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6 Essentials for Becoming a Solutions Architect

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Author: Shanikqua Burks, Solutions Architect, Prisma Cloud 

Have you always wondered what you needed in order to succeed as a solutions architect (SA) for Prisma Cloud? This dynamic role is a blend of technical expertise, cloud skills and strategic thinking. Below are six key insights that I’ve learned within my first year as an SA on the Palo Alto Networks Public Sector Prisma Cloud team. Hopefully, these can help you excel in your journey, too!

1. Mastering Cloud Security is KEY!

As a Prisma Cloud solutions architect, your primary focus is on cloud security. It's essential to develop a deep understanding of cloud architecture and the latest security practices to stay relevant in the field. Continuously expand your knowledge of cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and GCP, as well as Prisma Cloud's solutions, to provide top-notch security guidance to clients.

2. Use Effective Communication.

One of the most crucial skills for an SA is effective communication. This means communication with Sales, leadership and even your fellow SAs. You'll be working hard within your territory to understand the needs of your customers and translating technical solutions into understandable language. Strong communication skills will help you bridge the gap between technical and non-technical stakeholders and ensure successful project outcomes.

3. Stay Current with Industry Trends.

The field of cloud security is ever-evolving. Stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends, emerging threats and tech advancements. Continuous learning and certification in cloud security and Prisma Cloud products are essential to maintain your expertise. At Palo Alto Networks, we do this by staying educated through Prisma Cloud partner relationships, as well as workshops while attending industry conferences such as RSA and CloudNativeCon. 

4. Design Tailored Solutions for YOUR Customers.

Each customer has unique security requirements. Your ability to design tailored solutions that address their specific challenges is a hallmark of a great solutions architect. Collaborate with clients to gather insights, analyze their existing infrastructure, and design comprehensive security solutions that meet their needs.

5. Problem-Solving and Troubleshooting Don’t Always Have to be Solo.

In the world of cloud security, challenges are inevitable. Being a skilled problem solver and troubleshooter is essential. Develop the ability to identify and resolve issues swiftly, ensuring minimal disruption to your client's operations. Being able to know when to ask for help and strategize a game plan for success is essential as an SA. 

6. Build Strong Customer Relationships.

Building strong relationships with customers is paramount for success as a solutions architect. Understand their business goals, pain points and long-term objectives. By fostering trust and demonstrating your commitment to their success, you'll not only secure lasting partnerships but also contribute to the growth of Prisma Cloud.

Check out our open Prisma Cloud SA roles!

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