Women in Architecture Spotlight – Thuthukile Nicoletta Ncube

Featured in this week’s spotlight is Thuthukile Nicoletta Ncube, an engineer at Econet Wireless Pvt Ltd.

Nicoletta is a results-driven technology advocate who defines and aligns strategic goals with operational realities to deliver a series of successful IT initiatives. Drawing upon her strong academic background in information systems and computer science, along with her expertise in enterprise architecture, project management, and cybersecurity, she crafts and executes transformational journeys that unlock business value.

To learn more, we recently sought out her insights about her successful career and what she sees in the future.

Question: How did you get your start in the industry?

Answer: My journey in the enterprise architecture field began organically at Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.  My educational foundation in Computer Science (BSc Hons, 2013) equipped me with the technical knowledge needed to understand complex systems.  However, it was at Econet where I truly began to bridge the gap between technology and business needs.Nicoletta Pic

Starting as a Graduate Technical Engineer, I delved into the core aspects of network planning, development, and operations. This hands-on experience provided a deep understanding of how IT infrastructure functioned in a real-world telecommunications environment.  My thirst for knowledge and a passion for automation led me to take on practical projects and thrive, showcasing my initiative and technical aptitude.

As I progressed through various roles at, my responsibilities expanded.  My experience as a Core Network Planning Engineer involved strategic planning for a large-scale core network refresh project.  This solidified my understanding of project management and stakeholder engagement.  Later, as a Solutions Architect, I led technology teams in analysing, designing, and deploying solutions, aligning with the company’s strategic goals.  This role honed my ability to translate business needs into effective technical solutions.

Finally, in 2022, I transitioned into my current role as an Enterprise Architect.  Leveraging the well-rounded foundation, I now focus on designing the enterprise strategy and architecture for company’s digital transformation journey.  This involves not only considering current technologies but also anticipating future trends to ensure our architecture is future-proof.

Q: What is your current responsibility and what is your typical day like?

A: I am currently an enterprise architect where my key responsibilities include business vision to technology strategy, IT portfolio alignment, bottom line optimisation and architecture roadmap management. My days are a dynamic mix of strategic planning and hands-on architecture implementation.  I lead meetings to bridge the gap between proposed solutions and our overall architecture.  Sometimes, I actively guide deployment teams, while other times, I work behind the scenes, streamlining and optimizing our IT landscape. I regularly engage with internal and external clients, actively listening to their needs and proposing innovative solutions. This collaborative approach ensures our IT initiatives deliver real value to the business.  In addition, I track the value delivered by our IT projects, focusing on both revenue generation and broader non-monetary metrics.  This ensures that our architecture decisions translate into a more profitable and sustainable organization.

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: I thrive on the challenge of seeing the big picture for an organization’s technology landscape. Being an Enterprise Architect allows me to design and implement solutions that impact every aspect of the business, driving efficiency and innovation. I enjoy the advocacy of architecture – crafting a vision that I have to sell to the executive, management, colleagues and the users while using terms and language fit for the audience in question. I am the person behind the curtain, working to ensure all digital tools, processes and technology are cutting edge.

Q: What trends in architecture are you looking for in 2024?

A: The landscape of enterprise architecture is undergoing a paradigm shift, driven not just by AI and Machine Learning, but also by the urgent need for sustainable IT practices and robust cybersecurity.

Sustainable IT: The growing urgency of environmental responsibility is prompting a paradigm shift in enterprise architecture. We’re witnessing a surge in the adoption of sustainability frameworks. These frameworks empower enterprise architects to go beyond traditional IT considerations.  By leveraging them, we can conduct comprehensive impact analyses, meticulously quantifying the environmental footprint of our IT infrastructure. This data-driven approach allows us to define actionable strategies for driving eco-conscious IT practices throughout the organization.  Ultimately, this translates into a more sustainable future, not just for our businesses, but for the planet as a whole.

Cyber security: In the face of a constantly evolving digital threat landscape, enterprise architects must prioritize the integration of robust cybersecurity measures.  This necessitates a proactive approach, weaving security considerations into the very fabric of the architecture from the outset. By employing a zero-trust security model, we can minimize vulnerabilities and ensure the resilience of our IT infrastructure.  This unwavering focus on cybersecurity safeguards organizational data and assets, fostering a secure environment for the entire digital ecosystem.

Q: What is one thing we can do to support or increase the women in architecture?

A: Representation matters. When women entering the field see successful female architects as mentors and sponsors, it demonstrates the possibilities for their own careers.  Mentors can provide guidance and support, while sponsors can advocate for women’s work and advancement opportunities. This kind of support system can make a significant difference in encouraging women to stay in architecture and reach their full potential. I hope I also represent well – and some girl or woman somewhere will also read my story and add to the ever growing number of women architects.