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Digital science- niche subject but amazing opportunity

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 - 6:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Designing IT goals and vision of an organisation is a responsiblity of an enterprise architect. Prachi Rege explores the career scope is this field of digital science

John Zachman, American businessman and IT consultant, credited as the pioneer of enterprise architecture, explains the profession as, "A discipline that helps business managers to address their problems scientifically and quickly. Here, the end result is not to create the models, but to solve the enterprise's problems." So, what does an enterprise architect do? An Enterprise Architect (EA) defines the IT structure and operation of an organisation to effectively achieve its current as well as future business objectives.

If you are an IT engineer with good years of work experience in the digital field, then you can consider a career as an EA. Considering and aligning an organisation's business, applications, information and technology perspectives is the primary function of these professionals. They also help in improving decision making, adaptability to changing demands or market conditions, elimination of inefficient and redundant processes and optimisation of the use of organisational assets. "Apart from basic qualification, an EA's position needs work experience of 8-10 years, it is not an entry level job position. It's a responsible position which demands in-depth understanding of business processes with adequate domain knowledge, soft skills and, IT and computer systems," explains Yuvraj Bhatnagar, director, Greater Noida Institute of Technology (GNIT) College of Management.

Currently, very few insitutes in the country, offer courses in enterprise architecture. Post a degree in IT or computer science it is advisable for aspirants to pursue a Masters in Digital Science or a Masters of Technology (Digital Electronics and Communication Systems) (see Course call).

Speaking on the industry, Robert A Walker, director, School of Digital Science at Kent State University says there is a need for well versed professionals. "Enterprise architecture merges many streams like IT, change management, business skills, and even designing. EAs need to understand the goals of an enterprise and design a layout," he explains. Besides this, one must know the optimal utilisation of available resources to attain desired results. These professionals are trained to tackle mergers and acquisitions, wherein along with working style and redesigning, managing human behaviour is a challenge for an enterprise.

Usually large organisations having multiple departments or complex business structures employ an EA. With advancements of technology, these professionals are needed to process improvement and system optimisation. Their role is to align the enterprise with various stakeholders and domain experts in order to define strategy, processes and IT infrastructure design. Thus ensuring a comprehensive alignment of business and IT systems. "EAs help to optimise processes within departments which are working in silos and in case of mergers and acquisitions," says Bhatnagar. While experts refrain from pointing out the exact remuneration, right skills, adequate level of experience and capability to shoulder responsibility ensures good pay package.

Course call
1) Greater Noida Institute of Technology (GNIT) College of Management
2) IIT-Madras
3) Madanapalle Institute of Technology and Science, Anantapur
(List is indicative)

Skills and comptencies
1) General IT Knowledge – Tech awareness and its application, tech trends, information security risk and future research
2) Business Skills – strategic development and planning and operation risk management
3) Design – ensuring that design methods and tools used throughout the architecture are appropriate to the process
4) Soft skills – Leadership, teamwork, consulting, communication, negotiating, relationship management, emotional intelligence
5) Change Management – programme and project management methods and tools, cultural understanding and assessment

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