What is a cloud architect?

Working with and in the cloud is becoming increasingly vital for businesses. A cloud architect plans, implements and monitors a company’s cloud infrastructure. In addition to extensive technical know-how, cloud architects must excel in teamwork and communication skills to succeed in this dynamic field.

What does a cloud architect do?

Cloud computing is now the ideal solution for modern businesses when it comes to optimizing workflows and processes while also accounting for costs and resources. From server structure to software and storage space to databases, numerous services can be made available to teams via the cloud. However, the myriad possibilities presented by cloud computing also add a set of challenges. The success of the cloud computing approach is contingent upon the careful design and implementation of an individualized cloud architecture, which is tailored to the company in question. A cloud architect is responsible for planning, setting up and monitoring the cloud infrastructure of a business.

What fields are cloud architects active in?

The cloud architecture encompasses different aspects of cloud computing. One essential area that falls under the responsibility of cloud architects is the actual IT infrastructure. Through the internet or an intranet, diverse services are provided to companies. Service providers typically offer the following key services:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), computer hardware is made available via the cloud. This primarily encompasses virtual machines and storage, which can be utilized by individual users or entire teams.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): Platform as a Service (PaaS) provides runtime and programming environments. Users can develop and run their own applications in these environments.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): Software as a Service (SaaS) provides on-demand access to individual programs or complete application collections. They don’t need to be installed and maintained on each individual computer.

Cloud architects are responsible for the selection and implementation of valuable service models offered by cloud computing. In addition to setting up the cloud infrastructure, cloud architecture also involves strategizing the availability of services to different stakeholders. The most commonly employed delivery models in this context are:

  • Public Cloud: In a public cloud, most or all of the services are delivered by one service provider to different customers and clients.
  • Private Cloud: Access rights to a private cloud reside with the company. As a rule, the company is also responsible for the maintenance.
  • Hybrid Cloud: A hybrid cloud combines the features of a public cloud and private cloud. The decision as to which services are to be obtained privately and which publicly is made by the cloud architect in consultation with the company.

Other models are also possible.

What are the tasks of a cloud architect?

To ensure that a cloud architecture is an optimal fit for a company, cloud architects must consider many different factors. Their most important tasks include:


The effectiveness of a cloud solution greatly depends on thorough planning. As such, a cloud architect conducts a comprehensive needs analysis beforehand. From this analysis, they derive a portfolio of necessary services. This analysis encompasses factors such as access rights, capacities, interfaces, and migration considerations. Additionally, cloud architects address legal issues that may arise for companies, ensuring that they are clarified prior to the actual implementation.


Once the requirements have been adequately defined, the cloud architect proceeds to select the necessary services. Given the multitude of providers offering various technologies, the architect evaluates and considers solutions that best align with the company’s needs in terms of price and functionality.


During the implementation phase, the cloud architect collaborates closely with both developers and administrators within the company. It’s highly recommended to establish collaborative solutions as early as the planning stage. In addition to implementation, the architect also handles configuration and potential migration of existing applications, ensuring a smooth transition to the cloud environment.

Security and performance

A cloud architect needs to ensure that a security structure is in place that protects the company’s networks and sensitive data. The cloud architect also takes responsibility for the seamless functionality and optimal coordination of the selected cloud solutions.


Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary to redevelop special applications for the individual needs of a company. The cloud architect defines the company’s needs and works closely with the development team.


To ensure that employees can fully leverage the newly implemented infrastructure, cloud architects play a crucial role in conducting training sessions and providing guidance to users.


Once the cloud solution has been set up and is being actively used, the cloud architect performs regular system checks. By actively monitoring the infrastructure, the architect can swiftly identify and address any vulnerabilities or issues that may arise. Additionally, the architect stay up to date with technical innovations and incorporates them into the infrastructure as needed.

What qualities should a cloud architect have?

There are various qualifications and skills that characterize a good cloud architect. The following requirements and characteristics are particularly important:

  • Technical competencies: A successful career as a cloud architect relies heavily on having extensive technical knowledge. This encompasses a deep understanding of IT systems, development methodologies and cloud technologies. Having prior experience in development or administration is advantageous. Moreover, most companies require a degree or formal training in computer science or information technology. Additionally, many cloud solution providers offer certifications that validate an individual’s comprehensive knowledge in the field.
  • Future-oriented working: When planning extensive cloud structures, a cloud architect must always take into account future developments. They should therefore have an interest in new technical trends and possibilities in order to be able to implement them into an existing system.
  • Teamwork and communication skills: Although a cloud architect must be able to plan independently, cooperation with other employees is necessary for implementation. Effective collaboration and strong communication skills are crucial for the success of cloud solutions, whether it involves administrators, developers or end users. The ability to work seamlessly as a team and engage in open, clear communication ensures that plans are effectively executed and goals are achieved. This is particularly important when future users may not possess extensive technical expertise.
  • Abstract thinking and time management: During the planning phase, cloud architects must demonstrate foresight and imagination. It’s also important for them to exercise good time management so that companies feel confident about the planning process of their new infrastructure.
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