Yes, I�ve heard about the architect roles. In fact, I am something between a System Arch and a Solution Arch.
I am the main architect for the portals project in a large brazillian company. My actual job fits the description of Systems Architect, but I am also responsible for integration with other applications using an ESB.
The system architect/chief designer is the overall designer and integrator of the application. The responsibility includes creating the overall design architecture and assuring the quality of technical work products delivered by the project team. It includes designs, specifications, procedures and documentation. Some organizations may fill System Architect by the Project Manager.
The solution architect/IT consultant/systems must have a balanced mix of technical and business skills. "Solutions" implies a range of custom-tailored services rather than only off-the-shelf packages.
An Enterprise Architect is someone who designs and builds interactions between multiple solutions in an organisation. They typically exist in organisations that have been around for decades, so therefore have built up literally dozens of legacy systems. They don't really care so much about technology, except at a very high level. Solutions will often be identified by Solution Architects, so they may allocate a Solution Architect to drive further detail on the problem.
�Enterprise Architects have a long experience in business as well as in technology areas. �Enterprise Architects must have different capabilities. �Enterprise Architects must play different roles. �Enterprise Architects are familiar with different methodologies & techniques. �Enterprise Architects are Communicators.
Business Responsibilities Understanding business objectives and principles Good sense of business and technical strategy to envision the �right� enterprise architectural approach to the problem set Creating visualisations & models, supports decision making Ability to communicate and mentor others �Selling� and leadership qualities
Technology Responsibility Articulating the Enterprise Architectural vision Conceptualising and experimenting with alternative architectural approaches Creating models and component and interface specification docs Validating the architecture against requirements and assumptions