Infrastructure Architects: who are they, what is their goal in life?

The specifics of various architecture roles have become a hot topic as enterprise architecture (EA) practices have matured. A common role in many organizations is the infrastructure architect. A recent Forrester survey reveals that most enterprise architects rank infrastructure architecture as their top priority, and in many organizations, infrastructure architects report directly to a central EA group. Infrastructure architects design and standardize an organization's infrastructure, providing strategic coordination as well as tactical governance. This strategic coordination will have significant impact on two fronts. First, as the transition from IT to BT (business technology) progresses, technology will become more and more embedded in business capabilities, making it imperative that strategic decisions include real-time collaboration between business and technology subject matter experts. Also, as the infrastructure and operations department transitions to a more process-driven IT service management approach, infrastructure architects will need to define technical end-to-end architectures that break down the traditional internal support structures.