Role Descriptions

The Iasa default job descriptions are published as an aid to organizations setting up or reorganizing their architecture practice. These job descriptions in combination with the Iasa skills taxonomy, engagement model, training and certifications serve as the baseline by which organizations may define a robust architecture practice with balanced and focused architecture practices.

The Value of Using Iasa Education Components

Iasa is a global non-profit professional association for all types of architects which has existed since 2003 in its current form. It exists solely to make architecture into a stable, valuable and trustworthy profession. By utilizing Iasa models an organization makes use of best practices from independent architects from all over the world. Specifically, as Iasa does not have corporate membership, companies can be sure that all Iasa programs are free from vendor or technology company influence.

The value of using the Iasa Education models can be summarized easily. Iasa is the only true architect association in the world and has countless numbers of professionals involved in developing the next generation of standards for architecture practice.

  • By going with Iasa definitions you ensure the availability of quality professionals with clear levels and credentials
  • Ensure that your job definitions are consistent with industry best practice
  • Reduce the risk of maintaining internal job categories disconnected from industry
  • Grow the success of architect teams through standard training and certification in practical skills

Structuring A Team

The Iasa CoE describes the rough structure of a connected and successful architect organization. Successful architecture teams work together and touch every aspect of a business. They report into the technology organization but a majority of their work involves stakeholders from every group in the enterprise. The goal of the entire team is first and foremost the generation of value to the enterprise through technology. This value can be in financial, constituent, reuse, market growth or other elements of the Iasa Architect Value Framework (see Iasa website).

Skills Taxonomy and Value Focus

To deliver value to the organization the architect team must have the appropriate focus and the appropriate skills. A skilled architect team will deliver many secondary value components but the focus must never veer from the core value proposition and skillset, known as business technology strategy. The business technology strategy (architecture) describes the value generated from every significant technology decisions made in the organization. It is an ongoing set of decisions as well as the models, documents and delivery of the strategy and all of the components necessary to optimizing and innovating within the framework. It also includes any processes, people and capabilities necessary for the architecture team.

Architecture value is delivered through employing knowledgeable, skilled and experienced architects both internally (employees) and externally (staff augmentation or project based). Iasa job descriptions are based on a rigorous skills taxonomy which has been worked out over the last 8 years between Iasa members and thought leaders and is maintained through the Iasa Board of Education. Adopting a clear and concise skills taxonomy is essential for the success of any architecture initiative as it will control the capabilities of the final team.

The Iasa Skills Taxonomy is unique in the industry as it is both extremely detailed and descriptive as well as connects the specializations together in a shared skill set.

Business Architect

The business architect provides leadership of business initiatives through technology strategy by participating in the development of a business strategy to accomplish specific business goals. They provide innovation and opportunity recognition within business units. Specifically the business architect has mastered the delivery of value through technology support of business strategy. The business architect has developed their understanding of business valuation, business process and business strategy delivery. They act as a liaison from the technology groups to enhance business development and have tremendously advanced skills in business valuation of technology as well has human dynamics.

The business architect understands the business unit and organization within which they function using both formal methods, such as modeling, as well as informal techniques. They will likely have significant experience within the industry and the particular business function where they work. The business architect functions as a part of the business team as a trusted partner and the models they create may be used to extend beyond just the application of technology strategy as they give useful and powerful pictures of the processes, people and capabilities of the business unit.

Solutions Role Activities

The Business architect may act as a solutions architect within the realm of a particularly challenging business related project or as a part of a general role activity within the current employer. Acting within this role the business architect would coordinate and work with other architecture specialists such as infrastructure, software and information or may be required to develop architectures within these areas themselves. However, a business architect is primarily responsible for the business systems themselves and is not primarily a delivery job function. It is left to the employer to designate the number and amount of information architecture design and decision functions of the information architect in relation to; a) the systems they own and b) the projects to which they are assigned.

Ownership

The business architect owns the technology value of a particular business unit (vertically organized) or a business capability (horizontally organized). They ensure that all technology strategies developed deliver exactly the amount of value specified during inception. They own the project prioritization and technology governance processes for all aspects of business that is owned by their business unit. In addition, the business architect owns and develops business models which will illuminate their technology strategy and participates in any business planning activity which makes use of these models.

