What Does a Digital Transformation Architect Do?

Digital Transformation Architects

Your company’s digital transformation will be as unique as your business. Period.

While it’s true that modern organizations tend to use the same tools, practices, and standards, your operating model and internal business processes will apply them in unique ways. That’s what makes your business what it is, and a good transformation plan will account for these special considerations.

However, an enterprise architect helps inform your transformation plan, setting the stage for success.

What’s the Big Picture?

A digital transformation architect takes the user’s requirements from initial concept, all the way to an executable technical journey.

Organizations tend to focus on the details of technological change without seeing the bigger picture. The big picture, however, depends on their goals, their enterprise, and their future.

Users need to understand their technical potential and needs from a higher level, as well. Otherwise, they see their situation too closely and can get lost in the details.

To help with this problem, a digital transformation architect introduces the bigger picture in a technical solutions context. With a new, more experienced perspective, an architect reframes the conversation and offers appropriate solutions – cost-effective, industry standard, and optimized for long-term growth and flexibility.

What is the Benefit of a Digital Transformation Architect?

At PITSS, the benefit of having an enterprise architect involved in the digital transformation project is that we bring a vast knowledge of other environments, companies, and technology. When you’ve worked at the same company for years, you intimately understand your own systems. However, you don’t always understand the alternatives and the demonstrated long-term consequences of other organizations in your position.

Without an enterprise architect, there can be miscommunication about the priorities. Customers make assumptions that they believe will be part of the finished work. Architects catch these assumptions and head them off.

Also, developers might try write custom solutions where they are not necessary. An architect can propose other options that will get the job done faster and more effectively, and often open the door to other improvements – better data for analytics, off-the-shelf integrations, and more. This way, developers spend more time focused on high-value work unique to your business.

How Does a Digital Transformation Architect Help?

Here are the steps involved when utilizing a digital transformation architect:

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Discovery

First the digital transformation architect seeks to understand and communicate why and how the digital transformation project is necessary, thus relieving pain points.

Meeting

Architects work closely with tech teams and stakeholders to show leadership what options are available. Next, they build agreement and consensus on a vision that is worth pursuing.

Modeling

The next step is to document objectives, create technical documentation like API specs. Then, they expand the plan into front-end wireframes, shaping how the finished product could look.

Advisory

Finally an enterprise architect hands off the plans to project management, tech leads, and senior devs. They support communications between all parties and provides insight and best practices where needed.

The best part of being a digital transformation architect at PITSS is the variety. There is no end to the variety of work on a day-to-day basis. There are so many customers, industries, problems, and priorities. Project priorities range from raising revenue to lowering operating costs, internal to external facing systems, and integrations across a spectrum of front- and back-end technologies.

One of the most satisfying part of the position is translating solutions and problems from both tech and business oriented perspectives. Being able to use complex communication skills is necessary, but rewarding.

AUTHOR: Ross Smith - Chief Architect

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