What is Solution Architecture?

In terms of TOGAF and the Enterprise Continuum, and under certain circumstances, any combination of enterprise, enterprise solution and solution architect may be utilized as part of your team.  Looking at the last of these, let’s go back to basics and ask ‘what is a solution architect?’.

In the current age of digital transformation, your business requirements are increasingly defined by your customer.  New requirements are a challenge, and a challenge requires a solution.

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The Solution Architect builds a solution to a given problem, with a given set of resources, in a given amount of time.  But your organization already has a portfolio of systems, integration protocols and data contexts in place.

The Solution Architect must also ensure that the given solution fits within these.

And a lot of challenges are not purely resolved with software, or by writing code.  Solutions require agreement from a number of people.  They require a budget to be carefully managed, and a deadline to be met.  The Solution Architect must achieve an understanding of what the risks are, what the constraints are, and a thorough understanding of how each element of the enterprise works together.

Like all architects, the Solution Architect relies on certain fundamental principles, such as the separation of concerns, abstraction, and the creation of conceptual models and formal specifications.

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Richard is the Portfolio Manager and one of the Senior Instructional Designers at Good e-Learning. A BA (Hons) in Philosophy from the University of Essex started an unfortunate habit of collecting degrees, with the count currently standing at three. After many years a stand-up classroom trainer for organisations such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, Richard realized a switch to e-Learning would allow him to do much more sitting down. This he did with Thomson Reuters before joining Good e-Learning in 2015. When not acquiring esoteric and useless facts, Richard is mostly found installing tricky Minecraft mods for his son and his friends.