The impact of AI on master architect skills

Discover the skills every master architect should learn now to be successful in the future

For organizations around the world, the future is now. AI technology has recently experienced an explosion in capability and availability—particularly within the workplace. But with these advances comes the potential for disruption. Businesses are racing to comprehend rapidly expanding technologies and their potential effects on the workforce.

In partnership with Pearson, ServiceNow recently released the results of a research study detailing the effect of automation on the workplace over the next five years. The role of master architect will be affected by AI and automation technologies.

The research delved into the potential effects of AI on the economies of six countries (U.S., UK, Germany, India, Australia, and Japan). Master architects in particular will see a surge in demand, as nearly 70,000 database architects are projected to join the job market in the U.S. by 2027. But increased demand hardly tells the entire story; to remain relevant in this changing IT workforce environment, master architects will need to adapt their skill sets.

Modern businesses rely on complex computer systems and IT infrastructures supported by armies of software applications. Master architects take a leading role in the development and implementation of these systems, providing guidance, structure, and support for the main services offered by the business. This position involves managing a team of technical architects and ensuring that all designs adhere to established principles. Additionally, these leaders serve as technical liaisons between sales teams and the project managers, business analysts, solution architects, and developers responsible for delivery.

In other words, master architects are central to businesses’ ability to function and meet customer expectations. Businesses recognize this value—the average annual salary for today’s U.S.-based master architects is $125,000.

Of course, with great pay comes great responsibility in terms of developing the right skill sets. Today’s master architects are expected to have experience in a range of competencies, including:

  • Certifications in system administration and development

  • Proficiency in programming languages (Java, Javascript, SAP, Oracle, C#, etc.) 

  • Familiarity with operating systems (Microsoft Windows, MacOS, iOS, etc.)

  • Experience with database management systems (MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, etc.)

  • Technical expertise in various IT domains (development, network infrastructure, database management, security, etc.) 

  • Understanding of regulatory requirements (to ensure data compliance)

  • Project management skills (for planning, budgeting, managing, and reporting on projects)

  • Analytical and problem-solving skills (to identify issues and ideate solutions)

  • Experience with cloud technologies and infrastructure

  • Ability to assess and manage technical risk

  • Effective communication skills (for understanding requirements and requests and collaborating across departments)

  • Collaboration skills (for working closely with technical teams)

  • Sales acumen (for identifying sales opportunities)

The rise of AI is set to have a significant impact on master architects within the next five years. These new technologies will provide architects with powerful tools that will allow them to create increasingly sophisticated and innovative systems while managing more projects at scale.

With 4.5% of those tasks becoming almost entirely automated. As a result, master architects will have an additional five hours of available time each week to put toward other tasks. Notably, the research also predicts that the time spent on the current top task for this position—providing technical guidance or support for the development or troubleshooting of systems—will be reduced by 60% thanks to AI, automation, and related advancements.

The four most central technologies driving this change are:

Process automation: Code programmed to complete predefined logical and rule-based processing tasks

Solution discovery: Agents using reinforcement learning (RL) and sensors to digest and solve unstructured, complex problems

The ServiceNow/Pearson study suggests that AI augmentation will account for 18.3% of master architect tasks by 2027

Sensory perception: Systems that use ML and sensors to detect and extract meaning from external stimuli

Decision generation: Systems that use ML to evaluate input data to determine the best course of action

Additionally, the study identified and reviewed 15 master architect tasks that will undergo at least some level of change due to AI and automation. Among these, the three activities that will be most significantly affected are:

1. Providing technical guidance or support for the development or troubleshooting of systems

2. Monitoring system operation to detect potential problems

3. Verifying stability, interoperability, portability, security, and scalability of system architecture

Master architects are at a crossroads. As AI continues to evolve, these professionals will need to evolve their skill sets to ensure their continued value, even in the most disrupted industries.

However, adapting to AI augmentation is not something that employees can handle on their own. To facilitate this transformation, industry leaders must establish comprehensive training and development programs to train their workers in the skills they will need to operate effectively alongside emergent technologies. These initiatives should help today’s architects meet the needs of tomorrow.

The ServiceNow/Pearson study evaluated 32 fundamental abilities that are expected to become vital for all IT positions by 2027. The top five capabilities in which master architects must have a high level of proficiency are:

1. Collaborating and communicating effectively across digital media

2. Developing, maintaining, and improving cyber awareness

3. Prioritizing research and problem solving

4. Operationalising data

5. Increasing focus on continued learning and development

Even as IT operations change and new technologies reshape how organizations approach various essential tasks, master architects will always play an integral part in developing and managing business systems. In the coming years, a master architect will leverage advanced AI capabilities to achieve more, work more efficiently, and deliver more value. IT leaders have an obligation to support this shift by identifying skills gaps, comprehending evolving proficiency requirements, and creating appropriate training and upskilling programs to better prepare workers for the AI-enhanced future.

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