Principal Architect

  • By Canada Life
  • 0 PA - 0 PA Benefits Included Pension, Bonus and Healthcare
  • Potters Bar
  • Contract

Job title: Principal Architect
Location: Potters Bar
Job type: 12 Month Fixed Term Contract

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 Principal Architect 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 landscapes. 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 the development and delivery of key platform or technology roadmaps and strategies within a line of business.

What you’ll do
To understand technology needs and assess and support these needs.

  • Works with Business Analysts, Architects, Senior IT and Business Managers to understand the business’s strategy and information technology needs. Proposes solutions to meet the strategy.
  • Draws on knowledge and expertise of others (such as Subject Matter Experts from the development teams, Technology Domain architects, project delivery resources and external consultants) to evidence the rationale behind 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 and makes recommendations.
  • Guides the assessment of future initiatives, providing insight on the feasibility of and probable technology directions.
  • Supports the annual budget process by estimating technology and project delivery costs and resource effort.
    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.

    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 the project architectures for projects delivering within their business area and supports the architectures 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 Supplier Managment function and suppliers to obtain services. Coordinates and monitors the delivery of these services.
    Ensures the effective resolution of all significant technology and design issues through all phases of projects.
  • Remains consulted about all significant technical aspects, activities, and associated business and technical impacts of their projects.
  • Directly owns the most significant technology and design issues.
  • Mentors others, as required, through the ownership and resolution of lesser issues while remaining informed
  • Agrees priorities and understands impacts with groups; such as other IT Senior Management, Senior Business Managers, other project teams and IT Support teams.
  • Manages stakeholders’ expectations.
  • Works with BC and IT Support on the resolution of very complex and impactful operational issues.
    Ensures solutions 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.
  • Considers system usability for both end-users and operators of the system.
  • Fine-tunes models and designs in response to technical realities that emerge during implementation.
  • Actively 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.
  • Drives a culture of continuous improvementProvides 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.
    Ensures alignment of technology solutions 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 Supplier Management and vendors to co-ordinate the selection and implementation of products, if applicable

    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.


  • 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.

Apply Here