Architects are essential to both real project success (going beyond just on-time and on-budget to true customer satisfaction) as well as maximizing consulting delivery cost to value. The organizations who lead with architecture from pre-sales through implantation are becoming more than implementation companies. They are become true business partners.

Why is this so? Some have suggested that it is the depth and breadth of an architect’s technical skills such as understanding the whole IT environment or security and performance that give architecture-led companies the advantage. Even others describe an architect as a ‘uber-designer’, referring to an architects’ ability to extract and represent high quality and essential requirements and then reflect those in a design that truly satisfies the customer. All of those things are absolutely true. Many projects have succeeded based on these capabilities alone.

But true architects add an additional capability which fundamentally makes architects the perfect consultant. That skill is business technology strategy. It is the ability to map business strategy to a recommended technology strategy which changes your relationship with your customers at the most basic level. This set of skills give companies the cutting edge in the marketplace. They include the ability to show detailed financial advantage, not just cost savings, to a customer based on a particular design effort. It allows a consultant to work at the executive level and clearly illuminate the business and market advantage of a set of technology decisions and budgets. It is about business leadership instead of just business service.

If you are interested growing these skills in your people today, we have a great program exclusive for our Partners. Thanks to the Microsoft Partner Network and Iasa, the most respected architect association in the field, you can do so at a serious cost advantage. The ART (architect readiness and training) program can get you access to industry leading skills training for an entire year for an 80% discount.

Find out more here: http://www.iasaglobal.org/iasa/ART_Program.asp

-Scott Akin