Top 8 Focal Points for Enterprise Architects in 2018

Posted by Lesa Moné on January 25, 2018


2017 was an exciting year for enterprise technology. We've been introduced to artificial intelligence, found ways to apply machine learning techniques, and eased our apprehension with cloud computing and storage. 2017 was also the year that digital transformation uncovered the immense value of Enterprise Architecture. Enterprise Architecture has become the fastest-growing, in-demand skill set in technology, up 26% from 2016.As the digital landscape changes, and new trends and potential revenue streams pop up at each turn, the Enterprise Architect's holistic view and potential to rationalize emerging technologies has proven to be invaluable. Below are the top 7 focus points Enterprise Architects should keep on their radar in 2018.

Top focus points for Enterprise Architects in 2018:


The European Union General Data Protection Regulation enforcement date is looming. Every business that process the personally identifiable information of European citizens has until May 25, 2018, to demonstrate their compliance. Enterprise Architects are in the best position to prepare their company for this regulation - and the penalties are steep.

Click here to learn how Andreas Bosch, Enterprise Architect for McKesson, uses a professional EAM tool to demonstrate GDPR compliance. 

2. Digital Twin

The concept of digital twin technology has been around since the early 2000’s – yet IoT has recently provided us with a cost-effective way to explore its possibilities. In short - a digital twin integrates artificial intelligence, machine learning and software analytics with data to create living digital simulation models that update and change as their physical counterparts change. Digital twins are a virtual model of a process, product, or service that allow analysis of data and monitoring of systems to realize problems before they occur, prevent downtime, develop new opportunities and plan for the future. 

In 2018, Enterprise Architects should spearhead the digital twin ventures within their enterprise – using the closed, virtual environment to develop data-driven recommendations, roadmaps, and uncover valuable lessons and opportunities.

3. IoT Architecture

The IoT presents far more opportunities than most organizations initially recognize. For instance, corporations that sell products can attach sensors to them to track the usage of the end-user. This usage can be sold - which increases the revenue stream. While other board members keep trendy IoT ideas on their radar, Enterprise Architects can research and evangelize which IoT plan supports their company's current and future state. IoT devices need a distinctive infrastructure to support the new connections, massive amounts of data, and will require further security regulations. 

As IoT promises to reshape entire industries in unprecedented ways (i.e. Smart factory), Enterprise Architects will ensure that the organization is prepared.


4. Intelligent Analytics

Forrester Research reports that 20% of enterprises will deploy AI to make decisions and provide real-time instructions. In 2018, enterprises will move beyond the hype and excitement of AI and start building the groundwork it takes to benefit from the technology. Planning, deploying, standardizing, and governing correctly. Which role is better suited than Enterprise Architects to formulate this initial plan? 

DOWNLOAD The EA's Guide to Machine Learning

5. Blockchain

The enterprise has just found an appropriate use for blockchain technologies - smart contracts. Since blockchain transactions are publicly accessible - there is a significant reduction in the incidence of fraudulent transactions. Blockchain contracts are a software program that acts as an agreement where pre-programmed terms can be written to self-execute and self-enforced. Smart contracts allow parties to do business together without the need for a costly middleman like an attorney. Smart contracts provide a way to vastly reduce the cost of the transaction as well as provide significant savings in time that might typically be spent in the contract negotiation process.

Santander Bank's innovation fund, Santander Innoventures, expects blockchain technology to lead to $15-20 billion in annual savings in infrastructure costs by 2022. Enterprise architects can look to streamline their supply chain management, enable smarter contract processes and platforms, and benefit from tighter cybersecurity.

Click here to check out the three companies leading the Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) revolution.


6. Adaptive Risk Management

Enterprises used to be risk-adverse - yet now we are now learning that risk is inevitable. To compete in the global economy, Enterprise Architects can prepare their companies to align risk with strategy. Security should be proactive, not reactive, which is why EA can help their organizations become a part of proactive security planning. With the support of professional EAM tools, Enterprise Architects can gauge the current state of tech assets and advise on steps to take to mitigate risk.

7. Design Driven Architecture

40% of enterprise architects will focus on design-driven architecture in 2018. Going forward, Enterprise Architects will create systems with the customer in mind, then link the solution to traditional architectural components - claims Marcus Blosch, vice president of research at Gartner.

8. Collaboration Skills

A key component of an Enterprise Architect of Tomorrow is the easy collaboration with his or her stakeholders. Impactful Enterprise Architects of Tomorrow must also have an agile mindset, absorb raw analytics and translate them into business context, evangelize new topics, and making data-driven decisions. Learn how to develop these skills from our white paper.

2018 is leading to be an exciting year for Enterprise Architects. Comment below if you think we've missed any 2018 focus points!

Data-Driven Enterprise Architecture