Making IT Architecture a Recognized Profession in the Netherlands

By Dennis Mulder, CEO & Co-Founder of WVE Business Technology Strategy, former CTO of Microsoft Netherlands, Iasa Dutch Chapter President and Leader of the Dutch Chief Architecture Forum 


In today’s digital world, IT Architects play a big role in shaping how businesses use technology. In the Netherlands, a group of people is working together to make sure IT Architecture is seen as a real profession. This article talks about how we’re doing it, by working with big companies, the government, and politicians. Our goal is simple: to show everyone how important IT Architecture is for the economy and society. 

Founding a Community for IASA in the Netherlands: 

In 2013, we initiated a community for IT Architects in the Netherlands upon realizing the absence of clear guidelines and standards for their work. Our motivation stemmed from the desire to rectify this gap. Our community serves as a platform where IT Architects can gather to enhance their skills and knowledge. However, it extends beyond mere training; we aim to elevate IT Architecture as a respected profession. In 2023 we re-invigorated the community and started to organize quarterly meetings again. 

Meetups and knowledge sharing play a pivotal role in our community’s growth and impact. Through regular gatherings, workshops, and online forums, we facilitate opportunities for IT Architects to connect, exchange ideas, and learn from one another’s experiences. These interactions not only foster a sense of community but also contribute to the continuous improvement of skills and practices among our members. 

During meetups, members have the chance to discuss current trends, best practices, and challenges within the field of IT Architecture. Through presentations, case studies, and hands-on activities, participants gain valuable insights and practical knowledge that they can apply in their professional endeavors. 

Furthermore, our community emphasizes the importance of knowledge sharing as a cornerstone of professional development. By encouraging members to share their expertise, lessons learned, and innovative approaches, we create a culture of collaboration and collective growth. Through contribution back to the Business Technology Architecture Body of Knowledge, and collaborative projects focused on the Netherlands, we leverage the collective wisdom of our community to address complex challenges and advance the practice of IT Architecture in the Netherlands. 

In essence, meetups and knowledge sharing activities are integral to our community’s mission of empowering IT Architects and promoting the recognition of IT Architecture as a valued profession. By providing platforms for learning, collaboration, and exchange, we contribute to the professional growth and success of our members while advancing the field of IT Architecture as a whole. 

Objectives of the Dutch IASA Community: 

Our main goal is to make sure IT systems in the Netherlands are high quality and work well. But we also want to show everyone how important IT Architecture is for the whole world, not just in the Netherlands. That’s why we’re working with big companies, the government, and politicians to raise awareness about IT Architecture and why it’s so important. The title of “IT Architect” often evokes different perceptions, but our community sees it as embodying much more than just drawing boxes and arrows on a whiteboard. To us, an IT Architect is akin to a Technology Strategist for businesses, someone deeply involved in translating strategic vision into tangible execution using architectural skills. 

Much like a building architect starts with an empty lot and crafts a blueprint that transforms into a physical structure, an IT Architect begins with strategic business goals and designs the digital components necessary to achieve them. This involves understanding not only the technical aspects but also the intricacies of the business domain. 

Expanding Reach through Collaborations: 

To reach our goals, we need help from big companies, the government, and politicians. By teaming up with them, we can get our message out to more people. We want everyone to understand why IT Architecture matters, and why it should be recognized as a real profession. Working together, we can make a bigger impact. 

Leveraging the IASA Dutch Chapter: 

The IASA Dutch Chapter is a group of IT professionals who support our cause. They help us organize events and workshops where we can talk about IT Architecture. These events help spread the word and get more people involved. By working together with the IASA Dutch Chapter, we can reach even more people and make a stronger case for recognizing IT Architecture as a profession. 

Engaging with the Chief Architect Forum: 

We’ve also brought together Chief Architects into the Chief Architect Forum, a collective of influential figures who wield significant influence over technology decisions within large enterprises. These individuals not only oversee groups of Architects but also hold invaluable insights into the intricate dynamics of Business Technology Strategy and Human Dynamics. By engaging with them and sharing our ideas, we not only garner their support but also tap into their expertise to ensure our initiatives are aligned with broader business objectives. This collaboration enables us to advocate effectively for the recognition of IT Architecture as a critical discipline deserving of acknowledgment and investment. 


As our group grows, we’ll keep working to show everyone how important IT Architecture is. By teaming up with big companies, the government, and politicians, we can make sure that IT Architecture is seen as a real profession in the Netherlands. Together, we’ll keep pushing for change and making sure that IT Architecture continues to play a big role in our digital world.