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Career Track for Architects in IT Organizations (SATURN 2009)

May 2009 Presentation
Shankar Kambhampaty

Presentation given at SATURN 2009, which took place in Pittsburgh, PA on May 4-7, 2009.


Software Engineering Institute



IT service provider organizations are being increasingly challenged to develop larger and more complex solutions to address the rapidly changing business needs of their customers. Developing such solutions requires mature architecture processes and practices within an organization, supported by highly experienced and knowledgeable pool of architects. Several challenges exist in not only creating and nurturing such teams but also in ensuring that over a period of time talented and experienced architects aspire to be part of such teams, creating substantial value for the organization and its customers.

One of the critical success factors in developing high-performance architecture teams in IT service organizations is a well-formulated career track that provides a structured mechanism for growth and maturity of architects and architecture practices within the organization.

This paper describes the needs of IT service organizations and the required roles of architects in these organizations for providing large and complex solutions to their customers. It also discusses the different architecture team compositions possible in an enterprise along with their pros and cons. Based on experience in constituting and managing such architecture teams, this paper presents the significance of defining a career track for architects in IT service organizations. It also provides insights into the results seen in institutionalizing such a career track for architects.