What Is a Solutions Architect? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.
Most businesses rely on a deep and wide technology stack that’s interconnected and integrated. That’s where a solutions architect comes in. Here’s what to know about a solutions architect’s salary, needed skills and how to become one.
What Is a Solutions Architect?
Solution architects bring clarity to a business by understanding the current software domain and tailoring it in ways that improve technical and business performance. They are prominent figures in today’s business environment because more companies require complex software architectures to achieve their goals.
What Do Solutions Architects Do?
Solution architects design and configure software products to solve a specific business problem. They often work in the cloud computing industry, wherein businesses rely on them to configure the company’s cloud architecture. This process requires cross-team collaboration between networking, data storage, data processing pipelines, data security and many other disciplines.
Solutions Architect Responsibilities
- Work with project managers and senior business stakeholders to understand the business problem and landscape in which they need to operate.
- Understand the current software stack with which your company works and evaluate its architecture from a functional and technical fit.
- Define and design proposed software architecture that fits the specifications of the project or business solution.
- Collaborate with software developers and engineers to ensure configuration and delivery of software solutions per the defined architecture specifications.
Solutions Architects Within a Company
A solutions architect normally works within a company’s business unit. You can find them in engineering or business systems departments but they also tend to work in collaboration with customer-facing sales departments that attempt to position software solutions to target customers, especially in complex B2B sales cycles where the complexity of the technology stack is greater.
You’ll also find solution architects within tech firms who need to position their software with customers during the sales cycle and aid implementation through ad-hoc projects.
Importance of Solutions Architects
Solution architects are critical to modern businesses due to their ability to bridge the gap between technical and business use cases. Companies operating across all sectors need a robust technology foundation; in many cases, technology represents the key differentiator for a company in terms of business performance against its peers.
Therefore, solution architects who have experience making broad-ranging and highly impactful software and technology decisions make this a highly sought after group of professionals.
What Skills Are Needed to Be a Solutions Architect?
Qualifications to Be a Solutions Architect
- Firm foundation in coding and programming.
- More senior solution architects may not be required to think about granular coding details as they progress through their career because they’ll often shift their focus toward higher-level software architecture design.
How to Become a Solutions Architect
Solutions Architect Education and Experience
- The most common route toward becoming a solutions architect is by obtaining academic and industry experience in relevant fields such as computer science, information technology, cloud computing, system integrations and more.
- The role is a technical one so a STEM education is the strongest path, whether that’s through a four-year college, graduate degree or by way of nanodegrees and online courses. The latter method, paired with practical experience, represents a viable option for securing a solutions architect position.
Solutions Architect Salary and Job Outlook
The full compensation package for a solutions architect depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average Solutions Architect salary