Technical Solutions Architects: What They Do & Whether You Need One
Every business and IT leader understands the vital role that IT plays in the success of an organization. Whether you have internal staff or rely on an outside provider, key players ensure your IT infrastructure has the care and feeding it needs on a regular basis.
At Kelser Corporation, we provide a full suite of managed IT services and technical experts that help keep the IT infrastructures of our customers safe, available, and efficient.
You may be thinking that I’m writing this article to convince you to work with Kelser or with another managed IT provider. While I admit that’s an understandable conclusion to draw, the real reason I’m writing this article is to provide the information you need to make the best possible IT decision for your organization.
In this article, I’ll provide objective information about the role of a technical solutions architect. After reading this article, you will know whether your IT infrastructure can benefit from a technical solutions architect or not.
What Is A Technical Solutions Architect?
The technical solution architect’s role involves scoping, designing, and recommending IT infrastructure solutions to address an organization’s business practices and processes.
This requires an understanding of business practices in general and a deeper understanding of the specific organization along with a deep understanding of technology, its use cases, appropriateness, and limitations.
A technical solutions architect is an expert at helping organizations use technology to achieve their business goals. They work with business and IT leaders to understand the business strategy and recommend and implement technical solutions that will help them succeed.
Technical solutions architects combine technical knowledge with a deep understanding of business practices and processes.
For example, one business may have certain government regulatory requirements to consider, while another may have privacy concerns or manufacturing issues; all of which come into play when evaluating technology solutions.
The technical solutions architect works to provide permanent solutions to problems that are inhibiting organizations from reaching full potential. They bring together the skills of technical and solutions architects.
What’s the difference?
1. Solutions architects
These IT professionals assess business requirements and offer strategic plans and processes to resolve issues using IT. They also supervise the purchase or development of technology solutions and develop implementation plans. They follow up after the installation to measure the success of the solution.
2. Technical architects
These IT experts work with end-users and business leaders to understand the organization’s priorities. Based on the priorities identified, they create a plan for implementing IT solutions, acting as a liaison between business leaders, users, and software developers.
They also identify the software and hardware required, advise the organization’s stakeholders about potential risks and challenges of the solution, and act as project manager.
What Does A Technical Solutions Architect Do?
A technical solutions architect works with business and IT leaders to observe and identify potential process improvements.
Similar to a medical doctor, a technical solutions architect uses keen observation to diagnose and resolve complex technical issues. They walk a fine line between deep technical understanding and the ability to translate that knowledge into easily understood language.
They navigate the path between the current IT infrastructure and the possibilities for improved future IT architecture, using critical thinking skills, technical know-how, and communication expertise.
Who Are Technical Solutions Architects A Good Fit For?
Large organizations with complex manufacturing and processing challenges may be a good fit for a technical solutions architect and may have the financial resources to have a technical solutions architect on staff.
Small and medium businesses may or may not be a good fit for a technical solutions architect depending on the complexity of their business. They will likely need to look to an outside IT provider to fill this role. Organizations of this size that have simple processes may find that the cost of a technical solutions architect outweighs the potential financial gain that can be achieved from process improvements.
Do You Need A Technical Solutions Architect?
Most organizations can benefit from an extra set of unbiased eyes on their processes and IT infrastructure. Process improvements can lead to efficiencies that improve financial returns.
Good indicators of the need for a technical solutions architect include:
Not knowing how and where to start when addressing a business issue and assessing the impact of possible solutions on other business processes
Needing to plan for strategic development of infrastructure over the medium- and long-term
Lack of understanding about how durable, effective, supportable and extendable the current infrastructure is
Need for explanation of the pros and cons of various implementations methodologies (from cloud to on-premises to different product types)
At Kelser, we offer customers a full complement of managed IT services that include the support of a technical solutions architect as well as a virtual chief information officer (vCIO) and technical alignment manager (TAM).
We know that managed IT isn’t right for everyone, which is why we publish articles like these so that business leaders like you can decide for themselves which IT skills their organization needs.
Considering managed IT as a possible solution? Find out what’s included and what it could cost in this article: How Much Does Managed IT Cost? What’s Usually Included?
Take the short quiz below to find out if managed IT is right for your organization?