In this article, we’ll learn the key role of a solution architect in providing the best IT strategies that support the company’s overall business needs.
It’s no secret that our world today is rapidly changing. No longer can we tolerate snail-pace business tools and processes. Everything has to be fast, reliable, and efficient. Otherwise, companies will be at the mercy of their competitors.
Now more than ever, businesses are faced with a challenge to constantly improve—to never settle with the status quo. This digital phenomenon compels them to adapt their operations to meet the growing consumer demands. But how do companies acclimate to these evolving business challenges?
Short answer: digital transformation.
It’s a buzzword that looks sexy on paper but exceedingly complex in nature. This is why companies hire tech experts who can meet business goals by leveraging the right IT solutions.
And, who are these “tech experts”? They are solution architects.
These professionals have a knack for answering the world’s intricate business problems with a solid software solution. Let’s uncover their crucial role in a company’s long-term digital success.
Who is a Solution Architect?
A solution architect is a tech professional who evaluates business requirements by integrating the right tech solutions. It’s their role to assess, develop, and improve these solutions to meet their business goals.
In other words, finding answers and solving business problems is the very core of their work. They use appropriate hardware, software, or systems to design and perform potential solutions.
However, their responsibility doesn’t end with solving problems as the title suggests. They have an active role in successfully leading the technical vision of an organization. Their primary concern is enacting technical decisions that hugely impact business results.
Typically, solution architects work with development teams, along with software architects and enterprise architects. Whatever decision a solution architect comes up with, the development team will use that information to execute the solution.
Solution Architect: Roles and Responsibilities
Most of their job focuses on ensuring that the software solutions they implement parallel with the company’s resources and requirements. Essentially, the main responsibilities of a solution architect involve:
- Identifying challenges and opportunities for software or process improvement
- Generating tech solutions and implementing the best IT strategy to support these solutions
- Setting up the technology environment
- Collaborating with development teams in building products that follow the product requirements
- Acting as a spokesperson or middleman between clients and stakeholders in communicating the solution
- Working closely with leaders, managers, and team members from different business units
- Documenting the testing requirements
- Mitigating risks in using specific platforms or frameworks
- Monitoring the process of solution development projects
- Selecting and migrating software or services across different departments
- Maintaining client satisfaction, especially for client-facing roles
- Overseeing the creation of the product prototype
- Conducting the brainstorming sessions with the team in solving business problems based on existing requirements
- Lastly, estimating the budget for implementing the solution and presenting them to the upper management and stakeholders
Performing most of these responsibilities requires a leadership role. Hence, a solution architect is essentially a leader who supports project management initiatives. Doing so ensures that solutions are established according to plan.
How to Become a Solution Architect
The solution architect role needs a healthy blend of technical and people skills. Since they work closely with management and product teams, they need to be skilled at simplifying complex problems; even to non-technical individuals. Here are the common skills of a solution architect:
Technical Qualifications and Experience
Of course, they need to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, Computer Science, or Software Engineering. Also, having a Master’s Degree is beneficial when specializing in IT architecture. Training and certification for specific areas like customer service or development is definitely a plus.
For them to provide technical advice to the development team, they should have a solid technical foundation. At least eight years experience in core IT concepts such as:
- Information Technology, IT architecture, and systems
- Software development and engineering
- Web technologies like HTTP, REST, SSL, etc.
- Business analysis and project management
- And, DevOps
1. Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
At the heart of a solution architect’s role is communication. Without this skill, they can’t function just as effectively. This job often focuses on understanding the requirements, negotiating with stakeholders, and managing risks.
Moreover, their communication skill is crucial, especially when working with project teams and management. They need to have the natural inclination to listen, empathize, and explain their ideas to others.
2. Project Management Skills
While they don’t directly manage projects, they still are responsible for ensuring that resources are utilized efficiently. They are accountable for meeting deadlines using the resources available to them.
Most importantly, this specific skill is beneficial when creating solutions and achieving optimum results for the organization. However, they also need to stay flexible when they encounter changes along the way.
3. Analytical Skills
This role requires strong analytical skills, given the nature of their everyday tasks. They understand how different parts of a business work together. Moreover, their analytical competence supports them in designing solutions and accomplishing business goals.
Hire Solutions Architect Today!
To summarize, the role of a solution architect is all about finding answers and solving business problems. They are responsible for understanding business requirements and evaluating the right IT technologies to solve these problems.
They collaborate directly with the development teams, management, stakeholders, and clients to design the best solution. It is a leadership post that requires a wide range of skill sets in IT and business.
As more and more companies depend on emerging technologies, the future for solution architects looks bright. But hiring them doesn’t come without any challenges. Not only are they hard to find, recruiting them can cost an arm and a leg.
This is why companies turn to offshore software development companies for their hiring needs. At Full Scale, we keep the recruitment simple and affordable for our clients so they can focus on what’s important—growing their businesses. We filter, select, and onboard your software experts, so you don’t have to.
Interested to know more? Message us today for a FREE consultation, so we can help you assemble your development team.