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10 Skills Enterprise Architects Need In 2024

Posted by Neil Sheppard on January 4, 2024
10 Skills Enterprise Architects Need In 2024

Enterprise architects need to transform with the times as we enter 2024. Let's explore the 10 skills enterprise architects need to thrive in the new year.

Enterprise architecture (EA) is the key to business transformation success. Gaining the clarity on your IT landscape and application portfolio that EA offers is a vital step before you can think about transformation.

Yet, as the pace of change turns business transformation into a way of life, rather than just a one-off project, EA needs to evolve beyond its origins. In 2024, EA needs to be a permanent function of your organization to support continuous transformation.

More than this, enterprise architects are perfectly placed to support the adoption of new technology, such as generative artificial intelligence (AI). To do so, however, architects need to expand their skill set.

To support this, we've put together a list of the 10 skills we believe enterprise architects need to develop in order to thrive in 2024:

1 AI Expertise

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is set to revolutionize enterprise. Yet, how do we best leverage it?

A huge and expanding number of AI software vendors have entered the market in the last six months with varying capabilities to their products. How do you know which tools are essential and where in your IT landscape you should implement them?

Enterprise architects are in the best position to make these judgments due to their knowledge and experience with both new technology and your IT landscape. As such, enterprise architects will soon need to become experts in AI and large language model operations (LLMOps) to keep up in 2024.

READ: LLMOps - Is Your Enterprise Architecture Function Ready?

2 Data Science

2024 is the year we get smart about data. Bad data means bad insight, which means bad decision-making, so data governance is vital.

This is why it's important for enterprise architects to become data scientists. Making your data smarter will empower your enterprise architecture function to better support your business.

READ: LeanIX Platform Powers Up Data Governance With Collibra

3 Modernization Mastery

Legacy applications hold back your organization's productivity. Not only do they not support your people in their work, but these applications also eat up your technical teams' time in keeping them running.

One of the fastest ways to win the support of your organization for enterprise architecture initiatives is to replace a particularly frustrating application. Modernize your entire application portfolio, however, and you'll see your organization's productivity improve as a whole.

Application modernization is a challenge and it's easy to put it off, which is why our research suggests only 15% of organizations update their application portfolio regularly. Yet, you should make it a recurring practice in 2024.

READ: App Modernization - Have You Completed A Cloud Readiness Assessment?

4 Observed Obsolescence

While an abundance of legacy technology is a cause for concern, each application needs to be appraised on a case-by-case basis. It's possible that an older application could actually be a better functional fit for your organization.

More likely, however, is that removing a legacy application could be more trouble than it's worth. When you have clarity on how each application fits into your IT landscape, it could become apparent that removing an application would cause more problems than it would solve.

Just as enterprise architects need to become experts at surgically removing outdated applications, they also need to know when the time is right to remove an application and how to manage legacy technology until that point. That's the true value of enterprise architecture.

5 Superior Soft Skills

As generative artificial intelligence (AI) and other new technologies continue to take the weight of work out of daily tasks, the value a human can add is more about communication, negotiation, and diplomacy. Getting stakeholders on board with enterprise architecture involves charm and understanding.

In 2024, it's going to become increasingly key for traditionally technical enterprise architects to develop their soft skills and focus on stakeholder management over pure technical reporting. With the human element of enterprise architecture managed, everything else will fall into place.

6 Great Showmanship

Chief among the above-mentioned soft skills is the ability to not only communicate, but also sell the value of enterprise architecture (EA). An enterprise architect who can give a dynamite presentation that turns their leaders into EA evangelists for life is incredibly valuable.

In 2024, the key to EA will be in building communities, managing objections, and change management. Doing that requires a little Steve Jobs-style stagecraft.

7 Kings (And Queens) Of KPIs

For decades now, companies have been focused on business transformation. As we mature as a market, however, the question is not so much whether we can transform, but whether a transformation is worthwhile.

CIOs and IT leaders are now looking for more detail than just a tick box on a business transformation. They want to be able to see at a glance what the merits of a transformation are, where you are on the road map, and whether the transformation derived the value you hoped it would.

As such, dashboard creation will be key for EA in 2024. It's an easy way to add essential value for your leadership.

8 Sustainability Superhero

Fairly or unfairly, IT is seen as the primary contributor to a company's carbon footprint through the use of electricity. This means it's vital for IT to take a pro-active stance on sustainability.

By gaining clarity on the sustainability of each application in your portfolio, you can show the sustainability value of your application modernization efforts. Benchmarking and reporting on overall improvement can then offer vital information for leaders to show to regulators and recruitment.

DOWNLOAD: Sustainable Enterprise Architecture with PwC and LeanIX

9 Mature Enterprise Architecture

Much of what we've been exploring in this article has been about leveling up your enterprise architecture (EA) function to provide the value that the modern market needs. To do that, however, you need to benchmark the maturity of your EA function and see the steps that you can take to progress.

To support you, we've created an EA Maturity Assessment based on The Open Group Architecture Forum (TOGAF) Architecture Maturity Model. The Assessment will rate your EA practice under one of the five TOGAF categories:

  1. Informal - EA is just a vision
  2. Developing - EA is in progress
  3. Defined - EA is a completed project
  4. Managed - EA is an ongoing function
  5. Measured - EA is continuously improving

To start your journey to EA maturity, try our Assessment tool:

START: EA Maturity Assessment

10 Become A LeanIXpert

From maintaining better data in the most important areas like artificial intelligence (AI) use and sustainability, to learning to better communicate and share that data to get buy-in for the surgical removal of legacy technology, all the skills that enterprise architects need are enabled by the LeanIX enterprise architecture management platform.

As such, the final skill that enterprise architects need in 2024 is mastery of the LeanIX platform to support them in their work. To find out more about how LeanIX can empower your enterprise architecture function, book a demo:

Request demo

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