As innovation continues to become a top priority for companies, the role of enterprise architect also takes on more importance.
To be successful at this unique and ever-evolving role requires a wide range of skills and characteristics.
Here are the most important characteristics needed to be a successful and influential enterprise architect.
Motivated and Motivational
At the most basic level, the role of the enterprise architect is to facilitate change.
Not only do they have to be proactive about identifying opportunities for improvement, they also have to be able to convince team members to adopt these changes.
First and foremost, the enterprise architect has to show excitement about their initiatives.
Secondly, they have to be able to appeal to employees on both a logical and emotional level so that they hear the message and also connect with it in a way that motivates them to make changes.
In this way, an enterprise architect not only has to be proactive and motivated to challenge entrenched habits and ways of thinking, they also have to be able to transfer their excitement to employees and motivate them to get onboard with new projects and protocols.
The Great Communicator
A big part of motivating employees to enthusiastically take on change is clear communication.
The enterprise architect has to oversee aspects of both the technical and business sides of the company, which means they need to communicate with different types of people with different concerns about the same innovation.
Each department will have its own concerns about implementing changes, and the enterprise architect needs to be able to anticipate points of resistance and be prepared to appeal to a range of departments and personalities.
This type of communication is nuanced and requires a certain amount of emotional intelligence.
Empathy can go a long way in helping enterprise architects connect with people in a way that makes communication more effective.
Becoming an all-star enterprise architect requires a natural curiosity and appetite for knowledge.
Enterprise architects are responsible for bridging the gap between business and technology and advocating for innovation. This means staying on top of the latest happenings in both fields and being able to identify emerging trends.
If they don’t have a real interest in the field and a thirst for new information, it can be all too easy to get left behind, which ultimately means that the company also loses ground to competitors.
Flexible and Adaptive
There is no universal job description that can capture what it means to be an enterprise architect because the role is slightly different at each company and the responsibilities are always changing.
That means that a successful enterprise architect needs to be able to let go of more rigid ideas of what the title means and demonstrate the flexibility to adapt as circumstances dictate.
This requires a willingness to reorganize when necessary and show initiative when new tasks need attention.
Do You Have What It Takes?
To say that the role of enterprise architect is complex and challenging is an understatement.
It takes a truly unique leader with a specific set of characteristics to be successful in this position.
A background in both IT and business is a start, but more importantly, enterprise architects must be able to motivate team members, communicate across departments, maintain a natural curiosity and remain flexible as their position expands and evolves.