Where Have all the Enterprise Architects Gone?

Enterprise Architecture Investment Trends

Our 2022 State of Enterprise Architecture Survey revealed good and bad news for architecture investments in the coming years. In terms of investments, we looked at companies’ perceived current budget in architecture activities, expected future value from the work architects were doing, and the impact of those activities on the organization. 

The good news? Our survey indicates that over the next few years, EA budgets will grow as companies plan to increase their architecture investment in all categories. The survey revealed that over half of the companies were looking to hire more architects and increase their architecture staffing over the next two to three years.

The Case of the Disappearing Enterprise Architect

And this is where good news sours. Increased investment in enterprise architecture headcount could be perceived as a troubling finding when you compare it with what has been happening within the Enterprise industry. Glassdoor, a recruiting website in North America, recently published a survey of the hottest IT jobs for the next few years. Enterprise architecture was listed as the top hot job in the market today.  At the time of the survey, there were over 4,000 open positions. 

During the pandemic, many companies tried to hire architects while the overall size of the workforce shrank. With the uncertainty of the global health crisis, many architects retired early, and sadly, some didn’t make it through the pandemic. As recent years have progressed, we’ve increasingly seen a shortage of qualified architects. At the same time, we’ve seen increasing demand. 

What Does an Enterprise Architects Shortage Mean?

The shortage of enterprise architects appears not to be waning any time soon and warrants more discussion within the industry. Organizations need to ask whether they will really be able to fill open positions and, if not, what will they do. What does the shortage mean for enterprise architect consultants? How will they be able to enable clients to either train people to meet these jobs or to do the architecture work in a new and innovative way where they can achieve the same results with less headcount? Or, will companies shift the focus from headcount towards tooling in response to a global workforce shortage of qualified candidates? 

As companies continue to focus resources around enterprise architecture, analysis requirements management, IT solutions architecture, there will need to align the needs of the organization with the work efforts underway. As companies look to understand how they optimize their operations post-pandemic and adjust to work as a new normal, the need for qualified EAs and enterprise architects will only continue to grow and could result in a significant shortage of qualified enterprise architects for years to come. 
Are you facing challenges staffing your architecture roles?  If so, Sparx Services North America may be able to help.  If you can’t hire qualified resources, your two best alternatives are training the high-potential resources you have and/or optimizing your architecture processes and tools to enable you to do more with fewer people.  Contact us to learn more about how our EA tools and services can help.

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