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The Difference Between Software Architects

The modern world is digitalized, which has changed our life dramatically, so society is changing quickly. Our language is one of the fields that is falling under the most noticeable transformations. The thing is that several years ago, only a certain number of professionals knew what AWS, user interface, and other terms meant. These days, anyone who has a gadget understands what these words imply. 

However, this progress not only brought new terms into the language, but it has altered the meaning of the words we already know as well. People used to associate a platform with a railway station, and a cloud is something people can see in the sky. Currently, these words have a completely different meaning.

The situation is similar when we speak about the “architect” term. So, when the IT department employs a technical and a solution architect, it does not necessarily mean that they will take part in a project to build a house. 

In this article, you shall find more an in-depth review of IT architects and their duties. It will also help you comprehend how distinct they are from one another. Knowing the discrepancy between technical architect vs solution architect vs enterprise architect shall clarify a lot of things. 

Solution Architect Roles and Responsibilities

This person happens to be a visionary strategist. This fact means that this individual must not only have a math, computer science, or business degree, but it is also compulsory to obtain extensive knowledge of technologies. The reason is that such an expert is to act as a policymaker who deals with the present task. Put more simply, they are expected to plan the operation and develop guidelines for others in order to bring the technical vision to success. 

When assigned to a project, such an engineer is to access business terms and introduce a phased plan of actions to meet these requirements. Following this, they elaborate the execution plan that comprises a few building blocks. As this objective is met, solution architect roles and responsibilities are to take part and assume the leadership of all procedures that are there to accomplish the project by embodying this concept into practice and organizing actions of people participating in it. 

A good solution architect must be capable of taking into account a wide range of related problems while performing a project. 

These professionals are also obliged to conduct research to find out what the set of possible good and bad outcomes is, estimate how efficient the selected course is, and introduce a prediction. All the mentioned actions should be performed to reach the optimal conclusion. In short, a solution architect is a person who is to plan the strategy for the entire company. 

These experts must also pay extra attention to the risks that may occur in the course of the project. That is why they must predict what may happen if untested techniques are applied or if they utilize more than one tool at a time. They should develop a plan they will follow if the client reverses the initial requirements. 

Overall, a solution architect is comparable with a project manager whose job is to ensure that everyone participating in the development are acting in unison and are following the same guideline at every phase of the creation. Therefore, the product`s consistency is provided. 

When this stage is over, and it is time to execute the project, they may hand it over to an enterprise architect. Hence, it is necessary to comprehend the distinction between enterprise architect vs solution architect is. 

Enterprise Architect Roles and Responsibilities

While the mentioned above specialists elaborate resolutions for certain business problems, the aim of enterprise architects is to check if the submitted strategy corresponds to the mission of the client. Hence, it is under enterprise architect roles and responsibilities to scrutinize business properties along with outward conditions to see what this particular business requires. 

Out of all IT experts, this one has the deepest insight into both the potentials and capabilities of the organization. It implies that they are of major importance when it is necessary to identify the need in relation to macroenvironment such as opponents as well as microenvironment such as IT landscape of the corporation. 

Consequently, they are in charge when it comes to the analysis of up-to-date trends, frameworks, and techniques. Utilizing understandable architectural models and with the help of the domain architects` assistance, these specialists specify the business target and generate a roadmap for technology. The latter must get concept and context connected. 

An organization`s leadership can ask for help from these engineers to be able to identify what means it may apply to invent a competitive advantage, let it be IoT, artificial intelligence, and blockchain. Hence, the major difference between solution architect and enterprise architect is that the second one must make certain that the proper enterprise infrastructure is designed, while the brand-new apps correspond to each and every business benchmark.  

These specialists are obliged to cope with technical issues from time to time, though, and they may be technological environments or the life cycle of an app. In this case, they relegate duties of this nature to the technical or solution architect because they are concentrated on bigger details. 

