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12/30/2014 Solutions Architect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Solutions Architect
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Solutions Architect in Information Technology Enterprise Architecture is a practitioner in the field of

Solution Architecture.[1]

The role title has a wider meaning in relation to solving problems, but is more often used in the narrower
domain of Technical architecture - the context for the remainder of this definition. In this context, the
Solutions Architect outlines solution architecture descriptions across domains, functions, and industries,
then monitors and governs their implementation.

1 Overview of Solutions Architect
2 Solutions Architect topics
2.1 Business Planning and General Management
2.2 Subject Matter Expertise
2.3 Business Development
2.4 Methodology and Quality Assurance
2.5 Work Force Management, Supervision and Mentoring
3 References

Overview of Solutions Architect

The role of "Solutions Architect" requires the knowledge and skills that are both broad and deep. To be
effective the Solutions Architect must have experience on multiple Hardware and Software Environments
and be comfortable with complex heterogeneous systems environments. The Solutions Architect is often a
highly seasoned senior technocrat who has led multiple projects through the Software development process
or Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC), and has usually performed in a variety of different roles in
that life cycle. The person needs an ability to share and communicate ideas clearly, both orally and in
writing, to executive staff, business sponsors, and technical resources in clear concise language that is the
parlance of each group.

A practitioner of Solution Architecture, Systems engineering and Software engineering processes, the
Solutions Architect is the person who organizes the development effort of a systems solution. The Solutions
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 Solutions Architect becomes involved with a
project at the time of inception and is involved in the Functional analysis (FA) of developing the initial
requirements. They then remain involved throughout the balance of the project. 1/4
12/30/2014 Solutions Architect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Solutions Architect is an expert in many categories. They should have hands-on experience in multiple
industries and across several disciplines. They can master a variety of hardware platforms including
mainframes, distributed platforms, desktops, and mobile devices. Akin to that they should also possess skill
and understanding of a variety of Operating Systems. A broad and deep understanding of Databases is also

Solutions Architects decide which technologies to use. They work very closely with developers to ensure
proper implementation. They are the link between the needs of the organization and the developers.

Positioning solutions architects in relation to enterprise architects

Solutions Architects in large organizations often act as the bridge between Enterprise Architecture and
Application Architecture.

An enterprise architect’s deliverables are usually more abstract than a solution architect’s deliverables. But
that is not always the case, and the main distinction between enterprise architect and solution architect lies
in their different motivations. The enterprise architect is primarily employed in the design, planning and
governance of strategic and cross-organisational rationalisation or optimisation of an enterprise’s services,
processes or components. The solution architect is primarily employed to help programme and project
managers in the design, planning, and governance of implementation projects of any kind.

A solutions architect may have a reporting line to an enterprise architect, but the influence the enterprise
architect team has on solutions architects depends on an organisation’s policies and management structure.
So, the extent to which a solutions architect’s work derives from enterprise architects’ road maps will vary
from 0 to 100 percent.

When the solutions architect starts and stops depends on the funding model for the process of solution
identification and delivery. E.g. An enterprise may employ a solutions architect on a feasibility study, or to
prepare a solution vision or solution outline for an Invitation to Tender. A supplier may employ a solution
architect at “bid time”, before any implementation project is costed or resourced. Both may employ a
solutions architect to govern an implementation project, or play a leading role within it.

An IT services provider may employ a solutions architect in a role that reports to a senior architect who is:
1. focused on operational services rather than implementation programme/projects, where understanding
managed operations is important. 2. responsible for coordinating all services provided to one organisation
by way of strategy, business consulting, projects and operational services. 3. working on a bid to supply one
organisation with all the services above, or a framework bid that covers more than one customer
organization at a more strategic level. In cases 2 and 3, the senior architect is a kin to an enterprise architect,
but (in the UK at least) is more likely to be called Solution Director, Service Director, Technical Director or

The Solutions Architect has several essential duties and responsibilities, which include all or some
combination of the following:

Solutions Architect topics

Business Planning and General Management 2/4
12/30/2014 Solutions Architect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Take ownership of a particular solution offering

Develop and execute a solution strategy and business plan that support product growth
Shape, design, and plan specific service lines in product area
Spearhead product marketing and product development

Subject Matter Expertise

Act as visionary and strategist for solution product area

Survey market landscape for solution insights, direction, vendors, and methods
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

Business Development

Help marketing departments develop marketing materials and position strategies for product area, in
conjunction with overall marketing message framework
Help business development life cycle by serving as a product SME to help identify and qualify
business development opportunities
Manages sales and marketing activities for the service offering
With Channel Development team, develop and maintain vendor relationships within the product
Provide end to end solution and design details

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 as a lead as required, to implement the installation, customization, and
integration efforts
Oversee aspects of project life cycle, from initial kickoff through requirements analysis, design and
implementation phases for projects within the solution area
Provide quality assurance for services within the solution area
Write, or direct the writing of white papers that add 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 3/4
12/30/2014 Solutions Architect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Assists staffing coordinators who define project team requirements for projects in solution area
Work with Delivery Services Director to define overall recruiting needs and expertise in solution area
Work with Director of Delivery Services to establish professional development needs for
practitioners in solution area
Mentor and guide more junior technical resources
Feed the overall project status to the senior management.

1. ^ Anatomy of a Software Development Role: Solution Architect

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