When the sick at Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital got worse despite the efforts of a team of specialists, the call went out for Dr. Gregory House.
When a new app or program fails to work the way it’s supposed to, that’s when you call in a solutions architect.
Like Dr. House, a solutions architect solves problems others can’t — without the acerbic personality of the TV doctor.
But unlike House, solutions architects do their best work before the patient — the project — is sick.
“A solution architect looks at the big picture when technological decisions are made by an organization,” weeding out the pieces that don’t contribute enough to accomplishing the overall objectives of the development project, explains the IT trade association, CompTIA.
Companies may call the job by different names, depending on the primary focus. Software architect, security architect, technical architect are a sample. All share broad responsibilities. CompTIA says they work with business leaders, translating business problems into tech solutions in a way that is clear to both developers and laymen. In that role they may:
- Design computer and information systems for specific needs
- Recommend and integrate software and hardware
- Analyze current systems architecture making recommendations for improvement
- Organize development efforts and select team members
- Communicate effectively with staff and clients.
The job requires a deep knowledge of systems and development, CompTIA says. “Most companies hiring a solution architect are looking for someone with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology or something in the engineering field.”
The IT services firm Onix-Systems suggests having at least 8 years’ experience working in different IT areas. Serving as a project manager is highly desirable as it shows you have the ability to work with a team, meet deadlines and communicate effectively.
Technical prowess alone is not enough. The ability to communicate effectively and clearly – and empathetically, says Onix-Systems – that makes for a successful solutions architect.
According to CareerExplorer, “Solution architects tend to be predominantly investigative individuals, which means that they are quite inquisitive and curious people that often like to spend time alone with their thoughts. They also tend to be enterprising, which means that they are usually quite natural leaders who thrive at influencing and persuading others.”
The combination of advanced technical skills, business know-how, outstanding communication skills and management acumen is a rare enough combination that companies pay well for the right talent. The average base pay for a solutions architect is between $110,000 and $115,000.
If you’re an employer looking to fill a solutions architect position, call us at 212.683.1988. Our recruiters are specialists who can help you tailor your requirements to get exactly the right person for your organization and your team.