Technical Architect Roles and Responsibilities

Technical architect roles and responsibilities imply the most hands-on manner in the course of IT projects implementation in comparison with the above sorts of architects. Most professionals are concerned with only one execution and are proficient in a certain domain. 

The main duty of the technical architect is to execute certain technical procedures. Noteworthy, they are required to be very proficient, so they are more likely to specialize in a single technology only. Therefore, these specialists are called in accord with their field. For instance, it may be Java or Sparx architect. These IT experts are also considered to be domain architects, just like data architects, for example. Generally speaking, the aim of these individuals is to embody the technological solutions in practice so that the designs of the created application fit into the strategy, which was outlined by the enterprise specialist. 

At the same time, technical engineers are not only in charge of recent technologies execution because they must also offer guidelines and let other parties be aware of potential threats. 

Also, these professionals might be of the first importance in big developer teams because they are capable of performing the project manager duty. Their task is to identify the structure of a certain system and keep an eye on the interconnected IT assignments. The solution architect and technical architect differ a lot because the second one is the closest to an organization`s end customer. Therefore, they must not only ascertain that the deadline is not missed but that the product is fully functional as well. 

Aiming to satisfy the customer and company requirements, technical specialists cooperate with solution architects that shall connect the strategic concept with its technical execution. 

We Compared Software Architect vs Solution Architect

People are likely to get confused when it comes to software and solution architects because they usually do not understand what the difference is. Meanwhile, their responsibilities do differ because the functions of a solution architect start at the very beginning of product development. At this point, it is essential to define business goals and draw the design for the software architecture. This person must clearly perceive what the business processes are as well as what the company`s target audience is. It is also under this expert`s responsibility to make up plans for future development and decide whether it is possible to integrate the product with the existing pieces. Thus, the solution architect cooperates with the product manager. Moreover, they may even combine the mentioned roles in one professional in some teams. 

The responsibilities of software architects are diverse, while these experts are divided into two types with different skills in this area – system software developers and application software developers. 

The first type of engineers is mostly engaged in back-end development, and they are usually a part of the team that also comprises data science professionals and systems engineers. They tend to deal with both software and hardware, while their task is to build operating systems and networks. In addition to that, these experts need to design and present IT standards. The integration of different software products into the project is their responsibility too. 

As you should have realized from the name, applications software developers deal with creating new apps and updating the current ones. These professionals are to manage back- and front-end problems because they are more customer-oriented. For this purpose, these engineers cooperate with project managers and graphic designers to furnish a high-quality product as a result. 

To sum it up, solution architects are accountable for one technology product or application, while software engineers can be responsible for the app`s design. Besides, it is the software engineer who knows the Unified Modeling Language (UML), which is used to document the models of software systems. 

Do You Confuse the Meanings: Enterprise Architect vs Software Engineer?

When they try to spot the difference between enterprise architect vs technical architect, they usually suppose that the second one is to develop software projects, like applications. It is wrong because a technical architect is a specialist who manages people who work on this. Consequently, these individuals are software engineers. In addition to the mentioned roles, these experts tend to deal with:

  • Coding;
  • Modeling;
  • Designing;
  • Making logical configurations;
  • Code and unit regression test;
  • Updating and operation ability improvement.

In short, software engineers must do everything connected with the fulfilment of a concept created by a technical architect. 

Enterprise architecture mainly addresses business requirements, mapping current systems to requirements and technology selection. In short, software engineers are to concentrate on a single information system, while enterprise architects usually obtain a much broader view. 

How Much IT Professionals Earn: Architect vs Developer Salary in the USA

Any type of IT expert is in demand on the modern job market, no matter whether they are engineers or architects. Thus, these are highly paid jobs if they are skilled enough for the position. The United States is that part of the world where the IT industry is constantly developing, and they are always into innovations, so software developers here have all the chances to get the highest income around the globe. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze the approximate salary different experts can receive in this country. Note that the below numbers are ballpark figures that can differ from one person to another due to many factors, like the location of the organization, the business, whether a professional is a part-time employee or a contract worker. It is still possible to draw a few general conclusions.

