What Is a Solution Architect?
As the name suggests, Solutions Architects provide IT solutions to businesses. They utilize technology to evaluate business requirements and constraints then come up with solutions, products, or services.
Solution architects take into consideration the demands of the clients and the effectiveness of the existing solutions. They’re always looking for ways to improve the IT system so as to provide the best experience for the customers.
Their job includes carefully looking at how the various components of business, information, and technology can be applied to solve a specific problem. Simply put, solution architecture considers technical business needs, then comes up with real IT solutions while also outlining guidelines and directives for spot-on advancement and implementation.
Roles of Solution Architects
The chief role played by a solution architect is determining means to streamline in-house processes, overseeing internal and client change requests, and analyzing and executing application solutions for infrastructure issues. Solution architects also help determine, develop, and improve technical solutions that support business objectives.
Furthermore, solution architects act as a bridge between IT and business operations by ensuring that everybody is on the same wavelength while developing and implementing technical solutions for business issues. They translate the design into a concept for IT operations and ensure that each solution developed has proper technical integrity.
This means that a deep understanding of how all parts of the business work together is vital.
Responsibilities of Solution Architects
Although not exhaustive, the following are key responsibilities of solution architects:
- Come up with scalable solutions and products in collaboration with product and delivery teams.
- Organize and carry out brainstorming meetings to aid the development of viable answers to corporate challenges or demands.
- Manage application development teams during the design, development, and implementation phases.
- Coordinate ongoing activities and translate the design concept to IT operations.
- Oversee all technological risks and ensure that the described solution is consistent while meeting all the necessary requirements.
- Determine which framework, tech stack, or platform best suits the business at the moment.
- Updating stakeholders on project development processes and cost implications.
- Oversee strategic relationships in a technology environment.
The responsibility of a Solution Architect is broad. Working alone the tasks are daunting, and the level of knowledge overwhelming. When a Solution Architect works with an Enterprise Architecture the job becomes manageable.
What is an Enterprise Architect?
An Enterprise Architect has the responsibility of helping stakeholders improve their company. The help decision makers select between complex competing options. They specialize in comparing Apples and Elephants!
They use a consistent approach to simplify complex environments. Enterprise architects have the most overarching view of the organization and knowledge of its weaknesses and capabilities.
Enterprise architects crafting how the organization will evolve at a portfolio-planning level. They have a key responsibility helping determine which changes will happen.
Roles of Enterprise Architects
We usually connect the roles of an enterprise architect to those of solution architects, but with a broader outlook. Enterprise architects oversee, improving, and upgrading enterprise services, software and hardware. They work across the organization, determining the needs of a range of business units and processes.
Enterprise architects assist in the creation and execution of information technology architecture roadmaps. They work hand-in-hand with domain architects to design roadmaps for all domains by utilizing clear architectural models while determining operational gaps in the same, and developing methods for improvement. They ensure that business units have the right tools to gear them up for success.
Responsibilities of Enterprise Architects
Although not exhaustive, the following are the key responsibilities of enterprise architects:
- Recommend to the executives and stakeholders any capabilities, services, or systems that could help enhance the company’s competitive position.
- Ensure enterprise services, software and hardware are up-to-date.
- Educate change leaders and implementers on best practices in areas like governance models and frameworks.
- Provide end-to-end target architecture and develop roadmaps of change over longer periods.
Solution Architect vs. Enterprise Architect
Now that we know what each of the professionals does in an organization, we can get down to comparing Solution Architect vs. Enterprise Architect. Even though some of their responsibilities often overlap, there are some distinctions between them. Each type of architect offers varied levels of strategic and technological input and contribution to a project.
Because of their different responsibilities, there is often some conflict between the two. Often, the role of the enterprise architects is to provide constraints and remove degrees of freedom from the solution architect.
Enterprise architects work with stakeholders and sponsors on what to do, while solution architects work with sponsors and implementers to get things done.
Enterprise architects have broader responsibilities, while solutions architects have narrower and more specific tasks based on the particular problems. An enterprise architect identifies a problem while a solution architect finds a way to resolve it.
In terms of hierarchy, enterprise architects are usually at the top level. They focus on the overview of the entire organization and deal more with the business side of operations than solutions architects.
Solution architects are more focused on implementing a project and working directly on the changes happening at the moment. As you move from direction to execution, the enterprise architect tends to fade as an advisor and carries a heavier role in architecture governance.
Both professionals require excellent communication skills. The enterprise architects often interface with executive leadership and need to clearly define and communicate business goals to stakeholders. Solution Architects coordinate ongoing activities and negotiate the needs of all parties involved. This is usually because they are the link between enterprise and technical architecture.
Both solution architects and enterprise architects must understand how all the components of the business operate in harmony. This is because of the cross-functional roles they play in collaborating and linking the different departments. Analytical thinking is also a must-have for the two professionals.
How much does a Solution Architect Make?
Both Enterprise architects and Solution Architects are senior professional roles.. Enterprise architects usually make slightly more because of their higher status and diverse job responsibilities. Senior enterprise architects will make $135,000 annually, while senior solution architects earn around $123,000 per year.
Summing Up Solution Architect vs. Enterprise Architect
Do not think Solution Architect vs. Enterprise Architect. It is proven that, when solution architects and enterprise architects work well together, organizations are more successful. This is because sponsors and implementers can focus on their part in an organization while letting the professionals handle the rest.
The distinction between enterprise architects and solution architects often creates a lot of confusion when comparing the two. We hope that by now you have realized that each architect has a well-defined set of tasks, roles, and responsibilities that might interweave but are distinct.
So let’s have a quick recap of what we have discussed. Enterprise architects drive standardization and guide a company’s business decisions by introducing strategies. Once they have pinpointed the areas of improvement, the solution architect then takes the specific problem and proposes a solution. They also follow through with all the activities that lead to the successful implementation of new application solutions.
Solution architects create a link between the technological vision and its actual implementation. Enterprise architects bridge the gap between the executive leadership and the IT department. They also have a high level of awareness of industry trends and enterprise-grade solutions that increase productivity and increase competitiveness.
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