Head of Architecture

Location Durham
Contract Type Permanent
Hours Full time

About us

As the UK’s most innovative fintech, we’re taking a mobile-first approach and redefining what a bank should be. Using technology, we’re making things easier, transparent and better value for people and businesses.

Based in Durham, we’re committed to bringing world-class career opportunities and developing a strong tech culture in the North East. Our team currently has 350 brilliant people and is still growing; could you be the next innovator to join us?

We’re looking for mindful, empathetic and self-aware people to join our teams in Durham and London, and help us innovate and disrupt the market with our cutting-edge, digital banking solution.

Here’s some of tech we use...

  • React
  • Swift5
  • Kotlin
  • Python
  • GoLang
  • Kafka
  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
  • Kubernetes

Our tech journey

We’re investing millions in building the best banking machine in the world on Google’s Cloud Platform. Read more about our move to GCP.

What else should you know…

Platform: We’ve taken the very best cloud native technologies and partnered them with contemporary data architecture to create a platform that we believe is the envy of the world. Read more about our partnership with Thought Machine and our use of hashed ledgers and smart contracts to change banking tech forever.

Agile principles: Our move to GCP means we can fully embrace agile principles with autonomous teams, rapid release cycles and automated testing.

Innovation: Named by KPMG as one of the top ten Global FinTech innovators for four consecutive years, and with multiple projects funded by the UK science budget to bring great analytics and tech to banking, you can expect to be working on cutting-edge projects utilising machine learning and artificial intelligence to transform the way people and businesses do banking.


We’re Atom..

The bank that’s leading the fintech charge.

We’re not like the rest. We’re true innovators, and we’re redefining what a bank should be. Ours is a bank for today and the future, a mobile-first bank. Forget the stuffy branches, with Atom you can bank whenever, wherever, faster and simpler.

Based in Durham, we’re committed to bringing world-class career opportunities and developing a strong tech culture in the North East. Our team currently has over 400 brilliant people and is still growing; could you be the next innovator to join us?

We’re looking for mindful, empathetic and self-aware people to join our teams in Durham and London and help us innovate and disrupt the market with our cutting-edge, digital banking solution.

  • Featured in London Stock Exchange’s 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2019
  • Ranked 12th in Business Cloud’s 100 FinTech disruptors list which looks at the UK’s most exciting financial technology companies
  • Named in the Chronicle’s top 50 best places to work in the North East (listed in the top 20)

Here’s some of the tech we use:

  • ReactJS
  • Swift5
  • Kotlin
  • Python
  • GoLang
  • Kafka
  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
  • Mulesoft
  • Kubernetes

Our tech journey

We’re investing millions in building the best banking machine in the world on Google’s Cloud Platform.

What else should you know…

Platform: We’ve taken the very best cloud native technologies and partnered them with contemporary data architecture to create a platform that we believe is the envy of the world.

Agile principles: Our move to GCP means we can fully embrace agile principles with autonomous teams, rapid release cycles and automated testing.

Innovation: Named by KPMG as one of the top ten Global FinTech innovators for four consecutive years, and with multiple projects funded by the UK science budget to bring great analytics and tech to banking, you can expect to be working on cutting-edge projects utilising machine learning and artificial intelligence to transform the way people and businesses do banking.

Want to join us?

We’re on a mission to disrupt banking, and with exciting and challenging work and outstanding perks, it means we work in an environment in which you can personally grow. That’s why, when we’re recruiting, we’re looking for individuals who are as enthusiastic and passionate as we are about changing banking for the better.

It’s important that everyone in our team has drive, passion, enthusiasm and a genuine interest in changing the banking industry as well as providing exceptional customer service.

Technology is at the heart of the business, and we have a world-leading Technology stack that enables us to offer the most efficient, user-friendly app-based bank. The Technology team has end to end responsibility for all aspects of our Technology, from architecting the future, engineering solutions, to deploying and managing our technology services.

The Head of Architecture is directly responsible for the management of architecture, partnership development, business analysis and solutions design. You will oversee a diverse and high-profile portfolio that includes significant technology change and the solution shaping of Bank strategic initiatives.

The Head of Architecture will require strong leadership skills, excellent communications skills, ability to work in an enterprise capability and dive into details as required, be accountable for our current and strategic technical architecture within the bank and own and manage architecture and solution governance.

As Head of Architecture you will also be accountable for horizon scanning and responsible for developing strategic third party partnerships, to maximise the value we can extract from existing partnerships as well as to ensure we are positioned to capitalise on new partnerships that give Atom commercial advantage.

The Architecture team, as per all teams within Technology will act within a matrix structure within the broader Technology division. The Head of Architecture will be accountable for the line management of all resources within the function and will task manage architecture and partnership development activities.

What will your ‘typical’ day look like…. (there’s no two days the same in Atom):

  • You will be directly responsible for the successful shaping of initiatives within the bank.
  • You will own the creation and maintenance of IT Strategy and associated roadmaps plus other related deliverables.
  • Own and maintain business process design and implement associated standards that will aid and improve the articulation of the Atom business services.

Business Architecture:

  • Cultivate relationships with business stakeholders.
  • Maintain in-depth knowledge of strategic business plans.
  • Develop and maintain current and future state business architecture.

