Solution Architect – Digital
Are you looking for a new challenge that gives you the chance to get technical and use your Solution Architecture experience? Looking for a company that wants to help further your career in Tech as well as provide you with an exciting, inspiring and fun place to work?
If the answer to all of these questions is ‘yes’ then you’re just the kind of person we’re looking for!
The Solution Architect is aligned to a technology domain and responsible for defining and assuring the solution architecture for the projects / initiatives within it. The role is accountable and responsible for high level design (including the phasing of delivery), detailed design assurance, and supporting the development and implementation of the solution through all environments to production. The Solution Architect is responsible for exploring potential solution options and making a clear recommendation by evaluating the fit to business need and enterprise architecture, as well as assessing the feasibility, cost, risk, benefits and the ongoing support implications. They are also responsible for guiding vendor and product selection where required to ensure a strong fit for both the project need and the longer-term business ambitions.
As Solution Architect you will:
- Defining and maintaining the solution architecture for each initiative they are engaged on to enable successful delivery including application, data, integration, infrastructure, operations and security architecture;
- Working closely with business and information systems stakeholders to determine the most appropriate solutions for the organisation taking into account cost, benefit, timescales and constraints of the environment in which the portfolio operates;
- Undertaking options analysis to evaluate the business, information, application and technology impact as well as the cost, risks, benefits and support implications of each option;
- Reviewing third parties’ design, specification and implementation to ensure quality, coherence and consistency with solution architecture;
- Working with the Enterprise Architect(s) to ensure that the solution aligns with the IT strategy, principles, enterprise architecture and domain architectures;
- Working with the Business Analyst and Product Owners to define and agree the relevant non-functional requirements for the solution (performance, capacity, availability) and ensuring those requirements are met through solution design, both initially and in the future;
- Understanding and documenting the support impact, the activities required to support the solution, transition considerations, business change implications and on-going cost to run the solution;
- Leading the selection of any new vendors, software and hardware components required for the solution, ensuring a strong fit for the solution requirements, alignment with the enterprise architecture and principles, long-term fit for the business, cost effectiveness and flexibility;
- Contributing the solution design aspects to key project management documentation such as PIDs and business requirements documentation etc.;
- Planning and estimating cost/duration of solution architecture activities necessary for successful completion of the project, including stakeholder consultation and review cycles, and ensuring those plans are reflected in project plans;
- Assisting with the planning and estimating cost/duration of activities to deliver the solution including design, development, testing, implementation, migration, launch as well as the cost of procurement of any software or hardware components;
- Identifying risks exposed by proposed solutions, identifying mitigating actions and following them through to closure;
- Ensuring that the as-built solution is delivered as designed, that any components no longer required are decommissioned, licences are released, documentation is updated and any outstanding components / unmet requirements are appropriately handed over to be planned into later projects;
Knowledge Sharing & Thought Leadership
- Ensuring that all relevant information about the baseline, transition and target architecture as well as plans and roadmaps is captured in an appropriate format, stored and controlled to promote re-use and consolidation in to a single view of the truth;
- Providing a deep knowledge of specific architecture solutions and acting as an informed “challenger” to ensure alternatives have been considered rather than “just doing what we’ve always done”;
- Deputising for the Enterprise Architect as required;
- Ensuring that all activities are performed at a consistently high standard with minimal risk to the Selfridges and that opportunities to improve services and processes are identified and actioned.
The Ideal Candidate
- Bachelor’s degree in science, engineering, or business (management or economics).
- Relevant qualification in systems analysis and design (e.g. BCS Solution Development Diploma or equivalent)
- Awareness of enterprise architecture frameworks (e.g. TOGAF, Zachman, MODAF)
- Significant experience as a Solution Architect, Solution Designer or equivalent role within an omni-channel retail organisation or a leading Management Consultancy. This will include the definition and delivery of major change in back office solutions and at least one of the following domains: Ecommerce, Buying & Merchandising, Logistics & Supply Chain, Finance, Omni-Channel Order Management, Customer Experience and Relationship Management (CRM).
