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What Does a Solutions Architect Do?

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  • Written By: Donn Saylor
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2016
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A solutions architect creates, designs, and implements the technological infrastructure of a business. This position has been around for decades, but with advances in technology the role has largely become a technical one. There are several specific duties relating to these careers, including the utilization of knowledge regarding software and hardware systems, identifying systems solutions, and taking part in key areas of a business's operation.

One of the primary focuses of any solutions architect's job description is the ability to define a business's current problems and future goals from a technological standpoint. Developing and applying new forms of software and hardware is typically an important part of this function. This type of architect is well-versed in several different areas of the business for which he or she works. This familiarity with the job allows him or her to draw up the most effective technical plans to resolve issues and move the company toward its goals.

The technological systems in each department of a company operate differently, at least to a small extent. The solutions architect draws on his or her knowledge of these systems and their inherent dissimilarities to design programs that achieve the larger intentions of the business. He or she is in constant communication with many different departments within the company, notably senior-level staff, board members, sponsors, and technical gurus, in order to carry out the new plans.

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There are numerous areas of a business in which a solutions architect works. Business development, business planning, general management, mentoring, and quality assurance are just a few of the fields that often require the knowledge and guidance of this architect. He or she may also be called upon to train and educate staff members on the finer points of any new technology that has been implemented and often works in conjunction with and supervision of junior-level technical employees.

Job requirements will vary by industry or by the scope of the project to be tackled. Some work within companies and some are hired as outside consultants. The vast majority of solutions architects have extensive experience in project management and have had some degree of work as a development lead. A development lead works at a middle level between developers and solutions architects, maintaining communication between the two about the project at hand, training and mentoring coders and other technical staff, and helping remedy any issues that may arise.

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