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App Development
6 minutes read

What Does a Solution Architect Do? 

By Robert Kazmi
By Robert Kazmi
App Development
6 minutes read

Solution architects play a vital role in software engineering, business operations, and IT support. So what does a solution architect do? A solution architect works to match technology solutions and business processes. 

As a result, it can be tricky to define the solutions architect role. However, having a solution architect in your organization is vital to the long-term success of your organization and corporate strategy. 

This post will take the time to explore what a solution architect is, what responsibilities solution architects manage, and what skills your organization should look for when hiring a solutions architect to join your company. 

Solution architecture is vital to achieving your business goals. Don’t overlook the value a solutions architect can bring to your enterprise. 

Solutions Architect: Defining the Role 

A solutions architect evaluates business needs and supports those business goals and needs with tech solutions. A solution architect’s job is to align business goals with the organization’s IT strategy

A solution architect will leverage hardware, software, and infrastructure to solve business problems and support operations. There is always a myriad of technologies your organization can choose to utilize in its information technology environment. 

However, in most cases, a particular solution will be better suited to solve your business problems than others. This is why a good solution architect is critical to your company’s success. 

A solutions architect can deliver the technical leadership your organization needs to choose the right software systems and hardware. 

A solution architect can also aid the software development process with their computer science knowledge by helping software architects choose the right operating systems, programming languages, or Google Cloud technologies for the company’s software development project. 

A solutions architect will also bridge the gap between business and development teams. For example, it can be difficult for the development team to convey technical advice in a manner that is easy to understand, and for business leaders conveying business requirements and their overall technical vision can be difficult without technical skills and experience. 

The Responsibilities of a Solution Architect: From Software Engineering to Communication

Solution architects have a wide range of organizational responsibilities. Solution architecture is a broad task that is concerned with the system, information, security, application, and enterprise architecture

For example, a solutions architect might be called upon to implement microservices for an application, adopt rigorous security measures for networks, data, and systems, or even build a cloud infrastructure. 

The scope of a solution architect’s role will vary based on the business and the needs at hand. However, typically, the role of solution architect is responsible for the following tasks:

  • Lead ideation sessions to develop the best solution for software projects and business needs
  • Discover opportunities for improvement to the product development processes 
  • Prepare and document testing requirements in the existing enterprise environment
  • Identify ways information technology can support business needs 
  • Collaborate with project managers to develop tech strategies and improve current IT processes and implementations
  • Develop software architecture and services and implement them across the organization
  • Collaborate with the development team to create digital products and tech solutions 
  • Communicate with a client’s business teams to develop the best tech solution for their needs

A solution architect should be working and collaborating with leaders across every segment of your organization. In addition, a solutions architect must also work closely with clients and key stakeholders. 

A solutions architect not only has to have enough technical knowledge to work with the development team, but they also must have the communication skills to work in a managerial capacity in many cases. 

Enterprise Architect Vs. Solutions Architect 

Enterprise architects are responsible for managing an organization’s entire enterprise ecosystem. In contrast, the role of solution architects is to address business goals and needs through technology solutions. 

Enterprise and software architects work together to ensure that the organization has effective development life cycles and fully utilizes development resources. 

Resource management is an important aspect of solution architect roles, but more in developing solutions for organizational problems. 

Technical Architect Vs. Solutions Architect 

The technical architect is often confused with the solution architect too. However, a technical architect is responsible for overseeing technical engineering and implementation. 

While technical and solutions architects have technical vision and expertise, the technical architect focuses more on the engineering side of operations. Conversely, a solutions architect will utilize technical vision in a broader capacity to ensure business goals are met. 

In some organizations, a solutions architect might be asked to take on the roles traditionally assumed by enterprise and technical architects. In smaller organizations and startups, this approach will likely be tenable. 

However, in large enterprise organizations, a solutions architect should be a dedicated role separate from the enterprise and technical architect. 

A solution architect already has a broader range of responsibilities than either of the other positions and if your business wants to get the best out of this role, it should be a dedicated position. 

Hiring a Solution Architect? Here’s What to Look For

The solutions architect responsibilities are varied. As a result, your organization needs to look for solution architects that are well-rounded job candidates. So, what skills should a solutions architect possess? 

Since a solutions architect works closely with many different segments of your organization, project management, and communication skills are vital to the position.  

In addition, a solutions architect should have technical skills in software development and IT management. Plus, this individual should have business knowledge and the capability to perform and understand in-depth business analysis.

Most importantly, a solutions architect must understand how IT solutions fit the organization’s processes and goals. A solutions architect also needs leadership skills to help steer the organization’s technical efforts. 

A solutions architect needs to possess a broad set of technical and soft skills. This is an upper-level, highly skilled position, so the market for these candidates will be competitive, and there won’t be an abundance of them available. 

Final Thoughts 

Many people misunderstand the role of the solutions architect. However, this role is critical to organizations that want to utilize technology. If you want to learn more about solutions architects and their importance to your organization, reach out to a skilled app development partner for additional information and context.

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