Insight

Here’s why you should consider a career in digital architecture

Jun 29, 2021

When organisations don’t consider the broader, enterprise context of new technology from the start of projects, they experience delays and inefficiencies that reduce the benefits of IT investments. Digital architecture helps solve this by aligning the right business and technology solutions around an organisation’s vision and objectives. That makes a career in architecture an exciting opportunity to combine an interest in IT with a wider business perspective.

There’s high demand for architects. And with the opportunity to shape the future of a business and create lasting IT solutions, it’s an ideal career path for anyone looking to get into tech.

What is digital architecture?

Digital architecture refers to the processes used to plan, design and construct a system, as well as the constructed system.

Three key types of architecture are enterprise, solution and system. The broadest is enterprise architecture, which takes a global business perspective, while the others focus in on specific components in solution or system:

  1. Enterprise architecture – Focuses on enterprise-wide solutions and long-term technology strategy across all architecture domains. Key roles are analysing trends in tech architecture, evaluating applications and educating IT teams on best practice.
  2. Solution architecture – Focuses on programme or project solutions across all architecture domains, documenting architectures and engaging with delivery methodologies. In this role, you’ll need both the business and technical perspective.
  3. System architecture – Focuses on the technical aspects of programme or project solutions and on involving a mix of technologies. System architects deploy, migrate and manage cloud applications or systems.

Why does architecture matter?

Research shows 82 per cent of IT managers feel digital transformation has increased their IT complexity. But 79 per cent said enterprise architecture had reduced IT complexity, even though most (77%) said their enterprise architecture programme wasn’t mature.

Architecture is a key driver of digital transformation and, when dealing with the rapid pace of change, organisations need their technology capabilities to align to customer needs and their strategic objectives. Every customer interaction with a company via an app, website or service provider highlights architectural success or inadequacies.

How can being a digital architect help build a positive human future?

Technology has the potential to answer many of the world’s toughest challenges, but it takes human ingenuity to unleash it. It’s an exciting time to be an architect, with an opportunity to design IT solutions that can have tangible, real-word applications.

For example, we put IT architecture at the core of a recent project to help the Danish Ministry of Health slow the spread of COVID-19 with digital contact tracing. In just 96 days, we coordinated the development of Smitte|stop, a national digital contact tracing app implemented by the Danish public health authorities in the early months of the pandemic. As a result, the country is better prepared for the next wave of the virus as vaccines begin to roll out.

Using our experience in managing complex stakeholder initiatives and crisis response, we helped participants from six governmental bodies align around six key workstreams in a compressed timeframe. With such a complex network of stakeholders working at pace, strong digital architecture was key to creating a successful app.

Predicting the future is notoriously difficult, especially in today’s ever-changing tech environment. Organisations need support to manage complexity and align resources towards a common goal. Architects are involved in predicting the types of technologies and systems a company might require to meet future demands and are instrumental in future proofing a business, helping them to adapt to market trends. 

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