Other Industry Role Names

Business Process Architect, Business IT Architect, Business Systems Architect.

Responsibilities

  • Ensures the value of technology within a particular business area
  • Work to ensure alignment between business strategies and the information technology roadmap throughout the project lifecycle
  • Identifies business drivers and anticipates future business and technology requirements
  • Participates business requirements gathering sessions, documents requirements and communicates requirements to the multiple groups associated with each project
  • Exhibits a high level of professional flexibility and volunteers innovative new ideas
  • Applies project management expertise to improve productivity, increase efficiencies, mitigate risks, and resolve issues to ensure deliverables are completed on time and within budget
  • Researches and maintains knowledge in emerging technologies and the potential application to the business
  • Assisting in the development and enhancement of the enterprise functional domain model for use in strategic planning and project analysis in conjunction with segment, domain and other architects
  • Engaging in the creation and management of business architecture models
  • Helping to drive the development and enhancement of modeling tool set and procedures
  • Maintaining and supporting meta models
  • Collaborating with other Architects to use the model to conduct analysis
  • Assisting in the determination of which functional capabilities are within the scope of a given project, what applications support the capabilities, what systems are involved and what other businesses would be impacted by a project
  • Understanding the strategic direction of the business and related IT platforms, including an in-depth understanding of systems topography and services across the enterprise and how they relate to target groups
  • Establishing and maintaining strong relationships with business and IT partners

Common Education / Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, MIS, or related information technology field
  • 5 + years of experience modeling in the workplace
  • Experience working within structured SDLC methodologies
  • Well-honed listening and negotiation skills
  • Experience facilitating discussions and helping to resolve different views of a model
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Prior success interacting with architects and analysts with diverse personalities and points of view
  • Strong customer relationship management and diplomatic skills
  • Experience with ASK, Casewise or similar Enterprise Architecture modeling tool strongly desired
  • Experience with UML, TOGAF, MindMap or other framework tool
  • Knowledge of the target industry preferred
  • Proven track record in business systems development and implementation
  • Experience in business systems architecture and defining solutions in complex business areas, with a demonstrated ability to create the implementation roadmap for solutions
  • Expert knowledge of requirements gathering techniques
  • Expert knowledge of business application modeling
  • Expert knowledge of development methodology and standards
  • Advanced problem solving skills
  • Strong analytical & design skills

Required

  • CITA-Specialist Business

Recommended

  • CITA-Professional Business

Information Architect

The information architect directs the use, integration and storage of information within a particular business unit (vertical structure) or business capability (horizontal structure). The information architect may focus in on one particular form such as usage focused strategy, information storage or other elements of information architecture or but must consider all elements of information architecture in the organization or customer base. The information architect has mastered the management of information across and within their industry.

Information architects work to ensure that information is used to the best advantage of their organization or customer. Storage and retrieval and integration focus on system to system management and require significant interaction with software and infrastructure architects. Information usability focuses on employee, user or other constituent information requiring significant interaction with business architects.

Solutions Role Activities

The Information architect may act as a solutions architect within the realm of a particularly challenging information related project or as a part of a general role activity within the current employer. Acting within this role the information architect would coordinate and work with other architecture specialists such as infrastructure, software and business or may be required to develop architectures within these areas themselves. However, an information architect is primarily responsible for the systems themselves and is not primarily a delivery job function. It is left to the employer to designate the number and amount of information architecture design and decision functions of the information architect in relation to the a) the systems they own and b) the projects to which they are assigned.

Ownership

The business architect owns the value of technology for a particular business unit (vertically organized), a business capability (horizontally organized), and/or central storage, retrieval and movement of information (centrally organized). Information architects own the models, documents and final value of this information within their scope of impact. They ensure that all technology strategies developed deliver optimized value of information usage. They share ownership of the technology strategy for particular business areas with business architects and will work together often. They influence the project prioritization and planning for their target areas through valuation techniques targeted at understanding value of information stored or shared in those areas. In addition, the information architect owns and develops models which describe information resources to the organization.

