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What Is a Salesforce Architect?

Learn what a Salesforce Architect is, how these trusted advisors steward successful Salesforce implementations, and how you can start your architect journey.

An architect Trailblazer standing in a black hoodie against a technical drawing background
A Salesforce Architect helps design and deliver solutions for enterprise-grade customers using Salesforce products.

Salesforce helps over 150,000 customers across a myriad of businesses, nonprofits, and institutions connect with their customers. People around the world rely on our customer relationship management (CRM) platform to keep their business running. A Salesforce Architect is vital to any complex or large-scale Salesforce implementation.

What is a Salesforce Architect?

A Salesforce Architect helps design and deliver solutions for enterprise-grade customers using Salesforce products. The primary responsibility is to recommend the best solution for a given set of requirements and articulate the trade-offs involved in choosing one solution over another.

With Salesforce, there is never just one way to solve a problem. It’s the Salesforce Architect’s responsibility to choose the solution that will hold up over time, that will scale as the number of users increases, and won’t acquire lots of technical debt or require manual changes as time goes on.

And a Salesforce Architect’s job doesn’t stop at solving technical problems. An architect brings technology, people, and processes together using governance and expert communication and listening skills to ensure solutions truly meet the needs of the business.

The most successful Salesforce implementations involve architects. A study by 10K Advisors found 82% of customers who reported the highest return on investment (ROI) in their Salesforce spend said they always work with an architect on their teams.

What skills does a Salesforce Architect need?

A successful architect is a big picture thinker and also an in-depth problem solver. An architect must have broad and deep technical knowledge but they also need to possess listening, communication, and presentation soft skills.

You might be surprised to learn that you don’t need to be a developer to become an architect. However, an architect needs to know how to read code and recommend coding best practices since they are often managing teams that include developers. Most importantly, an architect must know when to code but also when not to code. Having expertise in the declarative (clicks not code) side of the platform can separate a good architect from a great one.

Architects often bring knowledge and expertise in integrating Salesforce with other technologies and vice versa, as well as experience with governance and development operations. Ultimately, architects blend their technical expertise and business acumen to empower business and IT to work together towards a stronger future.

What does a Salesforce Architect do?

A Salesforce Architect is a trusted advisor and leader who partners with business stakeholders and executives to design a vision and architecture for a solution to a business problem. Often in the position of the technical team leader, they help educate the team with technical best practices. They also translate business needs to a technical vision that teams of low code or pro code builders can execute on. Architects also build proofs-of-concept (POCs) that teams can further iterate on.

An architect will design the organization strategy and data model for a Salesforce implementation. They will put technical solutions in place for identity and access, implement data and process integrations, and design solutions that account for large data volumes and data privacy needs. They’ll also identify the optimal solution for a business requirement and recommend using clicks, code, or a combination of both depending on the business use case. As highly experienced problem solvers, architects are often the final escalation point for any production issues.

An architect can also act as an influencer. They are the trusted technology leader at the table and are often tasked with building buy-in for new solutions. While an architect might not know the answer to every question a business stakeholder might ask, they are experts on Salesforce product capabilities and can think quickly and act fast. Their soft skills allow them to understand all stakeholder needs and communicate with them in their language.

What are the career prospects for Salesforce Architects?

The Salesforce Architect career path is one of the fastest-growing in the Salesforce ecosystem. And in the past five years, the demand for Salesforce architects has seen a 1,292% annual growth rate.

There are a variety of different Salesforce architect roles. And depending on your interests or skill level you might gravitate towards one in particular.

Demand for Salesforce technical skills continues to grow. Studies show the Salesforce ecosystem will produce 4.2M jobs by 2024, with architect roles demanding an average salary of $123K USD.

What credentials and certifications are relevant for the job?

There are various certification paths for a Salesforce Architect that recognize specialized knowledge and skills, as well as growing expertise using the Salesforce platform.

Finally, an architect is a visionary. They build systems that will last, that others can maintain and that will scale as the business grows. They are often ambassadors for new technology and always plan for the future, thinking three-to-five years out when recommending a solution.

If this sounds like you, start your journey to Salesforce Architect today. For more, visit Salesforce Architect Digital Home, follow @SalesforceArchs, and discover the Salesforce Architect blog.

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