Architect Series#1

Solution Architect,who Am I?

Architect Series#1 Solution Architect,who Am I?

Vanakkam! (meaning greetings in Tamil)

Introduction to the Series

Every one in IT Career would have dreamt or aspired to be an Solution Architect. There are information out there talking about solution architect. So how different is this series from the information in internet. The simple answer is same story and different screenplay. I have tried to write this series based on my journey and hoping this would help on your journey.

What is Solution Architecture?

Before we look at who is solution architect, let us understand the definition of "solution architecture". According to TOGAF, solution architecture is defined as ' A description of a discrete and focused business operation or activity and how IS/IT supports that operation.' A solution architecture typically applies to a single project, translating the business requirements into a vision, high-level business and IT system specification and implementation of tasks. For example, maintaining the data integrity and catering customer needs is a business requirement. Solution Architecture defines the guidelines & vision to meet the requirements

Who is a Solution Architect?

Now that we under Solution Architecture, we will turn our focus on who is Solution Architect and what does Solution Architect do.

Solution Architect is the person who envisions the solution architecture which bridges the business requirements with technology. He is leader of the process that develops solution architecture in-line with enterprise architecture and meet the business requirements.

We don't need Solution Architect on the team, right?

Before you decide, here are the some common problems that speak for need of a Solution Architect

  1. Challenge of technology meeting business requirements.
  2. Overrun of budgets
  3. Teams work in Silos and may not understand integration of the domain
  4. Communication gap between technical and non-technical stakeholders.
  5. Outlining the sequence, prioritization, dependencies,risk and deadlines.
  6. Future-state of platforms meeting rapid evolution of business.
  7. Lack of documentation and integrated view of solution

Traits of Successful Solution Architect (SA)

The following are the key traits to be a successful Solutions Architect

i) Business and Technical Acumen

As we mentioned above, SA plays a vital role of playing bridge between business and technical team and needs to have both acumen. SA needs to have a strong business acumen to understand their requirements and motivation. SA will need to have Tech acumen and have broad knowledge of stacks instead of in-depth knowledge of single domain. SA solutions are in-align with architected framework and industry best practices.

ii) Communication

As part of roles, SA will need to interact like CTO, CIO,VP of different teams from finance team, security team, business team to technical team to help in making decisions and meet their requirements. Successful SA need to be able to communicate effectively with different audiences with different level of knowledge.

iii) Leadership

I believe every person is a Leader. To be a successful SA, you will need to have a strong leadership skills. As part of leadership, SA should be able to demonstrate technical leadership, collaborate,communicate,envision solution, motivate the teams and fight for changes.

iv) Accountability

Successful SA own the vision, ensure delivery of solution and take accountability for all the dimension of the architecture. SA are responsible to check all boxes ensure the success of the mission.

v) Project Management

Successful SA will need to manage resources, budget, deadlines,risk, impact to business and future-state proof. SA should flexible to work outside their comfort zone and willing to try new strategy to meet the unexpected challenges.

Hope you had some valuable information needed from first leaf of the series.

Watch out for upcoming parts as we are going to talk about different architects and journey from Sysadmin to Solution Architect.

Meendum Santhipom (AKA) See you in my next series!

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