Other Industry Role Names

Database architect, information management architect, information integration architect, business intelligence architect, usability architect, storage architect (non-infrastructure based)

Responsibilities

  • Rigorous design methodology that consistently yields the right level of technical design documentation and develop technical solutions that conform both to customer requirements and information development standards
  • Review, cost and design optimized information designs based on rigorous understanding of costs and returns
  • Participate and recommend prioritization through the project implementation process
  • Hands-on hardware or networking may be required to demonstrate component selection and prototyping
  • Ability to act as a key member of project team and provide leadership in information design, usage, storage and retrieval.
  • Assist in problem resolution and support the development team through consultation and problem research
  • Utilize understanding of industry information management trends to innovate and provide new project/product ideas within the investment lifecycle
  • Participate in governance mechanisms and ensure that deliveries exceed governance standards
  • Proven oral and written communication and presentation skills
  • Strong relationship development with all primary and secondary stakeholders
  • Detail-oriented with excellent analytical and problem solving skills
  • Work as equals with engineering/development staff for optimal design/delivery
  • Communicating information concepts to all levels of management
  • Address information reusability and services
  • Ensure that expected information quality attribute levels are achieved

Common Education / Experience:

  • BS in Computer Science, Engineering or other related technology degree
  • 5-10 years developing information architecture elements especially robust valuation techniques
  • Significant experience with numerous hardware and networking technologies
  • Experience with all phases of the SDLC including maintenance as well as multiple specific SDLC methodologies
  • Significant experience in numerous information management processes
  • Experience with all elements of change control
  • Experience with all major forms of quality assurance in the data center
  • Preferred experience with leading project teams including the development of project management deliverables
  • Experience in developing project scoping and scaling deliverables
  • Strong information process skills
  • Experience in any information related frameworks and methods
  • Strong verbal and written presentation skills
  • Proven capacity to work independently and manage multiple, competing demands
  • Able to take high level requirements and develop infrastructure architecture and create designs/prototypes of solutions
  • Deep understanding of information design, usability, storage technologies
  • Requires specific experience with particular information platforms (Note: in adapting this job description you should list any particular technology items here)

Required

  • CITA-Specialist Information

Recommended

  • CITA-Professional Information

Infrastructure Architect

The infrastructure architect provides strategic uses of infrastructure, network, and operations as an asset. They create and deliver technology strategies to optimize the use of technology resources related to hardware and physical system. It should be noted, this is not meant as quantitative overlap with the upcoming physical system architect who focuses on highly complex physical systems engineering domains such as satellite, defense, and embedded technology though there is some overlap. The infrastructure architect uses their mastery of network, computing platform and operations to guide the organization to valuable investments in hardware and platform.

The infrastructure architect works regularly with business, information and software architects to ensure the overall health of the organizations infrastructure and to optimize technology strategy delivery.  The infrastructure architect has mastered the design, delivery and maintenance of hardware and network technologies throughout the organization.

Solutions Role Activities

The infrastructure architect may act as a solutions architect within the realm of a particularly challenging infrastructure related project or as a part of a general role activity within the current employer. Acting within this role the infrastructure architect would coordinate and work with other architecture specialists such as information, software and business or may be required to develop architectures within these areas themselves. However, a infrastructure architect is primarily responsible for the systems themselves and is not primarily a delivery job function. It is left to the employer to designate the number and amount of infrastructure architecture design and decision functions of the infrastructure architect in relation to the a) the systems they own and b) the projects to which they are assigned.

Ownership

The infrastructure architect owns the technology value for the hardware, network and other infrastructure assets to the organization. Infrastructure architects develop models of these assets which optimize business strategy within the organization and fundamentally contribute to revenue or other forms of value generation. They may additionally develop and design a full infrastructure model in coordination with other teams to ensure clear communication and understanding of the target strategy.

