Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a mapping and understanding on how scholars depict the Enterprise Architect as a profession. In addition, how researchers describe the matters related to the profession and what kind of subjects that is provided for discussion in relation to the Enterprise Architect as a profession. The method used in this literature survey is based on studying available publications in general but also studying the Basket of Eight within in the Association of Information Systems (AIS) senior Scholars’ journals. For each identified publication, five topics regarding the Enterprise Architect as a profession were analyzed; the role, the competence, the responsibility/empowerment/authorization, pro/reactiveness approach and mindset. Other analyzing criteria for the publications are the distribution in time, type of publications and domain inherency. The result of this survey shows that although a good deal of research has been done in the Enterprise Architectural field, this analysis points out that not have much been written about the Enterprise Architect as profession. This study depicts a requisite for further research in the field of the Enterprise Architect as a profession. By this learning, we encourage an opening for further research.
This literature survey depicts that Enterprise Architecture is a growing field which is more essential in the future organization than in the past (Brown & Bib, 2011). In this field of Enterprise Architecture, the professionals who create the architecture will be essential for facilitating architectural development (Perks & Beveridge, 2004). The rationale for this study is that most organizations have discovered increasing competition where globalization, among others, will address a regeneration of strategy to deal with increased complexity (Burnes, 2009; Weill & Broadbent, 1998). This strategy will call for Enterprise Architecture, which in turn will request for professionals, as Enterprise Architects. The motivation for this study is the conviction that the Enterprise Architect is a person who’s capabilities and abilities, are central to the emergence of Enterprise Architecture for an organization. Neither technical items nor incapable Enterprise Architects may facilitate the effective Enterprise Architecture within the organization. The audience for this paper is everyone who needs to deepen their knowledge in the Enterprise Architectural development. The purpose of this paper is to survey what has been written about this profession in general but also to study the profession within a IS scholars’ domain. The main focus is based on using the searching engines provided by websites by the well-known Basket of Eight. Basket of Eight provides publications where the rankings are based on Association of Information Systems (AIS) Senior Scholars' Basket of Eight and the journals are: European Journal of Information Systems, Information Systems Journal, Information Systems Research, and Journal of the AIS, Journal of Information Technology, Journal of Management Information Systems, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, and Management Information Systems Quarterly. Our contribution is to explore the Enterprise Architect’s domain in existing research in order to motivate researchers to do further research in this area. We have determined topics that relate to the Enterprise Architect’s profession as the description of the role, the competence required, an approach as a proactive or reactive attitude, and the domain where these professionals operate. So far, we have not found a similar study of the Enterprise Architect’s profession. This paper is organized in six sections, where the initial section is a brief introduction and incentive for this paper. Section two describes the research method used and section three introduces the related research about the selected topics. The fourth section presents the result that will be discussed in section five, and the last section six concludes this paper.
This literature survey is based on a discursive writing style approach where the technique to classify the sources and the selection of different categorization indicators are inspired by Langenberg & Wegmann (2004) while the writing process has been guided by Okoli (2010). The research method utilized in this paper indicated by Bock & Scheibe (2001), aims to achieve three research criteria: reproducibility, integrity and objectivity.Identifying the surveyed topicsAn essential part of the research method is to categorize the different focus areas from which this survey intends to explore the Enterprise Architect as a profession. The aim has been to study the Enterprise Architect as an occupation in order to create an understanding about the architect profession derived from the determined surveyed topics: The role, the competence, the responsibility/empowerment/authorization, pro/reactiveness approach and mindset.Process of selection of publicationsThe selection of sources that could be relevant for this article was based on a recommendation by Webster & Watson (2002) who describe a structured approach to identifying relevant publications. General searching criteria; All databases and sources were searched with the keywords “enterprise architect” or “enterprise architects” or “enterprise architecting” as full-text search (the option “all fields”) of the databases. To perform an efficient and appropriate filtration during the examination of available literature within the field, a structured four-step process has been used:Step 1: The first step in the searching process allows a wider variation of searching, based on general public