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An inside look at an enterprise architect's world

Is the role of enterprise architect changing? It is, and it isn’t. I know that’s helpful.

I recently spoke with Todd Loeppke, CTO Architect for Sungard Availability Services, a company that is focused on IT production and recovery. He has a broad view of the changing EA role, thanks to his many client contacts.

From his vantage point, the EA job itself really hasn’t changed but the pieces and responsibilities are changing and in some cases, quite dramatically. “If the IT architect’s job is to architect IT solutions that solve business problems under a big umbrella then the role hasn’t changed,” Loeppke said. “But the parts, the experience, well there’s pretty much everything under the umbrella that’s changed.”

Loeppke thinks the tricky part is that the tools an EA is using have changed completely and, of course, there are more tools. Take automation. The idea that so much should be automated in this DevOps world we live in is a huge change and something today’s EA is now forced to deal with. “Automated testing is taking over, and it has to,” he said. An EA today “is going to have a greater sense of automation than ever before. This was not a sexy practice in the past but it is key to success in the future.”

But it doesn’t stop there. Loeppke says an EA today has to have a broad view of open source tools — and if you’ll pardon the pun, be open to using them. It’s ok to reach out to GitHub and see how other people have solved a problem.

And while the nature of an enterprise architect job is to be a generalist, don’t plan on being too general, or you’ll run the risk of missing something, whether it’s security or cloud or networking related.

Sounds a bit like same job title but a different playbook. How do you think the EA role is changing? Let me know.