Solutions Architecture About Solutions Architecture Service Our Approach Benefits Service Portfolio FAQs A solution architect with the N.C. Department of Information Technology guides and helps state agencies' business stakeholders and project teams to make right technology decisions. A solution architect's job is to understand business needs, position those needs against modern technology implementation approaches, work with the project team and business stakeholders to quantify and qualify critical technology choices, provide advice and counsel and help manage project risks to deliver the right technology solutions for the state of North Carolina. During a project, a solution architect analyzes the technical decision-making about the solution and how it impacts the business outcomes. A solution architect focuses on identifying and addressing requirements that demand making choices about the technology used. The Solutions Architecture team members have a broad understanding of technology, from programming and development of custom applications to the infrastructure environment where the solution resides and the operational environment that provides support. A solution architect primarily engages with projects within the N.C. Department of Information Technology's Enterprise Management Project Office's project life cycle. The solution architect can contribute at any stage in a project but provides the best value when engaged early in the project lifecycle. Early engagement allows the project team to grow the project concept incrementally, taking full advantage of the solution architect's experience and advice. Concept Phase The solution architect works with the project stakeholders to assess potential opportunities for technology to impact and support desired business outcomes. The solution architect can identify the capability gaps and transition steps needed to achieve business and technical goals, expressed as deliverables and roadmaps. Initiation The solution architect is involved with the assessment of the impacts and benefits of alternative approaches. The assessments may include quantifying the virtues and risks of the technical approach, skill sets and business demand. Planning The solution architect can advise and guide planning for the project's technical transitions. This can be as broad as business transformation planning or focused on specific technical decisions, depending on the needs of the project team. The Solutions Architecture team members can participate in purchase specification and evaluation activities as technical advisers. Execution and Implementation The solution architect can provide guidance and decision support to help execution teams assess, communicate and overcome challenges during project delivery. The solution architect can also help project team leads and service owners develop technical staff recruitment and skill building plans. Cutting-edge technology cannot deliver the promised benefits if you don’t have the right team with the right skills in place. The unique skill set of solution architects makes them key members of the team. Some benefits of engaging a solution architect are: Efficient solution design in line with the business needs Guidance on making fundamental technology choices costly to change once implemented Solution recommendations for meeting quality requirements, such as resilient, high-availability, fully redundant systems Managing technology risks to the business and its operation We have the right mix of people, processes and tools to assist you. When a solution architect is engaged, the following services may be delivered, based on the type and complexity of the project: Application portfolio scorecard Assessment of existing systems Guidance, review and assistance in developing overall business case Guidance, review and assistance on overall project approach Guidance, review and assistance on build-or-buy decisions Guidance on writing highly technical requests for proposals Assistance with RFP evaluation Assistance in evaluating vendor solutions Assistance in selection of tools, technologies and solutions Alternative assessment and solution recommendations Guidance on hosting on-premises/cloud/hybrid, adoption of Amazon Web Services Solution blueprint – outline of overall solution Guidance on major technology decisions during the project Architecture document preparation What is the cost of engaging a solution architect? The N.C. Department of Information Technology realizes the importance of a solution architect in state agencies' projects. To deliver value to all project, there is no charge for state agencies to leverage a solution architect on your team. What is the process to engage a solution architect? There are several ways for state agencies to engage a solution architect. A project manager can initiate a request. Sometimes, during a project review cycle, a project management advisor or a business analyst may recommend a project manager to engage a solution architect. To request a solution architect on your engagement, please contact Arvind Wathore.