CONTENTS Enterprise architect vs solution architect vs technical architectSolution architecture và its main processesSolution architect skillset và backgroundSolution architect certificationFinal words
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Forty-nine percent of the companies surveyed by Planview have seen a project fail in the past 12 months, according khổng lồ the results of the 2017 Project và Portfolio Management Landscape summary.

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In a rapidly changing giải pháp công nghệ environment, organizations face the need khổng lồ transform their processes & systems to meet emerging business requirements. This digital transformation demands a specific expertise & a set of practices lớn align business focus with technology solutions.

Solution architecture belongs to lớn the danh mục of most important practices executed before any tech solution development begins. In this article, we’ll discuss what solution architecture is, describe the role of a solution architect, & explain how the adoption of this practice can help solve business problems.

What is a solution architect?

Solution architecture is a practice of designing, describing, và managing the solution engineering in relation lớn specific business problems.

A solution architect is the person in charge of leading the practice và introducing the overall technical vision for a particular solution.

While the practice can be managed in-house, there are companies that provide solution architecture consulting as a specific set of services.

Each of these terms includes multiple aspects that we’ll discuss in the article. If you want to lớn catch all details quickly, check out our video about a solution architect role.

What is a solution architect và how this role is different from a software architect và enterprise architect (and also, subscribe khổng lồ our channel as we’ll keep on releasing explainer videos)

Enterprise architect vs solution architect vs technical architect

Solution architecture is a complex process – with many sub-processes – that bridges the gap between business problems & technology solutions. It encompasses:

Finding the best tech solution among all possible to lớn solve the existing business problems.Describing the structure, characteristics, behavior, và other aspects of software khổng lồ project stakeholders.Defining features, phases, và solution requirements.Providing specifications according to which the solution is defined, managed, and delivered.

However, there are two more architect-level positions that are often confused: the enterprise architect và the software architect. Let’s clarify the main differences.

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List of the main content domains và their weightings, source: Exam Guide

AWS certifications are valid for 3 years after which the credential holders have khổng lồ go through recertification to lớn prove their continued expertise và knowledge of the latest AWS technologies and best practices.

Azure solution architect certification

Microsoft has a variety of credentials for solution architects, the most well-known being the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert. This one is for candidates that specialize in solutions that run on Microsoft Azure và have advanced knowledge of Azure infrastructure.

The Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification can be obtained after taking two exams: AZ-303: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies and AZ-304: Microsoft Azure Architect thiết kế (previously AZ-300 & AZ-301). The price for each of them is based on the country in which the exam is proctored ($165 for the United States).

Here’s an overview of the skills measured by these tests. In a nutshell, AZ-303 is focused on technical tasks, such as:

implement & monitor an Azure infrastructure,implement management & security solutions,implement solutions for apps, andimplement và manage data platforms.

The nội dung of AZ-304 is assessing such skills as:

design monitoring,design identity & security,design data storage,design business continuity, anddesign infrastructure.

ITIL certification

ITIL is the industry-recognized phối of qualifications that includes 5 levels. The highest credential is the ITIL Master for those professionals who work in IT service management & have extensive experience with ITIL practices. It’s not exactly a role-based certification specifically for solution architects, but since ITIL is a popular management framework, the person that mastered its principles would be a valuable asset in any managerial position.

The description states that to be certified, you must be able to “explain and justify how you have personally selected & applied a range of knowledge, principles, methods & techniques from the ITIL Framework and supporting management techniques, lớn achieve desired business outcomes in one or more practical assignments.” So, there is no training course or fixed syllabus for this exam since every candidate will be tested within their own quality range of experience.

The ITIL Expert certificate is a prerequisite for gaining this credential. The candidate is also required to lớn have over 5 years of experience in leadership, managerial, or high-level advisory roles. Once these conditions are fulfilled, the hopeful will have lớn register with PeopleCert (the approved Axelos Examination Institute), fill out the application, and present their CV. Next, the proposal for a business improvement has khổng lồ be submitted together with the work package that shows the candidate’s practical skills in applying the ITIL principles in real-world business cases. After that, the applicants will have to lớn successfully pass an interview with an assessment panel where they will be questioned on their experience.

The cost of both the exam và the training courses vary by location.

Google cloud architect certification

Google also offers a number of role-based certifications. Professional Cloud Architect is the one for experts who use Google Cloud technologies in their solutions. For the second year in a row, it is the highest-paying IT certification, according to lớn the survey by Global Knowledge. Again, it’s not only for solution architects, but for any professional dealing with Google cloud architecture.

The exam is 2 hours long with a registration fee of $200. Google recommends at least 3 years of experience before one attempts khổng lồ take the test. It’s also important lớn remember that it requires recertification every two years. The exam guide (as well as learning materials và sample questions) is available & lists 6 aspects of the exam:

Designing & planning a cloud solution architecture;Managing và provisioning a solution infrastructure;Designing for security and compliance;Analyzing and optimizing technical and business processes;Managing implementation; andEnsuring solution and operations reliability.

When a company needs solution architecture consulting

Solution architecture can be introduced to lớn the corporate structure by giải pháp công nghệ consulting organizations if the process of integrating new software systems isn’t systematic. On vị trí cao nhất of that, there is no need to have a solution architect for every single project. If you implement a single tech module that is proven khổng lồ be working in similar contexts, you don’t need a solution architect. Once software engineering projects grow more complicated và entail a bigger number of processes & risks, it’s better to lớn consider solution architecture consulting services.

Let’s have a look at the cases when solution architecture consulting is recommended:

You don’t know which solution fits the enterprise ecosystem best. You need khổng lồ forge a links between the existing enterprise architecture and the particular project. Solution architects will guarantee the solution meets the standards of your company environment. For example, if you move a number of existing back-office processes to lớn cloud, a solution architect is in charge of analyzing multiple options and suggesting the most relevant ones in terms of technology, human, and financial resources.

You run a digital transformation project. Digital transformation requires businesses to lớn reconsider either how they deliver value to lớn their customers or what they will eventually deliver. There’s no way to lớn answer these questions without linking technology & business perspectives, which is squarely in a solution architect’s wheelhouse.

You face a lot of risks. A solution architect is necessary in projects where many công nghệ risks are present, uncertain requirements can appear, multiple products must be implemented at once, or the underlying technologies aren’t approved yet.

You must pitch a product roadmap lớn investors. If you must present a future sản phẩm to investors & stakeholders, a solution architect will suggest the technologies that will match sản phẩm requirements và communicate the reasoning in plain and clear business terms.

You need khổng lồ set up communications between stakeholders và engineers. A solution architect will help to fill the communication gap between technical & non-technical specialists. Also, by collaborating with the project management team, solution architects cover the risks of hàng hóa misalignment with stakeholder requirements & ensure that the solution fits the defined purpose.

Many teams are involved in the project. You may have a large project that requires someone to manage designers, technical or business architect teams lớn produce a quality technical project outcome.

Final words

Solution architecture is the underpinning for any IT project, regardless of whether you actually adopt this practice or not. By deliberately introducing solution architecture, you build the framework that aligns technology, resources, and skills with defined business goals.

Prior to lớn considering solution architecture, we recommend exploring enterprise architecture frameworks that combine both solution & enterprise levels.

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Traditionally, small and mid-size businesses consider neither the practice of solution architecture nor the respective role justified. Addressing solution architecture problems is delegated và shared across other roles within a product team. And, it’s a viable option for small projects with predictable outcomes. However, if you have a complex enterprise architecture that introduces multiple software products into a functioning ecosystem, you need lớn fully rebuild your legacy software, or make a set of strategic technological decisions, the relevance of a dedicated specialist is obvious.