Technical architect

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Description

An ICT technical architect is responsible for the documentation and review of an organisations ICT technical infrastructure. A technical architect will map the current hardware, operating systems, programming and networking solutions that are used by an organisation. Doing this enables the organisation to have a clear view of the number and differing types of technologies they are using. It also enables the organisation to see where technologies are being duplicated or where they are being underutilised. It addresses issues such as performance and resilience, storage and backup.

Having a clearly documented technology profile allows the organisation to save money by ensuring that the technologies are used being used appropriately and that when future technologies are required that they are a good fit with existing technologies. Further to this should the organisation require a new information system to be built, the new system can then be designed to meet the standards of the existing technologies being used.

As well as having the current technologies used, a technical architect will also document and map the technology direction the organisation should be aiming to reach. This is done in consultation with key stakeholders within the organisation. Having a clearly documented technology profile also allows the organisation to develop a schedule of when to retire, replace or rebuild the current technologies.

A technical architect does not work in isolation. They will work as part of a team of architects who look at enterprise architecture, solutions architecture and security architecture. All architects work closely with key stakeholders from the business to ensure that the needs of the business are being met by the architecture teams.

A technical architect exhibits capabilities in line with the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)[1] and the Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile.[2]

Within the SFIA profile, the technical architect has level 5 capabilities, i.e. ensures and advises on the skills outlined below.

Autonomy

At the highest organisational level, has authority over all aspects of a significant area of work, including policy formation and application. Is fully accountable for actions taken and decisions made, both by self and others to whom responsibilities have been assigned.

Influence

Makes decisions critical to organisational success. Inspires the organisation, and influences developments within the industry at the highest levels. Advances the knowledge and/or exploitation of technology within one or more organisations. Develops long-term strategic relationships with customers, partners, industry leaders and government.

Complexity

Leads on the formulation and implementation of strategy. Applies the highest level of leadership skills and has a deep understanding of the industry and the implications of emerging technologies for the wider business environment.

Business Skills

Has a full range of strategic management and leadership skills. Understands, explains and presents complex ideas to audiences at all levels in a persuasive and convincing manner. Has a broad and deep business knowledge, including the activities and practices of other organisations. Communicates the potential impact of emerging practices and technologies on organisations and individuals and assesses the risks of using or not using such practices and technologies. Assesses the impact of legislation, and actively promotes compliance. Ensures that the organisation develops and mobilises the full range of required digital skills and capabilities.

 

  SFIA Skill

SFIA Skill Code

SFIA Skill Level of Responsibility

SFIA Skills Level Descriptor

Consultancy

CNSL

5

Manages provision of consultancy services, and/or management of a team of consultants. In own areas of expertise, provides advice and guidance to consultants and/or the client through involvement in the delivery of consultancy services. Engages with clients and maintains client relationships. Establishes agreements/contracts and manages completion and disengagement.

Technical specialism

TECH

5

Maintains an in-depth knowledge of specific specialisms, and provides expert advice regarding their application. Can supervise specialist consultancy. The specialism can be any aspect of information or communication technology, technique, method, product or application area.

Emerging technology monitoring

EMRG

5

Monitors the market to gain knowledge and understanding of currently emerging technologies. Identifies new and emerging hardware and software technologies and products based on own area of expertise, assesses their relevance and potential value to the organisation, contributes to briefings of staff and management.

IT management

ITMG

5

Takes responsibility for the design, procurement, installation, upgrading, operation, control, maintenance (including storage and communication of data, voice, text, audio and images) and effective use of IT infrastructure components and monitors their performance. Provides technical management of an IT operation, ensuring that agreed service levels are met and all relevant procedures are adhered to. Schedules and supervises all maintenance and installation work. Ensures that operational problems are identified and resolved. Provides appropriate status and other reports to specialists, users and managers. Ensures that operational procedures and working practices are fit for purpose and current.

 

Queensland Government roles align with the Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile.

The success profile is a sector wide, one-government approach to the leadership behaviours expected of all public sector employees to support high performing workplaces.  The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 13 leadership competencies required against four role types: 

  • Individual contributor (manages self)
  • Team leader (manages individuals)
  • Program manager (manages multiple teams/projects)
  • Executive (manages program managers)

When developing a Role Description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills. 

Entry points

Possession of a bachelor's level degree is a must to work as a technical architect. A detailed understanding of information technology and how the business works is essential to work in this role

 

  1. The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) provides a common language that integrates with an organisation’s way of working, to improve capability and resource planning, resource deployment and performance management.  This role profile quotes extensively from the SFIA, under licence from the SFIA Foundation.  Information about the SFIA can be found at http://www.sfia-online.org/en
  2. The Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile plays a key role in translating the government’s ‘talent management requirements’ into clear behavioural terms, while at the same time delivering organisational change and growth.  The success profile is being utilised to align sector-wide talent management strategies, including workforce planning, talent acquisition, leadership development, capability development, performance management, career management and succession planning.

http://www.psc.qld.gov.au/includes/assets/PSC_Workforce_Capability_Success_Profile.pdf

The supporting Companion Guide can be found at

http://www.psc.qld.gov.au/includes/assets/Companion_guide_QPS_Workforce_Capability_Success_Profile.pdf