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DATE ADDED: Thu 19/03/2020

Solutions Architect Manager

Potters Bar, UK


JOB TYPE: Permanent, FullTime

SALARY: Competitive

Job title: Solution Architect Manager

Location: Potters Bar

Job type: Permanent

Who we are

Canada Life UK looks after the retirement, investment and protection needs of individuals, families and companies. We help to build better futures for our customers, our intermediaries and our employees by operating as a modern, agile and welcoming organisation.

Part of our parent company Great-West Lifeco, Canada Life UK has operated in the United Kingdom since 1903. We have hundreds of respected and supported employees committed to doing the right thing for our customers and colleagues.

Canada Life UK is transforming to create a more customer-focused business by providing our customers with expertise on financial and tax planning, offering home finance and annuities propositions, and providing collective fund solutions to third party customers.

What we’re building

We now need a Solution Architect Manager to support the transformation and the future growth of the business within the IT function, so it can simplify our IT architecture by removing our legacy systems and investing in modernised, lower-cost technology systems, and deliver a digital platform that provides a single view of our customers.

Job summary

Taking an overarching view across the whole organisation, through an understanding of the organisational goals and specifically the enablement of the business through technology, craft the current and future technology landscape. Reporting into the Head of Architecture, exert influence through collaboration with senior IT leaders, key business stakeholders and Architects. Focus on enabling decisions that are pragmatic, commercially driven and satisfy business objectives.

This person is also accountable for development and delivery of key platform or technology roadmaps and strategies within a line of business. This person leads the team of Solutions Architects, ensuring that projects have the resources that are required to meet there project goals, this will include hiring of contract Solution Architects where required.

What you’ll do

To understand technology needs and assess and support these needs.

•Works with Line of Business Architect and Head of Architecture to gain an understanding of information technology needs. This involves understanding the business’s strategy and existing solutions and proposing solutions to meet that strategy

•Draws on expertise from specialists such as Subject matter expertise within the development teams, Technology Domain architects, project delivery resources, external consultants evaluate data and makes technology decisions

•Identifies opportunities to enable business change through the application of technology

•Assesses the architectural impact and implications, of business or technology changes that are being contemplated

•Consults on the feasibility of, and probable technology directions for future initiatives.

•Supports the annual budget process by estimating technology and project delivery costs and resource effort

Defines reviews and maintains architectures

•Defines project architectures to give direction to the design of the solution, and the

choice and implementation of systems

•Reviews project architectures for projects delivering within their business arear and champions the Architecture being presented at CLUK TDA or any other governing body

•Ensures architectural compliance to development, security or Infrastructure standards across their Business Area
◦Either adheres to portfolio, local site, and enterprise architectures
◦Or proposes and obtains variances from these architectures as required

•Works with the Procurement function and suppliers to obtain services, and co-ordinate and monitor their delivery

•Works with the CLUK Architecture Practices to provide input into Business or enterprise architecture
◦Defines and maintains Solution architecture and Roadmap for the business area
◦Reviews project architecture proposals, Champions their submission to CLUK TDA
◦Prepares and supports architectural variance requests through the Canada Life UK Architectural Board and the ISO Exception process. Works with the support team to maintain the exceptions for their business area.

Acts as the focal point for Architecture or development issues throughout all phases of projects. To ensure that all significant technology and design issues are resolved effectively.

•Remains informed about all significant technical aspects, activities, and associated business and technical impacts of their projects

•Takes direct ownership of the most significant technology and design issues

•Mentors others, as required, through the ownership and resolution of lesser issues while remaining informed

•Negotiates with impacted groups such as other IT Senior Management, Senior Business Managers other project teams and IT support teams.

•Ensures that stakeholder expectations are managed

•Works with BC and IT Support in the resolution of very complex operational issues.

Leads the definition of Information Technology Strategies and solutions, To create and implement technical solutions that meet client’s needs.

•Achieves project objectives within the framework of the business strategies.

•Creates the vision that guides the creation of the solution from inception through delivery

•Plans, walks-through, and leads work packages as appropriate to the initiative.

•Provides leadership in the development of the physical components of the application model.

•Is responsible for the technical model.

•Ensures that all aspects of the solution (architecture deliverable) if it aligns to technology roadmaps before being presented to CLUK TDA.

•Decides on assessment of new technology coming into the company through.

Ensures quality designs and implementations, To ensure that designs meet operational requirements and quality standards.

