What Is a Solutions Architect? Definition, Salary, Skills

And when new solutions aren’t perfectly tailored to an enterprise, they yield unsatisfying results and create unwanted problems. Thus, the successful launch of digital projects requires a set of guidelines that align business interests with new IT solutions. Collaborate with software developers and engineers to ensure configuration and delivery of software solutions per the defined architecture specifications.

Even though enterprise architects sometimes deal with technical questions, they delegate specific tasks to solution architects who then craft appropriate solutions. However, SA is not directly in charge of the execution process but makes sure that technical architects can successfully implement new IT solutions that are in line with all business requirements. While enterprise architecture focuses on strategy, solution architecture focuses on detailed planning. It is an architectural description of a specific solution based on predefined processes and best practices. As the initial step for creating new enterprise solutions, it ensures that every solution meets the business requirements and fits into the enterprise architecture as a whole.

Fig 4 – Technology layer showing instrumentation in the cloudThe final layer in this example of a solution architecture is the technology layer. Most notably this was not included in the reference architecture at all since it explicitly focuses on implementation. It’s common to have product and technology names in the data and application layer as well as in the technology layer. However, for the purposes of this demo we will use mostly generic names.

Business Hours

Our teamGet to know the team that makes us one of the best strategy and technology consulting companies in Europe. The solution architect is MVP when it comes to deciding solution architecture responsibilities how the ins and outs of the project are going to work. Understanding how to achieve such solutions and goals according to their given timeframes and available resources.

solution architect definition

You’ll also find solution architects within tech firms who need to position their software with customers during the sales cycle and aid implementation through ad-hoc projects. The solution architect role also requires being able to project into the future and consider upcoming uses. A solutions architect must view the long-term use of this product and implement scalability and adaptability into the solution for the future. They take the business requirements and turn them into new software solutions that use a company’s emerging technology. Being able to communicate effectively with stakeholders, project managers, developers, and software vendors involved in the software development process is essential for a solutions architect. In other words, businesses need to perform the digital transformation of their core operations, which is to transfer core processes to software solutions, streamlining them.

Understand the customer – Solution AEs support Solution Management to understand the customer and the broad set of stakeholders interacting with these large systems, including manufacturing, operations, and maintenance. Indeed, many solutions can be built independently by a single ART, integrating other commercial and open-source products through standard interfaces, and supported by a System Architect/Engineering function. Both components above depend on the availability of data for available candidates, of which the newly submitted resume would be a part of, and available job roles provided by clients that need to be filled.

Enable Continuous Delivery

The characteristics of a company ecosystem will largely determine the optimal tech stack for the project in question. The solutions architect has to choose the optimal set of technologies to develop a particular solution. This choice will also have a decisive impact on the product’s technical architecture. As we did with the reference architecture, let’s now represent the full design having discussed the constituent parts.

  • A solutions architect needs to be very attentive to those details, as overlooking something may hinder the development process, lead to breakdowns, or make the software solution inefficient.
  • Solution architects evaluate a specific need that a business may have, and then build and integrate information and computer systems that meet that need.
  • The designs shown below are done using the ArchiMate modeling language.
  • It’s important to understand that enterprise architects and solution architects are not opposed to each other but form a synergy with technical architects.
  • A Solution Architect seeks to balance various aspects of the project, from safety to design.
  • Software architects closely collaborate with development teams and control the entire development process.

Solution architects bring clarity to a business by understanding the current software domain and tailoring it in ways that improve technical and business performance. Unlike the solution architect, the software architect typically doesn’t deal with financial and organizational issues. This person focuses on all the aspects related to software engineering on a particular project, i.e., development, implementation, maintenance, support, and evolution.

Technical Architect Vs. Solutions Architect Role

Being able to communicate the product vision to all parties involved and listening to their demands implies great communication skills. A solutions architect should be able to translate the business requirements into the technical language and vice versa, and act as a mediator between the development team and the project’s stakeholders. As companies increasingly embrace innovations, they start to experience the need to align the technological solutions with their business objectives and the unique requirements of their organizations. In a way, the solution architect’s job is to build a bridge between enterprise and technical architecture. In other words, provide the infrastructure that will make the system efficient.

For its business to grow, the company must deliver utmost satisfaction to its clients to solidify its brand in a highly competitive industry. Machine learning and data analytics is one of four business processes that the company has identified as being key to achieving its goal. Prior to considering solution architecture, we recommend exploring enterprise architecture frameworks that combine both solution and enterprise levels.

