Design computer networks.
What does a Systems Architect do?
Like a Neurologist who specializes in the flow of information from brain to body, a Systems Architect designs infrastructural networks that allow building tenants to efficiently and effectively access and interface with technology. After all, modern-day buildings aren’t just structures; they’re organisms. Along with a skeleton and skin — the framing and façade — they have entire systems inside them, including central nervous systems devoted to information technology.
When you’re a Systems Architect — an Information Systems Architect, in particular — that system’s your livelihood. Using the principles of architecture, you design networks of computers. Part of an internal or outsourced IT department, you consider a company’s business objectives, size, budget, and resources in order to determine what kind of computing power it needs, how much data storage it requires, the desired size and speeds of its network, and the optimum user experience it wants to create for employees.
In pursuit of powerful IT systems, you make decisions about the types and numbers of computers and servers in a network. You also determine the number and capacity of hard drives built into the system, as well as the physical configuration and layout of hardware. In addition, you’re in charge of the picking and placement of cables, switches, and routers — all of which can impact IT access, performance, and cost.
Although you’re found most often in IT, you may also be employed as a Systems Architect in manufacturing, engineering, and construction, designing production processes or other pieces of physical or informational infrastructure. In any case, your mission and method are the same: You analyze and organize resources in order to create systems that reduce costs and maximize productivity.