Online Degrees & Courses in Enterprise Architecture & Business Transformation

Enterprise architecture (EA) and business transformation are different roles within a business that require similar skills and challenges. They each have a unique approach to management and their own stakeholders, goals, organization, and more. However, the two commonly work together to help businesses operate effectively and successfully grow.

Enterprise architecture (EA) is the “practice of analyzing, designing, planning and implementing enterprise analysis to successfully execute on business strategies.” Originally seen as way to manage information technology (IT) projects, enterprise architecture was developed in the 1960s by IBM employees John Zachmann and Dewey Walker as a response to the increased use of technology in businesses.

Today, enterprise architecture is used for all facets of business. It helps businesses structure projects to help companies meet their current and future needs and demands. The International Enterprise Architecture Institute suggests six components for a complete approach:

  • Architecture Governance: Identifies the people, planning, decision-making, and oversight groups that determine how EA is developed and maintained as part of an organization’s overall governance.
  • Architecture Framework: Establishes the relationships between different levels and sub-components between business, technology, and strategy.
  • Implementation Methodology: Develops the process for maintaining and updating the EA program.
  • Documentation Artifacts: Determines the types and methods of documentation for each level and sub-component, including business plans, controls, and models. These models may include workflow, systems, networks, and more.
  • Architecture Repository: Identifies how documentation will be stored and maintained, such as a website or database. It will also establish tools for modeling, analysis, and reporting,
  • Best Practices: Discusses established ways to implement the program, including architecture and sub-architecture.

The goal of EA is to support integrated governance, bringing programs, policies, and procedures together in a clear and streamlined way. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2019) does not collect specific data on enterprise architects, they estimate that the field of computer and information technology is expected to grow by 12 percent between 2018 and 2028. Also, EA professionals are well-compensated. Those working in the field report an average salary of $132,154 for IT-based EAs.

Depending on their focus, those working as an enterprise architect may hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business or computer science. There are some schools that offer a degree in enterprise architecture that combines concepts from both business and computer science programs.

Those working in business transformation also focus on people, process, and technology. However, they work on these issues using a different approach than enterprise architects. They tend to work on five types of products:

  • Business process transformation: Helping business change “how” they do things, which may include optimizing or automating existing processes.
  • Information/data/digital transformation: Evaluating how information, data, and technology are currently used and determining how to best leverage them.
  • Organizational transformation: Assessing how departments are staffed and structured and streamlining or building them out to better achieve overall organizational goals.
  • Management transformation: Facilitating the change of management structures to better respond to changing realities, such as changes in the field or the need for quick decision-making.
  • Cultural transformation: Working to change corporate or organizational culture, which requires transforming intent and concepts into process and action.

Simply put, business transformation is the process of “rethinking business and operating models to achieve value.” It looks at how and where an organization grows, its operation, and how they can improve performance. Deloitte provides a “Capability Hexagon,” which breaks down business transformation efforts into six core organizational concepts: mission, insights, integration, processes, technology, and talent.

For business transformation to be successful, those working to implement this management approach must have buy-in from leadership and other key stakeholders that the change is necessary. They must also agree about the components of the change itself, such as what the organization is changing from and what form the change should take. They also work on testing and embedding the change in organizational culture.

There is a lack of overall salary data through the Bureau of Labor Statistics for those working in business transformation. However, Glassdoor provides an average salary of $77,517 annually for business transformation managers. Payscale states business transformation directors make $145,590 annually. Those working as a business transformation manager typically hold a bachelor’s or master’s in business administration.

There are also a number of certifications available to those looking to deepen their knowledge in enterprise architecture and business transformation. For example, Udemy offers IT-focused EA courses and certificates for everyone from beginners to experts.

Read on to learn more about fast facts, mentors, educational programs, and DIY resources to explore enterprise architecture and business transformation.

Fast Facts: Why are Enterprise Architecture & Business Transformation Skills Important?

  • Responding to Rapid Changes in Technology – With ever-changing technology, the economy is rapidly shifting on a scale never seen before. Business transformation managers and enterprise architects help organizations develop a roadmap and determine how to best grow.
  • Bringing People, Policies, and Produces Together – Enterprise architects and business transformation managers provide an interdisciplinary, integrated approach that helps organizations bring together different components of their infrastructure.
  • Future-Oriented – By understanding the present and determining how it can scale, enterprise architects establish pathways for organizations to grow. Similarly, business transformation managers work to implement wide-reaching changes that help organizations deliver more effective products or move into new markets.

