Head of Enterprise Architecture


Dublin, IE

Company:  Canada Life Group Services

Canada Life Group is the top-level European holding company for the Great-West Lifeco’s European insurance, reinsurance, and asset management companies, with business operations in the UK, Ireland, Germany, and the Isle of Man.
European Technology sits within Canada Life Group and encompasses the technology community across all European entities - Irish Life Group, Canada Life UK, Canada Life Europe as well as Central Technology Services - Europe. European Technology supports the business strategy and collaboration of technology across all European divisions. There are multiple IT units within European Technology, each of which has its own individual set of technology platforms. 


European Technology is at an important stage in its evolution. There is a need to bring market leading speed, agility, cost efficiency and risk mitigation to enable the delivery of strategies across the European businesses. To respond to and meet this challenge a new strategy and enabling organisation is being created.

This role can be based in Ireland or the UK .We have embraced a hybrid working model for most of our positions, which means that you can enjoy a balanced approach of working from home for part of the week and working from the office for the remainder of the week.

Job Purpose

The role of Head of Enterprise Architecture will work within the Office of the Chief Information Officer, Europe (OCIO) and report to the Chief Architect, Strategy, and Planning Officer. This role will lead a team and be responsible for providing renewed focus on Enterprise Architecture across the European organisation and to participate in Global Architecture initiatives. The role includes leadership and managerial responsibilities and will involve significant senior relationship and stakeholder management across multiple lines of business in Europe. 

Key Accountabilities


1.    Direct the European Enterprise Architecture practice across European business entities within countries, and Shared Services units 
2.    Responsible for driving the development and maintenance of Architecture principles, policies, standards, frameworks and guidelines
3.    Responsible for ensuring standardisation across Europe for non-differentiating technologies and bringing all technology units to alignment on the benefits of this
4.    Responsible for the ongoing operation and optimisation of the European Technical Design Authority and its interfaces with regional TDA structures
5.    Drive and lead European communities of practice across key technology areas such as Data, Digital, etc.
6.    Promote reuse and sharing of technology, designs and patterns across European units through Communities of Practice
7.    Develop new architecture patterns and capabilities to support emerging technologies e.g. Cloud, Data etc
8.    Promote the adoption of new technologies implemented across Europe through change management (in conjunction with local change management units)
9.    Lead and motivate a team, managing the performance and development of direct reports, ensuring alignment with the European Technology strategic direction. Ensure robust succession planning and uses talent management strategies to build and retain capability
10.    Is a role model for the vision and values of European Technology, exemplifying the ways of working and culture where we do the right thing for our organisation and people to succeed; embracing diversity in all its forms to create an inclusive environment to get the best outcomes
11.    Key contributor to the European Technology annual planning and budgeting process and leads oversight of significant IT budgets

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

•    Significant experience and a proven track record of developing, leading and implementing Enterprise Architecture practices across software development, application and infrastructure technologies in large complex organisations, preferably across multiple geographies
•    Expert level of knowledge of IT Enterprise Architecture
•    Expert technologist with broad knowledge across modern software development practices, infrastructure, cloud, application and enterprise architecture 
•    Deep knowledge and understanding of IT governance and risk and operational risk
•    Exposure to environment with Board and regulatory oversight
•    Excellent commercial acumen 
•    Direct experience with financial management issues and activities, preparing budgets and forecasts based on operational requirements
•    Experienced Change Agent – with experience leading organisations through strategic change and innovation cycles
•    Deep service management skills 
•    Strong knowledge of product and service life cycles 
•    Degree in Engineering, Business Administration or a technology-related field, or equivalent work or education-related experience. Master’s Degree is a plus.


Strategic Thinking, Planning and Decision Making 
•    Navigate problems that are novel or complex in nature to deliver successful outcomes and strategic value 
•    Ability to influence key senior stakeholders in Europe and globally across the organisation bringing technical depth to ensure the IT strategy and vision underpins business value

Leadership Skills 
•    Ability to lead experienced practitioners with a diverse range of knowledge and capabilities to drive business success
•    Proven leadership capability, with a track record of attracting and recruiting top talent, motivating teams, delegating effectively, celebrating diversity within, and driving performance; with a strong track record of developing others
•    Ability to partner with and relationship manage senior business and technology leaders to connect technology and business goals and achieve successful customer and commercial outcomes
•    Create an environment that maximizes and leverages the diverse talents, backgrounds, and perspectives of employees.

Communications Skills 
•    IT architecture is complex and being able to simplify the message and articulate the key points so that senior business leaders can quickly understand the complexity to make decisions is vital to the success of this role 
•    Listening and being able to translate the commercial and business strategies so they connect with the technology strategy is also imperative to success
•    Having executive presence, with the ability to use language and examples that speak to the issues, experience, and organisational level of the audience

Decision Quality and Problem-Solving Skills 
•    Demonstrate the use of a combination of logic, analysis, experience, wisdom to solve complex, difficult problems in a timely and innovative way
•    Identify the appropriate level of inclusion in decisions; build and lead coalitions and teams to facilitate the work when indicated
•    Deliver solutions and decisions that have a positive, far-reaching, and comprehensive organizational impact, influencing future events and directions

Behavioural Competencies

•    Outward focus: Understands the business environment and internal/external customer needs, and identifies business opportunities that create a competitive advantage
•    Drive Innovation: Creates an environment that encourages new approaches, challenges the status quo, and inspires creativity and risk-taking while protecting the core
•    Develop Talent: Attracts, motivates, and develops talent to build the right team to meet strategic direction and tomorrow’s needs. 
•    Build collaborative partnerships: Able to foster collaborative relationships across functions and business to facilitate cooperation and information exchanges that improve customer and business outcomes
•    Lead the organisation forward:  Inspires a vision that adapts to new realities, articulating meaningful expectations, and creating clear pathways to desired outcomes
•    Execute for results: Drives results and contributes to change processes that improve organisational performance and creates a culture of accountability
•    Functional/Technical: Has the functional and technical knowledge and skills to do the job at a high level of accomplishment. Demonstrates active interest and ability to enhance and apply new functional skills
•    Risk control and regulatory environment: Understands and effectively manages all potential material risks (to the business and to customers) that are relevant to the role, following agreed processes. Understands the regulatory environment of the business
•    Commercial Awareness: Understands and manages business conflicts to ensure the effective utilisation of business resources to prioritise delivery outcomes.


The company reserves the right to draw up a shortlist as part of the selection process.  Where Agency assistance is required the Canada Life Recruitment Team will engage directly with suppliers. Unsolicited CVs / profiles supplied to Canada Life by Recruitment Agencies will not be accepted for this role.

Canada Life Group Services is proud to be an Equal Opportunities employer. We have created an environment of inclusion and growth to help people achieve their potential, to ensure they can bring their whole selves to work and to feel valued.  We celebrate diversity of thought and perspective and want all of our employees to feel valued, respected and supported.  We have built a culture that promotes equality and inclusion for all of our current and future employees and strive to ensure that our behaviours, processes and practices are aligned to this culture.

If you require any accommodations during the recruitment process please contact lifecareers@irishlife.ie and we will be delighted to ensure you are fully supported to be your best.   

CLGS supports Equal Opportunity and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland