What Is a Cloud Solutions Architect?
Cloud solutions architects are becoming indispensable for most enterprises and other large organizations. As IT systems and resources are moving from on-premise to the cloud, cloud solutions architects are called upon to ensure that the transition is smooth, secure, and cost-effective.
Read on to learn more about this in-demand role and the responsibilities it comes with. Whether you need to hire a cloud solutions architect or are thinking of becoming one yourself, this article will give you a better understanding of this important role in the world of cloud computing.
A cloud solutions architect manages the cloud computing architecture for an organization. This includes servers, data storage, networks, and back-end and front-end platforms. He or she can help an organization transition to the cloud by adopting cloud solutions and then operate and manage them.
In a world where cloud technologies are increasingly complex, cloud solutions architects have the technical expertise necessary to make informed choices and simplify the adoption process for their organization.
A cloud solutions architect typically works on an ongoing basis for an organization as cloud solutions require continuous management, customization, and optimization. These solutions are not just set up and then forgotten about even if most of the technical aspects are managed by the cloud service provider.
That said, some cloud solutions architects may specialize in facilitating cloud adoption for businesses including customizing solutions for them rather than working for a single organization.
What are the Responsibilities?
The responsibilities of a cloud solutions architect often include a mix of high-level technical responsibilities with team management skills, security compliance, and cost management.
Here are some of the essential responsibilities that a cloud architect may have in a large organization:
- Developing cloud architecture according to the specific needs of the organization.
- Creating a cloud strategy for the entire organization as well as for different departments.
- Coordinating the adoption process of cloud computing including explaining it and highlighting its benefits.
- Putting together and managing a team that handles the adoption and management of cloud solutions.
- Evaluating cloud platforms and services including third-part providers and determining the best ones for the organization.
- Defining the organization’s best practices for cloud adoption and use.
- Identifying security and other risks and developing strategies for mitigating them.
- Ensuring that the cloud adoption complies with security and privacy best practices and defining response strategies for security breaches alongside the security team.
- Estimating cloud computing costs and managing budgets.
As you can see, a cloud solutions architect has many responsibilities, some of which require him or her to work closely with IT security teams and other departments. This calls for business acumen and people skills that go beyond simple technical requirements.
Important skills for a cloud solutions architect include application and integration architecture, communication and collaboration, finance and legal experience, procurement, vendor management, governance, project management, and thought leadership.
Who Can Become a Cloud Solutions Architect?
The role of the cloud solutions architect is in many ways an updated version of the enterprise architect role. Anyone who fulfilled that role in the past will find this role familiar.
Professionals with experience in infrastructure architecture and virtualization can also make for talented cloud solutions architects, as can those who have worked in integrating network and services into existing IT systems.
Most large enterprise cloud providers offer a cloud architect certification program including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. There are also platform-independent certifications.
Few enterprises and large organizations today can afford to miss out on the benefits of cloud computing. This makes the role of a cloud solutions architect one of the most sought after in the IT world.
As we have seen, this is not merely a technical role. The responsibilities of a cloud solutions architect call for a hands-on approach to project management and good business and people skills.