The Solution Architect's Key Role in Your Digital Transformation Journey
Technology consulting companies often introduce solution architecture to their clients when there’s no established system and process of integrating new software systems or when software engineering projects are too complex and involve numerous operations and risks. However, a solution architect might not be needed for every single project you’re planning to run. For example, after you implement one tech module that can be applied to similar contexts, there’s no need to engage a solution architect for the same projects.
How to check if your company needs solution architecture consulting
While what we described above is the general rule, there are some cases when solution architecture consulting is highly recommended.
Choosing the best solution to fit the company’s ecosystem.
One of the major challenges with implementing digital transformation projects is the need to bridge your current enterprise architecture and the project. Although dozens of solutions are available, only a solution architect will be able to find the best fit and guarantee that it meets the standards of your company environment. For instance, if you want to move several back-office processes to a cloud platform, a solution architect is responsible for analyzing the available options and suggesting the most relevant ones for you to review.
Your company is undergoing digital transformation.
The real digital transformation is not about buying a product license. It makes businesses reconsider how they bring value to their customers or what they deliver. The only possible way to find answers is to connect technology and business perspectives, and that’s what a solution architect does. Besides, before your implementation even begins, it’s recommended to assess the number of risks you’re going to face. If it turns out that there are too many tech-related risks, numerous products must be implemented together, or new requirements can appear, a solution architect is necessary.
Also, if multiple teams are involved in the project, a solution architect will be the person able to manage designers and technical or business teams and produce a high-quality technical project outcome.
Establishing communication with investors, stakeholders, and engineers.
If you’re at the stage of developing a new product and will need to pitch it to investors and stakeholders, a solution architect will be a great help in terms of suggesting the tech solutions and explaining the reasons to adopt this or that solution in simple business terms. That also means that a solution architect can fill the gap between tech and non-tech professionals. On top of that, it’s possible to minimize or completely avoid the risk of product misalignment with stakeholder requirements and make sure that the chosen solution fits the defined objectives with the help of a solution architect.
Solution Architect: Job Role Description and Responsibilities
Let’s leave tech and digital for a moment and look at construction. Every building starts with a blueprint containing all the details that’ll be necessary to determine the construction schedule, order materials, and eventually make the building come true. Architects who create such blueprints must have a deep understanding of how various solutions work and what information must be considered. And that’s what solution architects do for digital transformation projects. They find best-fitting solutions, assess their possible impact on overarching business goals, and build the implementation strategy. Once the solution and the strategy are defined, the solution architect has to draw an estimated budget, present it to the stakeholders, and then monitor the solution development.
Here are some of the solution architect’s responsibilities:
- Analyze enterprise specifics and document requirements
- Analyze the technology environment
- Create a solution prototype
- Participate in technology selection
- Monitor solution development
- Support project management
While it might seem that a solution architect performs a leadership role, they are just supposed to support the project manager’s activities to make sure that resources, risk assessment, and planning are aligned with the project goals.
Solution architect skillset and background
Now that you know how important a solution architect is for your project success and what their responsibilities are, let’s look at some experience and skillset requirements you can use to find the person for this role:
- At least five years of technical and operational experience
- At least two years of experience with cloud-based technologies
- Workflow design and process optimization
- Business analysis
- Experience with programmatic process development and implementation
- Expertise with contemporary data management solutions
- Project/product management experience
Of course, as with any other job, personality matters a lot when it comes to choosing a solution architect. They should be able to work collaboratively using excellent communication skills, have great project and resource management skills, and be good at influencing and negotiating.
At Flawless Inbound, we have a full Solution Architect Team that can help small to mid-size organizations in their digital transformation journeys.
After working with over 150 digital transformation projects, we heard it loud and clear that a solution architect is a critical team member during the journey alongside the project manager. So whether you are looking for a CRM migration/implementation/configuration or a Full Enterprise ERP solution for your business, we’re here to help.