searching databases available on Internet. The search gives however no further information about the publication quality and type of publication. The primarily goal with this searching is to prove a view of the extent of the available literature. The initial search was based on a broad front, where 25 different databases and sources were searched. In total, more than 10,000 publications were found. Step 2: In a second searching step within the process, an initial filter is applied to only use database searching engines provided on web sites which represents the extended AIS senior scholar’s basket of scholarly journals, known as the Basket of Eight (Venkatesh, 2010) databases. This selection and filtering is motivated due to the importance of having validated sources for the academic scholars. These eight journals, which form the Basket of Eight, are considered to be acknowledged by quality and they are viewed as central in the IS domain. The searches have not been restricted to the date of the documents’ publication. These searching engines on the websites returned however, publications that can be books, records and other type of publications. Thus, this result does not guarantee that the publications are published within the journals.Step 3: Next step in the search process was to add the search topics as additional keywords "role", "competence", "proactive”, “reactive" and "responsibility”, ”empowerment”, “authorization" and "mindset" to evaluate whether the publication found in step 2, is relevant to this literature survey or not.All material returned within step 2, was analyzed and categorized by the defined keywords. After analyzing each source’s abstract, introduction, and if necessary the full text, 56 articles in total, that did not appear to be concerned with or relevant to the profession of the Enterprise Architect were excluded. This process provided 22 publications for deeper analysis. The reason for excluding material was mainly because the searched keywords were part of the reference list (9 publications), doublets (3 publications), the text was not written in English (1 publication), considered as off-topic (24 publications) and the word Enterprise Architect referred to a software with identical name (19 publications). The information search was a rather complex and a cumbersome process on how to evaluate whether the material refers to the proper journal or other related sources. Step 4: The above results from step 3 are in this process step examined to determine which of the publications that is published in each journal. Only the results of this search can be traced to publications which are approved for being published with the journals of Basket of Eight. This selection regained the relatively limited number of only two publications that have been published in a journal in the Basket of Eight.
This study is intended to focus the Enterprise Architect as a profession. Five topics have been selected for studying the Enterprise Architect’s occupation. The effort is to evaluate what scholars have explored about the Enterprise Architect in terms of the topics; role, competence, responsibility/authority/empowerment, pro/reactiveness and mindset. Our knowledgebase is established on the related research described below in the Enterprise Architectural field.
For most organizations the competitive landscape is shifting, nowadays more rapid than in the history (Beimborn et al., 2007). These shifting, addressing an approach and strategy to deal with the circumstances of increased complexity (Bernus et al., 2003) where the emergence of Enterprise Architecture in the mid 1990 (Zachman, 1996) also requested for professionals in this field. One characteristic in describing the modern organization is the defragmented information, depicted as information islands (Groves, 2005; Magoulas & Pessi, 1998) or silo syndrome (Laursen & Thorlund, 2010). The Enterprise Architecture is intended in an effort to reduce the isolation and to increase the information support within the organization to overcome the disorder in alignment, to support the strategic initiatives for the business. The Enterprise Architecture is envisioned to identify, design and visualize the information systems involved, their corresponding relations, and the stakeholders involved which includes the systems’ users (Magoulas & Pessi, 1998). The Enterprise Architecture is from time to time compared with the architectural goals in city planning (Ahlemann, 2012; Betz, 2011; Hoffman, 1988; Schmidt & Buxmann, 2011). Enterprise Architecture can be seen as an instrument to guide the enterprise in a direction towards a future state but also as an instrument in coordinating transformations (Greefhorst & Proper, 2011). The Enterprise Architecture will develop over time into new architectures with new challenges to solve and where other competences are required, referred to as Architecture Business Cycle (Boer de & Vliet van, 2009; Weber & Dustdar, 2012). In relation to this, also the role of the Enterprise Architect will evolve (Wagter et al., 2012). The Enterprise Architectural capability could gradually develop from unconscious to efficient, fully aware of the architectural goodness (Bente et al., 2012; O'shea, 2009; Prins, 2009; Raymond & Desfray, 2014). The definition of Enterprise Architecture are pretty scattered, while no official and generally agreed definition of the Enterprise Architecture is prevailing (Schmidt & Buxmann, 2011; Strano & Rehmani, 2007). The interpretation of Enterprise Architecture could vary from one culture to another (Akenine et al., 2014). Within this field, the profession of the Enterprise Architect will be located.
