How to find and hire a solution architect for your council

If you’re a council leader or manager, you may have heard of solution architects, or even considered hiring one for your organisation. But what exactly is a solution architect, and why do you need one? In this blog post, we’ll explain what solution architects do, how they can help you solve your business and technology challenges, and how you can find and hire the best ones for your council. 

What is a solution architect and what do they do? 

A solution architect is a professional who designs and delivers technology solutions that meet the needs of the business and its users. They are not just technical experts, but also strategic thinkers who understand the big picture and the goals of the organisation. They work closely with business analysts, who define the requirements and specifications of the solution, and with developers, testers, and engineers, who implement and maintain the solution. 

According to the Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF), a widely used standard for enterprise architecture, solution architects have the following responsibilities: 

  • Bridging the Gap: They translate the business vision and strategy into an architecture that can be implemented by the technical team. They make sure that the solution aligns with the enterprise architecture standards and policies. 
  • Design Patterns and Reusable Assets: They use design patterns and reusable assets to ensure the system is constructed according to the specification. They also ensure that the solutions are consistent and compatible with each other. 
  • Complexity Management: They simplify the architectural design by breaking it down into manageable components and layers, and by using appropriate tools and methods to document and communicate the architecture to the stakeholders. 
  • Alignment with Business Needs: They help to build genuinely open systems-based solutions to business needs. They evaluate the trade-offs and risks involved in the design decisions, and they align the solutions with the business objectives and outcomes. 
  • Coordination: They collaborate with the project managers, developers, testers, and other architects to ensure that the solution is delivered on time, on budget, and on quality. 

Solution architects are vital in bridging the gap between business needs and technology solutions. They play a key role in the success of your council’s technology initiatives. 

Why is it hard to hire solution architects in the public sector? 

Finding and hiring solution architects is not easy, as they require a rare combination of skills, experience, and knowledge. They also need to have a deep understanding of the public sector domain and the challenges and opportunities it presents. However, there are some specific reasons why hiring solution architects in the public sector is especially hard: 

  • Lack of clarity: Before you can hire a solution architect, you need to know what kind of solution you need, and what kind of solution architect you need. There are different types of solution architects, such as Enterprise, Cloud, Data, or Application solution architects, and each of them has a different set of skills, experience, and qualifications. You need to define the scope and specifications of your solution, and then match them with the appropriate type of solution architect. 
  • High demand: solution architects are in high demand in the market, as the pace of technological change and innovation is rapid, and the problems that organisations need to solve are complex and large-scale. The private sector is also competing for the same talent pool, and it can offer more attractive salaries, benefits, and career opportunities. 
  • Salary gap: The public sector is facing a challenge of attracting and retaining high-quality, highly qualified solution architects, as their pay is much lower than the private sector. The salary gap reflects the different budget constraints and priorities of the public and private sectors, as well as the different perceptions of the value and impact of solution architects. The public sector may have to comply with strict regulations and policies regarding its spending and hiring, and it may have to justify its investment in technology solutions to the public and other stakeholders. 

How can you overcome these challenges and hire a solution architect for your council? 

Despite these challenges, there are some strategies that you can adopt to overcome them and hire a solution architect for your council. Here are some of them: 

  • Clarify and communicate the role and expectations of solution architects in your council, and highlight the benefits and opportunities of working in the public sector, such as the social impact, the diversity of projects, and the learning and development potential. 
  • Leverage existing networks and partnerships with academic institutions, professional associations, and industry experts, to source and recruit solution architects, and to provide them with mentoring and coaching support. 
  • Invest in training and upskilling existing staff members who have the potential and interest to become solution architects, and to provide them with career progression paths and recognition. 
  • Explore alternative and flexible models of hiring and engaging solution architects, such as partnering with other public sector organisations.

If you would like to learn more about how LOTI can help you find and hire a solution architect for your council, please reach out to Jo Cumper on  


Jo Cumper
22 April 2024 ·
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