In a rapidly changing technology environment, organizations face the need to transform their processes and systems to meet emerging business requirements. This digital transformation demands specific expertise and a set of practices to align business focus with technology solutions.
Solution architecture belongs to the list 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, and explain how the adoption of this expertise can help solve business problems.
What is a solution architect?
Solution architecture is the practice of designing, describing, and managing solution engineering to match it with specific business problems. For example, protecting customer data under GDPR and other privacy regulations is a business-level problem. Solution architecture defines how those requirements would translate into the way a given software operates.
A solution architect is in charge of leading the practice and 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 catch all details quickly, check out our video about a solution architect role.
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 and technology solutions. Its goals are to:
- Find the best tech solution to solve existing business problems.
- Describe the structure, characteristics, behavior, and other aspects of the software to project stakeholders.
- Define features, development phases, and solution requirements.
- Provide 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 and the software architect. Let’s clarify the main differences.