System Architect Vs. Enterprise Architect

Oct 20, 2021

Comparing Systems Architects to Enterprise Architects

Systems architects and enterprise architects are IT professionals and expert problem solvers. Systems architects bring together hardware and software elements to design, build and install computer systems. Enterprise architects design an overall strategy to integrate a company's IT systems with their business vision.

Job Title Education Requirements Average Salary (2019)* Projected growth (2018-28)**
Systems Architect Bachelor's degree or relevant experience $108,846 5% (for computer network architect)
Enterprise Architect Bachelor's degree (in computer science, information technology or a related field) $107,500 5% (for computer network architect)

Sources: *; **US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Systems Architects and Enterprise Architects

Both systems and enterprise architects spend time working across departments to design an overall IT structure for their company. Systems architects may spend more time actually building and installing elements of the system. Enterprise architects, on the other hand, focus on design, strategy, and communicating efficient system solutions with employees, department managers, and leadership.

Systems Architect

A systems architect creates computer systems to meet the individualized needs of their company or client. They must have strong leadership skills to direct their team of designers and engineers. Systems architects also have a strong background in computer science and information technology to assist in designing, scheduling, troubleshooting, planning, and pricing major projects. If they enjoy the leadership side of the job, they can go on to management positions in their company.

Job responsibilities of a systems architect include:

  • Designing customized computer systems (including both hardware and software elements) based on the specific needs of their company or client
  • Conducting cost-analysis research and propose a budget for a project
  • Assigning tasks and managing communication and conflict within their team
  • Installing new software and hardware updates across an organization
  • Reporting to senior-level management on the progress of their team's projects

Enterprise Architect

An enterprise architect integrates the overarching business goals of a company in regards to their IT systems. They work with leaders across departments in an organization to understand the company's needs and make recommendations for computer system updates. Enterprise architects must be visionaries with excellent problem-solving skills to think through big-picture strategies for their company or client. They must be excellent communicators to explain how their designs will increase efficiency and profits over time. Enterprise architects are respected leaders in a company and can go on to become senior-level managers.

Job responsibilities of an enterprise architect include:

  • Collaborating with leaders in other solution departments to design information systems and improve their company's overall trajectory
  • Acting as the technology expert and advising solutions team on the possibilities and limitations of computer systems within their overall business strategy
  • Creating effective presentations that communicate the value of their proposed solutions to leadership and clients

Related Careers

Companies across all industries need computer architects to help them design, build and implement specialized computer systems. Enterprise and systems architecture are two important niches within the field of computer network architecture and engineering. Here are a few other potential careers in this growing industry:

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