Definition

cloud architect

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Guide to SOA and the cloud
Contributor(s): Nicholas Rando

A cloud architect is an IT professional who is responsible for overseeing a company's cloud computing strategy. This includes cloud adoption plans, cloud application design, and cloud management and monitoring. Cloud architects oversee application architecture and deployment in cloud environments -- including public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud. Additionally, cloud architects act as consultants to their organization and need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and issues.

Companies that hire cloud architects are organizations that use any cloud services or are planning to move to the cloud.

Qualifications listed on Dice.com and Monster.com for the position include a strong understanding of cloud computing technology and infrastructure as well as experience designing and migrating applications to the cloud. Cloud architects should have experience in a consultant role, as they need to build relationships with customers and team members. Cloud architects need experience with multiple programming languages, such as Java, Node.js, PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails, among others. They also need to integrate tools and services for all areas of cloud computing, such as data and networks.

Cloud architects may also be involved in legal areas of cloud computing by negotiating contracts and working alongside legal and procurement departments. Architects ensure service-level agreement requirements are met.

Most cloud architect jobs require a technical Bachelor of Science degree -- such as computer science, engineering or mathematics -- and some companies prefer a Master of Science. Additional certifications, both vendor specific and vendor neutral, may be necessary.

This was last updated in November 2014

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Does your company have a cloud architect?
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Hi  Margaret , 

I read your opinion regarding a cloud architect role.
It is a very constructive start to structure this new but important field for the enterprise.  Maybe I can take this discussion a little further.
I  think it is usefull to separate the Cloud architect and the Cloud business solution architect. The first role has a more technical 
occupation and focus on infrastructure and technical integration.
This role is solving technical issues.

The second role is complementary. Its occupations are consultancy to busienss users about implications of deployment of cloud solution and  cloud governance.  This role is solving organizational issues and aligning technical work with business requirements. In this role Cloud business simulations are used for
exploring future consequences.  (www.simagine.nl)

Albert Mahler
Cloud business solution architect.

      
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Albert,
Thank you for the clarification.  I would like to update the definition to address your explanation.  Would you like to be credited as a contributor for the cloud architect definition?
Margaret
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Hi Margaret,

That would be fine.
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