Information System & Technology Architecture:

  • Design and oversee implementation of end-to-end integrated systems.
  • Deliver architectural initiatives that drive revenue and improve efficiency in line with business strategy.
  • Cultivate relationships with IT management.
  • Maintain in-depth knowledge of the organization’s technologies and architectures.
  • Develop and maintain current and planned state architectural blueprints and reference architectures
  • Develop and maintain a aspirational architectural road map for the enterprise.
  • Communicate architectural decisions, plans, goals and strategies.
  • Gain organizational commitment for enterprise level architecture and infrastructure initiatives.
  • Provide architectural direction to Enterprise Architects, Business Architects and Solution Architects.
  • Develop architectural metrics and reports for the executive team, business and IT management.

Data Architecture

  • Oversee the design and implementation of enterprise data and metadata structures.
  • Create a plan to integrate business systems and workflows in support of business strateg
  • Develop and enforce best practices for master data management and integration.

Architectural Programs & Initiatives

  • Initiate and deliver architectural programs that align IT with business strategy.
  • Deliver requisite program documentation including program charters, schedules, requirements documents, specifications, design documents and testing strategies.

Research & Development

  • Initiate and deliver technology evaluations and recommendations.

Architecture Consultancy

  • Maintain in-depth knowledge of IT industry best practices, technologies, architectures and emerging technologies.
  • Provide architectural consulting to programs, projects and initiatives.
  • Support business and IT strategic planning.
  • Support product development teams.
  • Act as the focal point for enterprise architecture and IT standards.

Architectural Governance

  • Develop, communicate and deploy Enterprise Architecture Governance processes.
  • Develop and communicate enterprise technology standards and policies.
  • Review new and existing program/project architecture for compliance with IT standards, policies and architectural plans.
  • Review IT procurement plans for compliance with IT standards and architectural plans
  • Document exceptions to architectural standards.
  • Ensure that project documentation captures significant architectural decisions.
  • Ensure that architectural governance is a fair, consistent and transparent process. Identify architectural risks and propose alternatives and solutions

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Manage a team of enterprise architects and partnership business developers
  • Manage, mentor and develop a team of solution architects
  • Line manage a team of Lead Business Analysts

Architecture & Business Analysis Processes & Tools

  • Develop, communicate and deploy Enterprise Architecture processes.
  • Deploy and maintain an Enterprise Architecture repository and tool set.
  • Deploy and maintain an Business Analysis document repository and tool set.
  • Perform annual architectural maturity assessments.
  • Produce regular architecture status reports.

All roles within Atom must adhere to the Conduct Rules as set out by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

As part of our journey in building and running a bank we’ll encounter many risks along the way. In order to make sure the road doesn’t become too bumpy we expect everyone to make a conscious effort to proactively tackle and highlight any risks that we might face.

What do we need from you?

  • An extensive background in architecture with previous experience across enterprise and solution architecture
  • Ability to unblock architecture issues with third parties through relationships and escalations thereby minimising negative impacts on delivery
  • Strong experience in managing architecture teams and architecting within Financial Services
  • Proven experience of demonstrating good industry practices and behaviours in architecture and broader within technology and change
  • Understanding of Digital, Data, Cloud, APIs and Middleware, web technologies
  • Strong project management skills/qualifications ideally with Agile and Waterfall methodologies
  • Experience in defining and managing activities with quantifiable measures to deliver architecture work to planned schedules, budgets and quality to support broader delivery
  • Brings a strong personal network to enable problem resolution
  • Define and report status in a meaningful manner
  • Be a clear communicator both written and verbally

What would we ideally like from you?

  • Certification: TOGAF or equivalent
  • Demonstrable experience of successful end to end delivery of architecture initiatives with multimillion pound budgets at the portfolio level
  • Proven ability to define and manage Change Control experience and engage within IT Governance processes
  • Experience of budgeting and negotiation
  • Management of 3rd party engagements (from selection, through execution to closeout)
  • Strong industry relationships with product vendors and IT community
  • Background in Financial Services sector

What you’ll get from us:

  • Competitive Salary
  • Annual Share Option – performance related
  • Incredibly generous Company pension scheme (13% Atom contribution)
  • ‘All About Me’ fund - £200 per year to spend on learning a new skill (but it can’t be anything to do with your job). Recently people have done upholstery courses, had driving lessons and a rowing membership.
  • 25 days holiday + 8 statutory days - rising by half a day with every year in the company
  • Private Medical Insurance for you and immediate family
  • Health Cash Plan – expenses paid on Optical/Dental/other appointments/treatments
  • Life Insurance – 4 times annual salary
  • Critical illness cover – 1 x lump sum annual salary
  • Cycle to work Scheme
  • Continuous development – professional qualifications
  • Flexible working in a creative environment

PLEASE NOTE: You must have the legal right to work in the UK to apply for this role as Atom is unable to support Visa Applications/Sponsorship

Atom is an equal opportunities employer.We value you as an individual and therefore disregard race, religion/belief, gender, sexual orientation, maternity/pregnancy, age, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership and disability in any hiring decisions we make. Atom will always adhere to the Equality Act 2010.