Application Architect Vs. Enterprise Architect

Application architects build computer programs for businesses and consumers, while enterprise architects establish the technological environment of a company, and readers will learn about the similarities and differences between these careers.

Comparing Application Architects to Enterprise Architects

Both application and enterprise architects are leaders in the field of businesses technology. Their educations, salaries, career outlooks, and regular responsibilities can be compared.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)**
Application Architects Bachelor's Degree $108,038 30% (Software Developers, Applications)
Enterprise Architects Bachelor's Degree $127,202 6% (Computer Network Architects)

Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Application Architects vs. Enterprise Architects

These technical architects consider a company's policies and goals as they develop their designs. They may move from project to project between clients or even within a single company. Application architects ensure that any computer application or program they create suits the client's business practices, such as payroll, shipping, and collecting customer information. Enterprise architects, on the other hand, make sure that a company has the technological infrastructure it needs to meet its productivity goals.

Application Architects

Microsoft Word, Minesweeper, and Photoshop are all applications designed by these architects. They may develop a customized application for business clients, such as databases to collect and analyze data. Additionally, software released as a consumer good, such as those listed above, are created by these professionals. They consider all aspects of the application, from performance qualities to size and security, and they design each element to work together with others. Finally, these technology gurus make sure the requirements of the application will fit with a company's system architecture, such as operating systems.

Job responsibilities of an application architect include:

  • Testing prototypes and demonstration models of the software for quality control
  • Creating a blueprint or outline of the application, connecting its capabilities with the organization's needs
  • Supervising installations or product releases
  • Answering user questions about the product

Enterprise Architects

To begin, enterprise architects review the current technical architecture of a company, focusing on any gaps they see. These gaps can create slips in productivity and workflow, so their job is to establish a new system of software and hardware that better meets the needs of an organization. To do this, these architects research new trends in technology to implement the latest computers and programs into the business strategy. They may even establish working relationships with vendors to purchase new software at a better price. Importantly, they should ensure their design fits established architectural standards.

Job responsibilities of an enterprise architect include:

  • Recommending budget for the project based on necessary resources, such as employees and hardware
  • Creating a roadmap or plan for the environment design that leads to the business goals
  • Supervising the architecture team and clarify the roles of each member
  • Tracing the growth of a business and ensure the architecture can handle the processes

Related Careers

If you're passionate about building computer programs using code, as application architects are, you may also find fulfillment as a computer programmer. If, however, it seems exciting to make technological decisions for a company, as enterprise architects do, you could look into a future as an information technology manager.

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