The Group Head of IT Architecture (GHITA) role ensures that business strategy and any relevant trends are expressed in the Bank ABC's processes and systems. Conversely, GHITA will provide feedback into, or collaborate in, the IT strategy development process. Although the GHITA will not be primarily responsible for performing all of the main activities listed below, they are responsible for ensuring the activities are performed properly and appropriately for Bank ABC.
The main activities include:
- Strategize — The GHITA should, at a minimum, support efforts to ensure that the IT strategy is understood and acted on. Ideally, they will contribute to the IT strategy itself ensuring it is closely aligned to the strategy of Bank ABC.
- Architect — This process involves documenting and articulating the desired future state, documenting and understanding the current state, identifying the gaps between the two states, developing and implementing approaches to close these gaps in close cooperation with the IT functions involved.
- Lead — The GHITA must establish the IT Architecture function to lead the effort to change, primarily by championing the change to elicit support, evolving the process of Enterprise Architecture so that it delivers value (efficiency and effectiveness) and developing the core Enterprise Architecture function within Bank ABC.
- Govern — The GHITA must ensure that their outputs are used to bring about positive change through effective governance. This includes ensuring that the right structures, composed of the right people, are engaged to make and support Enterprise Architecture decisions. The GHITA must also ensure that architectural decisions taken (target architecture) are followed through (role of Controlling Architect).
Communicate — The GHITA is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of Enterprise Architecture are communicated effectively. This can be for informational or directional purposes, to increase support for Enterprise Architecture, and to minimize change “pain”.
Principal Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Deliverables of Role:
The GHITA is responsible for leading the effort to develop, maintain, govern and evolve the Enterprise Architecture program across the enterprise. The GHITA is also responsible for defining the Enterprise Architecture process and the review process, as well as for leading the effective integration of these processes with other related business and IT processes.
The responsibilities for this role vary by organization, but generally include the following:
- Leading the creation or evolution of the Enterprise Architecture function and program, including the coordination of an appropriately balanced pursuit of enterprise information, technical and solution (including applications) architecture viewpoints
- Understanding, advocating, and supporting the enterprise's business and IT strategies — participating in the IT strategy creation
- Leading the identification and analysis of enterprise business drivers to derive enterprise information, technical and solution architecture requirements
- Analyzing the current IT environment to detect critical deficiencies and recommend solutions for improvement, including options beyond the boundaries of the enterprise, such as outsourcing
- Analyzing industry, technology and market trends to determine their potential impacts on Bank ABC's strategy and architecture requirements
- Promoting the Enterprise Architecture process, outcomes and results within the Group, including Bank ABC’s IT and Senior Management team
- Leading and facilitating the creation of governing principles to guide solution decision making for Bank ABC
- Leading the development of an implementation plan for the Enterprise Architecture, based on business requirements and IT strategies
- Ensuring that the optimal governance structure and compliance activities (such as handling waivers) are associated with Enterprise Architecture compliance
- Overseeing Enterprise Architecture implementation and ongoing refinement activities
- Serving as the point of contact for all things relating to Enterprise Architecture
- Collaborating with program/project teams to reconcile solutions to architecture
- Identifying organizational requirements for the resources, structures and cultural changes necessary to support the Enterprise Architecture
- Overseeing the effective communication of all Enterprise Architecture artifacts
- Assessing and communicating the successes and business value of Enterprise Architecture to key stakeholders
The GHITA must possess a variety of capabilities and qualities including:
- Exceptional interpersonal skills, including teamwork, facilitation and negotiation
- Strong leadership skills
- Excellent analytical and contextualization skills (e.g., ability to "connect the dots")
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Excellent planning and organizational skills
- Knowledge of all components of a holistic Enterprise Architecture (TOGAF)
- Knowledge of and experience with management (theory and practice)
- Knowledge of process improvement (e.g. Lean, 6 Sigma)
- Knowledge of banking products and processes
- Knowledge of Outsourcing
- Basic knowledge of financial analysis and models
- Familiarity with graphical modeling approaches and tools
- An understanding of the political climate of the enterprise and how to navigate the politics
- The ability to balance the long-term (or "big picture") and short-term implications of individual decisions
- The ability to translate business needs into Enterprise Architecture requirements
- The ability to estimate and articulate the impact of Enterprise Architecture alternatives — both financial and nonfinancial
- The ability to identify potentially relevant trends and emerging technologies, forecast their impact and utility, and act accordingly
Education / Certifications
The GHITA’s educational background will ideally consist of a university degree in one or more fields of study requiring both analytical and holistic systems thinking.
His or her professional experience should include five years of experience in multiple business disciplines (such as business or IT strategic planning; line management). Seven to 10 years of experience in multiple IT disciplines is also desirable.
During this professional experience, the individual should have developed a reputation for being:
- Respected as a leader
- Influential in the organization and a team player
- Highly supportive of business needs
- Neutral toward technology choices, and more interested in results than in personal preferences
- Confident and unflappable in the face of opposition, yet willing to maintain an open mind
- Effective at driving short-term actions that are consistent with long-term goals