It’s never been easier for non-IT organizations to innovate and deploy systems and applications independently. But this hardly means enterprise architects (EA) are becoming less relevant.
Quite the opposite – the role of the EA is expanding.
The rise of cloud computing, mobile apps, self-service business intelligence tools, low-code and no-code development platforms, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics requires EAs to operate very differently than they did even three years ago. Instead of their traditional role as the “protector of the system,” EAs must now help ensure every application delivers business value immediately through engineering excellence.
EA value expands with hyper-automation
A downside of growing interest in digital transformation across non-IT organizations is unplanned enterprise workload downtime – which comes with a heavy cost burden. According to IHS, the typical midsize business stands to lose $1 million per year on unplanned downtime, and large enterprises can spend upward of $60 million or more. These losses often emerge in operational disruption, revenue leakage, and productivity decline.
As the applications, connections, and data volumes grow, unplanned downtime increases because the IT landscape reaches a level of complexity that inexperienced citizen developers cannot decipher. Further exacerbating this risk is the use of outdated manual processes in parallel with technology, the lack of unified delivery of automation and engineered workloads, and a limited understanding of security, governance, and compliance requirements.
But how can a team of a handful of EAs keep up with the rate of change, scale, and scope being introduced by hundreds – if not thousands – of employees daily?
While seeking out answers to this question, I came across how a hyper-automation platform can empower EAs to take a more proactive approach to IT integrity. Now, EAs can guide and coach citizen and professional developers throughout the innovation process faster, more thoroughly, and with greater impact.
By leveraging its strategic relationships with SAP and Microsoft, Vnomic designed a platform to provide an automated and engineered SAP landscape delivery and governance on Microsoft Azure. The company combined advanced artificial intelligence and a model-driven, declarative approach to capture SAP and Microsoft notes and best practices requirements and encoded them in the Vnomic platform as digital knowledge. SAP and Microsoft capabilities are also constantly updated in the platform to help optimize the outcomes of every digital innovation.
After EAs input the SAP software landscape they want, the Vnomic platform automatically computes, architects, and deploys it while meeting SAP and Microsoft best practices requirements on Azure end to end, with zero touch. Such a platform allows them to accelerate their work and reduce project risk, cost, and time to value.
Moreover, the Vnomic platform frees EAs to assist more business-minded innovators in creating applications, tools, workflows, and systems that help ensure the overall landscape remains streamlined, connected, and secure. Some EAs have even slashed their planning time for each project from four months to eight hours without requiring additional internal and external resources – this is so key especially in these times. In addition, costs related to cloud consumption – particularly Azure cloud services – are reduced by more than 95% during the deployment phase.
From technology guardian to innovation guide
As they become more comfortable using technology, people like to think they can design and deploy a new tool or application. Yet, few can think through the necessary steps, impacts, and outcomes of the innovation process like an EA.
There are only so many hours in the workday – and EAs must now support a community of citizen developers that significantly outnumber their team especially given the recent SAP announcement of SAP Build at the recent SAP TechEd event. However, EAs can drive a profound impact by embedding a practical mindset across the innovation culture.
With a hyper-automation platform, EAs can balance their available work time and the opportunity to add more value to the business. They can not only root out potential issues before they impact the entire business negatively, but also educate and coach the entire company on good architecture practices to make a difference today and in the future.