Architecture - Technology Architect
In a nutshell
Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s largest retailers is investing heavily in digital innovation - its aim being to build a centre of excellence where digital output is crafted using industry leading best practice frameworks and methodologies to produce world class applications and services. The Digital & Technology (D&T) Architecture team is growing rapidly and looking for talented colleagues to help deliver ambitious and market leading services that live up to Sainsbury’s industry leading reputation.
The Architecture team enable the creation of new capability for the organisation, whilst managing the risk it presents. You will have ownership and responsibility within a product family (or across product families) for the IT architecture and strategic technical roadmap. Bridging technology and business, you will work to align the business and IT strategy roadmaps to ensure effective delivery benefits our customers and maintains the overall effectiveness of our enterprise IT estate.
This role sits within the central architecture team, responsible for driving quality, consistency and standardisation throughout the broader architecture function, building and being able to articulate the overarching technology landscape and strategy. The role will facilitate the architecture standards, patterns and principles from a technology perspective, including the relevant governance processes. Candidates will be comfortable working at various levels of abstraction, being able to take concepts and high-level ideas, transforming them into practical initiatives that they can roll-out and embed in the broader architecture team.
You’ll be someone who loves to make things happen, who can communicate complex technical issues in a clear manner, who can work at the detailed level but also see the bigger picture, and be someone passionate about identifying and delivering simple solutions to complex problems.
As a member of the Architecture team at Sainsbury’s, you will be a key part of shaping the future of the organisation and driving innovation in the retail sector.
- This is a Junior Leadership role within Digital & Technology
- To be responsible for creating multi-technology architectures for complex products and projects
- To support the development of the Enterprise Architecture and IT Roadmaps
- To be the design authority on products providing Architectural Assurance during the project lifecycle and ensuring adherence to Enterprise Architecture artefacts and the IT Roadmap
What I need to do
- Supports a Head of Technology and/or Architecture function in developing and communicating the Enterprise Architecture as well as an IT Strategy. Working with the broader architecture team to create the Sainsbury’s IT Roadmap and ensure alignment across the enterprise with the capital planning process.
- Be a recognised domain (application, technical, data, business, operations or security) architect with overall accountability for the following in area of expertise:
- Developing and maintaining relevant parts of the Enterprise Architecture, in alignment to, and whilst improving upon associated principles, patterns and standards. Where relevant this is using our chosen EA tool (Mega HOPEX).
- Contribute to, and drive the adoption of principles, patterns, standards and guidelines that direct the selection, development, implementation and use of technology across the company.
- Identification of, and assessment of new and emerging technologies, communicating these to the broader team.
- Drives the adoption of the architecture principles and standards across the IT Division and the Business
- Assigned on large or complex products/programmes/projects/initiatives to:
- Provide direction and guidance on projects ensuring adherence to the standards and the Digital and Technology IT Roadmap
- Work with the Product Owner’s team in understanding business requirements so that solution options that are recommended provide the best fit against requirements whilst meeting the Enterprise Architecture guidelines
- Support the delivery/product teams in determining high level non-functional requirements
- Create solution options and solution architectures that align to the architecture standards and the Digital and Technology IT Roadmap, ensuring any deviations are agreed with the CTO Organisation
- Ensure the viability of proposed solutions and provide direction, advice and guidance on the appropriate approach to the solution throughout the project
- Perform the design authority role for a product-family/project ensuring that the detailed designs and solutions delivered align to the broader strategy and Enterprise Architecture artefacts.
- Ensure that investments are made which best support the commercial requirements of Sainsbury’s
- Acts as the escalation route for the delivery team to help resolve design issues
- Works with external suppliers to ensure that the appropriate technology direction is set with respect to systems, data and technical infrastructure
How I will succeed
- Work effectively across the organisation and within Architecture to understand and reconcile conflicting concerns of different stakeholders.
- Contribute to, and drive the adoption of patterns and standards, building our library of repeatable solutions.
- Provision of timely architectural insight to all relevant products and projects
- Solutions delivered fit with the Digital and Technology IT Roadmap and adhere to the defined Enterprise Architecture artefacts
- Engagement levels with Projects at agreed capitalisation rate
- Become a recognised authority on Enterprise Architecture by both the business and Digital & Technology stakeholders
- Coach and mentor architects and the delivery team to deliver solutions on time and to budget, that meet the desired business outcomes
What I need to know
- Maintain an up-to-date understanding of the main technology base, and a general understanding of the other technology bases which together form the overall technical direction
- Keeps abreast with developments in the IT industry and retail market space to ensure that the architectures are kept in line with industry standard and only deviate for commercial benefit
- Proven track record and experience as a recognised domain architect on major programs of work
- Recognised Professional Certification such as BCS or IEE certification and Architectural recognition form an external body such as TOGAF or the BCS is desirable
- Significant experience of designing solutions that operate on the core technologies in use within Sainsbury’s
- Proven ability to deliver flexible, reliable, supportable, cost effective (packaged and bespoke) IT solutions both in traditional Waterfall and Agile environments
- Demonstrable experience in IT Industry standards, services, design, architecture principles design, architecture views and viewpoint design, building block design, solutions modelling and systems behaviour
- Experience of IT Architecture (and underlying frameworks such as TOGAF) including the development (and ensuring adherence to) Architecture principles and standards
- Demonstrable knowledge of the IT and retail marketplace & trends
- Proficient in methods and techniques for structured reviews, including reviews of non-functional requirements, technical documents, test plans, business cases and other key deliverables.
- Demonstrable team leadership and line management aptitude
What I need to show
- Ability to quickly gain the confidence of the business and colleagues through good communication and influencing skills, simplifying complex technical messages
- Removes barriers to both enable others to develop new ideas that will address areas requiring development and also enables these opportunities to be appropriately heard
- Coaches others to translate complex/technical issues clearly to meet the needs of the audience
- Focuses assigned area of business on the future instead of dwelling on the past and ensures resources (money, time and people) are utilised as effectively as possible. Coaches others to constructively challenge coming second best and to make decisions based on the weeks ahead.
- Recognises the importance of the customer through creating opportunities to talk to customers on a wide scale (highlighting the IT Division's successes) and supporting/enabling decisions to be made based on customer feedback, insights and trends
- Demonstrable aptitude for logical thinking.
- Effective conceptualisation, pattern recognition and design skills.
- Presentation and facilitation skills.
- Ability to assess rapidly changing technologies and apply them to business needs.
- Ability to remain unbiased to specific technologies or vendors, providing an objective and fact-based viewpoint.
- Ability to quickly gain the confidence of the business and colleagues through good communication and influencing skills, simplifying complex technical messages.
Resources available to me
- Other Architects for expert advice
- External independent information sources
- Supplier Conferences and Trade Shows
- CTO Organisation and Central Architecture
- Architectural governance forums
- Solution Architect resource
What decisions I can make
- Sign off authority for:
- Business Requirements
- Design and architectural solutions for projects and products
- Technology solutions for projects and products
- Recommendations on principles, patterns, standards and strategies to be deployed which will then be ratified by the relevant Design Authority and D&T Leadership.
- Define strategic direction for a business area or domain speciality, e.g. end user compute.