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Head of Architecture - Enabling Units

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cheshire East, Luton

Job Type: Full time


Do you have expertise in leading successful Architecture teams and passion for continuing your career in a company that follows the science and turns ideas into life changing medicines? If so, AstraZeneca might be the one for you!


AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven BioPharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious disease. But we’re more than one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

At AstraZeneca, we 're dedicated to being a Great Place to Work. Where you are empowered to push the boundaries of science and unleash your entrepreneurial spirit. There’s no better place to make a difference to medicine, patients and society. An inclusive culture that champions diversity and collaboration. Always committed to lifelong learning, growth and development.


As Architects, we connect the dots across the business to improve the agility and functionality of our processes to accelerate AstraZeneca to the next level. There’s so much potential to influence and inspire change, it’s a big challenge if you’re up for it. As champions of our Technology ecosystem, we make sure the rest of the business experiences the true benefits of our systems. Uniting diverse areas and simplifying the way we work, changing mentalities and behaviours along the way – our reach goes beyond technology. It starts with a holistic view, connecting emerging trends with business ambitions and applying emotional intelligence to understand how we can guide the right way to work and behave.


The Head of Architecture is responsible for running a world class enterprise architecture function for the Enabling Units (HR, Finance, Global Business Services, Corporate Affairs, Legal and Compliance, Global Sustainability) part of the organisation. The function will determine how information technology will be used in the future to support AstraZeneca’s business objectives. The role holder will lead a direct and a matrix team of architects in identifying innovative solutions, defining the technology roadmap and supporting implementation projects.

The role has overall accountability for the consistent implementation of architecture decisions across business and IT to support the AZ business strategy ensuring architectures are aligned with relevant AZ standards, blueprints and roadmaps. This position is responsible for defining and delivering the current and target state architecture at a fascinating time of technology evolution and transformation at AZ.

The role will be responsible for partnering with key business and IT Leadership teams, integrating information from business strategies and portfolios to develop the overall strategic direction, integration, and quality for AstraZeneca’s architecture portfolio.

The Head of Architecture, Enabling Units will also be accountable for the overall health and effectiveness of key architecture processes such as standards management and lifecycle management. The Head of Architecture, Enabling Units will motivate change in EA and will proactively address industry trends in the definition of AZ’s imperatives and guidelines and educate EA partners.

Head of Architecture, Enabling Units is accountable for;

  • Driving business innovation through information technology across AZ.
  • Driving an integrated technology landscape for the business areas they are accountable for.
  • Setting technology strategy for the global business, including optimizing current landscape and identifying and evaluating future technologies, enabling the IT organization to plan effectively across technology domains and business process areas.
  • Technology and platform selection.
  • Driving global technology architecture strategy.
  • Setting of performance guidelines for architecture.
  • Supplier due diligence and selection.
  • Signing off authority for solution and architectures as well as architecture blueprints and roadmaps.
  • Acting as an authority to the architecture community and the business regarding strategic architecture decisions for the relevant architecture.
  • Analysing business priorities & strategies and translate these into architecture requirements for the enterprise.
  • Ensuring suitability of technical architectures in areas of Cloud, Data & Analytics, AI, Integration, Application and Infrastructure to achieve key business goals.
  • Acting as a figurehead for the Enterprise Architecture team in Enabling Units – guiding, motivating and developing global resource.

The Head of Architecture, Enabling Units must successfully recognise, and exploit business opportunities provided by digital to ensure more efficient and effective performance of organisations, to explore possibilities for new ways of conducting business and organisational processes. Further duties of this position include:

  • Accountable for the direction, performance and ongoing health of architectures in the Enabling Units scope.
  • Contribute to cross-functional decision-making bodies.
  • Champion EA initiatives across the enterprise.
  • Act as strategic architectural advisor for senior IT and Business management.
  • Develop a future technology state to meet AZ current and future business objectives.
  • Provide technical expertise and guidance to project implementation teams.
  • Provide a lean approach to technology standards development and architecture governance.
  • Work with teams across AZ IT to identify technology that meets business challenges.
  • Test emerging technology and validate that it fits with AZ’s business objectives.
  • Work with teams across AZ in creating a robust technology roadmap.
  • Refine architecture strategies, direction and standards as required.
  • Engage and build network with internal and external architecture subject matter experts to remain up to date with latest trends and technologies.
  • Ensure Architectures in Enabling Units are in alignment with Global strategies and solutions.
  • Lead the development and implementation of Enterprise Architecture (EA) standards, processes and tools and set up.
  • AZ information architecture design authority established, supporting efficient and effective decision making and support.
  • Drive the continuous development of the Architecture Capability within Enabling Units by championing and encouraging best practice sharing.


  • Team Leadership –demonstrable experience in leading diverse teams with ability to provide direction, understand resource capability and successfully get results working with direct reports, dotted line and/or internal or external resources.
  • Demonstrable experience of coaching and mentoring an architecture team, protecting, growing, evolving and winning through others.
  • Previous experience of leading change, using different approaches and methodologies.
  • Relevant technical degree or equivalent.
  • Exceptional leadership skills – ability to recruit, motivate and evaluate technical talent.
  • Ability to operate in a truly multi-national complex organization, which is federated, and consensus driven.
  • Demonstrable practical expertise in a variety of technology domains.
  • Collaboration – very capable of developing partnerships across functions to drive measurable operational results.
  • Proven and comfortable in making timely, difficult decisions to ensure project priorities meet critical business needs.
  • Decisive and results oriented with a track record in implementing solutions.
  • Ability to make balanced risk decisions, taking full accountability.
  • Ability to manage, develop and lead a team of geographically dispersed people, including resource from third party suppliers.
  • Ability to create a recognized and respected talent pool
  • Strong multicultural awareness and flexibility to operate across functions.
  • Ability to act with courage and conviction.


We’re a network of entrepreneurial self-starters who contribute to something far bigger. There’s a diversity of expertise in our Technology group that’s unique to AstraZeneca – it allows us to dive deep into exploring new groundbreaking technology. We enable AstraZeneca to perform at its peak by delivering world-class technology and data solutions. Our work unlocks the potential of science. We optimise and evolutionise AstraZeneca by maximising efficiencies and finding new ways to drive productivity. From automation to data simplification. We’re not afraid to take ownership and run with it. Empowered with unrivalled freedom. A place to be open and transparent – we speak up, think creatively and share ideas. Our diverse contributions help us to make better decisions. But we have a constant drive to innovate, and an appreciation for high standards. It takes challenging the status quo to contribute in our ever-evolving environment. We love it here because put simply, we make a meaningful impact.

Technology at AstraZeneca is a home for purposeful disruptors!


Are you already imagining yourself joining our team? Good, because we’d love to hear from you! Click the link to apply, and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.


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Competitive salary & benefits on offer.

Open Date: 15th May 2023
Close Date: 30th May 2023

Date Posted


Closing Date


AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.