7 traits of successful enterprise architects

In an age of digital transformation, businesses need someone who can plan and build a forward-looking systems infrastructure. Here's how to find that elusive expert.

7 traits of successful enterprise architects
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With digital transformation challenging businesses worldwide, a growing number of companies are placing their future into the hands of an enterprise architect, someone who can take disruption and turn it into a competitive advantage. With a CIO's guidance, the enterprise architect can develop a systems architecture and technology evolution plan that will support and advance the enterprise's business strategy for years to come.

Finding a qualified enterprise architect isn't easy, and handing an enterprise's fate over to someone who isn't equipped to perform the job can be operationally and financially devasting. To ensure that you hire an enterprise architect who understands your organization's goals and has the business and technical knowledge needed to build a resilient yet flexible systems architecture, pay close attention to the following traits.

1. A solid track record

Most organizations look for an enterprise architect with a proven track record of delivering large, impactful solutions that enable management to achieve multiple business goals. The EA "should have demonstrated experience working with executives to understand what's important to running the business," observes Anand Bahl, CIO, CVP, of chipmaker Micron Technology. An EA should also know how to align IT services with enterprise goals to create a competitive advantage. Additionally, the EA should possess a background in proposing disruptive technologies that will lead to product or service differentiation, rather than suggesting safe and bland commodity solutions that will do little more than meeting the organization's basic IT needs.

Noel Reynolds, director of solution architects at DNS software vendor BlueCat, believes that an EA should be able to point to past architecture accomplishments, including design choices, goals achieved and challenges met and conquered. "They should also be able to describe their learning process for picking up new technologies," he adds.

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