What should the business-minded Enterprise Architect focus on?

Many of us have already digested the reality that Enterprise Architecture is becoming an increasingly important field within the IT realm.  As you have no doubt already gathered, Enterprise Architects are finding themselves grabbing powerful positions within both their company as well as their IT department(s).  Why is this the case, you ask?  Simply put, those who are in charge of the business aspects of companies are waking up to the true value of IT itself.  Likewise, a great number of CEO’s, managers and board members often have some great ideas and directions their institution can take, but often have no idea about how to bring them to fruition.  The Enterprise Architect takes these ideas and combines them with their hard-won knowledge about both IT systems (perhaps even the structure of the business in question) and any perceived risks or inefficiencies in the so-called “chain of command”.

However, many inventive enterprise architects might still be in the dark when it comes to determining what it is that they should be focusing on in terms of innovation and change.  Because it is technology that is driving most businesses these days, one has to remain on the cutting edge of what’s hot.  This applies not just to the world of IT, but also to technology in general – because it’s really hard for anyone to predict how these things will affect either the business or consumers.  At any rate, here are a few things to consider if you’re in any way involved with Enterprise Architecture:

Mobile platforms and applications
There are literally hundreds of statistics and polls that clearly indicate that the mobile market is not only extremely dominant right now, but it is also poised for additional growth.  In fact, many very well-known trends analysts have stated that they have absolutely no idea where the “top” of the mobile market is.  What does this imply?  For starters, this information clearly points toward the need for businesses to jump in and capitalize on all of this growth.    Not only would companies be able to find new technological avenues for connecting with customers, but some might even discover completely uncharted (yet profitable) territory in which to expand into. Similarly, we’ve only just scratched the surface in terms of how certain current and emerging mobile technologies might be used “internally” (that is to say, “within” a business, to connect employees and drive it forward).

Cloud Computing
From one-off cloud services to dedicated infrastructure packages, cloud computing is (still) one of the hottest topics in the IT world. Simply put, there’s an incredible amount of both opportunity as well as latent potential in the cloud, especially for open-minded and creative businesses.  For example, we’re seeing cloud services and products springing up for nearly every purpose one can imagine.  By the same token, the increasing competition in the cloud markets is helping to drive down the individual prices of products and services.  This essentially means that an enterprising business (no pun intended) can capitalize on such an opportunity by identifying individual cloud-fueled items which can be applied to both weak and strong sectors of the organization.  The great thing about cloud computing is its wide-ranging influence and potential uses; it can be implemented both inside and outside of a business, to both serve and attract customers, as well as efficiently overhaul internal operations.

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Big Data
It could be argued that Big Data is (currently) the most important area of focus for enterprise architects.  The reasoning behind this is fairly simple – big data is both a potential problem as well as source of extracting additional growth / insight.  Let’s clarify, shall we? So we should already be aware of how big data is created (through the mass aggregation of gigantic amounts of user data); in 2012, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data were created every single day!  Needless to say, given the fact that new technologies are being invented all the time which will allow us to extract additional value from big data, it only makes sense to look towards investing in it.

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Moreover, depending on how much data your business (or the institution you are serving) generates, further investigation of big data might be absolutely necessary.  For instance, being able to handle data “booms” from a technical standpoint is admirable, but one has to ask the question at some point – could big data analysis methods create additional profits for my company?   It might be that (through big data analysis of employee data) you’ll discover several ways of improving some aspect of your business’ operation(s).

Today’s enterprise architect needs to remain on the cutting-edge of not only what’s trending, but also remain aware of any emerging approaches to enterprise architecture itself.  Naturally, this applies to both those who are currently fulfilling an enterprise architect role or are considering it as a potential career choice.   Perhaps one of the best ways to achieve this is through checking out one of the many comprehensive and affordable certification courses in the subject, like this:
http://store.theartofservice.com/enterprise-architecture-complete-certification-kit.html

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