Enterprise Architect

Gowling WLG
Birmingham, West Midlands
07 Mar 2018
09 Apr 2018
Role Classification
Other Professional
Contract Type

About Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is an international law firm created by Gowlings, a leading Canadian law firm, and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (WLG), a leading UK-based international law firm. We built Gowling WLG to provide clients with legal services at home and around the world, and to help you succeed no matter how challenging the circumstances.

About the Team

Here in IT, "our ambition is to be a team recognised for providing straightforward and valued services and solutions, to help drive our firm's strategy". We're the central support of IT to all UK and international offices and we pride ourselves in ensuring our people and clients benefit from the most effective computing solutions available.

Main Purpose of the Job

To develop and coordinate all aspects of the enterprise architecture, including:

  • Business architecture, which is focused on guiding people, process and organisational change
  • Information architecture, which is focused on the consistent sharing of information across the enterprise
  • Solutions architecture, which is focused on developing a direction for managing the portfolio of to-be solutions
    • application architecture is a subset of solutions architecture – it is the discipline that guides application design and defines application architecture paradigms, such as service-oriented architecture (SOA), principles that influence design decisions and patterns that provide proven design solutions
  • Technical architecture, which is focused on evolving the technical infrastructure
  • Security architecture, which is focused on managing IT risk through the exchange of information between people, systems and things inside and outside the organisation

To take accountability for managing and balancing the enterprise architecture to run, grow and transform the business

  • Maintaining and evolving future-state business capabilities with a focus on efficiency and predictability of the existing IT estate
  • Designing and enabling future-state business capabilities with a focus on technology disruption, speed, agility, and flexibility that enables and drives new business models and designs, while meeting today's business needs

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Leading the creation or evolution of the enterprise architecture programme/function
  • Seeking opportunities to highlight how digital business initiatives will potentially impact enterprises' economic architecture and metrics
  • Understanding the business's economic and financial levers that are susceptible to digital transformation, so as to effectively support and guide technology investment decisions
  • Designing and constructing future- and current-state business models so as to practically apply new and emerging technologies to drive them
  • Identifying potential competitive threats from digital enterprises that are generally considered outside of your traditional realm of competition
  • Demonstrating the business value of EA as an enabler of strategy formulation, and as support for technology innovation, which drives the organisation's top and bottom lines
  • Formulating, translating, advocating, supporting and executing business strategy to achieve the organisation's desired business outcomes
  • Scanning the world for major disruptive technology and nontechnology trends (trendspotting) that affect business, and providing practical advice and best practices to overcome these challenges and successfully deliver the expected business outcomes
  • Leading market research, procurement and delivery of solutions from third parties
  • Contextualising the technology trends based on social, economic, political and other nontechnology trends
  • Determining the relationship between people, processes, information, technology and things of the enterprise, and their relationships to one another and to the external environment
  • Working with business peers to develop and present business capability models and roadmaps to facilitate discussion and decision making with stakeholders across the enterprise
  • Leading analysis of the business' future-state capabilities and future (and current) IT environment to detect critical deficiencies and recommend solutions for improvement and driving the business forward
  • Working with business peers and leading the identification and analysis of enterprise business outcomes and drivers to derive useful business context, and in response to disruptive forces
  • Developing diagnostic and actionable deliverables that help business guide investment decisions in support of executing business strategy
  • Leading analysis of the IT environment to detect critical deficiencies and recommend solutions for improvement
  • Providing perspective on the readiness of the organisation to change and innovate
  • Presenting a gap analysis and/or IT investment roadmap that reflects the status of the existing IT estate, namely, its ability to contribute to future-state business capabilities around ecosystems and digital platforms
  • Leading the development of an implementation plan for the enterprise architecture based on business requirements and IT strategies
  • Leading and facilitating the creation of governance, assurance and standards to guide EA decision making
  • Overseeing the evaluation and selection of enterprise architecture standards, as necessary
  • Overseeing enterprise architecture implementation, continuous improvement and ongoing refinement activities
  • Consulting with infrastructure, project and product teams to ensure consistency with the enterprise architecture, as well as identifying when it is necessary to modify the enterprise architecture
  • Identifying organisational requirements for the resources, structures and cultural changes necessary to support the enterprise architecture
  • Overseeing the documentation of all architecture design and analysis work
  • Leading the development and execution of a communication and education plan for the enterprise architecture
  • Assisting the Head of Architecture and Innovation with communicating the value of the enterprise architecture to the organisation
  • Consulting with the Information Security Officer to ensure that any proposed software developments or changes do not compromise the security of the firm’s data 

Key Skills and Experience:

  • Ideally an IT/Information Systems qualified graduate and/or with experience of working with a range of technologies (including Microsoft) within business/operating areas of the legal profession or other professional services
  • Seven or more years of IT and Business User experience, with sensitivity and commitment to business problem solving plus demonstrable experience of:
    • knowledge of business models, operating models, financial models, cost-benefit analysis, budgeting and risk management
    • familiarity with information management practices, system development life cycle management, IT services management, infrastructure and operations, and EA and ITIL frameworks
    • knowledge of business ecosystems, SaaS, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), SOA, APIs, open data, microservices, event-driven IT and predictive analytics
    • excellent analytical and technical skills
    • a strong record of business analysis from idea through to delivery
    • using technical knowledge to resolve issues
    • expertise in operating with one or more of Gowling WLG’s core technology platform areas and willing to gain an excellent understanding of all BIS core IT systems
    • excellent planning and organisational skills
    • providing leadership expertise in building cross-organisational consensus with business/operations clients and/or technology providers
    • negotiating and managing IT contracts with service providers including the associated costs
    • knowledge of all components of holistic enterprise architecture
    • knowledge of business engineering principles and processes
    • familiarity with basic graphical modeling approaches, tools and model repositories
    • developing external networks (e.g. taking on advisory roles, participating in industry bodies)
    • educating and knowledge sharing with colleagues
    • continuously improving own abilities
  • Three or more years performing an enterprise architecture role 
  • Good exposure to and understanding of existing, new and emerging technologies and processing environments and how other enterprises are employing them to drive digital business
  • Demonstrated experience and ability in successfully utilizing "soft skills" or "people skills"
  • Proven ability to collaborate, build relationships and influence individuals at all levels in a matrix-management environment (as well as with external vendors and service providers)
  • Evidence demonstrating ability to work efficiently and effectively under pressure including expertise in prioritising competing workloads

Equal Opportunities

Gowling WLG is committed both to promoting equality and diversity in the firm and to Equal Opportunities in employment. The firm believes in equality of opportunity regardless of race or racial group (including colour, nationality, ethnicity, national origins), religion, caste or belief, age, disability, gender, gender identity, gender reassignment,  sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnerships, surrogacy, adoption and parental rights. This also includes any incidents of perceptive or associative discrimination and harassment.

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