•Works with Business Analysts and other project resources to ensure that physical designs are consistent with logical designs and requirements

•Works with project team members to ensure implemented systems are consistent with physical designs

•Ensures that operational requirements, based on the engineering of systems considerations (reliability, availability, adaptability, manageability, maintainability, performance and security), are met to the extent required by the current and projected business need

•Ensures system usability is considered, both from a human factors point of view and as it impacts systems engineering

•Fine tunes models and designs to account for technical realities that are revealed during implementation

•Participates in design and code walkthroughs

•Supports the transition to production

•Works with test team to ensure that the engineered characteristics of systems are validated

Provides leadership within the Business Change and IT Division. To ensure IT process meet best practices and standards.

•Champions the use of IT processes, best practices and standards

•Where needed, identifies and supports the correction or enhancement of existing IT processes, best practices or standards

•Seeks out and promotes opportunities for creating new I.S. processes, best practices or standards

•Provides support and direction for other Architects

•Contributes to the development and selection of systems architecture tools, techniques, and standards used across the CLUK Architecture practice

•Actively engages in maintaining and developing architectural practices within the delivery organisation

To ensure technology solutions are aligned across Canada Life UK and technology dependencies between projects are understood.

•Partners with delivery teams and project sponsors to ensure projects delivered to the agreed quality.

•Provides input to the creation of the project management deliverables across the business domain, including project charter, risk assessment, project schedule, and work breakdown statement

•Provides mentorship and coaching to other architects

•Provides direction to project team members and practitioner architects across the Business Domain.

•Shares overall responsibility for all aspects of all project’s activities and deliverables

•Represents the technologies to others, including sponsors, business partners, support groups and peers.

•Supports overall planning for the Business Domain as part of the account leadership team

•Works with procurement and vendors to co-ordinate the selection and implementation of products, if applicable

Runs and Develops the CLUK TDA

•Works with the standing members of the TDA to ensure that the body is meeting the goals as per the agreed Terms or Reference (ToR)

•Is accountable for the following as per the ToR
◦Ensuring meeting is scheduled, and all required attendees are invited
◦Agenda is created distributed to standing members
◦Minutes are taken and are signed off by the standing members
◦Meeting is focused and goals are being met

Total Technology Health

•Works with the European TTH to ensure that the TTH process is completed within the allotted timescales

•Ensures the Financial system review have been reviewed and approved by required staked holders

•Works with Line of Business Architects to ensure that roadmaps are in place for systems that have health issues.

Who you are

•Translates technical concepts between software engineering, delivery management and service management so they are understood by all.

•Capable of making and guiding effective decisions, explaining clearly how the decision has been reached. The ability to understand and resolve technical disputes across varying levels of complexity and risk.

•The ability to work with business and technology stakeholders to translate business problems into technical designs. Creates an optimal design through an iterative process, aligning the user need with the system requirements and organisational objectives.

•The ability to look beyond the immediate technical problem and identify the wider implications. ‘Zooming out’ in three dimensions - knowing relevant historical context and future impact, understanding how current work fits in broader contexts and strategies, and looking for deeper underlying problems and opportunities.

•Understands technical governance and is able to participate in or deliver the assurance of a service. This capability becomes increasingly critical at senior role levels.

•Capable of producing strategy for technology that meets business needs. Able to create, refine and challenge patterns, standards, policies, roadmaps and vision statements. Senior roles tend to be more proactive as they set the strategy. Junior roles tend to be more reactive, responding to the strategy.


•Understands technical governance and is able to participate in or deliver the assurance of a service. This capability becomes increasingly critical at senior role levels.

•Capable of producing strategy for technology that meets business needs. Able to create, refine and challenge patterns, standards, policies, roadmaps and vision statements. Senior roles tend to be more proactive as they set the strategy. Junior roles tend to be more reactive, responding to the strategy.


•Educated to degree level or equivalent experience in I.T.

•TOGAF or BCS Certification (Desirable)

What you’ll like about working here

As a Canada Life UK colleague, you’ll receive a competitive salary and comprehensive reward package including income protection, private medical insurance and life assurance, along with a generous pension and bonus scheme. You’ll also receive the support you need with your personal and professional development.

Our focus is to have an engaged, committed and motivated work force, operating in a high performing and collaborative culture. We want to create an organisation that offers opportunities for all our people to develop their skills and talent, and build rewarding careers with us.

Diversity and inclusion

Canada Life is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. Our role as an employer of choice is to provide the right environment for talented people to do their best work, by respecting, understanding and valuing individual differences.