Information technology (IT) is a crucial component of any enterprise, as it touches every digital aspect of a company ranging from computer systems to payment processing. Various software tools and know-how are needed to keep IT architecture operational, whether using in-house staff or outsourced managed IT services. However, enterprise resource planning software (ERP) is not only expensive to integrate but often has monthly per-user fees attached to them. That can cause expenses to escalate.

Trimming IT costs by just 1-2% can translate to high annual savings. On average, businesses spend around 4-6% of their revenue on IT. The smaller the company, the higher the yearly costs are compared to its revenue. That is further varied by industry, as retail can be as low as 1.2%, while financial services can reach over 11.4%.

With many long-standing businesses having more mature IT architecture, it’s made it challenging to reduce IT costs. Part of that difficulty is finding ways to streamline the workflow and reduce unnecessary monthly-paid services. That has created a need for more experienced specialists, like enterprise IT architects, to provide input into improving established systems and reducing spending wastage.

What Is an Enterprise IT Architect?

An enterprise IT architect supports and guides a business’s most difficult technology systems. They take a high-level view, looking at how everything from hardware to software interacts with each other and the employees using them. Enterprises often have more complicated infrastructure than a standard business structure, requiring a deeper understanding of IT and business strategy. Due to the higher needs and expectations, enterprise architects are more skilled and experienced than typical IT specialists.

What Does an Enterprise IT Architect Do?

An enterprise is built around the products or services they offer, making its IT similarly focused on enhancing its business flow. Enterprise IT architects look at the technical and business elements, allowing them to have a broader insight into the most beneficial changes. That guidance is centered on the needs and goals of the company.

Technology is constantly changing, making IT systems that were once competitive become outdated and burdensome if not properly maintained. Outdated technology alone can cost employers almost $4,000 per year for each full-time employee. Extra productivity can be lost in other areas, too, like poorly implemented or inefficient systems.

An enterprise architect will stay informed about the latest trends and understand what adjustments can benefit each business individually. Since ERP software can be involved with many processes, they also must know how it’s used and what impact any changes might have.

Due to their involvement with the business and IT functions, enterprise architects also participate in technical discussions and IT staff usage. Even when outsourcing, they’re expected to take a leading role on assigned projects. That means understanding the solutions, the implementation, the problems being solved, and clearly communicating that information to anyone who needs it.

How Much Do They Cost to Hire?

The cost can vary depending on various factors, though they’re paid more than most IT specialists due to the higher level of guidance they provide. Below are some of the factors to consider before reaching out to one for a quote.

  • Region or city size
  • Type of industry
  • IT complexity
  • Years of experience
  • Staff required
  • Length of the project
  • Impact on revenue
  • Staff training

With that in mind, the smaller and more manageable the task, the cheaper it will be. With large-scale IT overhauls, they’ll be more expensive and involve more staff, but they can also have more of a positive impact. Higher cost of living areas can also influence the baseline pricing. An experienced IT architect may also charge a higher rate, but they’ll bring a greater level of services and knowledge.

When Is One Worth Using?

Hiring an enterprise IT architect depends primarily on three factors: the size of the business, the industry they’re in, and the status of the IT infrastructure. Hiring a consultant or having an assessment done can help with those determinations. Some IT architects will provide those services as part of the price quoting process.

Different industries rely on IT in varying amounts, with the tech industry itself being the second largest contributor to the US economy at 10.5% of the total GDP. Some enterprises may not have as much flexibility if they have strict internal guidelines, minimal technology usage, or plan to maintain outdated systems. Other industries may get a higher return on investment (ROI) by prioritizing their IT before shifting to other aspects.

The main reason to hire one is when the improvement is greater than the time and cost. A common area of change is cloud services. As recently as 2019, non-cloud & dedicated infrastructure held over 50% of the market share. By 2025 it’s expected to drop to 33.9%, with cloud & dedicated and cloud & shared systems projected to overtake it.

Benefits from changes can come in many forms, whether it’s increasing productivity, reducing costs, overhauling systems, or indirectly supporting other business areas. While most infrastructure can be improved no matter how well established it is, whether the ROI is worth it varies case by case.

How Can You Get the Most Out of Hiring One?

Be prepared before contacting them. It can be helpful to prepare a quick overview of the software installed, staff usage statistics, what issues they run into, areas they would like to see improvement in, and other related topics. Having information gathered ahead of time will save time for both the company and the IT architect, allowing them to move to the next phase quicker and reduce the overall cost of service.

Closing

With matured IT systems and complex interactions, enterprises have demanding IT needs. An enterprise IT architect can guide companies through most challenges, giving a level of support and leadership not always offered by other IT specialists. They can improve established infrastructure, overhaul old systems, and provide new solutions. That is done with industry experience, knowledge of the latest trends, and client partnerships.

Even with all the benefits of hiring an enterprise IT architect, finding the right person and business to partner with can take time. The longer a business waits to fix its IT issues, the more revenue and productivity can be lost over time. Third-party companies like ITonDemand have specialists who can provide high-level IT guidance, along with the staff and resources to install proven solutions. For enterprises who want to improve their IT from top to bottom, hiring an enterprise IT architect is well worth the cost.

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