The Enterprise Architect as profession
The role of the Enterprise Architect should be considered as more important in the future than in history (Kruchten et al., 2006). When the profession is for discussion, the central approach is to determine the degree of impact. By this reason, this study will focus the profession in terms of below topics.The RoleThere is no standardized and generally accepted role description of the Enterprise Architect’s occupation, but the architect’s role has a number of emotive "characteristics" that the role and occupation must deal with and relate to (Steghuis & Proper, 2008). Strano & Rehmani (2007) state that the Enterprise Architect main tasks are to align IT operations with business strategic goals by managing the complex set of interdependencies. In addition, according to the authors it is also essential to communicate and maintain an agreed business strategy to operational management. Steghuis & Proper (2008) describe that the Enterprise Architect is intended to participate in the Enterprise Architecture team and to assist team colleagues in their efforts to develop the team’s objectives which from an operational point of view are to plan for and to governance the enterprise strategies. The Enterprise Architect’s role also includes assignments to mature the Enterprise Architecture roadmaps, which will comprise consideration of the business processes in an as-is state but also the future to-be scenario (Steghuis & Proper, 2008). The role of the Enterprise Architect is more diversified and also more common in large businesses in comparison to the small or mid-sized businesses (Roeleven & Broer, 2009). Meanwhile, Wagter et al. (2012) emphasise the fact that the general and all-encompassing role description of the Enterprise Architect’s role does not exist. The role of the Enterprise Architect should be considered as more important in the future than in history (Gøtze, 2013) where the role is considered to be under continuous progress (Bredemeyer & Malan, 2004; Wagter et al., 2012)The CompetenceHsin-Ke & Peng-Chun (2012) define competence as a collection of related abilities, commitments, knowledge, and skills that enable a person to act effectively in a job or situation. Wieringa et al. (2009) claims that the Enterprise Architect must have an understanding for complex situations in terms of accountability and reflection. The Enterprise Architect must be a creative visionary (Lankhorst, 2013) and able to see the need for business changes and also possesses the ability to adaptability. The Enterprise Architect must be well versed in the organization and its development through a continually learning process. The Enterprise Architect should also be a skilled communicator and negotiator (Gøtze, 2013; Ouriaghli & Nsubuga, 2012; Wagter et al., 2012) in order to build trust among the various stakeholders as well as having the ability to think strategically while acting tactically (CAEAP, 2014). Steghuis & Proper (2008) have recognized different core competencies for an Enterprise Architect: the architect should possesses analytical and communication skills, where negotiation is a regular element influencing the daily work, which will necessitate sensitivity and to show empathy to the adjacent individuals. Indeed, abstraction capacity is required as a key skill, which will involve the ability to act as a change agent. The authors also describe the skills of an Enterprise Architect of being a good leader and also be able to program within software development (Steghuis & Proper, 2008). Last but not least, the Enterprise Architect is intended to show integrity and discretion (CAEAP, 2014).Authorization, Empowerment, ResponsibilityAccording to Unde (2008) the Enterprise Architect is responsible for implementing the organization’s vision and strategy for IT. The author further describes the responsibility to defining the standards and guidelines, and composing a governance mechanism to align implementation to the defined standards and guidelines (Unde, 2008). Charkham & Simpson (1999) argue that power confers responsibility where there is a set of reforms to ensure a balance between the two. For shared power to balance the responsibility, Ansell (2011) provokes a “cooperative federalism” where some responsibilities/powers are autonomous while others are shared, as a useful model of power sharing. In addition, architectural freedom is a matter of consideration (Dovey & Dickson, 2002). Hemre (2005, p. 4) states that “competent people can be empowered and empowered people can put knowledge to use”. Likewise, Bredemeyer and Malan (2004) state that by empowering business units, a more agile and rapid way to manage born innovation of customer intimacy, can be achieved. Today, several technological innovations are taking place, outside the central IT governance where Smith et al. (2013) claim that this kind of development is supported by empowerment within the organization.A Proactive and a Reactive Approach A proactive strategy can be defined as the approach an enterprise can perform in order to create agility and thereby develop a capability of proactive mechanism in advance. A reactive strategy can be described as the ability to react and adjust to enterprise changes (Bloomberg & Schmelzer, 2013; Zhigang et al., 2012). According to Ouriaghli & Nsubuga (2012), the Enterprise Architect’s profession is intended to proactively promoting architectural development. An enterprise strategic flexibility consists of both a proactive and a reactive approach (Zhigang et al., 2012), and is involved in the maturity of Enterprise Architecture (Akenine et al., 2014; Bente et al., 2012). However, moving from reactive to proactive mentality is a process of organizational conscious, induced by motivation and innovation (Rishi, 2012), which might be an organizational concern, involving all stakeholders (Siedel & Haapio, 2011). This transformation is encompassing corroboration from the people affected by the process (McGonagle & Vella, 2012).MindsetAn Enterprise Architect's mindset can be more or less balanced between different organizational levels and departments. Preferably, the efficient Enterprise Architect will operate with a balance between these aspects in the mission to obtain an architectural harmony for the organization (Magoulas & Pessi, 1998). It is this bias and its ambidextrous environment (Tushman & O'Reilly, 1996) where the term “mindset” is emanating from which this study focusing on. Different researcher sees the Enterprise Architect’s mindset in different ways depending on how they describe different levels of the Enterprise Architecture structure. Both Aerts et al. (2003) and Tichy (1982) categorize the organizational enterprise as more or less IT or Business orientated in an architectural perspective, where both authors advocate for divisional levels. van den Berg & van Steenbergen (2006) are promoting a balanced mindset in promoting corporate architecture, while van den Berg & van Vliet (2014), promote the financial stream to make the Enterprise Architecture efficient, whereas Dent Jr (2009) focusing the regulatory mindset of the profession. In contrast, others see Enterprise Architecture as audit-oriented for the IT environment (Harmsen et al., 2010). Land et al.’s (2009) mindset comprehend Enterprise Architecture primarily to arrange for insights of the organizational context in an effort to reduce risks. Parson (2005) sees the Enterprise Architect as a natural part of the software development team, emanating from the IT domain primarily which resulting in a clear IT mindset.Research QuestionWhat are the key findings of existing research within the search result returned by the search engines distributed by Basket of Eight publishers, about the Enterprise Architect’s profession, in terms of role, competence and responsibility, business and IT domain and mindset concerning reactive or proactive behavior?
