Loïc Benoit - Solution Architect

Build cloud and on-premise solutions, currently employed at CGI Canada

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What is a solution architect?

A bridge between business and technology. The solution architect leads the practice and establishes the technical vision of a solution that delivers a given business plan. There are many correct ways to build your vision, but finding the best fit for you is the challenge.

Focus on what matters: The right tool produces what you actually want.

Keep that ball in the air: Align teams progressively.

Promote satisfaction: Involve all levels of the organization (to some degree).

The first step is getting a clear understanding of your business objectives, challenges, market, organization, technologies and processes. Although the solution architect doesn’t necessarily answer all of these questions, a thorough understanding of your business is required to identify key aspects and metrics, properly scope projects, find the best technologies that fit your budget and elaborate an efficient delivery plan that focuses on the right targets.

As team work is essential for success, the solution architect must have good social skills to promote collaboration, spark team spirit and cultivate engagement. Inspiring a culture of best practices that strives for quality and that rewards proactive attitudes and working toward a clear goal is much more efficient than merely prescribing rules and requirements. The solution architect must also be a leader when tough decisions have to be made in light of the bigger picture.

Central when planning the various projects that deliver your vision, the solution architect is hands-on when kick starting a project with a proof of concept. The solution architect actively supports project managers and professional teams while they work on delivering projects, handles escalations and finds workarounds to keep everyone moving forward in the right direction. Delivering your vision successfully is the responsibility of the solution architect, while project managers and professionals are responsible for crafting the products that embody that vision.

What does it mean to architect in the cloud?

First, choose the right cloud for your business. Then, use the cloud wisely. Being wise is the challenge…

The solution must combine short, medium and long term business and technical considerations. Security is a foundation that protects the confidentiality, the integrity, and the availability of the solution. Cost management maximizes the value of the solution for the business, but it only has meaning when efficiency and reliability have been defined quantitatively in the context of a good DevOps strategy that includes delivery, change and incident management. Compliance (e.g.: GDRP, HITRUST, HIPAA), auditing requirements (e.g.: public sector, fiscality), data traceability and data ownership are just as essential for the reputation and profitability of the business. The large variety of considerations to integrate into a solution is the reason why team work and collaboration are so essential to the success of a solution architect, in addition to individual competency.

Background

My abilities as a solution architect and programmer are the fruit of 20 years of experience in I.T. for clients and projects of various sizes in retail, B2B, B2C, online marketing, translation and inventory control, in both the private and the public sectors.

As a full stack programmer, my experience encompasses both the frontend (design, marketing, usability, translation, HTML-CSS-JS coding and business logic) and the backend (servers, databases, code management, business logic, Python3-PHP-JS-Bash).

Speaking business fluently and having good people skill was a requirement as a small business entrepreneur. Navigating the politics of a big company as a large-scale marketing production manager made me grow fast, both professionally and in life. As a technical translator, I practiced daily the art of putting myself in another person’s shoes. Forming healthy professional relationships is such an important skill when leading and motivating team members toward a common goal.

EXPERIENCE SNAPSHOT

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE

TECHNICAL SPECIALIZATIONS

SOFTWARES AND TOOLS

PHILOSOPHIES AND PRACTICES

LANGUAGES (SPOKEN/WRITTEN)