Mentors: Enterprise Architecture & Business Transformation Gurus to Know

Online Enterprise Architecture & Business Transformation Programs

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University offers a 33-credit fully online master of professional sciences (MPS) degree in enterprise architecture and business transformation (EABT). With an expansive, dynamic approach to EABT, Pennsylvania State University provides an interdisciplinary program that bridges engineering, business, information technology, and more to build a strong foundation for professionals looking to deepen their knowledge or take the next step in their career.

They also offer a graduate certificate in enterprise architecture and a graduate certificate in enterprise information and security technology architecture. These fully online certificates are taken from the master degree program’s core curriculum. They are each nine credits and classes taken to complete these certificates can be used to meet requirements towards a EAST master’s degree.

Coursework includes enterprise modeling, enterprise architecture and business transformation foundations, cost and value management, understanding complex organizations, and more.

Students applying to this program should have two years of experience working in the information technology field and are responsible for business strategy and vision. They should also have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in information technology, business, or engineering.

  • Location: University Park, Pennsylvania
  • Estimated Tuition: $924 per credit (not including course materials or registration fees)

University of California, Berkeley

The ExecEd program through the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley offers a two-month online digital transformation program for mid and senior-level managers looking for tools and strategies to guide their business through shifts in their field.

Coursework includes digital business models, technology and policy, the process of digital transformation, people and the organization, and more. As this program is designed for working professionals, lectures and materials are designed to take four to six hours a week. To receive a certificate of completion, students must receive an 80 percent to pass. Coursework in this program counts towards a certificate of business excellence through the Haas School of Business.

  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Estimated Tuition: $2,600

Kent State University

The Kent State University School of Emerging Media and Technology offers an 32-credit online master’s of digital science (MDS) with a concentration in enterprise architecture geared towards working professions. They also offer a 18-credit post-baccalaureate certificate in enterprise architecture. Courses taken in this certificate count towards the master’s of science degree. Coursework includes instruction in application and technology architecture, data architecture, digital sciences, and capstone courses.

Prospective students should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0, and GRE or GMAT test scores. They should also include personal statements, writing samples, portfolio, and letters of recommendation.

  • Location: Kent, Ohio
  • Estimated Tuition: $835 per credit

DIY Skill-Building in Enterprise Architecture & Business Transformation

Looking for ways to build your knowledge outside of a formal degree or certificate program? Interested in learning key skills through free and low-cost resources and expanding your understanding of key business transformation and enterprise architecture trends?

Business transformation and enterprise architecture are ever-changing fields where there are always new developments and things to learn. Check out the platforms below for opportunities to build your skills, DIY-style.

PMI: Project Management Institute

PMI is an online learning platform that provides courses and certificates in project management, business analysis, scheduling, risk management, and more to students across the globe. Students can choose from individual courses or series in topics they are interested in or complete a certificate program. Courses are taught by seasoned professionals and academics with deep experience in project management and business.

Their programs are highly regarded among professionals throughout the corporate world, and they are known for their rigorous and dynamic curriculum. For example, PMI offers a set of self-paced digital business transformation courses oriented towards experienced project managers looking to support their organizations as they move into the digital economic space. PMI membership is $129 a year.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning was formed after LinkedIn acquired, an online education and skill-building site. LinkedIn has expanded and built upon the content to include courses led by industry experts that cover topics like programming, graphic design, and business. With over 16,000 free and paid courses available, there are tons of options for interested students and professionals looking to build their skills. Want access to all content? Subscribe for access to free and paid courses for as little as $19.99 a month.

Bree Nicolello
Bree Nicolello

Bree Nicolello is an urban planner and freelance writer based in Seattle, WA. She has worked on land use and housing policy issues throughout the Pacific Northwest. She previously led Run Oregon Run, a nonprofit dedicated to helping Oregonians run for office and apply to boards and commissions. When not writing, she is lovingly tending to her cast iron pans.

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