Other Industry Role Names

Systems architect (in non-engineering companies), hardware architect, network architect, client system architect, operations architect, information technology architect, technical architect

Responsibilities

  • Rigorous design methodology that consistently yields the right level of technical design documentation and develop technical solutions that conform both to customer requirements and software development standards
  • Review, cost and design optimized infrastructure designs based on rigorous understanding of costs and returns
  • Participate and recommend prioritization through the project implementation process
  • Hands-on hardware or networking may be required to demonstrate component selection and prototyping
  • Ability to act as a key member of project team and provide leadership in both application design and development.
  • Assist in problem resolution and support the development team through consultation and problem research
  • Utilize understanding of industry software trends to innovate and provide new project/product ideas within the investment lifecycle
  • Participate in governance mechanisms and ensure that deliveries exceed governance standards
  • Proven oral and written communication and presentation skills
  • Strong relationship development with all primary and secondary stakeholders
  • Detail-oriented with excellent analytical and problem solving skills
  • Work as equals with engineering/development staff for optimal design/delivery
  • Communicating infrastructure concepts to all levels of management
  • Address infrastructure reusability and services
  • Ensure that expected infrastructure quality attribute levels are achieved

Common Education / Experience:

  • BS in Computer Science, Engineering or other related technology degree
  • 5-10 years developing infrastructure architecture elements especially robust valuation techniques
  • Significant experience with numerous hardware and networking technologies
  • Experience with all phases of the SDLC including maintenance as well as multiple specific SDLC methodologies
  • Experience with all elements of change control
  • Experience with all major forms of quality assurance in the data center
  • Preferred experience with leading project teams including the development of project management deliverables
  • Experience in developing project scoping and scaling deliverables
  • Strong infrastructure process skills such
  • Experience in ITIL, COBIT and other infrastructure related frameworks
  • Strong verbal and written presentation skills
  • Proven capacity to work independently and manage multiple, competing demands
  • Able to take high level requirements and develop infrastructure architecture and create designs/prototypes of solutions
  • Requires specific experience with particular infrastructure platforms (Note: in adapting this job description you should list any particular technology items here)

Required

  • CITA-Specialist Infrastructure

Recommended

CITA-Professional Infrastructure

Software Architect

The software architect has mastered the value, use, development and delivery of software intensive systems. They have developed skills in software development lifecycles, software engineering and software design. The software architect is responsible for the value generated from software systems or system of systems within their direct supervision. They work with project teams to ensure value is delivered for investment and feed resulting valuation results into the business, information and infrastructure areas.

The software architect has fully developed their abilities to understand the costs and revenue generated from software elements as well as the process for delivery. They work through inception alongside business and information architects to ensure that particular business units maximize investment.

Solutions Role Activities

The software architect may act as a solutions architect within the realm of a particularly challenging software related project or as a part of a general role activity within the current employer. Acting within this role the software architect would coordinate and work with other architecture specialists such as information, infrastructure and business or may be required to develop architectures within these areas themselves. However, a software architect is primarily responsible for the systems themselves and is not primarily a delivery job function. It is left to the employer to designate the number and amount of software architecture design and decision functions of the software architect in relation to the a) the systems they own and b) the projects to which they are assigned.

Ownership

The software architect owns the true value of a software system from inception throughout its full system lifecycle (through end of life of the system). This value may be communicated through robust analysis of the system components and the tradeoffs made during design and development. The software architect may in addition create numerous formal models of the software and its impact on the overall topology of the technical strategy.

Other Industry Role Names

Application architect, system architect, business software/solution architect, software development architect, software engineer architect

Responsibilities

  • Rigorous design methodology that consistently yields the right level of technical design documentation and develop technical solutions that conform both to customer requirements and software development standards
  • Review, cost and design optimized software designs based on rigorous understanding of costs and returns
  • Participate and recommend prioritization through the project implementation process
  • Hands-on development may be required to demonstrate component selection and prototyping
  • Ability to act as a key member of project team and provide leadership in both application design and development.
  • Assist in problem resolution and support the development team through consultation and problem research
  • Utilize understanding of industry software trends to innovate and provide new project/product ideas within the investment lifecycle
  • Participate in governance mechanisms and ensure that deliveries exceed governance standards
  • Proven oral and written communication and presentation skills
  • Strong relationship development with all primary and secondary stakeholders
  • Detail-oriented with excellent analytical and problem solving skills
  • Work as equals with engineering/development staff for optimal design/delivery
  • Communicating software concepts to all levels of management
  • Address software reusability
  • Ensure that expected application quality attribute levels are achieved

