When moving your responsibility from software development to the world of solution architecture, you’ll also notice that you’re dealing more with the business architecture and want to better understand the whole vision, mission and strategy of the business case and the project. In your daily job you’re also considering which components should be built from scratch and which can be reused from somewhere else or can be bought. Then you need to work out the plan to get to your new target architecture and decide how all these things are governed.
Common sense will get you a long way in understanding what’s needed to reach your goal of realizing the target architecture, but it also feels like there are so many things to deal with before getting there. You might also find yourself in places and discussions where you start thinking if this is even part of your responsibility. Apart from the technical aspects you also get functional and non-functional requirements fired at you. And then you also have things like compliance, legal and risk aspects. And how do you even govern and document all this?
Fitting in the enterprise
Every company is different, and each project has its own characteristics and specific ways of working that work best. From a solution architect’s point of view, it helps to also understand the best practices on an enterprise level. This helps in understanding how the solution architecture fits into the enterprise, what requirements you must demand from the business architecture side and what the output must be to the enterprise organization. Besides delivering the solution you’ll also find yourself in a situation where you need to challenge or push back to the business because the solution architecture requirements are not met.
Guidance with architecture frameworks
Fortunately, there are enterprise architecture frameworks which reflect these enterprise architecture best practices. There are many enterprise architecture frameworks but the most well-known and used one is TOGAF. It provides an approach for designing, planning, implementing, and governing an enterprise information technology architecture.
You can get certified for TOGAF but as the study is highly theoretical and dry matter, I recommend arranging a course with a knowledgeable tutor. It will help you understand and manage your place in the bigger enterprise picture.