The solutions architect is required to proactively and holistically lead and support EA activities that guide the development and management of a portfolio of solutions. Solutions include projects, products, systems (including applications, technologies, processes and information), shared infrastructure services and shared application services.
He/She should strive to acquire a deep understanding of business goals, objective and expected business outcomes. The solutions architect is expected to provide the necessary leadership, analysis and design tasks related to support the development of technology solutions to ensure that solutions meet business needs and align with architectural governance and standards. He/She will create deliverables for managing Pepkor IT’s client’s of “to be” and “as is” solutions — including systems (applications, processes and information), shared infrastructure services, and shared application services and components to enable and drive targeted business outcomes.
Scope of Activities
The Solutions Architect should demonstrate competencies across four key dimensions:
- Understands business drivers and business capabilities (future and current state) and determines corresponding enterprise system designs and change requirements to drive the organisation’s targeted business outcomes.
- Understands emerging technology trends and disruptions and the practical application of existing, new, and emerging technologies to enable new and evolving business and operating models.
- Translates business and technical requirements into an architectural blueprint (High Level Solution Design) to achieve business objectives and documents all solution architecture design and analysis work.
Leads Solutions Design and Analysis
- Leads evaluation, design and analysis for the implementation of a solutions architecture across a group of specific business applications or technologies based on business requirements and enterprise standards.
- Creates architectural designs to guide and contextualise solution development across products, services, projects and systems (including applications, technologies, processes and information).
- Manages and develops the architecture for a broader scope of projects or products, working closely with domain architects that manage and design architecture for a single project or product or initiative.
Orchestrates Solutions Delivery
- Designs and directs the governance activities associated with ensuring solutions architecture assurance and compliance.
- Facilitates the evaluation and selection of software product standards and services, as well as the design of standard and custom software configurations.
- Develops a roadmap for the evolution of the enterprise application portfolio from future to current state (as defined by the solutions architecture).
- Monitors the current-state solution portfolio to identify deficiencies through aging of the technologies used by the application, or misalignment with business requirements.
Facilitates and Collaborates to Deliver Business Outcomes
- Works closely with the project manager or team lead to ensure the execution of plans corresponds with what is being promised throughout the project or product lifecycle.
- Works closely with the product owners and product managers to ensure a robust architectural runway that can support future business requirements throughout the product life cycle.
- Provides consulting support to application architects within agile teams to ensure the project or product is aligned with the overall enterprise architecture.
- Consults with application and infrastructure development projects and products to fit systems or infrastructure to architecture and identify when it is necessary to modify projects to accommodate the solutions architecture.
- Supports a community of practice (CoP), guiding and helping teams, product owners, and application architects to align with the overall enterprise architecture governance and assurance.
Key Competencies and Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information-technology, engineering, system analysis or a related study, or equivalent experience
- Minimum of 5 years of experience in at least two IT solution development disciplines, including technical or infrastructure architecture, network management, application development, middleware, database management or cloud development
- Exposure to multiple, diverse technologies, platforms and processing environments
- Good understanding of strategic and new and emerging technology trends
- Good understanding of product management, agile principles and development methodologies and capability of supporting agile teams by providing advice and guidance on opportunities, impact and risks, taking account of technical and architectural debt
- Experience working in the retail industry is helpful, but not required.
- Experience developing architecture blueprints, strategies and roadmaps
- Experience delivering presentations to senior-level executives and technical audiences
- Knowledge of various backend development languages like Java and Python
- Knowledge of various database technologies like MySQL, MSSQL, PostGRESQL and MySQL
- Knowledge of various aspects of an enterprise technology architecture like business, information, data, network and security
- Understanding and knowledge of system development life cycle methodologies (such as waterfall & agile software development)
- Excellent analytical, planning, organizational and technical and skills
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to work with developers in an in-and-out outsourced environment
- Organisationally savvy, with the ability to navigate organisational politics.
- Skilled at influencing, guiding and facilitating stakeholders and peers with decision making.
- Ability to articulate new ideas and concepts to technical and nontechnical audiences
- Ability to understand the long-term (“big picture”) and short-term perspectives of situations
- Ability to translate future-state business capabilities and requirements into solution architecture requirements
- Ability to propose and estimate the financial impact of solution architecture alternatives
- Ability to work creatively and analytically to solve business problems and propose solutions
- Ability to quickly comprehend the functions and capabilities of new technologies
- Trusted and respected as a thought leader who can influence and persuade business and IT leaders and IT development teams.
- Technology neutral: remains unbiased toward any specific technology or vendor choice, and is more interested in results than personal preferences
- Displays intellectual curiosity and integrity
- Motivated and driven by achieving long-term business outcomes
- Ability to work effectively in a team environment and lead cross-functional teams