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Solutions Architect

  • Job reference: AD-001168
  • Sector: Aerospace, Defence, Management Consultancy, Security
  • Location: Bristol
About Atkins and ADS&T

Atkins, a member of the SNC Lavalin Group, is a world recognised global, multidisciplinary consultancy business. Within our UK regional business, we have a division dedicated to providing consultancy services to the Aerospace, Defence, Security and Technology (ADS&T) markets, serving key accounts across Central and Local Government, Public Services, Regulated Industries, Blue Light services as well as the Private Sector.
Within ADS&T, Atkins has built a team of consultants that deliver management consultancy and client-side support in the business and digital transformation space. Their focus is primarily digital & technology enabled transformation, strategy, architecture development and business change integration.
About our Business & Digital Consulting practice

This team is in great demand and consequently we are experiencing rapid growth, with particularly strong demand in our defence, security and government markets. This success is built on a track record of excellence in consultancy and delivery to a wide range of clients, which includes some of the largest public and private sector organisations in the UK.

The Candidate

This role involves a blend of client-facing consulting services, including architectural design and technical assurance, proposition development, thought leadership and business development activities. As such, we are looking for technical influencers, who are comfortable operating in fluid and uncertain environments. This requires the successful candidate to be an experienced professional, with a proven track record of high-quality delivery within a customer focused, demanding and complex consulting environment.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate deep understanding of Solution Architecture from a consulting background. With emphasis upon the effective and efficient design, delivery and operation of Enterprise Business Services across the development lifecycle. You will drive customer strategy through a mixture of traditional and contemporary Cloud / Digital technologies, usually within complex multi-vendor ecosystems. In return, Atkins offers the successful candidate significant development opportunities arising through working in an expanding team and delivering services to our customers within some of the most complex and rewarding environments.

Your Role in Our Ambition

Many organisations today have invested heavily in large, monolithic, long-term ICT services contracts that have often locked them into proprietary, inflexible delivery models and commercial arrangements. One consequence of this has been that over recent years these organisations have become less able to respond to the disruption of the digital era and the increasing pace, volatility, variety and scale of change that is now an everyday way of life in today’s business environment.

In response, organisations are now turning away from these legacy ways of working and are bringing key functions like technology strategy, architecture and design closer to their in-house teams and core operations. This allows them to regain control of their technology roadmaps, increase agility and responsiveness, delivering business value faster, better and cheaper. As such, there is now a very high level of demand for architecture consultancy in our markets and Atkins are responding to this exciting opportunity.

On the back of significant new business recently won, we are substantially growing our architecture consulting capability and skills portfolio. We are looking to significantly expand the scope and scale of our capability in Solution Architecture.


The Role

Solution Architecture is a practice of designing, describing, and managing the development of an IT solution in relation to specific business problems.

A Solution Architect is the person in charge of leading the initiative and introducing the overall technical vision for a solution or solutions within the boundaries of the Enterprise Architecture framework.

Solution Architecture is a process – with many sub-processes – that bridges the gap between business problems and technology solutions and it:
  • Finds the optimally balanced technology solution among all possible to address the existing IT/business needs
  • Describes the structure, characteristics, behavior, and other aspects of IT systems to project stakeholders
  • Defines the features, phases for development and non-functional requirements against which development teams must deliver
  • Provides specifications according to which the solution is defined, managed, tested and delivered
  • Develops solutions in line with business strategy as defined by the Enterprise Architecture Framework.
Skills Required

The new Digital-age operating model is technically and commercially complex and clients need our help to move into the future whilst keeping business as usual and wider change programmes running efficiently.  To succeed, our customers require expert advisors who listen actively and advise clearly, exercising deep experience and mature methods. In this role, soft-skills strong stakeholder communication and influencing ability is as equally important as technical knowledge and architecture skills.

Prospective candidates should be able to demonstrate core consulting competencies and specialist discipline experience.  
The key qualities we are looking for are:

