IT Architecture as a true profession

IT Architecture is the discipline of designing and implementing systems that meet the needs and goals of an organization. An IT Architect is the technology strategist for the business. It is a vital role in the digital age, as we rely more and more on Digital Technologies to support our daily activities, businesses, and even lives.

However, unlike other professions that have a direct impact on human well-being, such as building architecture, law, or medicine, Digital  Architecture does not have a clear and consistent definition, standard, or certification. Anyone can call themselves an Architect in the digital world and develop systems that may have serious consequences for the users, the organization, or the society.

This is a problem that needs to be addressed urgently. IT Architecture should be recognized as a true profession, with proper training, accreditation, and regulation. This would ensure that IT Architects have the necessary skills, knowledge, and ethics to perform their role effectively and responsibly. 

One of the benefits of professionalizing IT Architecture is that it would raise the quality and consistency of the systems that are developed and maintained. As the quote from Paul Preiss (IASA), the global association for all IT architects, states:

“The flexibility, quality, changeability, scalability, and durability of a system depend on the underlying architecture. And a good architecture is based on the correct foundation work.”

– Paul Preiss, IASA

Good Architecture Skills

A good architecture is not only functional and reliable, but also adaptable and sustainable. It can accommodate changing requirements, new technologies, and unforeseen scenarios. It can also support the long-term vision and strategy of the organization, delivering value and competitive digital advantage.

To achieve this level of excellence, IT Architects need to have a solid foundation of technical skills, such as programming languages, frameworks, tools, patterns, and best practices. They also need to have a broad understanding of the business domain, the industry context, the customer needs, and the stakeholder expectations. They need to be able to communicate effectively with different audiences, from developers to executives. And they need to be able to balance trade-offs, such as cost, time, quality, security, and usability.

These are not trivial skills that can be acquired overnight or by reading a book. They require years of experience, education, and mentoring. They also require continuous learning and improvement, as technology and business evolve rapidly. That is why IT Architects should undergo rigorous training and certification programs that validate their competence and credibility.

Benefits of professionalizing

There are plenty of benefits in professionalizing IT Architecture. First and foremost it would enhance the reputation and recognition of the discipline within the IT industry and beyond. It would establish a common language and framework for IT Architects to collaborate and share best practices. It would also create a community of peers that can support each other and advance the profession. In order to be successful it should be independent, open source and not tied to any particular vendor or consultancy firm.

Moreover, through this independence it would increase the trust and respect that IT Architects receive from their clients, employers, and partners. It would demonstrate that IT Architects are not just technicians or consultants, but professionals who adhere to a code of ethics and standards of practice. It would also show that IT Architects are committed to delivering quality solutions that meet or exceed expectations.

WVE’s role & commitment

WVE is incorporated with the goal of leading by example. We don’t want to be just another (architecture) consulting firm that burns hours for its own benefit. We intent to only offer the services of accredited architects that have the competencies that help bring our profession forward through high quality work which makes our customers more succesful.

The main reason why we believe we will accomplish this is because we deeply partner with IASA, the leading association for IT Architecture professionals. IASA provides a comprehensive set of resources and services for IT Architects, such as certification programs, training courses, events, publications, communities of practice, career development opportunities, and advocacy initiatives.

WVE will also work together with IASA globally to help convince politicians, regulators, educators, employers, customers, and other stakeholders to promote the value and importance of IT Architecture as a profession. WVE aims to create a global network of certified IT Architects who will show how successful architecture is practiced and how it can influence the direction and future of technology and business.

A key differentiator for WVE is that we don’t get involved in the actual implementation of systems. We will not ever have engineers working for us because of the conflict of interest it creates. We will however help govern the program to successful completion, always advocating for the business needs of the customer. 

If you are an IT Architect or aspire to become one, and believe you have what it takes to become certified, I encourage you to join IASA and support its mission. WVE is always open to hire smart certified Architects that want to contribute to the success of our customers. Together we can make IT Architecture a true profession that delivers excellence and innovation for the benefit of all.

– Dennis Mulder, CEO & Founder of WVE


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