Welcome to the third part of the series on “Upskilling to Digital Architect”; with my perspective on the learning roadmap for Digital Architect across building the foundational skills for Digital Architect. 

Skills for Digital Architect would fit across seven Foundational Blocks.

This part is focused on broad base starting point. Following seven parts, we will go deeper on 1st part of the foundational skills block.


and my Pro tips and suggested Exercise 😊 

1. Digital Transformation Strategy and Innovation

Digital Architect needs to develop skillset around different frameworks, models for Digital Transformation, and how Innovation, People, Customer, and Technology is at their core. 

a. Familiarize yourself with Five Domains of Digital Transformation


Refer to The Digital Transformation Playbook | David Rogers

b. A good starting point here would be to understand the key barriers and ways to overcome those challenges. Check my article on this topic (links provided below)

c. Learn different Digital Transformation Frameworks to pick and define your organization-specific Digital Transformation framework (and most importantly, the Vision and Strategic priorities)

d. Define the high-level path for Digital Transformation – 2 simple views that I like for this are:

Pro Tip: Join Industry Groups 

Staying on top of industry trends, challenges, and market disrupters (both in your industry and complementary industries) is essential. Don’t just rely on theoretical knowledge here. Join relevant Industry Groups and develop your professional network to help them learn and enhance their skills. It’s important to build genuine relationships with other people in the industry. 


Competition is no longer between companies – it’s between supply chains! Competition is no longer between companies – it’s between supply chains!
12 secrets of successful Digital Transformation 12 Secrets for Successful Digital Transformation
When Does Digital Transformation Fail?  When Do Digital Transformation Fail? 9 Misfortunes That Can Affect Your Transition


2. Cloud-First Mindset with Security by Design mindset

Cloud is the innovation catalyst Companies are rapidly adopting the cloud-first strategy. 

Start your journey by understanding the difference between using Cloud as TCO reduction only vs. using Cloud as the catalyst for Innovation and reducing Technology Debt. 

a. Prepare for Cloud Certifications. Check my Cloud Certification Demystified series. 

b. Understand the barriers for Cloud adoption and ways to realize the full potential of Cloud across Cost, Innovation, Skills, Security, Demand, etc. Check some of my recent articles for more information.

Cloud Cost Optimization
Cloud as An Enabler for Sustainability
Cloud Observability
Cloud Thought Leadership


3. Emerging Technology and Trends 

Digital Architect needs to have a good understanding of emerging technologies and how those can impact future business models. Emerging Technology is a vast landscape. At a high level, I would suggest using Gartner Technology Hype Curves, Technology trends/vision of year from Accenture / Mckinsey / IDC. You can find my version – “15 Technology Trends of 2021 that will drive Digital Transformation

Pro Tip: 

  • Don’t try to be an expert on all Emerging Technology. Instead, know Emerging Technology but focus on: Technology Adoption Curve, relevance to your business, and building an SME network in that emerging Technology. 
  • Develop a Technology Impact Canvas (a couple of examples are below)


For this part of the series, I would suggest starting with below four emerging Technology:

1. Edge Computing Edge Computing: The Future of Cloud 
2. 5G
3. Data Governance Data Governance- A QuickStart With Azure Purview
4. Low Code No Code Platform Respond, Reset and Renew Your Business Strategy Using Low Code/No-Code Platform

4. Technology Change Management 

Technology Change Management would be an essential aspect for Digital Architects to be successful. 

As a starting point, I would suggest learning about: 

Digital Fluency and Digital Resiliency Enterprise Readiness For The Digital Age: Digital Fluency And Digital Resiliency
Change Management frameworks 

5. Architecture Patterns and Key Tech Skills

A deep understanding of traditional and new Cloud-First Architectural patterns is going to be essential for Digital Architect. 

Architecture Patterns will be another vast area, and I will cover this in more depth in the future articles of this series and a new series (coming soon – Architect Pattern Made Simple). I would suggest starting with:

Chaos engineering Systematic and Chaotic Testing: A Way to Achieve Cloud Resilience
Microservices Architecture Is Microservices the best answer for all Software Problems? Is it still valid in the Post-Covid world?
.NET 5 What Is .NET 5 and What It Means To You

These two books as a starting point .. :

  • “Software Architecture in Practice” by Len Bass, Paul Clements, Rick Kazman;
  • “97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know” by Richard Monson-Haefel. 

6. Pillars for future Composable Enterprise

Digital Resilience and IT Systems Taxonomy Digital Resilience Requires Changes In The Taxonomy Of Business IT Systems
Digital Resilience and IT Systems Taxonomy – Infographic 
Mainframe Modernization Mainframe Modernization To Cloud
Changing the AI Landscape Through Professionalization Changing the AI Landscape Through Professionalization
System Resilience How System Resilience Can Be Built and Rebuilt During a Pandemic

7. Human Dynamics (Core Soft Skills and beyond)


Pro Tip: With Hybrid Work and Remote Working to stay here, learn the new toolset like Mural, Microsoft Whiteboard, and champion Virtual Meeting. Check out 8 Tips for Effective Virtual Meeting

Pro Tip: Suggested Exercises 

1. Develop a SWOT Diagram – Self-assessment of your skills as Solution Architect and Digital Architect.

a. Build on your strengths.

b. Know your weakness. Identify who in your network has complimentary skills – as it’s all about Teamwork.

c. For items in the Opportunity quadrant, develop an action plan, stakeholder map 

d. For items in Threat Quadrant, create a learning roadmap, identify a mentor who can help in converting threats into opportunities. 

2. Develop 2 SWOT Diagrams for your organizations 

a. 1 for the current state of the organization

b. 1 for the future state of organization (more of your wish list and vision-driven)

3. Political, Economic, Socio-Cultural, and Technological changes (PEST) Analysis for your organization

4. Create Porter’s 5 Forces Analysis for your organization

5. Develop a “Disruptive Business Model Map” for your enterprise

Share your learning roadmap, reading list, and strategy to stay on top of emerging Technology, your curated list of tools/frameworks that you find helpful for Digital Architect / Solution Architect and Enterprise Architect roles.