General Skills
  • An Information and Technology background with relevant experience in a technical and/or consulting environment
  • An understanding of the complete service lifecycle including concept through to sourcing, design, build, test, deployment and disposal management
  • Demonstrable experience in requirements definition and management, calling out options, considerations and priorities which require a business decision
  • A strong interest and appreciation of technology trends and government IT strategy such as, Cloud, Internet of Things, Cyber Security, Big Data and Digital service design and delivery
  • Experience of working with and collaborating across technical and project work streams to drive results
  • Experience of identifying, developing and transitioning knowledge to up-skill internal teams
  • Good general consulting skills (structured thinking, effective report writing and presentations, and strong stakeholder engagement)
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to influence effectively across multiple media
  • A good first degree in a science, computing or engineering subject, or equivalent experience
  • A high-level of self-initiation, organisation and enthusiasm
  • Personable team player, able to work under guidance and own initiative, adding expertise and value to project deliverables
  • Excellent stakeholder management with focus on nurturing & developing strong relationships.
Architecture Methods & Tools
  • Experience of information systems design and delivery, applying engineering rigour through Solution Architecture development methods and tools as appropriate
  • An understanding of a range of architecture approaches, the factors involved in choosing the right approach and when and how they may be tailored
  • Experience in the design of high-level structures to enable and guide the design and development of integrated services that meet current and future business needs
  • Insightful analysis as required to ensure the development of and modifications to service components are appropriately considered. (e.g. relevant architectures, strategies, policies, standards and practices, ensuring that existing and planned service components remain compatible)
  • Experience of continual service improvement strategies
  • A solid understanding of how Enterprise Architecture activities relate to programme/project management and business change
  • Articulates necessary changes to architecture components, processes, organisational structures, and operating models
  • Architectural modelling skills using UML, BPMN, ArchiMate 3.0 & Enterprise Architecture tooling such as Archi, BiZZDesign Enterprise Studio, Sparx Enterprise Architect & MooD
  • Understanding of and experience with the use of Enterprise Architecture frameworks such as ISO42010, TOGAF, Zachman and the ITIL & IT4IT service architecture frameworks
  • Appreciation of V-V & EASE System Engineering processes
  • Appreciation of MODAF & NAF frameworks
  • Knowledge and experience of business analysis techniques and approaches.
Delivery Methods & Industry Experience
  • Appreciation of Agile development methodologies including SAFe, DSDM & SCRUM, DevOps and continuous methods
  • Experience of working within Agile delivery, such as using sprints, scrums, retrospectives and backlogs
  • Experience working with Central Government, particularly in the Defence or Security and Intelligence sectors
  • Experience across Base/Fixed systems, working to Defence ICT policies, including JSP 604 is highly desirable
  • Experience working in other business sectors such as Local Government; Regulated Industry (Utilities and Transportation) and/or private sector.
Solution Architecture Skills
  • To be successful you have demonstrable experience of:
  • Developing solution options, within the context of dynamic, agile, rapidly evolving environments
  • Managing complexity, balancing needs and constraints across a portfolio of large and complex programmes, ensuring performance and coherent integration across multi-vendor ecosystems
  • Having acted as the interface between Enterprise IT governance and project, ensuring communication lines between stakeholders are clear and open
  • Having worked with other architects and client stakeholders to ensure that test and acceptance criteria are captured and agreed across the development lifecycle
  • Having managed technology dependencies & highlighted risks & issues in line with customer expectations
  • Understanding architectural segmentation and partitioning, leading the elaboration of which technology facilities are needed to support the business objectives
  • Driving the solution development, balancing business needs, policy & legislation with enterprise integration
  • Agreeing the features, phases and adoption of solution & service deliverables into the business
  • Supporting the degree to which architectural domains and solutions must satisfy business needs
  • Providing specifications according to which the solution is defined, managed, tested and delivered
  • Delivering solutions in line with strategy as defined by the Enterprise Architecture Framework.
Demonstrable specialisms in more than one of the following areas including:
  • Networks and Unified Communications
  • Applications (n-tier, Java, JavaScript, .Net etc)
  • Integration (ESB, EAI, SOA)
  • Traditional Infrastructure (Compute and Storage)
  • High Performance Computing
  • Digital workforce enablement
  • Hyper Scale Cloud Computing (AWS, Azure, GCloud, OpenStack)
  • Enterprise Storage
  • Hyper-converged infrastructures
  • Mobile workforce (MDM, Mobile Applications)
  • End User Compute (Desktop and Laptop hardware, software and management)
  • Desktop, Application and Server Virtualisation and Containerisation (Citrix, VMWare, Microsoft etc.)
  • Security Architecture (CVA, IDS/IPS and endpoint security)
  • Identity management, authentication and authorisation (IDAM, RBAC, ABAC, GRC)
  • Microservices and Service Oriented Architectures (SOAP, WSDL, REST, THRIFT etc)
  • Big Data and Analytics
  • DevOps.

Training
Atkins develops individuals through a portfolio of training and development activities designed to help you make the best of your abilities and talents. These are reviewed with individuals through an annual appraisal process. We actively support staff in achieving corporate membership of relevant institutions.
 
Rewards and Benefits
Please refer to our website for details of our full benefits package

Security
This role may require security clearance and offers of employment will be dependent on obtaining the relevant level of clearance. If this is necessary it will be discussed with you at interview. 
If applying to this role please do not make reference to or include in your application or CV, details of any current or previously held security clearance.

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