What is the Role of a Solutions Architecture in a Software Development Project?
Blog: NASSCOM Official Blog
In the quickly evolving world driven by new realms, companies should feel the need to change operating techniques and methods to face the emerging challenges as well as the fluctuating consumer demand. To put it simply, businesses should perform a digital transformation of their key operations, and that is to transfer these major processes to software solutions and simplify them. Since the transition is highly complex, each and every organization requires an expert with particular skill sets.
A custom software development company is able to deliver the right solutions that meet the specific unique requirements of any brand. A custom or tailored solution is a must in the tough business competition today. Moreover, for a tailored software solution to effectively work, scale, and meet the set business requirements, it must have carefully thought out architecture accounting for a lot of customer and technical nuances.
It’s no secret that to complete a software development project, you need an entire team of professionals. In most custom software development services, most of the members of the development team are self-explained and straightforward. For instance, a programmer is the one who writes the code, the QA specialist does the testing, and a project manager manages the whole process.
However, some projects require a solution architect as well. What exactly is a solutions architect? A solutions architect is responsible for building a comprehensive architecture for software and provides strategic direction all throughout the process of development.
The architect has to ensure that the new solution will fit into the current architecture of the organization, from the business, technical, user, and other viewpoints.
Solutions Architect — the Role
As implied by the job title, a solutions architect focuses primarily on solution-level decisions and evaluating their impact on the business objectives and outcomes of a business. Mostly, the roles and responsibilities evolve around making certain that the solution aligns with the resources of the company, the identification of the risks, and planning.
The Main Roles
- Performs an evaluation of the system architecture and collaborates with IT development teams and project management to boost the architecture.
- Creates and leads the process of IT systems integration to meet company requirements.
- Updates stakeholders on the status of the development of the software product and the budgets.
- Evaluates constraints in a project to look for alternatives eases risks, and perform process re-engineering should it be required.
- Resolving technical problems as they occur.
- Notifies stakeholders regarding any concerns that are related to architecture.
- Supervises and guides the team of developers.
- Analyzes the impact on the organization that certain technical choices may have on the business processes of the client.
- Does research on emerging technologies continuously and propose changes to an existing architecture.
The Core Skills of a Solutions Architect
For a solutions architect to design, build, and lead the development successfully, he or she should have these particular skill sets. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Background and Experience in Various Technologies
The solutions architect, to be able to provide the engineering and management teams with technical advice, should have a technical background and experience of at least eight years in one or more Information Technology fields, including but not limited to:
- Software and engineering architecture design
- IT infrastructure, architecture, and cloud development
- Business analysis
- Product and project management
Deep Analytical Skills
Designing software requires an understanding of the way that different business aspects work hand-in-hand. The solutions architect should recognize the business strategy and realize all processes that define how the company achieves its strategic goals. However, the architect should also understand tech specifications.
As a result, the professional has to deal with analytical work constantly and move between the different layers of the organization.
Excellent Skills in Communication
A critical part of the competence of the architect is communication. Taking into account that this role entails making negotiations with stakeholders, understanding the needs of all parties involved, risk management, and the delivery of the product, a lack of communication skills could create a true bottleneck.
The job requires closely working with software and enterprise architects, project teams, and business analysts. Thus, an experienced architect should be able to listen, empathize, advise, and explain.
Resource and Project Management Skills
The solutions architect may not be involved directly in the management of a project, it’s inevitable to account for deadlines as well as the given resources. The architect should be able to decide on which solutions are beneficial and which are not worth anything in a given situation. He/she should be focused on enterprise results, and understand how to achieve them in accordance with the given resources and timeframes.
An effective architect should be business-minded and is capable of identifying the solution that’s most effective at each turn, for every aspect of the architecture.
The Important Role of a Solutions Architect in an Organization
One of the major reasons why an organization should employ a solutions architect is to design and develop new tech solutions successfully, which align with the company’s needs and fill in the communication gap between tech and non-tech experts involved in a software development project as well.
Since the project is heavy on the budget all the time, not to mention highly risky, each and every company must have a solutions architect that would implement new solutions and successfully scale them. The solutions architect could be introduced to the enterprise structure of an organization via the software architecture consulting services.
The responsibility of a solutions architect is to build and implement IT systems architectures, which meet the particular requirements of a business organization. The role begins with requirements gathering, comprehending the specifications, making an evaluation of the systems in place, and closely working with stakeholders to deliver the right software solution to the client.
In general, the role is to explain the organization’s requirements to the software development team and lead them in creating a software solution that could effectively resolve business issues. An ideal architect should be very responsible and should possess a huge range of IT knowledge and skill set. With companies today relying more and more on emerging and software technologies, the role of the solutions architect would continue to gain weight and in demand.