IT architects are indispensable for a company’s strategic success. Solution architects, technical architects, and enterprise architects work together to ensure the flexibility, scalability, and security of the entire system that functions according to a company’s business and technical requirements.
As architects, they are all responsible for business strategy as well as solution implementation, but in their unique ways:
- An enterprise architect is more focused on business strategy and requirements.
- A technical architect focuses more on designing and implementing technical solutions.
- A solution architect serves as the link between business needs and technological solutions: serves as the bridge without which almost 50% of all IT projects fail.
This article further explores the differences between these roles and compares them to help you make the right choice for your career.
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In this article, we’ll discuss:
- Who Is an Enterprise Architect?
- Who Is a Solution Architect?
- Who Is a Technical Architect?
- Roles and Responsibilities: Enterprise Architect vs. Solution Architect vs. Technical Architect
- Salary Comparison: Enterprise Architect vs. Solution Architect vs. Technical Architect
- Some Commonly Confused Similar Roles
- FAQ on IT Architects
Who Is an Enterprise Architect?
An enterprise architect is responsible for the upkeep, improvement, maintenance, and upgrading of an organization’s IT networks and services. An enterprise architect typically requires an undergraduate degree in computer science or a related field and about five to 10 years of IT experience. Some organizations might also look for someone with a master’s degree for this role.
Enterprise architecture deals with the company, business, departments, technology, security, digital, and innovation. The responsibilities of an enterprise architect include:
- Making sure that the IT strategy is in line with the goals and missions of the company.
- Defining business goals based on their business analysis, business properties, competitors, architectural models, and other vital factors in both the internal and external environment.
- Creating an IT roadmap based on the defined business needs.
- Analyzing the latest trends in technology architecture like new frameworks or best practices and educating tech departments about them.
- Not interacting with the code; have a wide breadth of knowledge about the business, its strengths, weaknesses, and potential.
- Ensuring the creation of appropriate enterprise infrastructure.
- Ensuring that the solutions created meet business standards.
- Ensuring the solutions created are in line with the company’s values and integrity.
Who Is a Solution Architect?
A solution architect is someone who typically has a degree in computer science, mathematics, business, or a related field and has a broad understanding of the technologies applied for various solutions. So, when dealing with a project, a solution architect should be able to consider a wide range of related issues.
Solution architecture concerns itself with projects, capabilities, functionalities, etc. Solution architects are concerned with the same aspects. Their job as solution architects is to:
- Evaluate business requirements and participate in crucial business discussions.
- See how they can leverage different business and IT concepts to come up with solutions.
- Create and design connections between several systems and communicate with multiple teams.
- Craft solutions in the form of products/services that meet the desired requirements in time.
- Actively manage and lead their initiative to success once they’ve designed the optimal solution.
- Acts as a link, a bridge between business and technology.
Who Is a Technical Architect?
Technical architects usually have a degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field. Companies look for candidates who have knowledge and familiarity with the major programming languages.
Technical architecture involves several aspects, including projects, technologies, platforms, software, hardware, components, services, and data. Hence the work of technical architects, as the name suggests, includes:
- Having a detailed, in-depth understanding of the technical solutions to be created
- More hands-on involvement as compared to both enterprise architects and solution architects in creating the technical solutions as per business requirements efficiently
- Understand the technical solution processes and lead the project to success using their technical expertise
- Lead teams of software engineers, developers, and other technical professionals
- Aids the project manager in making some management decisions
Roles and Responsibilities: Enterprise Architect vs. Solution Architect vs. Technical Architect
The difference between a technical architect, solution architect, and enterprise architect lies in the scope of their responsibilities. Here are some of the ways their roles differ from each other:
While comparing the three IT architects, the difference between a solution architect and an enterprise architect usually creates the biggest confusion. However, as the above table shows, each architect has a set of well-defined tasks.
Salary Comparison: Enterprise Architect vs. Solution Architect vs. Technical Architect
Now that you know the difference between these roles, let’s look at the average income of each.
Enterprise Architect Salary
The average annual salary of an enterprise architect is $145,770. However, the salaries of most enterprise architects (between the 25th and 75th percentile) fall somewhere between $131,128 and $162,498.
The salary range for an enterprise architect usually varies from $117,797 (bottom 10 percentile) to $177,729 (top 10 percentile). The lowest salary being $101,599 and the highest salary being $183,337 for an enterprise architect.
Solution Architect Salary
The average annual salary of a solution architect is $137,449, with the top earners bagging around $183,000 per year. If you’re between the 25th to 75th percentile, your annual salary would likely fall in the range of $108,500 to $152,000. If you’re an entry-level solution architect, your salary will probably be around $112,120.
Technical Architect Salary
For a technical architect, the median annual salary is $134,482, but the top technical architects earn around $175,515 per year. The average yearly salary of a senior technical architect is $137,016. However, your annual salary would likely be about $110,221 or slightly more if you’re just starting.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the salaries:
As we can see, out of the three architects, technical architects tend to get the lowest salaries.
Some Commonly Confused Similar Roles
It’s sometimes hard to differentiate between similar roles, especially if there’s a significant overlap between the nature of responsibilities associated with the roles. Let us look at some of them:
Technical Account Manager vs. Solution Architect
Solution Architect vs. Technical Lead
AWS Solution Architect vs. Azure Solution Architect
FAQs on IT Architects
Q. Where do I start my preparation for my IT architect interview?
You can start by visiting the careers pages of top companies like Amazon, Google, etc. Go through the requirements for some of the Solution Architect, Technical Architect, Enterprise Architect, and other IT Architect related job opportunities you find appealing. Don’t forget to also learn about the values and goals of your target companies. If you’re preparing for the role of Solution Architect, you may find the article 50+ Amazon Solution Architect Interview Questions very helpful.
Q. How can IK help me prepare for my IT Architect Interview?
If you need help with your prep, whether you’re a coding engineer/software developer or a solution architect, join Interview Kickstart.
IK is the gold standard in tech interview prep. Our programs include a comprehensive curriculum, unmatched teaching methods, FAANG+ instructors, and career coaching to help you nail your next tech interview.