An Architect Must Be A Fiduciary

Although they are not typically bound by a regulatory body, Enterprise and Solution Architects should always take on a fiduciary responsibility and commitment to the organizations they work and partner with — this especially goes for consultants, recruiters, and professional IT services firms.

Architects have the capability to impact the business in the long term to help them form and realize their strategic vision.

Building a reputation on effectively serving the needs of businesses we partner with will also yield fruits of satisfaction and more “win-win” business over time.

Here are 6 ways architects can demonstrate that we are acting in the best interests of the client and in a fiduciary way:

  • Do the due diligence to truly understand your clients needs. Jumping to decisions or conclusions without doing so may be inadvertently predicated on bias or predicated on ones own business interests rather than interests of the client.
  • Be transparent of risks, benefits, omissions, and limitations. Omissions of key information, either intentional or not, can ultimately influence decisions without the client understanding the full picture.
  • Be objective and open yourself up and invite tough questions from the client. This can validate your own objectivity and help ensure the client is comfortable that you’ve been as objective and have done the work.
  • Respect confidentiality and intellectual property. Understand what is confidential and what is not and respect it. Respect NDAs and legal agreements. If you are not comfortable with an NDA the onus is on you to either work with the client to modify the terms before signing or to part ways without an NDA. Once signed and executed, respect it.
  • Be fully transparency on your decision making method. Provide the client with full transparency on how you came to decisions or recommendations justified with evidence.
  • Identify when recommendations have been made on omitted or unknown variables.

There may be cases where clients partner with IT services firms that do have vested interests in continuing business or recommending software and additional services (upselling). This is not inherently wrong as long as the interests are disclosed. What is inherently wrong is not disclosing these interests and carrying on business in a way that is self-advantageous at the detriment to the client.

An abundance of business is derived from ethical business.

Picture I took of the beautiful London skyline in February 2023. I like the variety of different shapes and designs of new London sky rises.
(c) 2023 – Daniel Douglas

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