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EntArch

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A Profession as Enterprise Architect

Terese Besker and Rolf Olsson MSc Thesis: The present trend shows that Enterprise Architecture (EA) is an essential resource to improve the organizational efficiency, effectiveness, and agility, both in the business and the technology environment. The Enterprise Architect professionals who are working in this area are thus essential for operations in organizational transformation and development, therefore, vital to understand the ambition of this profession. There are several academic studies available concerning EA. However, there are few empirically based studies which in particularly reflect the Enterprise Architect profession. This study, examining the profession of the Enterprise Architect, sheds new light on what these professionals do within their organization on an every-day basis and how this view differs from how the profession is described in existing research. The purpose of this paper is to explore and compare how the Enterprise Architect profession is described both by academics and by empirically collected data. We perceive five topics that are essential to a comprehensive, rich picture of the profession; the role, competence, power, style of acting and main focus. The study is based on an initial literature survey and an empirically based study based on interviews with Enterprise Architects in ten large Swedish organizations. Our interviews show that the architect's work in several aspects is consistent with the literature but in other respects, an evident dissimilarity is revealed. One of the most obvious differences is the architect's mindset in terms of working in a reactive or a proactive way. Our interviews show that architects are working primarily in a reactive approach both in terms of how their roles are described but also in relation to how the EA function is set up. Although it is evidential that most of the architects’ work is based on a reactive basis, the architects claim it would be inappropriate with a purely proactive approach. Nevertheless, the establishment of the EA as a function within the interviewed organizations seems to have been well implemented, where architectural principles are determined as mandatory, while an interesting finding is that major or radical IT investments appears to overrule the architectural principles and is part of top management discretion only.

http://enterprisearchitect.se/docs/Besker_Olsson_EnterpriseArchitectCompiled.pdf

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