- Extended experience in at least two IT disciplines (such as business analysis, application development, middleware, information analysis, technical architecture, service delivery);
- Experience designing and engineering applications, both packaged and bespoke, in particular mission critical business applications, distributed and multi-tier applications;
- Experience delivering solutions within an application, integration or technical subject area within a significant transformation programme through to successful delivery;
- Experience informing business stakeholders and communicating complex ideas and solution options in a simple and resonant way in order to gain buy-in and commitment;
- Experience in supporting project delivery involving both in-house and third-party design, development, testing and project management;
- Experience using modelling tools and techniques to document and manage business, information, applications & technical architectures, e.g. UML, BPMN, Archimate or similar;
- Experience of different delivery lifecycles and service delivery methods will be beneficial, e.g. RUP, Agile, TDD, Waterfall, Prince2, ITIL and similar;
- Experience designing solutions for common back office applications will be beneficial, e.g. Microsoft O365 solutions, Oracle E business Suite, Workday etc.
- Awareness of the key business functions within a specific domain (e.g. Customer & Experience, Digital, Product & Supply Chain) of a modern omni-channel retailer, the major processes and information flows, how they combine to produce value and the role of information systems in supporting them;
- Awareness of common strategies, challenges and business models relevant to retailers and the influence they have on technology strategy and decision-making;
- Ability to define all aspects of information, application, integration and technology architecture necessary to effectively meet a business need;
- Ability to identify multiple solution options to address a business problem and analyse, assess their impact and make appropriate recommendations;
- Ability to manage the selection and evaluation of vendors and software / hardware procurement, in collaboration with the Project Manager and the IT procurement team;
- Ability to rapidly analyse and understand functions and operation of existing solutions and capabilities of new technologies;
- Ability to identify and plan for the information management, security, performance, capacity, availability, reliability, flexibility and supportability aspects of a solution across a diverse variety of technologies and topologies;
- Demonstrated understanding of key systems design concepts, systems behaviour, application and integration patterns, standards, architecture principles and building blocks.
Personal Attributes/ Behavioural Skills
- Motivated self-starter, enthusiastic, resilient, personally effective, pro-active and with a flexible attitude to work;
- Strong strategic and analytical problem solving skills, has a keen attention to detail and a good commercial sense;
- Quickly builds strong relationships and credibility with both the business and within IT;
- Excellent person/people management skills, especially in developing consensus across diverse groups;
- Makes customer-oriented decisions and shares great stories of exceptional customer service;
- Remains visible to customers as one of the faces of IS to listen to their concerns and share these with others;
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with an ability to handle difficult or sensitive situations;
- Communicates information in a relevant and concise fashion, mindful of and tailored to the audience;
- Proactively identifies areas for improvement, shares lessons learned with colleagues and encourages others to do the same;
- Ability to continually question current customs and practice, think laterally to resolve project issues and initiate quality improvements;
- Prioritises work and remains focussed on the most critical tasks, ensuring time and resources are used efficiently and effectively;
- Confident, able to make tough decisions and stick to them when questioned.
About the Company
Our creative spirit
We are more than a shop. We are a social space where culture and commerce collide to release an energy that we call the Selfridges spirit. We are here to make our world brighter, and everyone is welcome.
Our awards cabinet
We’re not ones to brag, but since you asked...Selfridges has won the award for The World’s Best Department Store an unprecedented four times at the IGDS awards, with an additional award for the Best Sustainability Campaign.
Since 1909 we have been at the forefront of retail and today our stores in London, Manchester and Birmingham – alongside selfridges.com and the Selfridges App – continue to redefine the way we shop and socialise. As a Selfridges team member, you will learn what it takes to consistently drive innovation, success and amazing customer experiences.
THE FUN STUFF
There are lots of reasons to be excited about joining Team Selfridges – from our fantastic team member communities to volunteer days and behind-the-scenes Selfridges experiences throughout the year.
Other benefits and rewards include:
• Generous bonus and/or commission scheme
• Discounted gym memberships
• Pension contributions
• Annual travel pass and cycle to work schemes
• A volunteer day for all team members
• Access to a wide range of training programmes to help your career development