Common Education / Experience:

  • Experience with all elements of change management
  • Experience with all major forms of quality assurance
  • Preferred experience with leading project teams including the development of project management deliverables
  • Experience in developing project scoping and scaling deliverables
  • Strong software engineering process skills
  • Strong verbal and written presentation skills
  • Proven capacity to work independently and manage multiple, competing demands
  • Able to take high level requirements and develop software architecture and code with minimum supervision
  • Requires specific experience with particular software platforms (Note: in adapting this job description you should list any particular technology items here)

Required

  • CITA-Specialist Software

Recommended

  • CITA-Professional Software

Solution Architect

The Solution Architect has mastered the fundamental skills in architecture and has been a practicing architect within delivery based organization. The solution architect is responsible for delivery on one or more projects within the scope of the business case for the solution. Their primary role is to optimize the value of a solution to an organization through delivery and reduce owner risk in its delivery while ensuring the solution meets all compliance and regulatory which impact the system. The solution architect will work with specialist architects, technical staff and stakeholders of the solution to ensure it is delivered or canceled based on the most effective strategy for the organization as a whole.

Ownership

The solution architect owns the value of the delivery of a system from inception throughout the delivery lifecycle. For an existing solution this may mean working with the primary architect who originated the program or becoming the architect of record. This value may be communicated through robust analysis of the system components and the tradeoffs made during design and development. The solution architect will in addition create numerous formal models of the system and its impact on the overall topology of the technical strategy.

Other Industry Role Names

Enterprise Solution Architect, Project Architect

Responsibilities

  • Rigorous design methodology that consistently yields the right level of technical design documentation and develop technical solutions that conform both to customer requirements and solution development standards
  • Review, cost and design optimized solution designs based on rigorous understanding of costs and returns
  • Participate and recommend prioritization through the project implementation process
  • Hands-on development may be required to demonstrate component selection and prototyping
  • Ability to act as a key member of project team and provide leadership in both application design and development.
  • Assist in problem resolution and support the development team through consultation and problem research
  • Utilize understanding of industry solution trends to innovate and provide new project/product ideas within the investment lifecycle
  • Participate in governance mechanisms and ensure that deliveries exceed governance standards
  • Proven oral and written communication and presentation skills
  • Strong relationship development with all primary and secondary stakeholders
  • Detail-oriented with excellent analytical and problem solving skills
  • Work as equals with engineering/development staff for optimal design/delivery
  • Communicating solution concepts to all levels of management
  • Address solution complexity
  • Ensure that expected application quality attribute levels are achieved

Common Education / Experience:

  • Experience with all elements of change management
  • Experience with all major forms of quality assurance
  • Preferred experience with leading project teams including the development of project management deliverables
  • Experience in developing project scoping and scaling deliverables
  • Strong software and infrastructure process skills
  • Strong information management skills
  • Strong verbal and written presentation skills
  • Proven capacity to work independently and manage multiple, competing demands
  • Able to take high level requirements and develop software architecture and code with minimum supervision
  • Requires specific experience with particular software platforms (Note: in adapting this job description you should list any particular technology items here)

Required

  • CITA-Specialist Solution

Enterprise Architect

The Enterprise Architect has mastered the fundamental skills in architecture and has been a practicing professional architect within one of the specializations prior to moving into the enterprise architecture practice. The enterprise architect has learned enough of the specializations to lead the architecture teams within an organization. Enterprise architects will have functioned as a solutions architect to the extent necessary to lead at the enterprise or global level. To be an enterprise architect, a successful candidate will have learned the value of the existing specializations and proven their ability to lead the cross-functional architecture teams to success.

The Enterprise Architect is a business technologist in the largest sense of the term. Like all architects they have melded appropriate business and industry understanding to superior skills in technology allowing them to demonstrate value to shareholders and stakeholders alike through the delivery of innovative strategy. They participate as equals in the business strategy development space making technology a fundamental investment tool to meet the organizations objectives. In addition, with their strong business skills they participate in all aspects of business development as partners in process, people and value.

