Technical architect

Description

An ICT technical architect is responsible for the documentation and review of an organisation’s 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 a combination of capabilities from the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)[1] and from the Queensland Public Service Leadership competencies for Queensland Framework[2].

SFIA profile

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

Refer to the framework for descriptions of the seven levels of responsibility and accountability.

SFIA skill

SFIA skill code

SFIA skill level of responsibility

SFIA skills level descriptor

Consultancy

CNSL

5

Takes responsibility for understanding client requirements, collecting data, delivering analysis and problem resolution. Identifies, evaluates and recommends options, implementing if required. Collaborates with, and facilitates stakeholder groups, as part of formal or informal consultancy agreements. Seeks to fully address client needs, enhancing the capabilities and effectiveness of client personnel, by ensuring that proposed solutions are properly understood and appropriately exploited.

Specialist advice

TECH

5

Actively maintains recognised expert level knowledge in one or more identifiable specialisms. Provides definitive and expert advice in their specialist area(s). Oversees the provision of specialist advice by others, consolidates expertise from multiple sources, including third party experts, to provide coherent advice to further organisational objectives. Supports and promotes the development and sharing of specialist knowledge within the organisation.

Emerging technology monitoring

EMRG

5

Monitors the external environment to gather intelligence on emerging technologies. Assesses and documents the impacts, threats and opportunities to the organisation. Creates reports and technology roadmaps and shares knowledge and insights with others.

IT management

ITMG

5

Takes responsibility for the design, procurement, installation, upgrading, operation, control, maintenance (including storage, modification 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 policies and procedures are adhered to. Schedules and supervises all IT maintenance and installation work. Ensures that operational problems are identified, recorded, monitored 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. Investigates and manages the adoption of appropriate tools, techniques and processes (including automation) for the management of systems and services.

Leadership skills

Queensland Government roles align with the Leadership competencies for Queensland.

Leadership competencies for Queensland describes what highly effective, everyday leadership looks like in the sector. In simple, action-oriented language, it provides a common understanding of the foundations for success across all roles. The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 11 leadership competencies required against five leadership streams.

Leadership streams are not connected to a level or classification, but rather reflect the balance between leadership and technical skills required of an individual. Individuals can consider the ‘value proposition’ of roles rather than the traditional lens of hierarchical structures or classification levels. The five leadership streams are:

  • Individual contributor (Leads self and does not supervise others)
  • Team leader (leads a team and typically reports to a program leader)
  • Program leader (leads team leaders and/or multiple areas of work)
  • Executive (leads program leaders or other executives)
  • Chief executive (leads the organisation).

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 Leadership competencies for Queensland framework plays a key role in translating the government’s ‘talent management requirements’ into clear behavioural terms. The competencies can be utilised in talent management strategies, including workforce planning, talent acquisition, leadership development, capability development, performance management, career management and succession planning. The competences can be accessed here Leadership competencies for Queensland


Last Reviewed: 22 July 2019