Software architects receive lower salaries in comparison with the rest of the IT experts. However, their income is still impressive in contrast to the average amount people get. Hence, these professionals are able to earn from 70,000 to 156,000 USD per year. If you are lucky to work for well-known companies, such as Google, you can be offered up to 222,000 dollars annually. 

There is also a gradation within this group with complete dependence on whether a professional is capable of creating systems or he can develop applications. Commonly, when comparing system architect vs enterprise architect, you will see that the first ones tend to be paid less. On average, a software developer usually gets approximately 105,000 dollars annually. 

The salaries that architects get tend to be more impressive, while the lowest is the technical architect`s pay. The number here starts at 95,000 dollars, but some of these specialists manage to make only 11,000 dollars a year. Solution architects are a different category that can earn around 118,000 dollars a year. The highest-paid professionals are enterprise architects because their annual income can be at least 128,000 dollars annually. The difference between solution and enterprise architect is that the latter can reach more impressive things in the career because there is more potential. For example, they may become senior enterprise architects and be paid around 135,000 dollars every year. 

What Is Enterprise Solution Architecture?

Having learned what the difference between enterprise vs solution architect is, you might be puzzled when you realize that enterprise solution architecture also exists. But what does this expert do?

Such a professional is to suggest guidelines and definitions of the enterprise architecture to support the business strategy. The responsibility of this person is to create and put down both present and future architectures and standards for other developers. The enterprise solution architect is also supposed to work with technology and business stakeholders, while the goal is to define the design of essential programs and projects. Moreover, this person`s role is important when it comes to specifying trends and potential impacts. 

Hence, an enterprise solution architect`s responsibilities are to:

  • Figure out how whether business and technology roadmaps happen to be aligned;
  • Check the alignment of decisions with the user experience;
  • Elaborate the business capability model;
  • Take the lead in different units and groups;
  • Think analytically to quickly understand technical enterprise challenges that may appear;
  • Learn brand-new concepts fast;
  • Interact with business units to explain the significance of technical architectures and strategies, etc.

One More Comparison to Take into Account: Solution Architecture vs System Architecture

It is of great importance to understand that system architecture and enterprise solution architecture are different. This distinction is not only in terms of the professionals who manage them. Even though they are closely related, their essence is not the same. System architecture implies the real positioning of software constituents on hardware. Meanwhile, solution architecture is tightly connected with the arrangement of software systems applied by an organization. 

Therefore, a system architect who realizes how IT elements are related is supposed to decide where particular software is to be placed as well as whether it is supposed to be one or several servers. Companies that obtain a high-speed server or stable facility to store data are allowed to let them know what they prefer. However, it is for the system architect to come up with the final decision. In accordance with this decision, the professional will choose the necessary software architecture. This, in turn, should have an impact on the performance of the solution and decide how reliable it is. 

When comparing solution architect vs technical architect, it is obvious that the demand for these professionals is growing. Hence, more and more responsibilities are being divided within this expert group. 

Final Words

When you start comparing IT architects, you are highly likely to get confused when figuring out what the difference between solution architect and technical architect is. At the same time, you realize that each of these professionals has such a set of responsibilities that are not supposed to overlap with others` tasks too much. Enterprise architects, for example, need to present working strategies to guide an organization`s solutions. As soon as they figure out which area requires improvements, the solution architect takes the lead to offer a way to tackle the problem. That is how these experts collaborate to build a bridge between technological tasks and their execution. 

When this stage is over, the technical architect brings the solution into the system. These people are responsible for the profound insight from the technological point of view, which are software and hardware specifics. Technical architects must also be in charge of the development staff to ensure that the process goes smoothly. 

The distinction between application architect vs solution architect is obvious, but it is dependent on the organization size and the complexity of the task whether both are to take part in the process. 

Overall, each of the IT professionals is important if you desire the product to meet your requirements. That is why it is crucial to be aware of their roles and responsibilities. This knowledge will help you come up with the right decision when choosing one.