Owns

The Enterprise Architect owns the technology strategy of the organization for the CIO’s office and for the ongoing business plan. They ensure that no project or program is implemented unless it returns appropriate value to the organization. In addition they own the Enterprise Architecture which is a tool to understanding the organization and a representation of the organizations strategy. This asset may or may not reflect the entire organization strategy but will include enough detail to ensure the value of the ongoing technical investment strategy. The enterprise architecture team owns the overall value assumptions and estimates of every significant technical decision made in the company which may also include partner and provider valuation models. The enterprise architect is responsible for maintaining these technical financial models to ensure the company is in optimum financial and constituent position.

Other Industry Role Names

Enterprise Information Technology Architect, Enterprise Information Systems Architect, Enterprise Technology Architect, Sr. Enterprise Architect

Responsibilities

Note – These responsibilities may be adapted and applied in reference to a customer context in service based or consulting roles, however, this does not change the architects responsibility to the customer AND employer

  • Alignment of IT strategy and planning with company’s business goals.​
  • Optimization of information management approaches through an understanding of evolving business needs and technology capabilities.​
  • Long-term strategic responsibility for the company’s IT systems.​
  • Promotion of shared infrastructure and applications to reduce costs and improve information flows.​ Ensure that projects do not duplicate functionality or diverge from each other and business and IT strategies.​
  • Work with software architect(s) to provide enterprise software that is scalable, adaptable and in synchronization with ever changing business needs and drives innovation and value throughout enterprise projects.​
  • Work with infrastructure architect(s) to provide an enterprise infrastructure that is scalable, adaptable and in synchronization with ever changing business needs and drives innovation and value throughout enterprise projects.
  • Work with information architect(s) to provide strategic information usage, integration, storage and retrieval across the enterprise and that information supports distinct and provable business advantage.​
  • Work with business architect(s) to provide deep understanding and integration of business and the technology strategy across the enterprise, to develop the models that best reflect the business strategy and that each business unit has effective architecture support.​
  • Management of the risks associated with information and IT assets through appropriate standards and security policies.​
  • Direct or indirect involvement in the development of policies, standards and guidelines that direct the selection, development, implementation and use of Information Technology within the enterprise.​
  • Build employee knowledge and skills in specific areas of expertise.​
    • Define/​maintain a world-wide mapping between tools/​Process/​BU
    • Qualify all Business Unit high level projects/​requirements and give guidelines on the tools required to support each need.​ The IT tool selection for a project has to be given by the Global Enterprise architect team not the BU IT teams.​
  • Deep involvement:
    • At Business Unit level (when considering the overall evolution)
    • At project level (checking /​ advising for consistency)
    • In building processes, standards, etc
  • Optimize the combination of current technologies/​solutions with new updates/​modules/​etc
  • Extend the current expertise by application/​technology/​BU to have expertise across the enterprise
  • Provide presentation/​support/​mockup on new technologies

Most Common Education / Experience

  • BS in Computer Science, Software Engineering or other related technology degree
  • Masters in Business or Masters in Technology preferred
  • Deep experience in all four specialization areas (business, information, infrastructure, software)
  • Experience in all primary architecture models and valuation techniques
  • Proved ability to stay abreast in industry and technology trends
  • Knowledge of financial modeling as it pertains to IT investment
  • 10 years+​ technology experience
  • Ability to manage projects and staff
  • Proven influence/​negotiation skills
  • Systems Thinking – the ability to see how parts interact with the whole (big picture thinking)
  • Knowledge of the business for which the enterprise architecture is being developed
  • Interpersonal and leadership skills – servant leadership, collaboration, facilitation, and negotiation skills
  • Emotional intelligence – self-awareness, confidence, ability to manage conflict, empathy
  • Communication skills, both written and spoken
  • Ability to explain complex technical issues in a way that non-technical people may understand
  • Knowledge of IT governance and operations
  • Comprehensive knowledge of hardware, software, application, and systems engineering
  • Project and program management planning and organizational skills
  • Customer service orientation
  • Time management and prioritization

Required/Recommended Certifications

  • CITA-P in a recognized Iasa specialization + experience as Enterprise Architect
  • Iasa CITA-P Enterprise