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Why IT architecture is vital to digital transformation

Digital transformation is an important process to redefine your business and propel you into the digital age. But why is IT architecture important to digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the transformation of an entire business, including their activities, processes and models, to take advantage of new technologies, with present and future shifts in mind.

Digital transformation can be a challenge for any size of organisation. Teams and workers need to adjust to becoming more agile, customer-centric and efficient. These efforts can sometimes be pushed through very quickly.

Digital transformation therefore touches on all aspects of a business and changes many things, including company culture, deployment frequencies and speed of iterations.

Many businesses fail at digital transformation because they perceive that changes are happening too quickly and they drag their heels about becoming more agile. Time, resources and budgets are still often fixed and allocated before IT can ask the business about the goals it wants to achieve.

Without keeping an overview of the architecture in place, and reassessing the organisations requirements, it is impossible to change or upgrade applications because the entire IT ecosystem and business will be affected.

This leads organisations to continue to use legacy architectures, which are costly and offer no visibility or traceability.

Shadow IT emerges to troubleshoot smaller issues because the business has to move faster to keep up with the times.

Digital transformation

Little has changed, as most digital transformation projects fall on the shoulders of the IT department to implement.

A McKinsey survey in 2016 found that 40% of business leaders are unsure of what an enterprise architect does. So bridging this knowledge gap is the first step in allowing an EA team to help the business succeed at digital transformation.

IT architects can create a digital architecture map to ensure traceability and troubleshoot issues at speed and in real time. The whole process will identify areas where value can be create and efficiencies can save the company money.

Enterprise architecture rules and processes will ensure that the IT landscape is consistent across all business units, while overseeing the transformation to new technologies.

By taking the initiative to learn some specialised tech skills, modern enterprise architects will make the difference in bridging the gap between IT and the rest of the business.

IT architects are vital to realising business value. They can keep a cool head if trouble arises and using the digital architecture map, trace the issue back to the cause. They will then be able to adjust and have visibility of the effects of the change.

There is no other department that can have this oversight and bring an organisation together like an enterprise architect, they are at the heart of digital transformation success.

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