By examining and categorizing the 22 publications which remained after the exclusion in step 3 in the selecting process according to our analysis method, we revealed the following result:Distribution in TimeTable 1. Distribution of the surveyed publications in timeTable 1 shows the distribution of the surveyed publications which remained after the exclusion in step 3, in time. The vast majority of the publications were published during year 2010-2014. Two publications only were published before 2010.Surveyed TopicsTable 2. Topics of the surveyed publicationsTable 2 shows the topics of the surveyed publications which remained after the exclusion in step 3. Each publication is in one or more categories. The identified five topics which are particular vital for the profession of the Enterprise Architect is classified as: role, competence, responsibility/authority/empowerment, pro/reactiveness and mindset.Most of the papers contribute to role and competence, some to mindset and very few concerns the topics of responsibility/authority/empowerment and pro/reactiveness.Retrieved Publications from the Basket of Eight’s Search Engine DatabasesTable 3. Sources of the surveyed publicationsTable 3 displays where the publications which remained after the exclusion in step 3, are found. All surveyed sources are returned by the Basket of Eight databases searching engines. Most of the publications were found in the database of Information System Journal (18 publications) and the second largest source was the European Journal of Information Systems (3 publications). In five of the searched database searching engines no publications at all, were found.Type of PublicationTable 4. Type of surveyed publicationsTable 4 illustrates the type of the publications which remained after the exclusion in step 3. The publications are categorized into academic journals and in book chapters, which are retrieved by searching the searching engine databases provided by the Basket of Eights’ websites. In total, we have studied nine academic articles and 13 book chapters.DomainsTable 5. Domain of the surveyed publicationsTable 5 shows the domain of the surveyed publications which are retrieved by searching the searching engine databases provided by the Basket of Eights’ websites. The survey depicts that no publication represent a primarily business view and most of the publications (13 publications) are classified to represent both Business and IT domain even if IT as a primarily domain is quite common as well (8 publications). Publications’ Citations Referred to the Basket of Eight JournalsTable 6. Publications citations referred to Basket of Eight journalsThis table shows the records that are actually published in the Basket of Eight journals, in accordance with process step number 4 in this study’s analysis method. Table 6 views that two publications only, are published in the Basket of Eight journals.DiscussionEnterprise Architecture is a growing field which is more essential in the future organization than in the past (Brown & Bib, 2011). In the area of Enterprise Architecture, the professionals who create the architecture will be essential. This study is intended to survey the scholars’ approach in present research regarding the profession in being an Enterprise Architect, where the surveyed publications are analyzed from the five focused areas which are distinguished to be fundamental for this survey. The survey is intended to give a clear outlook of the present publications within the high ranked peer-to-peer reviewed sources, to ensure high-quality research, where all analyzed sources are found retrieved by using the searching engine databases provided by the Basket of Eights’ websites.Distribution in TimeMost publications are quite recent, while older publications are rare, most likely due that the need for Enterprise Architecture is a modern phenomenon.Surveyed TopicsThe analysis of the surveyed topics (table 2), shows a significant amount of papers focusing on the role and competence while few focus on the topics of responsibility/authority/-empowerment and pro/reactiveness.Several surveyed publications describe the Enterprise Architect role with a focus on collaboration among different stakeholders and organizational units to obtain strategic objectives.A common view in the surveyed publications regarding the competence of the Enterprise Architect can be described as a holistic approach to the pluralistic enterprise and in addition, to have good communication skills.A common description of the responsibility of the Enterprise Architect is a full responsibility within the entire Enterprise Architecture development process (Tambouris et al., 2012) and also to empower the business users to work in their supported area (Bonnet et al., 2010b).No consistency in the way the surveyed publication describes mindset and pro/reactiveness could be found. Although, mindset and pro/reactiveness is mentioned in some publication they rarely correspond in a direct relation to the profession of the Enterprise Architect, it rather concerns the environment the Enterprise Architect working in, in an Enterprise Architectural context.Searched Publications from the Basket of EightThis study has focused on the publications retrieved by searching the searching engine databases provided