Nowadays, information technology is a crucial part of every field, including healthcare: IT solutions help improve the accuracy and efficiency of the diagnostic process, which leads to a much more effective treatment of patients.
That’s why solution architects are more sought after than ever as their goal is to provide technical guidance to their clients.
What does a solution architect do?
As the name implies, a solution architect is responsible for designing and implementing technology solutions that meet the needs of an organisation’s business.
A solution architect in radiology specifically focuses on the requirements of the radiology department—improving the operations that take place there by co-operating with radiologists and IT staff members.
Tasks of a solution architect in radiology
Not all architects deal with the same tasks daily because the needs of the organisation they’re working for may differ. Some may prioritise a cost-effective solution, while others would rather focus on a time-effective solution.
No matter the goals of the company, solution architects will have to handle the following:
- Research: All solution architects must stay up to date with the innovations in their field, so they can provide better insight. Technology is constantly evolving which means that software should be improved periodically to better serve the needs of the clients. Research can be done through the reading of academic papers, attending conferences, collaborating with other healthcare specialists, etc.
- Analyse: It’s impossible to bring changes to an organisation’s business without knowing anything about that business. That’s why, before doing anything else, solution architects must familiarise themselves with the needs of the organisation they’re going to help—both from a clinical and a business perspective.
- Design: After identifying the issues that a business is dealing with, the next step is evaluating potential solutions. Some problems can be fixed in more than one way, and the architect must pick the best one.
- Implement: Once the solution has been designed, overseeing its implementation will ensure that the chosen software meets the requirements of the organisation. The correct implementation of the solution is crucial in healthcare.
- Support: The job of a solution architect doesn’t end once the software is designed and implemented as its features must be constantly updated. Users may also run into issues once in a while, which is why architects must provide technical support whenever it is necessary. This improves the overall experience of those who use the software.
- Protect: In this current day and age, protecting a user’s private information is more important than ever—which is why solution architects must ensure data privacy and security by respecting regulations and standards.
- Manage: Projects have to be completed promptly without going over the budget. This means that issues must be solved as soon as they occur, so they don’t negatively affect the progress of each project. It is also essential for solution architects to regularly communicate their progress to the stakeholders, so they know exactly what is happening with their project.
How does a typical working day look like?
Although the usual day of a solution architect can vary, depending on the projects the organisation is focusing on at that time, there are some experiences they all can relate to—such as conducting research, communicating with stakeholders, designing and implementing solutions, and so on.
The day is busy most of the time, with new challenges arising every once in a while. This is a good thing because new problems require different approaches: Monotony is not an issue for those in this position.
Each project has its own particularities, which is why they require a personalised solution for the best results to be obtained.
What level of education is required?
Solution architects must have a relatively high technical understanding, which is best obtained through a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject—like computer science, information technology, and software engineering.
Some employers from bigger organisations may also be looking for candidates with postgraduate qualifications.
Solution architect skills
Apart from technical knowledge, other skills that are necessary for this position are those associated with project management: respecting deadlines and the client’s budget, etc. These skills can be obtained through formal education or professional development classes.
Taking on small projects can also help solution architects improve their skills through practice.
Effective communication is essential when it comes to dealing with both stakeholders and members of the project team, so each person knows what their task is. This increases productivity and it allows employees to co-operate with one another for much better results.
It is not enough to only design and implement solutions: Architects also have to ensure they function correctly in the framework they were introduced in.
That’s why the education of a solution architect never truly ends. Participating periodically in conferences and seminars helps those in the field stay up to date with the latest technologies and trends.
Solution architect salary
The average salary of a solution architect in London/UK is £80,341 per year. This is an estimate that can change depending on factors such as region, experience, education, and different certifications.
The size of the company that is hiring can also influence the salary as architects who work for bigger organisations tend to win more money per project.
Working for a smaller company can also prove useful long-term because those who just graduated can build up the experience they need in this field. As they work on more projects, they learn which solutions are most efficient in certain situations and what’s the best way to implement them.
In the end, no one can deny the importance of a solution architect in radiology. A correct and prompt diagnosis can make a huge difference for a patient who is in a vulnerable position.
As technology continues to evolve, more architects are needed to support the missions of different healthcare organisations.