Many large enterprises are feeling pressure from the rapid digitalization of the world: digital disruptors attack unexpectedly with brand-new business models; the "FaceBook generation" has dramatically different user expectations; and a whole slew of new technologies has become available to everyone with a credit card. This is tough stuff for enterprises that have been, and still are, very successful, but are built around traditional technology and organizational structures. "Turning the tanker", as the need to transform is often described, has become a board room-level topic in many traditional enterprises. Not as easily done as said.
Chief IT Architects and CTOs play a key role in such a digital transformation endeavor. They combine the technical, communication, and organizational skill to understand how a tech stack refresh can actually benefit the business, what "being agile" and "DevOps" really mean, and what technology infrastructure is needed to assure quality while moving faster. Their job is not an easy one, though: they must maneuver in an organization where IT is often still seen as a cost center, where operations means "run" as opposed to "change", and where middle-aged middle-management has become cozy neither understanding the business strategy nor the underlying technology. It's no surprise then that IT architects have become some of the most sought-after IT professionals around the globe.