International IT Architecture Programs Emerge as Critical Resources on the Global Stage

David Slight

Security architecture has recently taken center stage in the news, underscoring the role that technology and IT architecture plays in the international business ecosystem.

Fueling this trend have been cybersecurity attacks on companies, organizations and governments, which have risen sharply. One incident occurred earlier this year when a glitch in SolarWinds Inc.’s software was exploited.  Other incidents have followed involving an oil pipeline operator and national food processor. These issues were even important enough to be addressed by President Joe Biden and Russia President Vladimir Putin during their summit in Switzerland over the summer.

They highlight how technology-based business planning­ and the global economy are inextricably linked.

The need for businesses and governments to reduce this exposure is creating greater demand for the benefits (beyond the obvious ones like value) that enterprise architecture, or EA, can provide.  As such, the need for speed coupled with cost-cutting concerns has fueled the proliferation of EA software tools. And there are other changes afoot.

Steve Andriole, business technology professor at Villanova University’s School of Business, suggests that it’s also advisable to demystify the role played by enterprise architecture. He prefers the name “business technology strategy” as an alternative.

“It’s now time to strip EA down to its most basic properties – the alignment of business strategy with operational and strategic technology,” Andriole wrote in Forbes.  “We can continue to complicate all this, or just admit we’re seeking business-technology alignment through the development of a dynamic business technology strategy.”

David Slight, a key advisor for Iasa Global and consultant, elaborated on that point.

“By aligning business needs with technology delivery, engaging your architects can ensure that risks and implications are explained clearly and included in the business justification/ business case, and that sufficient funding and focus is given to areas such as security, design concerns (expressed as a set of Quality Attributes) that architects refer to as Architecturally Significant Requirements, or ASRs,” said Slight. “Proposed designs and solutions (build or buy) can then be tested against these ASRs and change. Finally, the architect can ensure that adoption planning for the chosen solution (especially where people are involved) helps mitigates such security risks.”

The bottom line is interest in EA by technologists remains strong. Consequently, there are more training, academic programs, and certifications available than ever.

Technology University Dublin Leads a Host of Global Educational Resources

In the Republic of Ireland, for example, 15 to 20 students are enrolling each year in a part-time masters of science program in software solutions architecture at Technological University Dublin.

The two-year course starts with a three-day workshop followed by one or two lectures per week. It’s designed to give current and potential software architects the skills, theory and recognition they need to develop.

The program also enables candidates to earn a degree in the EA discipline through a mixed learning process with an emphasis on practical application in the workplace, according to the university’s course description.

“The program has been lucky to have come from the intersection of influences combining an industry group, ICT Skillnet, a professional body, IASA and a knowledge provider in Technological University Dublin,” said Cormac Keogh, organizer and a senior solutions architect at Amazon Web Services. “I am not aware of any other program in the world to have such a lineage.”

Besides Technological University Dublin, there are many other high value programs. We provide a snapshot, in alphabetical order, of ten of these programs, with the other ten to follow on Wednesday.

INTERNATIONAL

  1. Aarhus University

The Danish university provides a master’s in economics and business administration – information management designed to enable career prospects such as IT manager, project manager and ERP consultant. The module is designed to provide students the theoretical and practical skills needed to apply and manage enterprise architecture in their respective companies. Click here for more information.

  1. Arden University

The Coventry, England-based university’s School of Computing offers a master’s in enterprise architect management as part of its master’s in computer science degree. The course is designed to cover architecture design, business change management, data handling, and decision making. It also gives students the opportunity to enhance management strengths and demonstrate a skillset that’s in high demand. Click here for more information.

  1. HSE University

The Russia-based university, which operates campuses in four cities, offers an enterprise architecture modeling master’s program.Its primary goal is to facilitate improvement and deliver business-aligned information systems. “It’s designed to provide students with the framework and strategic objectives for technology across an organization. Click here for more information.

  1. The IC Institute

 The Belgium-based university provides an enterprise architecture master’s program that includes 17 modules and a thesis and shows professionals what it takes to be an enterprise architect and a digital transformation leader. The program balances theory with case studies to cover everything from strategy to various kinds of architecture, from security to ICT governance and much more. This master is the only academic program that specifically focuses on the actual role of the enterprise architect. Click here for more information.

  1. Institut Polytechnique De Paris

The France-based organization provides a post-master’s certification in enterprise digital architecture. The nine-month program offers training in what organizers call “a profession of the future, a driving force for innovation.” It’s designed to provide participants with the technical and business skills to integrate all ICT, network, IT, telecommunications and services issues. Become a key player in the digitalization of companies by deploying new service and network architecture solutions. Click here for more information.

  1. Melbourne Institute of Technology

The Australia-based university offers an enterprise architecture unit as part of its master of networking degree. The focus is on EA methods and techniques to describe how to plan, implement and govern a program of work to improve business function by aligning IT with business drivers.  This is the role of enterprise-level architecture.  Click here for more information.

  1. Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University

The Russia-based university provides a course for different specialists who associate their careers with EA concepts such as: IT-solutions architecture, business engineering, information and communications technology, design thinking and innovation, business process management and corporate project management. Click here for more information.

  1. Queensland University of Technology

The Australia university’s enterprise architecture unit covers theory and practice concerning how business and IT systems are planned and designed using modelling techniques. EA focuses on organizational capability maps that reflect what businesses do independent of business. The techniques for capturing different artefacts at business and IT levels relevant to systems planning will include business services, processes, information and resources. Students will be taught how to develop a multi-layered EA based on state-of-the-art modelling techniques. Click here for more information.

  1. RMIT University

The Australian university provides a software architecture concentration in its master of information technology program Students graduate with a theoretical base and technical proficiency to keep pace with rapid changes in technology and business. Throughout their studies, they apply technical skills to a range of platforms and develop expertise in IT fundamentals, such as algorithms, analytics, data mining, cloud computing and programming. Click here for more information.

  1. Ryerson University

 The Canadian university’s Chang School of Continuing Education offers an enterprise architecture certificate program via both online and in-class learning with university-level degree credit courses. It offers students the opportunity to apply all, or most, of the credit earned through the certificate as transfer credits to the BComm program at Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management, subject to admission. Click here for more information.

About Christopher Calnan 5 Articles
Christopher Calnan is a veteran technology journalist, who most recently spent 10 years with the Austin Business Journal covering the technology beat.