The Evolution of Enterprise Architecture, Before-Cloud and After-Cloud Era

The Evolution of Enterprise Architecture, Before-Cloud and After-Cloud Era

The First Enterprise Architecture (EA) Chapter Conference

On 7th November 2019, Singapore Computer Society held a first successful EA Chapter conference, supported by Employment and Employability Institute and IASA – the largest ever – with close to 200 attendees from government agencies and enterprises in a day full of stimulating panel discussions and constructive talks in Lifelong Learning Institute, Singapore. The Enterprise Architecture Conference 2019 was about helping technology leaders to gain new insights and actionable strategies for creating value, driving digital transformation and innovations with enterprise architecture and delivering competitive advantage from the industry experts.

According to Gartner, by 2021, 40% of organisations will use enterprise architects to help ideate new business innovations made possible by emerging technologies. The need for collaboration across organizations is increasing, with the business demanding digital transformation and using its IT resources to do so. In fact, by 2022, Gartner predicts 80% of digital businesses will take a collaborative approach to EA, involving participants across business and IT, and potentially beyond.

(From left to right: Mr Aaron Tan, President, SCS-EA Chapter / Chairman, Iasa Asia Pacific, Mr. Allan Norton, Chief Operating Officer, Informatics Education, Mr. Gilbert Tan, CEO, Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), Dr. Chong Yoke Sin, President, Singapore Computer Society, Mr. Howie Lau, Chief Industry Development Officer and Group Head of IDG, IMDA, Ms. Jennifer Ong, Executive Director, Singapore Computer Society)

Demand and Supply of Enterprise Architects in Singapore

The conference began with Mr. Howie Lau, Chief Industry Development Officer & Group Head of IDG of IMDA, highlighted on Singapore’s progress in digital economy and that the demand of Enterprise Architects and the supply has to go concurrently to be able to develop a horizontal solution.

Howie said, “the industry should be ready because the digital world is evolving at a fast phase and that the customers’ needs are changing aligned to the digital world. This has resulted to businesses need more skilled talent and innovation to ensure market grows.”

In order to develop digital skills and new Enterprise Architects, having the right 21st century skills consisting of foundational literacy, competencies and character qualities is indeed a need. With the right mix, enterprise architects will be able to understand the strategic value of business and technology relationship.

Dr. Chong Yoke Sin, President of Singapore Computer Society as the keynote speaker has addressed the importance of equipping members with the practical EA knowledge, skillsets and best practices in driving continuously for digital transformation where EA Chapter will align with IMDA’s mission on increasing demand for local EA talents in specialised jobs, i.e. Business Architects, Data Architects, Software Architects, Infrastructure Architects and Solution Architects.

Mr. Gilbert Tan, CEO of Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), also deliberated on digital transformation that can link people to acquire new knowledge and deepen their skills with the never-ending demand for technology supply and the challenge faced right now is the ability to meet the demand during the panel discussion.

The conference was constructive and safe to say that any organisations need flexible agility and strategic framework of enterprise architecture to be able to survive in the digital world. The ability to transform digitally is not a smooth journey especially when organisations do not understand the foundation of what makes a good digital transformation. A bump in the road should always be expected but with the right skillset and talent, enterprise architecture will bring values.

The Evolution of Business-Outcome-Driven EA

In a presentation by Mr. Aaron Tan, President of SCS-EA Chapter and Chairman of IASA Asia Pacific, he emphasized the importance of looking into Enterprise Architecture first before embarking towards successful application of Artificial Intelligent, Big Data Analytics, Internet of Things and Cloud adoption. In many cases, Enterprise Architecture is an afterthought that resulted in high failure rate between 60% to 80% among enterprises when embarking on digital transformation.

Ever-evolving, we have witnessed a change in mind-set, execution and delivery of EA. The value of EA is not in simply ‘doing EA’, but rather in how it can help evolve the business and enable senior executives to respond to business threats and opportunities EA has become a vital component of leading organisations’ strategic planning activities. Digital transformation trend adoption has become the driving force for Enterprise Architecture adoption acceleration. Singapore is directing towards churning out Enterprise Architects as the Internal Management Consultant aligned with the Gartner Predicts 2019.

Figure 1: The Evolution of Business-Outcome-Driven EA by Gartner

EA leaders must shift their focus to create actionable and measurable deliverables that address specific business outcomes and work with other business and IT disciplines such as business process management (BPM), program and portfolio management (PPM), business information (BI), finance and human resources to leverage their efforts and move to value-driven EA.

Plans & Directions

The EA Special Interest Group was established in 2017. Since then, it has experienced a positive take up rate from the industry over the past 2 years. In March 2019, EA SIG has elevated to EA Chapter as 1 of the 10 chapters in SCS to propel Singapore toward the realisation of Digital Nation. The EA Chapter intents to equip its members with the practical knowledge and best practices in establishing Enterprise Architecture adoption as part of the digital culture.

The sharing of knowledge begets new knowledge.  For this reason, the EA Chapter will be organising various events and knowledge sharing sessions featuring a diversity of industry professionals for exchanges of ideas and practices, meeting of the like-minded as a networking platform.

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