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What is a Systems Architect?

Also known as: Information Systems Architect, Computer Systems Architect, System Architect.

A systems architect is a technology professional who develops and implements computer systems and networks for an organization. He or she defines the architecture of a system in order to fulfill certain requirements. Defining the architecture could mean breaking down the system into components, defining component interactions and interfaces, and/or deciding on the technologies and resources to be used in the design.

Similar to how civil architects or civil engineers have an excellent understanding of how bridges need to be used and how much stress they can take, systems architects are proficient in understanding how computer systems need to be used, how much stress they can take, and what is needed for system designs to hold up.

What does a Systems Architect do?

Systems architects devise, configure, operate, and maintain networking and computer systems. These systems operate as part of a company infrastructure and allow a company to function.

Systems architects consider a company’s business objectives as well as its size, budget, and resources in order to figure out what kind of computing power it needs. They also consider how much data storage the company needs, the size and speed they require, and the best user experience a company wants to create for their employees.

A systems architect will design the technical infrastructure such as hardware (computers), software (programs), web portals, Internet and intranet connections, firewalls, servers, and systems security. The job may also involve installation of both the hardware and the software during the setup and maintenance of these systems, technical research and development, process improvement, and long-term system road mapping.

Systems architects ensure that client and company needs are met, offering technical support and creating installation instructions for users. Establishing rapport with other staff and developers is essential.

A systems architect usually has the following responsibilities:

  • Overall design
  • Steps for creation
  • Customization for customer needs and explaining in layman terms
  • System definition requirements
  • Cost analysis
  • Integration constraints and solutions
  • Adherence to standards
  • Server cluster administration
  • Provisioning and maintenance across multiple locations
  • System backup management
  • Troubleshooting/diagnosis

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What is the workplace of a Systems Architect like?

Systems architects are hired by all types of companies, since any company that relies on its own computer network needs someone to ensure infrastructure is properly designed. Companies also need systems architects on staff to make ongoing improvements and troubleshoot problems.

Systems architects can find work in telecommunications, wireless communications, health care, finance, government and contracting, defense, computing, eCommerce, and retail. Top companies hiring systems architects include IBM, HP, Intel, Northrop Grumman, Amazon, Dell, Oracle, Cisco, Apple, Nvidia, Microsoft, Cisco, Lockheed Martin, GE, and Bank of America.

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Further Reading

  • Systems Architecture ~ Roles and Responsibilities dalbanger.wordpress.com

    The systems architecture function or team can vary in complexity; it may range from a single individual providing technology road maps, architectural governance and general advice, to that of a large, multi-disciplined group of individuals providing similar advice and products but on a much greater scale, possibly controlling and advising large IT budgets.

  • Systems Architect en.wikipedia.org

    Systems architects define the architecture of a computerized system (i.e., a system composed of software and hardware) in order to fulfill certain requirements. Such definitions include: a breakdown of the system into components, the component interactions and interfaces (including with the environment, especially the user), and the technologies and resources to be used in the design.

  • System Architect: Career Overview and Requirements study.com

    Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a system architect. Get a quick view of the requirements, as well as details about salary statistics and employment outlook to find out if this is the career for you.

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