Definitions

What is Cloud Architect? – Definition, Role, Responsibilities And More

Definition Cloud Architect

Cloud Architect(s) are responsible for managing the architecture of cloud computing in an organization, especially as cloud technologies become increasingly complex. The cloud computing architecture encompasses everything related to cloud computing, including the front-end platforms, servers, storage, delivery, and networks necessary to manage cloud storage.

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The role of the Cloud Architect

According to a 2018 RightScale report, 81% of companies have a multi-cloud strategy, and 38% of companies consider the public cloud to be their top priority in 2018.

“Cloud computing adoption is multidimensional and should run as a multi-year program, not a fixed-term project. The complexity of cloud adoption needs at least one responsible architectural leader to guide the organization through the transformation that cloud computing ensures.  Many IT organizations consider this task of a role mandatory now – the cloud architect,” according to the 2016 report by Gartner analyst Kyle Hilgendorf, titled Analysis of the skills and role of cloud architect.

To manage the complexities of cloud adoption, most organizations will hire a cloud architect, if they haven’t already. These IT professionals can help navigate cloud adoption across the organization, helping avoid risk, and also ensuring a smooth transition.

Responsibilities of a Cloud Architect

According to Gartner, the top three, top-level responsibilities of a [cloud architect] are:

  • Leading the cultural shift for cloud adoption
  • Develop and coordinate cloud architecture
  • Develop a cloud strategy and coordinate the adaptation process

While those are top-level responsibilities, the day-to-day responsibilities of a [cloud architect], according to Gartner, include:

  • Find talent with the necessary skills
  • Evaluation of applications, software, and hardware
  • Create a “cloud broker team.”
  • Establish best practices for the cloud across the company
  • Select cloud providers and browse third-party services
  • Work directly with IT security to monitor privacy and develop incident response procedures
  • Manage budgets and also estimate the cost
  • Operate at scale

Cloud architect responsibilities

Cloud architects need to communicate with vendors to discuss third-party contracts for software, hardware, and further cloud technologies. It evolves the field and requires someone who can keep abreast of the latest trends and technologies.

“The cloud architect must have a variety of technical and non-technical skills, but above all, the cloud architect must be a great partner in empowering and connecting with a variety of other architectural functions in his organization,” says the analyst by Gartner, Kyle Hilgendorf.

While solid communication skills and the ability to stay agile are crucial for a [cloud architect], there are many other technical and software skills necessary for the job. According to Gartner, these include the following:

  • Application architecture
  • Automation and orchestration
  • Governance
  • I&O (input and output)
  • Integration architecture
  • ITSM / ITOM
  • Outsourcing and external hosting
  • Security
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Vertical and company experience
  • Delegation
  • Financial and legal experience
  • Procurement and supplier management
  • Program leadership
  • Thought leadership and also change agent

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Kamran Sharief

I write about technology, marketing and digital tips. In the past I've worked with Field Engineer, Marcom Arabia and Become.com. You can reach me at kamransharief@gmail.com

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