by the Basket of Eights’ websites. Consequently, the search in these databases has returned publications related to the Basket of Eight though, these publications might not be part of the journals or being published within the journal. This survey of publications related to the field of Enterprise Architecture shows that although there are a lot of publications about the Enterprise Architect(s)-(ing) in a generic search of the internet, the presence of related publications in the distributor of Basket of Eight journals are poor. Due to this lack of research published in the Basket of Eight, any conclusions about the circumstances could hardly be made. By this reason, the deduction should be viewed as assumptions, where one guess may indicate an immature field for the Enterprise Architecture in general and another that this field is not a topic of interest for researchers. Alternatively, the applied research work has not provided sufficient quality levels for being published in the Basket of Eight journals.DomainsA clear definition of the Enterprise Architecture is missing (Fischbach & Simon, 2014), and due to this state the phenomenon Enterprise Architecture implies different values to various sources. This survey depicts that some publications have a balance towards the IT domain whereas others see Enterprise Architecture as the top node for the organizational balance between business and IT. This survey shows that 13 publications that include the profession of the Enterprise Architect have a balance between the business and IT. However, since the Enterprise Architecture definition is vague, the classification of publications is challenging.Type of PublicationsThe distributors of Basket of Eight journals indicates that records related to the journals should be the search result only. Though, the journals’ searching database engines will return records that obviously are not part of the journals, despite these records resulting from the database extraction. To avoid excluding valid records, a decision was made to include all records from the database extraction and to categorize them according to the type of publication. Publications’ Citations Referred to the Basket of Eight JournalsWhen the final filter (step 4 in selecting process) was added to specifically study if the publications in the Basket of Eight actually had become published, only two of the previous 22 publications (step 2 in the selecting process), has actually become published. This result shows that it is particularly interesting and important study the retuned selection results in order to judge the source's accuracy and not blindly rely on a search engine returns the response as expected. In this study, the returned amount of 22 publications was reduced to only 2 publications, indicating that 20 of the publications the search engines on the websites was not published materials within the journals.ConclusionThis paper has focused on the profession of the Enterprise Architect and how the Enterprise Architect profession is presented in the literature in general and also in Basket of Eight. The research question for this survey reads: What are the key findings of existing research within the search result returned by the search engines distributed by Basket of Eight publishers, about the Enterprise Architect’s profession, in terms of role, competence and responsibility, business and IT domain and mindset concerning reactive or proactive behavior?The key findings of achieved research within the journals can briefly be summarized by the observation that limited research have been performed in this specific field. In the surveyed publications, the topics role and competence are relatively well described and discussed while less is written about responsibility/authority/power and pro/reactiveness. There is a relatively distinct bias between the surveyed literature concerning the business and IT domain in the surveyed publications. The surveyed publications describe different directions of the Enterprise Architecting domain. Although many publications are in a direct related IT field, the majority of publications refer to a combination of the Business and IT domain. It is also not possible to draw any conclusion regarding if there is guidance within the Basket of Eight journals, about the Enterprise Architect professionals in their mindset concerning reactive or proactive behaviour, due to the poor result of published articles concerning this topic. In summary, the result of this survey shows that there is an increasing interest in the field of Enterprise Architecture, while the shortage of existing research about the Enterprise Architect as a profession is obvious, where the outcome of the current research is with a no distinct direction for this profession. By studying the date of the surveyed publications, an increasing trend can be observed in a growing number of publications in present time. This study shows a requisite for further research in the field of the Enterprise Architect as a profession.
The Enterprise Architect profession: A literature survey
Figure 1. The role, the competence, the responsibility/empowerment/authorization, proactive/reactive approach and mindset of the Enterprise Architect profession.
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