What Is a Solutions Architect and How Do I Become One?

What Is a Solutions Architect and How Do I Become One?

Solutions architects early in their career report earning an average salary of $94,000 per year. As experience rises to mid-career, the average reported salary ranges from $115,000 to $137,000 per year. For late-career solutions architects with 20 years or more of experience, the average reported salary is $135,000 per year. The average salary for a solutions architect is $119,000 per year, according to data from PayScale. Reported salaries range from $75,000 to $160,000 per year, and entry-level workers average around $76,000 per year. The highest paid solutions architects are located in San Jose and San Francisco, where the reported average salaries are $144,000 and $132,000 per year, respectively.

If the team follows the Agile methodology, the solution architect’s role is to support the development team, accompanying the project at the implementation stage. At the same time, they can create prototypes to identify tech limitations or delve into product design. Basically, they take separate requirements to the global company’s infrastructure and turn these requirements into real solutions. In other words, solution architects create a bridge between planning at the enterprise level and developing specific software products that will help a company make these plans a reality. As a rule, this person has industry-specific expertise, so he or she understands what stakeholders want and why they want it. A solution architect role also presupposes strong technical skills that help him or her communicate a product vision to a development team.

What Are The Skills Of A Solution Architect?

As such, solution architects may spend a significant portion of their time in meetings, discussions, and brainstorming sessions, both with their colleagues and with external stakeholders. My experience as a sysadmin taught me that gaining trust and exemplifying integrity in front of the people you’re dealing with is the way to go in every kind of conversation, sales-related or not. In reference to my role, the customer can bring me a long way in the conversation. Looking back at my most successful implementations, I had some level of a great friendship with that customer. I genuinely enjoy talking to them, and when we’re not actually talking, I do miss these people.

  • Companies operating across all sectors need a robust technology foundation; in many cases, technology represents the key differentiator for a company in terms of business performance against its peers.
  • These architects work at the enterprise level, designing solutions aligning with the overall business strategies and goals.
  • In many ways, this person builds the bridge between a business problem and the technology solution and outlines each of the phases and requirements required to make that solution work.
  • With companies increasingly relying on software and emerging technologies, the role of this expert will continue to gain weight.
  • An IT solution architect is a professional in charge of developing a comprehensive architecture for a future software solution.

Solution architect’s role and their place in a team can be illustrated as follows. Holding a complete plan of future software and a list of essential and needed technologies is best despite having just an idea. You can impress your investors better if you hold complete knowledge of your product and issues to resolve. The stated average earnings for solutions architects in San Jose and San Francisco are $144,000 and $132,000 annually, respectively. So, here the responsibility of the solutions architect is to ensure that the software meets all the needs and requirements well. A solution architect helps a project succeed by the simple virtue of making those problems go away.

When Do Companies Need a Solution Architect?

The position is very responsible and requires wide-ranging IT skills and knowledge. With companies increasingly relying on software and emerging technologies, the role of this expert will continue to gain weight. Developing software and integrating it into existing systems requires in-depth knowledge of the technology and of the business goals and constraints. According to a survey by a Project Management Institute, of all projects, a mere 62% manage to hit their original targets, while only about half of them stay within budget and don’t exceed the required timelines. Therefore, organizations need experts who convey the product vision to the technical specialists. A solution architect is a professional responsible for designing, planning, and implementing solutions within an organization.

role of a solution architect

We are not selling the product, we are providing them the best solutions they can use to solve their problems. For me, I come in there, understand their problem, and have those big conversations. We still need to collaborate and integrate with other vendors, at the end of the day. But our aim is to make sure that who we’re talking to has the best solution and we are there every step of the way in that decision-making process. To me, this is very, very important in my role as a Solutions Architect — we don’t sell something and then go away.

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If the project is a success, this can only be good for the company’s bottom line. The whole point to a solution architect is to fix any problems that may already exist in any given tech project regardless of whether those involved are aware of them or not. Considering just how often projects fail, it would not be hard to guess that this is not an uncommon occurrence. The idea behind solution architecture is fairly straightforward; have someone who is good at finding problems and then have that person figure out a way to make that problem go away. Better yet, have that person turn that problem into an advantage if it is at all possible.

