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What Do Solution Architects Do? - The Basics PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Critchley   
Monday, 08 January 2007 17:17
Article Index
What Do Solution Architects Do?
The Basics
Value Added
In Conclusion
All Pages

Basic Responsibilities

A Solution Architect is usually engaged as a member of a project team, where their fundamental project responsibilities will include:

  1. Assessment of the business requirements for an initiative or problem
  2. Shortlist & compare feasible technical solutions
  3. Articulate the selected solution into a design
  4. Support the specification & construction of the design to completion

Therefore, the Solution Architect translates business need to a coherent & feasible technical design that can then used by constructors to build the solution.

The parallels with the architect role in the Civil Engineering construction industry are obvious. All key stakeholders in building a new apartment block, skyscraper, etc., require a blueprint to ensure the client gets what they want, the project manager can estimate the building costs & completion times effectively, and the various contractors are building to a cohesive design, avoiding unexpected incompatibilities.

Likewise, Solution Architects include in their design all elements of construction & function that will guide key stakeholders in their decision-making.

Solution Architects are also responsible for ensuring that the 'materials' that will be used in construction are up to the job they're being designed for. This means that architects will:

  • Research & select appropriate technology
  • Define the integration of components of the design & the rest of the enterprise (interfaces)
  • Calculate the capacity & reliability required for each 'stress point' in the design (introducing 'scaling factors' where necessary)
  • Investigate patterns of design to ensure the fruits of lessons learned by others are enjoyed by the solution design
  • Align the selected technologies & design with the rest of the enterprise