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In information technology (IT), a managing architect is responsible for designing and implementing an overall architecture strategy which serves as a guide for future IT development within a particular company or organization. He or she may also develop standards which determine how any subsequent IT issues are to be handled, and create technical specifications for the development of any new IT software. A managing architect may also work to ensure problem-free operations by conducting ongoing performance evaluations which are designed to monitor overall system performance. Making sure employees and vendors work within the established strategy guidelines when dealing with IT issues is another vital part of this job. The title of "managing architect" is also given to a building architect who manages projects, although this position may also be called "project manager" or "senior manager."
One of the primary responsibilities of an IT managing architect is making a company-wide assessment of all software that is currently used. This can help ensure all software is in compliance with the established technology architecture strategy. One way to accomplish this is to develop all new, higher-performing software based on data gathered from different information sources. These sources can include established business objectives, production goals, or desired IT system performance levels. Another option is to use existing "off-the-shelf" software and make any necessary adaptations to meet current IT architecture strategy standards.
Monitoring overall system performance and making changes or alterations based on the information gathered during any system performance evaluations is a critical part of the responsibilities for a managing architect. The data collected from these ongoing evaluations may be used to create policies which assure optimal IT system performance. Making sure employees at all levels support and maintain the proper documentation necessary to monitor IT system performance is very important. This information may be collected and combined to come up with solutions to handle any future IT problems. Any technological solutions developed by a managing architect should also be in compliance with established IT architecture strategies or standards.
Managing employees and vendors at all levels working with a company or organization may be a challenge. Ensuring all of these people function within established IT architecture strategy policies and guidelines may prove a bigger challenge still. A managing architect may need to work closely with and gain the support of upper management or executives in developing the standards and policies for an overall, company-wide IT architecture strategy. This requires a managing architect to have expert, industry-relevant knowledge in the area of IT architecture, technological processes, programming languages, certifications, and the various tools needed to establish a comprehensive IT architecture strategy.
Employers may require previous established experience leading a large team and managing large-scale projects. Experience working with resources, critical path, control processes, and project scope may also provide an advantage for those wanting to become a managing architect. Some employers may require a bachelor's degree in computer science or related area, but most will consider equivalent experience in the industry in place of a degree.
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