranks of Agile champions.

From the Ground Up

The Agile framework is geared toward early market time and superior quality.

Development and delivery processes unravel in iterations, time-boxed periods of activity. They are called Sprints and are supposed to produce product increments.

This basic setup means you effectively break projects down into smaller bits. You gradually build the solutions, one tangible portion at a time. The chief goal is to offer something valuable to users and do it as soon as possible.

There are a couple of initial lessons to keep in mind here.

First off, you’re co-creating value with users and stakeholders. Thus, you need to start gathering their feedback early on. This allows you to identify and prioritise particularly useful and essential features.

It’s also a good idea to do some testing, bug troubleshooting, and prototyping for good measure. These processes aren’t limited to a particular project stage. At any point in the lifecycle, they help you verify your ideas and validate the approach.

Being In Fine Balance

The next strategic goal revolves around balancing stability with dynamism.

We live in the age of process automation, digitisation, and data democratisation. Competition is rising and war for top talent heating up. Successful Agile organisations are able to capitalise on these developments.

In other words, they seize opportunities that disruptive trends and digital revolution bring.

You can think of Agile organisations as vibrant living organisms instead of well-oiled machines. This quality is evident in everything from team configuration to flexible resource allocation.

At the same time, you want to have strong fundamentals to always rely on. They remain a constant part of the success equation, as opposed to various variable elements. Performance-orientated processes and decision-making, for instance, are an absolute must.

This may already seem like a lot to handle but fret not. If you play it smart, you should be able to mitigate project risks and maximise return on investment (ROI).

A Paradigm Shift

Agile methodology is lightweight, customer-centric, and highly adaptable.

Hence, it’s highly advisable to tailor it to your unique business needs and requirements. Start by taking a good look and your internal end-to-end processes. You don’t have to change everything at once and how your journey will look like depends on the entry point.

Feel free to move gradually and revamp one organisational layer by one. The first steps are usually linked to areas of operation, strategy, and enterprise architecture. On the other hand, some businesses focus on the supply chain, product, and talent management.

Another smart tactic is to first commit to unit (team) changes and later expand the scope. You let people and their interactions shape your strategy, as is proclaimed by the Agile Manifesto.

While at it, you have to meet another objective: increase your ability to swiftly react to changes and adapt accordingly. This is to say you mustn’t cling onto outdated strategies, processes, tools, and roles.

People Hold the Key

Once that is sorted out, proceed to change the attitudes and behaviours of people.

Firstly, get a buy-in from corporate leadership and senior management. Explain to them all the benefits of doing business the Agile way. Try to make them personally and emotionally invested.

Then, initiate a cultural shift and make sure everyone understands what the Agile mindset entails. You may have to deal with some deep-seated habits to unlock the full potential of collaboration.

Next off, foster a broader climate of innovation, experimentation, and knowledge sharing.

Set up flat team structures and define clear, accountable roles. Empower these cells as basic organisational units. Most notably, bestow them with sufficient autonomy and self-management capacities.

Moreover, unclog the channels of communication and promote transparency. Do away with vertical hierarchies and information silos. Ensure workers are comfortable with heavy user and stakeholder involvement.

Leading the Way

Agile leadership is a different kind of ballgame than conventional bossing.

You need to learn to act as a mentor, coach, and guide. Yes, this includes refraining from intensive micromanaging and top-down directives. Hands-on governance is all about showing direction and enabling action.

Bear in mind, Scrum Master plays a pivotal role here. This individual needs to be a servant-leader, always standing at people’s disposal. He/she protects teams from negative pressures and keeps an eye on impediments.

Finally, leaders must remember nothing is set in stone. What works today may not cut it tomorrow.

To be Agile is to embark on a journey of constant learning and improvement. You adjust your tactics and processes based on a stream of fresh practical insights.

Following these steps propels you toward thriving business lands. You will boost your organisational health and long-term market performance.

Agile Organisation at Its Finest

Achieving organisational Agility requires you to cover quite a bit of ground.

So, make this ambitious and vital undertaking your strategic priority. Assess your present business case and come up with a game plan. Have strong reasons and logic behind your decision to become an Agile organisation.

Unite a network of fit-for-purpose teams around a shared vision. Provide guidance, sense of purpose, and all the necessary information. Establish a standardised set of practices that forward your mission and aspirations.

Integrate user and employee feedback into everything you do. Operate in short learning, deployment, and decision cycles. Nimbly respond to arising challenges and opportunities.

Contact us if you need assistance demolishing barriers and fine-tuning processes. It’s time to rise above the competition!

8 of the Most Important Enterprise Architecture Training Courses For the Future

8 of the Most Important Enterprise Architecture Training Courses For the Future

The Most Important Enterprise Architecture Training Courses

If you're in the enterprise architecture industry, this post is for you. Click for the most important enterprise architecture training courses for the future!

Keyword(s): enterprise architecture training

The power of enterprise architecture is echoing across businesses around the globe. From cloud systems to IT strategy, the works of enterprise architecture is everywhere.

