What is a Solution Architect – jdon

Original link: https://blog.kelu.org/product/2022/07/29/What-is-Solutions-Architect.html

Original: https://www.jdon.com/61486

With the development of cloud computing and the use of PaaS and SaaS services, it is easier for IT practitioners from different fields to learn, practice and research what different solution architectures look like. At the same time, however, it increases the complexity of the design and possible combinations with various solution platforms, services, integration methods.
This story aims to provide some basic concepts and ideas about solution architecture and how to improve your architecture skills in the long term.

Prerequisites for Solutions Architect

Solutions architects require extensive IT experience, programming (front-end and back-end), and extensive IT knowledge and skills in different areas. Some examples are as follows,

  • software design
  • database
  • integration
  • IT security (including authentication and authorization)
  • networking
  • Infrastructure (on-premises and cloud)
  • Project Management (Waterfall/Agile) and Communication

With modern software and solution design, there is more to learn and understand

  • APIs and Microservices
  • Containers (Docker, Kubernetes)
  • DevOps and CI/CD

This is the main reason why solutions architects are so difficult to get into. This experience cannot simply be learned from boot camps/online courses. It requires hands-on experience in actually implementing projects to build up all this knowledge.

Enterprise Architect and Solution Architect

Often people get confused between enterprise architects and solution architects. In fact, they are two distinct roles in the enterprise:

Enterprise Architect: Plan a broad view of the components required by the enterprise at a strategic level and develop a bigger picture for long-term growth

Solutions Architect: Planning specific solutions/building blocks in the big picture (e.g. enterprise data warehouse solutions)
It’s worth noting that a solution may require multiple technical components (for example, you may need a front-end web portal with a back-end engine and database, as well as integration with existing core systems).

Typical Architecture Organization

To execute the architecture planned by the Enterprise Architect requires a group of architects who specialize in different areas and domains:


Chief Enterprise Architect – Chief EA is responsible for the entire enterprise architecture and monitors all domain EAs

Domain Enterprise Architect – Focuses on a specific domain such as Finance/Sales and is responsible for EA building a defined business vision

Solution Architect – As mentioned above, a solution architecture creates an overall technical vision for a specific solution to a business problem defined in enterprise architecture under the domain

Application Architect – the next level of solution architecture, focused on creating and maintaining documentation around software architecture, application design process, component integration, testing guidelines and other key elements in addition to solution/domain focused architects In addition, there are many architects responsible for very technical cloud, infrastructure (eg network, hardware) and security (eg authentication protocols, encryption standards, keystores).

Cloud Architect – Responsible for cloud adoption planning, cloud application design, and cloud management and monitoring

Infrastructure Architect – Responsible for designing and implementing information systems to fit an enterprise’s existing infrastructure and plans

Security Architect – Responsible for overseeing enterprise network security, encryption standards, key management Different organizations may have different architectural boards/structures, depending on their size, style, or preferences. The above organizations are for reference only.

World-renowned IT architecture framework

Without any hands-on experience, you should be aware of different architecture frameworks to learn basic architecture design processes/processes, artifacts and templates.

  • TOGAF — The Open Architecture Framework (Recently Released 10th Edition) — A world-renowned architecture framework, detailed methodology and a set of supporting tools for developing enterprise architectures
  • The Zachman Framework – categorizes the artifacts developed in enterprise architecture and includes a methodology for how to manage enterprise architecture artifacts within an enterprise
  • Federal Enterprise Framework (FCA) – Creates a solid architectural structure for businesses developed by the U.S. government
  • Gartner – a renowned research firm establishing best practices for enterprise architecture

From my personal experience, they may not be practical. However, I did use a lot of TOGAF artifacts in past projects (with a lot of customization).

Next Step – Common Architecture Design Processes and Artifacts <br /> Different frameworks teach you different design processes and artifacts. I summarize some common activities that take place in solution architecture.
Let’s start with a high-level view, the process starts with business-oriented activities,

  • Define business vision and strategy
  • Go through the business case to secure a budget for launching a new business
  • An Enterprise Architect will design the required Enterprise Architecture and collect detailed requirements
  • A solution architect will design the solution component by component to meet EA goals and implement the solution
  • Once implemented, it will start as a BAU operation

The high-level process is as follows,


Then we dig deeper into the creation of the solution architecture,

Once the enterprise architecture is defined, the solution architecture design can be initiated by the following activities,

  • Identify high-level business needs based on a defined strategy and vision
  • Create an IT architecture vision, which should also be aligned with the corporate IT direction/roadmap
  • Work with business stakeholders and business analysts to understand detailed business requirements
  • Develop solution architecture
  • Review solution architecture with design authority/architecture review board/similar
  • Manage solution delivery and monitoring

This article is reprinted from: https://blog.kelu.org/product/2022/07/29/What-is-Solutions-Architect.html
This site is for inclusion only, and the copyright belongs to the original author.

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