Business Architect:


IT Architect and IT Leader

Chief Information Officer (CIO) Cross-functionally Excellent Top Manager


Vadim Kotelnikov personal logo Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation unlimited!



"E-business is not an IT challenge."

T.Kyle Quinn, Director, e-Business Information Systems, Boeing Co.



IT Governance

E-Business Planning Process

ICT Trends: Market Shifts

Smart Business Architect


Four Key Areas of IT/Business Alignment Improvement

  1. functionality and quality of IT

  2. customer satisfaction

  3. corporate culture

  4. planning and interaction between IT and business

Modern IT-powered Value Chain


The Four Phases of IT/Business Alignment

  1. Plan

  2. Model

  3. Manage

  4. Measure... More

The Tree of Business Success

Benefits of e-Business


11 Traits of a True IT Leader

Source: CIO.com4

IT Leader: New Roles of a CIO

Those likely to become the CIOs of tomorrow need to be good at many things. Critical skills include:

  1. Fluency in both technology and the business

  2. Ability to work at tactical and strategic levels simultaneously

  3. Foresight to connect disparate pieces into cohesive solutions (systems thinking)

  4. Flexibility

  5. Commitment to lifelong learning, with a readiness to stretch beyond core competencies

  6. Marketing competence

  7. Consummate communication skills

  8. Ability to find and manage top talent

  9. Vendor management expertise

  10. Project management excellence

  11. Willingness to delegate (employee empowerment)



What IT Leadership Look Like?

To succeed as an IT leader, you need to develop the business management skills.

A recent list of Ones to Watch includes folks, mostly directors and VPs, who appear headed for the CIO suite. More than ever before, their skills go beyond the purely technical; they exhibit vision, the ability to influence others and a knack for getting things done. A wish list includes 11 traits of a true IT leader. Some examples: fluency in both technology and the business, the ability to work at tactical and strategic levels simultaneously, marketing competence, consummate communication skills, and a readiness to stretch beyond core competencies.4



Finding such people isn't easy. "They need to be good at a lot of things," says Agnoli, awards judge and CIO of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham. "They have to be able to delve from the really high-level stuff all the way down to the minutiae, sometimes at the same time. It's a very difficult skill set to find, so you want to hold on to them."

There are some telltale signs that an IT leader is or should be headed for the top. Leading companies recognized for their rising-star status in the IT world, display three overarching characteristics the wise CIO will watch out for. They have vision, often taking creative approaches to solving business problems. They exhibit influence, with superior communication skills and the ability to build consensus. And they get things done, executing enterprisewide projects successfully time and time again.

Vision. Vision is as a core competency is the kind of trait CIOs just know when they see it. It comes in many forms, from the ability to envision an executable plan to figuring out how to enable a new business product. But the qualities that lead IT up-and-comers to creative approaches to solving business problems are easier to boil down. They need a thorough understanding of the down-and-dirty details of both technology capabilities and business needs, the flexibility to adjust to changing conditions in either or both, and the ability to bring the two together into a very high-level strategic plan.

Influence. Of course, giving doctors and nurses innovative new technology tools is one thing; getting them to use these tools is quite another. That's where influence comes in. Often, CIOs must call upon a whole host of skills to get business buy-in for, and usage of, IT-enabled change from being willing to learn more about what the business needs to gaining the trust of key stakeholders to marketing big, enterprisewide changes to building relationships with various (often very different) constituencies.

Execution. Vision and influence are essential qualities for future CIOs. But without solid execution, great ideas and successful marketing campaigns quickly fall apart. You've to stand and deliver.

10 Key Project Leader Skills

It takes time though to truly judge whether an IT leader is good at getting things done. "You have to look at the scope and reach of what they're doing. It's one thing to do a successful project; it's another thing to do it across the entire organization," says Agnoli. "You also have to look at how successful they are. They need to build a track record over time, not just one good project." To do that, IT leaders need to be able to employ solid project management practices, hire and manage the best employees to execute those plans, and either get involved or delegate appropriately. And though it sounds rather circular, it takes an IT leader who has vision and influence as well.

The Rise of the IT Architect

IT architects are in growing demand.  They are cross-functionally excellent people who can "tie several silos of expertise together," relate to business problems as well as technology, and then sell their ideas upward and downward in the corporate hierarchy. The position of IT architect has become increasingly important to the ever-changing IT industry, and is one that established corporations and start-ups are seeking.

"As IT positions become more specialized and include increasingly detailed responsibilities, there's a need for someone who can tie several silos of expertise together," says Al Volvano, a product manager for Microsoft's Learning Group. "Enterprise architects aren't just technology experts; they are leaders with broad IT knowledge, the savvy to apply it to business problems and the communication skills necessary to coordinate the people who will put their plans into action," says Bill Liguori, senior vice president and co-founder of the placement firm Leadership Capital Group. 5





  1. Best Practices for Achieving the "Connected Enterprise", White Paper by iSoft

  2. Bridging the IT/Business Divide: Aligning Goals to Achieve Performance, David Caddis

  3. "The Four Phases of IT/Business Alignment," Mary Nugent, BMC Software

  4. "What IT Leadership Look Like?" Stephanie Overby,

  5. "The Rise of the IT Architect," Ryan DeBeasi, Network World

  6. "IT: Transforming Business," Stacy Smith,

  7. Business Process Management: The Third Wave, Howard Smith and Peter Fingar

  8. "Measure of Alignment Predicts Success," Ellen Pearlman and Edward H. Baker, CIO Insight