Every growing business with an infrastructure, complicated or otherwise, benefits from a clear enterprise architecture. But what exactly is that? What does an Enterprise Architect help with? And how do we approach this at Dropsolid? Our new Enterprise Architect, Frederik Wouters, shares his thoughts.
What does an Enterprise Architect do?
As an Enterprise Architect you make sure a company is ready for a sustainable innovation, you’re responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the IT and you oversee technical improvements and upgrades in services, software and hardware. You must have the ability to structure the complexity of a successful organization while keeping the stakeholders satisfied. And as an Enterprise Architect you also work cross departmental, so all departments are aligned and can profit from the solutions.
Why do organizations need an Enterprise Architect?
It’s not always easy to go from an idea to a structured plan. Not even to mention the efficient execution of it. But the advantages are undeniable. With a well thought out architecture you avoid a lot of unforeseen difficulties during the project, and they might result in delays and additional costs. By properly mapping out the architecture in advance, you'll be able to speed up the development, eliminate uncertainties and avoid unforeseen additional costs along the way.
We had a moment with Frederik to talk about his passion
Frederik, first of all: welcome at Dropsolid! Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Yes, sure! I’m Federik Wouters, the new Enterprise Architect at Dropsolid. I love helping customers resolve difficult issues and going from vision to execution as efficiently as possible.
What does it mean to be an Enterprise Architect?
For some clients it means suggesting architectural changes while for others it means helping them choose the right tool for the job and fitting it into their architecture. For me personally, I just love helping customers get their enterprise architecture on point and helping them with Drupal, DXP implementations and other complex problems.
An Enterprise Architect has a wide range of functions: picking the right tool for a specific project, suggesting architectural changes and even finding solutions that seem impossible at first. That’s why this role requires complex thinking, strategic insight and a technical background. But it also means mapping out the "to build" structure over multiple clouds. For example Microsoft Dynamics on Azure combined with homegrown applications on AWS linked to a platform on Google cloud. And for others it means doing a security assessment, modelling of threats, auditing. These are the puzzles that I like to solve.
How did you become an Enterprise Architect?
Well, I’ve been active in Drupal and everything between the browser and the Bare-metal for quite some time now. At the Flemish government, I got to contribute to the enterprise architecture in a big project I was a Project Manager on. This really triggered me to dive deeper in this matter. I enrolled in an Enterprise Architecture course and I am loving every second of it. It’s just incredibly interesting looking at organizations from that point of view.
So you were active in Drupal and Open Source yourself. At Dropsolid we carry this open vision deeply. What’s your take on that?
I’m a huge fan of Open Source and Drupal. It’s very interesting to see what Drupal has in store for us in the future. They’ve already taken huge steps in the last few years. It’s not yet common knowledge, but with moving to Drupal 8, companies are leaping into the future. D8 with its more mature security processes, more regular release cycles and better internal structure, everything will be more maintenance friendly and upgradable. This will result in a more stable long term content editing platform and a richer ecosystem of modules. Big companies are noticing this and are moving to D8(9/10). For example Tesla and Apple, to name a few.
When you train with the best, your level will increase. We share with the rest and we all profit from the increase in capabilities.
Where does your passion for enterprise architecture come from?
I already was passionate about the web and open source. My passion for enterprise architecture is actively being cultivated. To be able to help organizations doing what I love is awesome. Dropsolid also shares this vision of contributing to the ecosystem and for me to help them achieve this vision comes naturally. Maybe you’ve heard of Ikigai, the art of doing something with supreme focus and joy. Well, for me enterprise architecture is like that.
Open source is also a lot like competition sports. When you train with the best, your level will increase. We share with the rest and we all profit from the increase in capabilities (security/extensibility/performance/…).
Ikigai, the art of doing something with supreme focus and joy. Well, for me enterprise architecture is like that.
How were your first weeks at Dropsolid?
Last year I was grinding away on a project where I was not happy. I really needed something to feel passionate about again. So I couldn’t let the opportunity at Dropsolid slip through my hands. It’s amazing what they’re doing here. I am not sure if the clients of Dropsolid have any idea what a bunch of motivated, professional people are working behind the scenes. Incredible! We’re still looking for more motivated people. By the way, I’m also very enthusiastic about the Dropsolid Experience Cloud, it really blew my mind.
Can you tell us a bit more about your first impression of the Dropsolid Experience Cloud?
I’ve only started to discover it in the last weeks, but I can assure you that the Dropsolid Platform capabilities blew my mind. The infrastructure is really impressive and the developer tools are just what you need to collaborate on web projects with distributed teams. It’s a solution if you are looking for a stable secure extensible NO-OPS platform. It will do Drupal-AAS, Mautic-AAS. But it also gives you the flexibility of combining on premise and multicloud (AWS + GCP + Azure). This is a gamechanger for some of our clients (privacy in Europe, you know). It’s actually a logical next step. This way our services are really part of our composable DXP.
The great thing is, Dropsolid also keeps the Open Source philosophy in mind with their platform. When the quality of a component is high enough it is contributed to the relevant community. We couldn’t do that being a local company.
Dropsolid has expanded over European borders to attract the best of the best. This allows us to give our customers the best service, platform and talent. As they say “success attracts success”.
Connect with me:
Everybody who needs help with this enterprise architecture, I’m here to help. You can always contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll talk as soon as possible.