Enterprise Architect vs Chief Architect vs Solution Architect

Key takeaway:

  • Enterprise Architect is not a Software Architect
  • Enterprise Architect could be both in Chief Software Architect or Solution Architect role
  • The smaller the business the more roles are combined within the same position
  • Domain is important

Solution Architect (SA) finds the SOFTWARE solution to the problem.

Chief Architect – leads the Architecture team as a whole. An architecture team could be comprised of different architects, like SAs, Cloud Architects, DevOps architects, UI/UX Architects and other TECHNICAL architects. Everything depends on your context.
Architecture – that is about making “principal” decisions, the difficult ones, the ones to influence your company/product for years and to be extremely expensive to change.
Chief Architect’s accountability – to find the TECHNICAL solution to last long.

Enterprise Architect (EA) searches for a SOLUTION to the business problem, where technical or software tool is just one of the tools.
According to TOGAF “EA is about holistically architecting the systems that support an enterprise’s business processes (not architecting the software or technology system)”.
Thus, the “solution” can involve not only the technical decision. People, product or process changes could be the components as well.
The EA’s accountability is to find the SOLUTION and disregard the tool.

Depending on a company’s size those titles could be either roles or positions. If they are roles – they could be combined by single or several employees.

Remember, the result is much more important than any correct titles, processes etc.
Use experience, and search for your way!

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