In the process of converting requirements to an architecture there are often parts of the SA’s role which seem out of place. For instance, there is often a fair amount of research that happens during this phase. The research may be targeted at testing a technology that will become critical to the architecture. For instance, the SA may test to see if USB or serial port access is available from Java if there’s a need to read a device without downloading software. This process can either be done alone or depending upon the size and velocity of the project can be delegated to a development lead. Although some of the most common degrees solutions architects hold are bachelor’s degrees in information technology, computer science, or software information.

Solution architect vs. application architect

Solution architects need to be comfortable with analysis on a variety of business levels. Technical Architects play a technical leadership role to define standards and practices that should be followed throughout a solution project. Technical Architects work closely with technical development teams and executives to communicate information technology strategies, design overviews, applications, and more. To put it simply, Technical Architects provide leadership and guidance to IT development teams. Technical Architects are in charge of a specific engineering, software architecture or implementation technology. Having a full plan of future software and a list of technologies is always better than having a bare idea.

Successful solutions architects need a strong combination of hard and soft skills to achieve competency in the role. Hard skills include a deep knowledge of business processes and solutions, while soft skills include good communication. This process is very detail-oriented and serves as a connecting piece between enterprise architecture and technical architecture. It also requires a breadth of knowledge in the technical and business inner workings of the company. Solutions architecture requires both technical and interpersonal skills to design, describe, and manage solutions.

Overseeing the Implementation and Integration of Solutions

From there, the solutions architect creates an overall strategic technical vision—not unlike an architect designing a blueprint for a building. To perform a solution architect’s role, one needs to complete a technical education and practical experience across every central area of software development process and hardware engineering proficiency. A solutions architect designs and implements IT systems architectures that meet the set business requirements. Their role NLU models starts with gathering the requirements, understanding the specifications, evaluating the systems that are in place, and working closely with stakeholders to deliver the right solution. The concept of a solution architecture is rather complex and includes many aspects required to create a custom software solution with a specific purpose. That’s why there are several subtypes of architecture that handle various functional and non-functional requirements and aspects.

role of a solution architect

We hope now you have got an idea of – What is a solutions architect and can move further with the process. Solution Architects are highly valuable assets in any enterprise, but their significance becomes more distinct in large-sized companies that require a robust solution architecture framework. In a challenging technology environment, Solution Architects are some of the best allies to have on your team to align business requirements with technology solutions.

Are you suited to be a solution architect?

So, it depends on what region solutions architect you are hiring for your project. You can consult the mobile app development company professionals for the same. To determine which IT solutions would best serve the company’s objectives, you will need to have a solid understanding of the business as a solutions architect. In addition, your ability to act as a leader will be crucial for directing the overall establishing process of business objectives. The solution architect ensures the result satisfies all business requirements and stakeholder expectations. They create a technical vision first to show how the software would fulfill the needs of the business.

At the same time, an Enterprise Architect surveys the broader architectural landscape across the organization and outlines strategic direction and standards. The Solution Architect’s role within the IT organization in devising technical solutions that tackle business challenges is fundamental. They collaborate with stakeholders, interpret requirements, and develop comprehensive solutions that combine various technological elements. In pursuing project success, Solutions Architects wield their expertise to estimate crucial project outcomes. They meticulously analyze various facets such as cost, timeline, and expected returns, weaving together a comprehensive understanding of the project’s viability and potential.

They evaluate the existing environment and examine how different elements of business, information, and technology can be applied to solve a specific problem. The workplace of a solution architect can vary depending on the organization they work for and the nature of the projects they are involved in. Solution architects may work in various settings, including corporate offices, IT consulting firms, and software development companies. Solution architects bring clarity to a business by understanding the current software domain and tailoring it in ways that improve technical and business performance. They are prominent figures in today’s business environment because more companies require complex software architectures to achieve their goals.