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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Developing the Enterprise Architect Perspective

Developing the Enterprise Architect Perspective
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Author(s): Brian H. Cameron (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch172


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Enterprise systems design, implementation, and integration are focal points for business and information technology. Businesses must change processes, environments, and technologies as organizations strive to become more integrated and break down traditional silos of information systems and responsibility. These challenges require a new type of technical professional: one with the training and perspective of an enterprise architect with general technical expertise as well as business strategy and planning skills. Some college and university programs have risen to this challenge in recent years, and the joint ACM/Association for Information Systems Task Force developed the MSIS curriculum model to establish the fundamentals of enterprise information systems in response to the increasing demand for university-trained graduates in an information economy (Gorgone, Gray, & Feinstein, 2000). Recently, the Association for Open Group Enterprise Architects called for industry and academia to work together to craft new enterprise systems curricula that are relevant to today’s global business environment and developed from the perspective of an enterprise architect. Today’s globally competitive environment requires technical professionals to move beyond technical expertise and contribute to the strategy and development of dynamic IT systems that are able to support changing business objectives. To be prepared to meet such expectations, IT students must have broad experience in the design, implementation, and integration of such systems. This education is typically offered in a layered fashion, teaching students about databases, networks, and applications in different courses devoted to single topics (Nickerson, 2006). While this method allows universities to assign faculty with specific expertise to particular courses, it does not adequately prepare students for the work environment of the enterprise architect, where all of these different layers must be combined to support and align with business strategy. Students trained in a specific, narrow layer may fail to anticipate certain trends or requirements, such as a database designer overlooking the need for remote replication (Nickerson). To meet this need, many information technology programs are incorporating enterprise systems curricula for senior students. These courses are often referred to as “capstones” in the curriculum, and must focus on a wide variety of educational goals including understanding the enterprise as a whole, understanding how technology can provide a competitive advantage, learning to design complex integrated systems, learning concepts underlying technical systems integration, learning how to assess the requirements of an integrated system, and learning how enterprise architecture design is practiced as a profession.

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