So, we can say that the product of a solution architect’s job is the set of technological solutions and the strategy of their implementation. Thus, solution architecture translates technical business needs https://globalcloudteam.com/ into practical IT solutions while establishing rules and instructions for proper implementation and delivery. It also considers all external factors that could have an impact on the development process.

Data and Application Layer

The goal is to provide context around the architecture – all software performs some functionality and the definition of this functional scope is a very important factor to define the architecture. Their main focus is on the technical decisions being made regarding the solution and how they impact the business outcomes. The rest of the development team will then use the information to implement the solution. The solution architect will decide whether it makes sense to rebuild your enterprise apps from scratch or introduce out-of-the-box solutions from other vendors. This usually applies to large companies who want to integrate several enterprise-grade applications into their existing ecosystems.

These steps would be transparent to the business layer which would simply understand the above flow as a service interface that it consumes. The ITIL Expert certificate is a prerequisite for gaining this credential. The candidate is also required to have over 5 years of experience in leadership, managerial, or high-level advisory roles. Once these conditions are fulfilled, the hopeful will have to register with PeopleCert , fill out the application, and present their CV. Next, the proposal for a business improvement has to be submitted together with the work package that shows the candidate’s practical skills in applying the ITIL principles in real-world business cases.

solution architect definition

They must be focused on business results and understand how to achieve them according to the given timeframes and resources. While the practice can be managed in-house, there are companies that provide solution architecture consulting as a specific set of services. With technology architecture, a solution architect details the structural design of the IT infrastructure that is needed to support the proposed solution.

Accounting for project constraints

In effect, the above shows the data and application flow that serves the company’s business process of machine learning and data analytics. Solution architecture can be introduced to the corporate structure by technology consulting organizations if the process of integrating new software systems isn’t systematic. On top of that, there is no need to have a solution architect for every single project. If you implement a single tech module that is proven to be working in similar contexts, you don’t need a solution architect.

You may have a large project that requires someone to manage designers, technical or business architect teams to produce a quality technical project outcome. While these aspects are constraints in themselves, each of them has its own limitations. The solution architect must understand all these constraints, compare them, and then make a number of technological and managerial decisions to reconcile these restrictions with project goals. Ultimately, technical architects define how the software must be engineered, while infrastructure architects make sure that this software is successfully deployed and operates well. And yet, a technical architect may be responsible for infrastructure as well.

Again, this is only one of the four business processes that would have become solution architectures from the reference architecture. Like the reference architecture this shows the relationships that exist between the layers themselves. Expectedly, the role of a solution architect requires technical education and hands-on experience across all major areas of the software development process as well as hardware engineering expertise . They cooperate with all the teams involved in the development process and need to know how every product and service work in architecture.

Day in the Life of a Solutions Architect

A candidate with an MBA in information systems may also be a good fit for a role as a solutions architect. Software architecture and systems integrated into it are numerous details that work together. A solutions architect needs to be very attentive to those details, as overlooking something may hinder the development process, lead to breakdowns, or make the software solution inefficient.

In fact, many large systems—satellites, vehicles, robotics, medical devices, and more—have both cyber-physical and large-scale IT elements. In practice, the Solution AE role is most likely a team rather than one individual, with the team typically operating under the auspices of a ‘Chief Architect’ or ‘Chief Engineer’. The event triggers an application process that is served by an application service called “Candidate and role selection”.

The difference between solution architecture and enterprise architecture

Defining which solutions are beneficial and which are inefficient for a particular business need. Deep analytical skills and the ability to see the connections between layers of business operations. Track technology across the supplier landscape – Solution AEs continually track technology innovations across the broad domain of vendors and assess their value to accelerate business needs. Describe the structure, characteristics, behavior, and other aspects of the software to project stakeholders.

A solution architect will help to fill the communication gap between technical and non-technical specialists. Also, by collaborating with the project management team, solution architects cover the risks of product misalignment with stakeholder requirements and ensure that the solution fits the defined purpose. In every new IT project, solution architecture is a vital link between the IT strategy of a business and the successful implementation of technical solutions. By looking at a specific problem, solution architects conceptualize the best possible solution while taking all functional and non-functional requirements into account. Most businesses rely on a deep and wide technology stack that’s interconnected and integrated.

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