Solution Architecture bridges the design gap between business needs and what technology has to offer.
The role of Solution Architect requires knowledge and skills that are both broad and deep. To be effective the Solution Architect must have experience on multiple hardware and software environments and be comfortable with complex heterogeneous systems environments.
The Solution Architect is often a highly seasoned senior technician who has led multiple projects and has usually performed in a variety of different roles. The person needs an ability to share and communicate ideas both verbally and in writing to executive staff, business sponsors, and technical resources in clear concise language that is the parlance of each group.
The Solution Architect is responsible for the development of the overall vision that underlies the projected solution and transforms that vision through execution into the solution. The Solution Architect becomes involved with a project at the time of inception and is involved in the functional analysis of developing the initial requirements. They may then remain involved throughout the balance of the project.
The Solution Architect is an expert in many categories. They should have hands-on experience in multiple industries and across several disciplines. A broad and deep understanding of databases is also required. Solution Architects decide which technologies to use. They work very closely with developers to ensure proper implementation.
The Solution Architect has several essential duties and responsibilities, which include all or some combination of the following:
Business Planning and General Management
- Take ownership of a particular solution implementation
- Develop and execute a solution strategy and business plan that supports business growth
Subject Matter Expertise
- Act as visionary and strategist for planned solution
- Provides expertise to identify and translate system requirements into software design documentation
- Work with technical writers to ensure quality internal and external client-oriented documentation
- Speak at trade conferences and seek authorship opportunities in trade publications
- Help business development life cycle by serving as a product Subject Matter Expert to help identify and qualify business development opportunities
- With Channel Development team, develop and maintain vendor relationships within the product
Methodology and Quality Assurance
- Lead development of formalized solution methodologies
- Build and maintain repository for deliverables, methodologies, and business development documents
- Interface and coordinate tasks with internal and external technical resources. Collaborates with Project Managers and technical directors to provision estimates, develop overall implementation solution plan, and serve lead as required, to implement installation, customization, and integration efforts
- Oversee aspects of project life cycle, from initial kickoff through requirements analysis, design and implementation phases for projects within solution area
- Provide quality assurance for services within solution area
- Write, or direct the writing of white papers that further insight and thought in the solution area
Work Force Management, Supervision and Mentoring
- Manages a team of direct reports who drive service lines in the solution area
- Mentor and guide more junior technical resources