Have you been eyeing the enterprise architecture industry? Do you want to get an edge on the competition? Then there's a lot of training courses that can help you.

Getting your enterprise architecture training is a long road, but we're here to steer you in the right direction.

Certifications for Enterprise Architecture Training

Training courses are all over the internet and come in many forms. For enterprise training, most will be elaborate courses similar to a semester's worth of college studies.

When it comes to breaking in or speeding ahead in the enterprise architecture industry, you'll need these courses. They not only lay the groundwork for the projects you'll be working in, but also give you the proper certifications to solidify your talent.

Not all certifications have explicit instructions to take a related online course. That said, the knowledge a course can provide can push you to complete these certifications.

These 8 courses and certifications are the backbone of enterprise architecture. Follow these and you'll be good to go for anything the industry throws at you.

1. The Open Group TOGAF® 9 Certification

TOGAF is one of the most potent and popular frameworks for enterprise architecture. Every TOGAF® course and certification is recognized on a global level. They're an obvious inclusion for any enterprise architect.

TOGAF is best used for implementing and managing a host of enterprise technology. This marks it as a versatile skill that can slide into almost any setup.

The certification and course have 2 different levels and you can complete them either together or separately.

2. Axelos ITIL Expert and Master Certification

Another popular IT management framework is ITIL. Its strength comes from managing service processes and is almost a requirement if you work in any ITSM environment.

This certification focuses on hands-on experience, working with IT service management in leadership and management positions. The general suggestion is a 5-year experience before moving to the Masters level.

Both the Expert and Masters levels can be valuable certifications. The Axelos certifications don't always need coursework. Though finding a good training program to give you a headstart on your ITIL basics is a great start.

3. CISSP Information Systems Security Architecture Professional (CISSIP-ISSAP)

Some courses and certifications build upon other certifications brought into the enterprise architecture mind frame. This certification builds upon a CISSP certification with a heavy focus on architecture.

These courses cover identity and access management architecture. Both of these provide a common backbone for enterprise architecture.

As well, it often covers security operations, infrastructure security, governance, compliance, and even risk management and modelling, and application security.

4. Dell EMC Proven Professional Cloud Architect Training and Certification

This certification is a collection of various certifications under the Dell EMC certifications. You can take each of the condensed courses themselves if you wish.

The courses cover designing cloud services in an ITaaS environment. It also covers the management and gathering of proper requirements for said cloud services.

There are many collaborative applications that these courses can provide and it's a perfect way to practice your skills.

5. EC Council Certified Network Defense Architect (CNDA)

For all the government and military contracts, this is the certification that'll be of the utmost importance. With a heavy focus on security and organizational compliance, this is a great course for high-security frameworks.

The EC Council has constructed this course to provide a stable learning platform for ethical hacking. This course is one that needs to be taken through a government agency. In addition, it'll require a previous CEH certification.

The CEH, or Certified Ethical Hacker, has a lot in common with the CNDA. Both showcase a user's ability to prove security issues by "hacking" the system.

Using offence as a form of defence has been many governments' tool for cybersecurity.

6. Google Professional Cloud Architect

This is a more company-specific certification and works with Google Cloud technologies. With Google's prominence in the industry, it's a powerful tool to have on your resume.

There are multiple details needed to understand how best to design and plan using Google Cloud's architecture. It can be used for security, compliance, cloud management, and optimising business practices.

Google has remained versatile in a wide variety of operations on the cloud and cloud implementation. Google paves the way for a strong basis contender in the enterprise architecture industry.

7. Professional Cloud Solutions Architect Certification

This is the Cloud Credential Council's very own cloud architecture certification. It has a host of benefits and teachings on basic enterprise architecture.

This course covers a wide area of the enterprise architecture industry. The topics range from ITaaS, cloud computing, and even implementing and evaluating existing cloud structures.

This certification doesn't have strong requirements ahead of time. Though understanding of strong basics like TOGAF and basic cloud technology can make the courses easier.

8. Red Hat Certified Architect

The Red Hat Certified Architect has several tiers of certification. All of them can help build up your enterprise architecture expertise. There's the Certified Engineer, the Certified Enterprise Microservices Developer, and the Certified JBoss Developer.

The variety of Red Hat certifications allows you to customise based on your current job. It can also help future job applications or a simple specialisation into a piece of the industry you excel at.

The Evolution of Enterprise Architecture

These 8 certifications are only the beginning. With the ever-shifting atmosphere of technology, enterprise architecture is bound to shift as the years go on. While none of these certifications will be useless any time soon, new ones will come.

You should always brace yourself by keeping up to date. Which courses come along and what new frameworks and technologies you can use is important to keep up with the industry.

Keeping Training Sharp

Getting the most out of your enterprise architecture training is easier with the right guides. The enterprise architecture industry has a lot to offer and will remain the backbone of many businesses for years to come.

With all technology shifts and industry changes, it's good to stay on top of what certifications you'll need for the future. We here at the Architecture Center have all the information and resources you'll need. Contact us today!

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