Functional architect – IT architect job description

Posted at 27 January 2024

The recruitment specialists at Fed IT work with functional architects regularly. Here is a comprehensive overview of the profession.

The recruitment specialists at Fed IT work with functional architects regularly. Here is a comprehensive overview of the profession.

What tasks and skills are required of a functional architect, and how much can they expect to earn? Read on for a comprehensive overview of this IT network infrastructure job.

What is information technology architecture?

Information Technology Architecture refers to the structured design and organization of an organization's information technology (IT) systems, encompassing hardware, software, networks, data, and the interactions between them. It serves as a blueprint for aligning IT resources with business objectives, ensuring efficiency, scalability, and adaptability.An effective IT architecture enhances business agility, reduces costs, and supports innovation. It evolves with technological advancements and aligns with organizational goals, fostering a responsive and competitive IT environment.Haut du formulaire

Types of technology architecture

Here are four common types of technology architecture:

Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise architecture (EA) is a comprehensive framework that aligns an organization's business processes, goals, and strategies with its information technology infrastructure. It encompasses various domains, such as business architecture, data architecture, application architecture, and technology architecture.

That’s the one we are talking about when it comes to the functional architect.

  • Focus: EA focuses on optimizing the overall structure of an entire organization, ensuring that IT systems support and enhance business objectives.

Solution Architecture

Solution architecture deals with designing specific solutions to address particular business problems or requirements. It involves creating detailed specifications for how individual projects or systems will be implemented within the broader enterprise architecture.

  • Focus: Solution architecture focuses on the design and implementation of specific solutions, ensuring they align with the overall enterprise architecture.

Technology Infrastructure Architecture:

Technology infrastructure architecture focuses on the design and layout of an organization's technology infrastructure, including hardware, software, networks, and other IT components. It addresses issues such as scalability, security, and performance.

  • Focus: Technology infrastructure architecture ensures that the underlying IT infrastructure supports the overall technology needs of the organization.

What does a functional architect do?

Functional architects – also known as IT architects, or enterprise architects – are responsible for designing and modernizing a company’s IT systems. Both technical and business skills are needed for the profession. When presented with a problem, a functional architect must be able to find an IT solution and implement it. Most functional architects start out in software development.

They are familiar with most of the IT solutions on the market and can select the ones that best suit their company’s needs. Functional architects are usually part of a development team that works with the entire IT department to identify potential problems and ensure that projects progress smoothly. A functional architect’s responsibilities include technical and strategic tasks, such as:

  • Analyzing the company’s specific requirements and constraints; 
  • Analyzing the company’s current technological environment;
  • Determining which parties will be involved in the project;
  • Contributing to the selection of new technology;
  • Managing the solution’s development and implementation;
  • Supporting project management.

Functional architect roles and responsibilities

A functional architect’s work involves making decisions about IT solutions and analyzing the impact they are likely to have on the company’s objectives. Functional architects must have in-depth knowledge of available technologies to propose the solution that best suits the company’s requirements.

After establishing their vision for the technical side of the project, the functional architect will create a budget estimate and present the project to all participating teams. 

Once everything has been agreed upon, they will oversee the development process and keep the relevant parties informed of the project’s progress.

IT functional architect skills

There are some important IT skills to learn as an architect.

Hard skills

Functional architects must have an excellent understanding of the IT solutions available on the market, and experience with them if possible.

Configuration skills

Proficiency in configuring applications using point-and-click tools and graphical user interfaces provided by the platform. This involves setting up various features, workflows, and business processes without the need for extensive coding.

Examples: Salesforce Process Builder, Workflow Rules, Page Layouts, Formulas, etc.

Product Expertise

In-depth knowledge and hands-on experience with various products or modules within the platform. This includes understanding the functionalities, capabilities, and best practices associated with each product.

Examples: Expertise in Salesforce products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Health Cloud, CPQ, Commerce Cloud, FSL, etc.

Business process analysis

The ability to analyze and understand business processes within an organization. This involves working closely with stakeholders to gather requirements and translate them into system configurations that meet business needs.

Data modeling

Understanding how data is structured and stored within the platform. This includes designing and implementing data models that align with business requirements.

Integration skills

Knowledge of integrating the platform with other systems and applications. This involves configuring and managing data flows between different software solutions.

Quality assurance and testing

Understanding testing methodologies and performing quality assurance activities to ensure that configured solutions meet business requirements and are free of defects.

Soft skills 

They must have good organizational and analytical skills. They must be able to work in a team, develop and implement a project schedule and manage priorities in a constantly changing environment.

The ability to troubleshoot issues, identify root causes, and implement effective solutions. This includes debugging configuration errors and addressing user-reported problems.

What qualifications do functional architects need?

Here are the qualifications companies generally request in their job offers: 

  • A degree in computer science;
  • Good presentation and communication skills;
  • The ability to understand IT needs and find the right solutions for clients;
  • In-depth knowledge of project methodologies such as the Agile approach;
  • Professional knowledge of and experience with business software such as Salesforce.

What types of companies recruit functional architects?

IT architects may be hired for a project by any company that needs an IT professional who will be able to ensure that the infrastructure is designed properly (and make improvements if necessary). Companies may also need functional architects on staff to make continuous improvements and resolve technical problems as they arise. 

Functional architects can find work in most any industry: telecommunications, health, finance, administration, defence, IT, e-commerce, retail, etc. Note that large companies are usually the ones that have functional architects on staff.

Salary for functional architects in Canada

According to Jobillico, the average salary for a functional architect varies by province. In Quebec, a junior functional architect earns around $40,000 per year. In Nunavut, on the other hand, candidates with a similar profile can expect to earn over $70,000 per year. 

Of course, compensation also depends on the individual's skills and experience. Fed IT regularly posts job offers that pay $100,000 to $120,000 per year.

Read our article on the average IT salary in Montreal by occupation for more information. 

Looking for a functional architect job in Montréal?

If you’re looking for a position as a functional architect, our IT recruitment agency, Fed IT, can help. If you send us a spontaneous application, we will record it in our database and present it to companies looking for candidates like you.

You can also check out our IT job offers, which we update regularly. Who knows? You might just find the job of your dreams on our website!