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What is a cloud architect?

In this Ask the Expert, analysts James Staten of Forrester Research and Kyle Hilgendorf of Gartner offer their job descriptions for the new role of cloud architect.

James Staten: A cloud architect's job is to help the company determine the standards for cloud consumption. This could be how they integrate cloud services with things around the data center, how they design applications that will run on the cloud, how they ensure applications achieve the SLAs [service-level agreements] the company has, and what tools they use for both the development as well as the creation and management of those applications.

Kyle Hilgendorf: [A cloud architect] is someone who is in charge of overseeing the cloud strategy, the cloud adoption process within an IT organization, and being a liaison to the businesses that are consuming cloud services. So, obviously cloud strategy is very complex and very kind of multidimensional. … So, this is a multifaceted individual that understands technology architecture at a very complex layer but also has good communication skills and can communicate with a number of different IT teams as well.

In the second part of this four-part ATE, learn why a cloud architect is vital to a company's success.

James Staten

About the authors:
James Staten is vice president and principal analyst serving infrastructure and operations professionals at Forrester Research. He advises IT leaders on public cloud platforms, CIO-level cloud investment strategies, cloud economics, hybrid cloud and cloud outsourcing, IT cloud readiness, and business and developer engagement on cloud.

Kyle Hilgendorf

Kyle Hilgendorf is a research director in the Gartner for Technology Professionals (GTP) program and is the agenda manager for the consultancy's cloud and virtualization strategies team. He covers public cloud and hybrid cloud, with a focus on cloud technology and providers.

Next Steps

Why is it vital that companies have a cloud architect?

What specific skills should a successful cloud architect have?

How many companies have cloud architects?

Landing a cloud architect job.

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