Enterprise Architect (Group and Pensions)
Business Area: IT
Place of Work: Liverpool
Contract Type: Permanent
Hours: Full Time
The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has circa 396,000 members, and over £60 billion in assets, we’re one of the largest private pension schemes in the UK and in the top 50 worldwide. Established in 1974, we’re entrusted by over 350 higher education sector employers to manage and administer the pension scheme and its investments through our two companies, Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited and USS Investment Management Limited.
Working with Higher Education employers to build a secure financial future for our members and their families.
USS Group is seeking to better understand the full scope of our business and technology landscape in order to make better informed decisions around where and how we should invest in the business capabilities we need to deliver optimal benefit to our members. We have set a strategic objective to establish an enterprise architecture practice that will provide the controls and guidance necessary to facilitate better informed decision making around business design and transformation.
A new enterprise architecture function has been established within USS Group to do this. Sitting within Technology & Transformation, this function will work in collaboration with business and technical stakeholders across the wider organisation and our delivery partners to implement an appropriate governance model and provide the information and capability necessary to guide change across all the aspects of enterprise architecture (business, application, data, and infrastructure).
An enterprise architect has been recruited to establish the function and lead development of the practice across USS Group, covering both USSL and USSIM. This role is to support the Enterprise Architect by leading the establishment of the enterprise architecture practice in the transformation of our Pensions business and groupwide business functions (such as Finance, HR, Risk Management, and Business Intelligence) within USSL.
The purpose of the role is to:
• Facilitate better-informed decision making in the planning and delivery of change across the pensions business and groupwide functions; Delivering strategic business intent and optimising value for money from the investment made
• Establish the strategies, architecture, and governance necessary to guide transformation and support decision making; facilitating the development of a common language and promoting shared understanding across all business and technology stakeholders
• Ensure the clear translation of change from business intent and design to technology design; acting as focal point to explain the needs of members, employers, and business to technical colleagues and technical concerns and challenges to business colleagues
• Provide architectural oversight and governance to change initiatives; ensuring their scope and shape is clearly established in alignment with strategy and remains so; resolving design challenges and acting as a point of escalation in change planning and delivery
• Grow the architecture and design capability of our organisation; working in collaboration with internal colleagues and our partners across the broader architecture and business transformation community to mature the practice
• Support the Enterprise Architect to develop enterprise architecture methods and policies and embed them into the change management and governance approach; working with business transformation and technology roles to test, learn, and refine processes and collateral through practical experience
• Establish and promote a common understanding of the current and target business and technology landscape; mapping business, application, data, and infrastructure aspects and the relationships between them to other aspects, such as strategic objectives and change initiatives, ensuring this collateral provides sufficient and necessary views to support analysis and decision making, keeping it relevant, and maintaining its integrity through effective processes
• Develop capability and technology strategies, architecture patterns, and roadmaps to guide and direct the design of business solutions in alignment with enterprise goals and principles; driving this by identifying the business capabilities critical to the achievement of strategic objectives and securing agreement and support across all stakeholders
• Ensure the full context and interdependency with Pensions and Group systems is understood across all stakeholders; collaborating with technology and business change colleagues within USSIM, and third parties in the broader business ecosystem (e.g. HMRC), to identify critical business interdependencies and interfaces and address mutual needs.
• Establish a clear understanding of partner and supplier strategies and roadmaps to inform strategy and change planning; developing relationships with architecture, product owner, and commercial roles, both internally and with our key partners and suppliers
• Bring in an external perspective and challenge to business strategy and design; maintaining a general awareness of industry direction and best practice; collaborating with others in the exploration of opportunities to investigate the pragmatic application of new technologies and services to solve specific business challenges
• Maintain oversight of the change portfolio, proactively identifying critical design risks and challenges presented in the delivery of business change and owning resolution; working across the whole portfolio of change in Pensions and Group and with specific initiatives and engaging subject matter experts
• Be an active member of change planning and governance bodies and processes; acting to scope and shape change initiatives in alignment with strategy, providing assurance change initiatives deliver to this, and updating strategies and standards in response to learning gained
• Take active ownership in the design and selection of technology platforms and key business applications; identifying which are critical and collaborating with business, technology, and commercial experts within the owning change initiatives to ensure designs meet strategic goals in the best way possible
• Act as a critical friend to business and technology stakeholders; Identifying key stakeholders and their needs and developing trusted relationships, particularly with leadership and practitioner roles in change planning, business and technology transformation, supplier management, and business operations
• Support the Enterprise Architect to mature the enterprise architecture practice and embed it into the ways others work; acting as an advocate for enterprise architecture, leading by example, and coaching those across the broader architecture and design community
As a key member of the Enterprise Architecture function in USS Group, you will bring your knowledge and experience to bear to play a key role facilitating business change.
You should be comfortable working at pace in a complex, regulated, multi-stakeholder environment with high levels of senior visibility.
A good communicator with strong inter-personal skills, you will need to work collaboratively, be comfortable establishing clarity from ambiguity and in moving between framing strategic challenges and opportunities to a consideration of detailed design issues.
The essential criteria for the person fulfilling the role are:
• A solid background as a solutions architect with experience; planning, designing, and delivering business solutions in large-scale transformations
• Wide-ranging and business and technical experience gained across diverse business functions and technologies within multi-supplier, business critical environments; with expert knowledge around at least one of pension administration, digital service delivery, third party service integration, and corporate business systems
• Excellent knowledge and understanding of enterprise architecture methods and best practice; underpinned by both theory and practical application to govern change
• Proven ability to create enterprise-wide views and models and experience using theses to mature strategic thinking and plans to realise business intent; with the ability to assimilate, correlate, and analyse diverse and disconnected information using a variety of methods
• Experienced in establishing and evolving architectural strategies; able to translate strategic intent into architectural solutions and roadmaps, to shape and scope solutions aligned to these, and to refine strategies based on evolving business needs
• A pragmatic problem solver; experienced in owning design opportunities and challenges, from strategy formulation through to solution delivery level, and in collaborating with others to agree optimal resolution
• Strong leadership and consultancy skills; experienced in developing trusted stakeholder relationships at all levels in matrix environments; bringing together diverse interests and needs, facilitating decision making, resolving conflict, gaining consensus, and guiding and inspiring others to work towards the achievement of common goals
• Outstanding communication skills; with demonstrable ability to get across complex concepts clearly and bridge the gap between business and technology communities; in writing, visually, and verbally
The desirable criteria for the person fulfilling the role are:
• a good understanding of the pension and finance industries, or other regulated industries, gained through experience
• educated to degree level in an IT related or other relevant subject, or equivalent knowledge gained through experience
• Possess, or working towards acquisition of, a recognised enterprise architecture certification; such as The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) Certified, Business Architecture Guild Certified Business Architect (CBA)
Please take a look at our candidate pack here:
USSL is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We recognise the diverse lifestyles and priorities of our employees and have reflected this in in the company’s Flexible Working Framework, which, wherever possible, supports employees to find a balance that works for them whilst ensuring we always put our members’ interests first.