With the development of technology and the digitalization of business, companies are constantly looking for innovative solutions to increase their efficiency and productivity.
Along with new technologies and features to implement, there are new directions in development, as well as positions designed to ensure the implementation of enterprise decisions and participate in the coding life cycle.
Software solution architecture plays an essential role in modern digital transformation.
By its concept, solution architecture is the basis for software development projects. Among the main tasks, it is worth noting:
- Tailoring solutions to specific business needs
- Definition of functional requirements
- Determining the stages of project implementation
There are two types of architects in a technology environment: software architects and solutions architects.
Often, some people may have difficulty distinguishing between their roles due to the similarity of the specifics at first glance.
However, the functions of software and solution architects are still different. Therefore, let’s consider their responsibilities to understand better how they work in more detail.
Solution architecture is the practice of creating and documenting architectural content.
It is a kind of bridge designed to connect the goals of the organization and the development of technologies, thereby providing a specific result for the business.
Thus, we can say that a solution architect is an employee who satisfies the need for innovation, evaluating their functional and non-functional requirements to come up with a solution.
Solution architect typically interacts with:
- Business. Here, the most crucial aspect is the assessment of the processes and steps that need to be taken to achieve the desired result.
- Technologies. Here, the architect focuses on how to guarantee the availability and high performance of the system, thereby meeting the infrastructure needs of the project.
- Apps. The application needs to be friendly and understandable to the consumer. Thus, an architect should guarantee a well-thought-out UX/UI design, as well as properly analyze the data. This approach helps to make the application convenient and functional for the user.
- Data protection. One of the key roles in the development is the safety of the future product. Here it is necessary to ensure compliance with data privacy and security requirements to avoid leaks and hacks as a result of cyber attacks.
- Integration. Another important step is integration. The challenge for the architect here is to find effective ways to interact between resources and external data to ensure successful integration.
- Data. It includes all the data and available information that needs to be analyzed to find a solution and complete the task.
What Solution Architects Do
So, to summarize, we can say that the main task of a solution architect is to research the company’s needs, analyze the available information and propose a solution that would allow these needs to be met in practice.
In more detail, a solution architect typically performs the following tasks:
- Proposes technical improvements to the infrastructure and creates the solution’s requirements document that should bring these improvements.
- Evaluates proposed solutions and their feasibility. This includes an assessment of the scope of work, time frames, available resources, challenges, risks, etc.
- Works in conjunction with other technical teams to ensure that goals are met. In addition, architects are often responsible for all available resources (including hardware and software).
- Analyzes the latest technologies and market needs to provide innovative solutions to achieve business goals.
- Acts as one of the major bridges between the client and the technical team.
All these actions taken by the solution architect help to correctly analyze the situation, prioritize, plan the development process, and evaluate its implementation in practice to achieve the best outcome.
One of the main differences between a solution architect vs software architect is that the former is more about the overall concept and planning, while the latter is about the details of the future product.
Thus, the software architect gets to work already in the design phase. The main task for the architect here is to ensure that the product is flexible, scalable, and secure.
After the solution architect has determined the business and functional requirements of the project, the software architect designs the system.
That is, the foundation of the system and a plan to achieve the project’s goals are first created, then the software architect provides ways to achieve these goals.
In the process of developing a product architecture, the needs of end users are first analyzed. This data is then used to build features and create a user-friendly software interface.
Once these steps are completed, the software architect focuses on integrating the business objectives into the entire system so that the product meets the end customers’ expectations while being helpful to the company’s business operations.
Finally, comparing these two types of architects, we can say that the solution architect creates a sketch of the picture, and the software architect paints it.
What Software Architects Do
A software architect performs several important tasks and is responsible for the entire software system, being a technical architect. The list of responsibilities includes:
- Planning of the technology integration, workflow, and tasks required for software development.
- Cooperation and support of developers and specialists during design, as well as acting as a technical leader.
- Creation of software solutions that take into account the project’s functional and non-functional requirements.
- Assessment of the software’s quality and checking whether the product meets the specified criteria for security, scalability, and modifiability.
- Be in constant contact with the team leader to monitor development progress, make necessary adjustments, and ensure consistency with the plan.
- Creation of UX/UI design and functionality of the product.
- Keep track of project budgets and deadlines to avoid unplanned costs and delays.
Cooperation with devs departments during all stages of product development.
- Cooperation with quality control specialists to guarantee the software product meets all the stated requirements and is ready for deployment.