All too often shortcuts are made to ICT architecture. And that is a pity. Because you don’t build a house without a good building plan, right? Thanks to the work of the architect, you know in advance what the structure will look like. And upon delivery, you check the work done on the basis of the drawings and specifications. A systematic approach is also very important for the success of an ICT-project A good specialist provides his client with a better product and therefore a significant competitive advantage.
The Software Architect designs new applications, software and cloud solutions. He solves integration issues and streamlines existing architectures. In addition to good analytical skills, he also has extensive experience with complex IT environments. During projects, he mediates between developers and future users of software solutions. These two groups do not always speak the same language, therefore they architect needs highly developed communication skills. By providing good information and insight, he helps the business make the right choices. These translate not only into functional descriptions and technical designs, but also into well-founded business cases and well-thought-out roadmaps .
The architect is perhaps the most important specialist who will work on your application. Although in large projects his role can be further divided among several officials , we consider the following tasks as part of the role of software architect:
- Analyze and define user goals
- Technical and economic feasibility study
- Design new infrastructures
- Draw up selection criteria for the purchase of software or hardware components
- Optimize and / or upgrade existing architectures
- Coordinate system integrations
- Initiate, assess and implement technical innovations
- Plan contingency and reduce dependencies
The versatility of the role of architect makes him a sheep with five legs . Such ungulates are rare and therefore expensive. It is therefore important to deploy the architect effectively.
The lead developer as architect
The role of Software Architect can be fulfilled in different ways, depending on the project circumstances and the available specialists. In large projects, one or more full-time architects may be involved, while in small projects the role of architect is often filled by the senior developer. Although that is an excellent solution in some cases, we recommend separating the role of architect from the development role if possible. The architect can then act as a sparring partner and confidential advisor for the product owner and the software developers .
Filling in the role of software architect is custom work. Because this role does not always result in a full-time job, we also mediate specialists on a part-time/freelance basis.
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Different types of architects
The role of the architect is often combined with that of an analyst. But it also happens that a team of business analysts and software architects share responsibility for the design of the ICT architecture. The work involved in a role differs per company. We describe the most common job titles.
- The enterprise architect monitors the overall vision and oversees the business, data and technology dimensions. He/she is involved in architecture management and is not or to a lesser extent directly involved in projects.
- The function names solutions and system architect embrace two different perspectives. The solutions architect can be involved in the design of applications and solutions tailored to functional requirements. The system architect can deal with infrastructure and implementation. In medium-sized and smaller organizations, an ICT professional usually fulfils both roles, while larger organizations usually divide responsibilities.
- Another common job title is that of a domain architect. This role lies in depth and scope between that of the enterprise and solutions architect and is divided into the sub-areas: Data, Integration, Security, IT processes, Mobile ( iOS, Android, cross-platform ), Cloud (A WS, Azure, Google Cloud ) and Infrastructure ( network, server, web run time )