Infrastructure Architect

Infrastructure Architect

Location:
Manchester
Salary:
Highly competitive
Department:
Technology and Data
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We’re First Central Insurance & Technology Group (First Central for short), an award-winning innovative insurance and technology organisation, delivering market-leading motor insurance, underwriting, distribution, finance, technology and legal services.
 

We’re on the hunt for a talented Infrastructure Architect to join our Technology and Data team in Salford Quays, Manchester, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, or our offices in Guernsey. 

As a senior technical expert, the Infrastructure Architect will work with the Head of Architecture to own the alignment of the FCG Infrastructure Architecture against the FCG Business and Technology Strategies and defined business requirements; designing, and governing the implementation and improvement of robust enterprise-level IT services.  The Infrastructure Architect is responsible for translating Business and technology requirements to technology solutions with reference to defined strategies and architectural principles and will be responsible for the articulation of those designs to both technical and non-technical stakeholders, overseeing and governing their implementation.
 

To be successful in this role, you’ll need to:

  • Be a trusted subject matter expert with significant experience in the delivery of enterprise class platforms with a strong appetite for innovation.
  • Possess practical and demonstrable experience of cloud-based infrastructure (both IaaS and PaaS) with particular focus on Azure.
  • Have strong stakeholder skills capable of influencing clients and selling the capability of team in client-vendor relationship.


Job responsibilities:

  • Ownership of FCG Infrastructure, Network and Deployment Architecture; designing systems and services with appropriate resilience, performance, scalability etc. as aligned to strategies.
  • Assist in the development of the FCG Infrastructure and Hosting Strategies including Cloud.
  • Support the Data as a Service team in the best-practice design and management of the SQL Server estate.
  • Governance of Infrastructure Change.
  • Support the Technology team in defining and delivering business solutions.
  • Definition and maintenance of the FCG Infrastructure Reference Architecture.
  • Definition and governance of technical standards aligned to industry/technology best practice, ensuring compliance with company and other relevant standards/regulations.
  • Ensures designs maintain necessary system coverage and recovery targets (RPOs and RTOs) for successful recovery of core IT services.
  • Maintain an excellent understanding of the IT infrastructure identifying where improvements can be made and where documentation updates are required.
  • Work closely with the Group Information Security Officer to ensure infrastructure is adequately protected from cyber-security threats.
  • Support the procurement team during software, hardware and hosting procurement activities.
  • Assist in estimating and planning technical change. Acts as technical lead with the support of other technical resources.
  • Assists in the identification of root causes and fixes for major incidents where required.
  • Diagnose and identify system and infrastructure efficiency improvements or areas for innovation based on current and future service requirements.
  • Work with Technical Services to ensures Capacity plans are evolved and maintained and appropriately considered during design.
  • Completes detailed analysis of capacity/availability data and future Infrastructure proposals to build a clear understanding and underpinning of onwards reporting and planning activities.
  • Membership of the Focus Design Authority.
  • Support relationships with the other areas of FCG to ensure that requirements can be developed.
  • Review internal and external solutions for suitability, making recommendations to the Head of Architecture.
  • Maintain accurate timesheet reporting on activities undertaken.
  • Adhere to the Company values at all times and encourage others to demonstrate these.
  • Ensure compliance with company and other relevant standards/regulations at all times.
  • Responsibility for maintaining department risk registers (as applicable), providing evidence and commentary for controls, updates for Mitigation Actions and maintaining control matrices and Attestations. Also, to ensure that your employees are aware of their responsibility to identify and report risk.
  • Any other reasonable duties as required
     

Experience & knowledge:

  • Excellent experience of Infrastructure architecture within a predominantly Microsoft based stack including AD, IIS and SQL Server with a focus on security, performance and scalability ideally within an ISO 27001 and PCI DSS certified environment.
  • Practical and demonstrable experience of cloud-based infrastructure (both IaaS and PaaS) with particular focus on Azure.
  • Knowledge and experience of Microsoft Reporting and Data management environments.
  • Experience of virtualisation technologies.
  • Design and management of network infrastructure including telephony, firewall, VPN and MPLS.
  • Experience of defining and implementing infrastructure strategies.
  • Experience of technical project lead duties.
  • Experience within the insurance or financial services industry.
  • Experience of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning.
  • Ability to diagnose and identify system and infrastructure efficiency improvements or areas for innovation based on current and future service requirements.
  • Excellent knowledge of technical infrastructure, an expert in hosting of Microsoft Stack.
  • Understanding of the retail Insurance business.
  • Understanding of regulation and legislation applying to Insurance and Financial Services companies.
  • Knowledge of a structured yet agile approach to delivery
     

Skills & Qualifications:

  • Strong stakeholder skills capable of influencing clients and selling the capability of team in client-vendor relationship.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Good time management and organisation skills.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to work in a self-sufficient manner within a geographically dispersed team.
  • Problem solving skills, with the ability to adopt a logical approach to solving problem.
  • Identification and management of risk.
  • Demonstrates adherence to the principles of Privacy and Security by design.
  • Understanding of analysis and modelling techniques.
  • Ability to prioritise multiple projects and activities.
  • Ability to translate complex business issues into IT requirements and complex IT requirements into business terms.
  • TOGAF certification preferred.
  • Relevant Microsoft technical qualifications desirable (MCSA, MCTS, MCSE etc) ideally within Cloud and SQL Server.
  • Network certification (CCNA etc).
     

Behaviours:

  • Commercially focussed and results driven.
  • Acts as technical champion and mentor, leading by example.
  • Self-motivated and enthusiastic.
  • A detailed thinker with a ‘can do’ attitude and an aptitude for creativity and innovation.
  • An organised and pro-active approach.
  • Ability to work on own initiative and as part of a team.
  • A flexible approach and positive attitude.
  • Emphasis on attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Strives to drive business improvements to contribute to the success of the business.
  • Embrace, embed and incorporate the company values

What can we do for you?
We believe we can offer you a great working environment as we’re so passionate about our people. Here are just some of the benefits and perks that we offer…

  • Fantastic training and development opportunities
  • Employee benefit packages to suit your lifestyle
  • Flexible working
  • YOUday – we give you an extra day off to celebrate a special day
  • The opportunity to take a paid day off each year to do charity work
  • A health cash plan
  • Help with travel expenses
  • The opportunity to buy additional holiday
  • Company pension scheme
  • Group life assurance
  • Enhanced maternity and paternity pay
  • Professional subscription fees paid

Employee wellbeing is high on the agenda here too. We provide a weekly free fruit delivery, discounted membership at a local health club and access to an Employee Assistance Programme, which promotes physical and emotional wellbeing at work and at home. In addition, we provide wellbeing events throughout the year to support physical and mental health.

For further information on what we can offer and to learn more about this role, feel free to contact our dedicated Recruitment team.

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86% of people would recommend a friend to work at First Central

Based on 150 Glassdoor reviews (October 2021)

Benefits

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Flexible working

We support colleagues who wish to work flexibly whilst meeting the needs of the business.

YOUday

We give you an extra day off to celebrate a special day.

Holiday Extra

Not only do you get a generous holiday entitlement, you can also buy additional leave.

Volunteering

Get a day off each year to take part in volunteering activities.

Health cash plan

Claim money back on your healthcare costs, such as dental check-ups and eye tests.

Season ticket loan

We provide interest-free loans to cover the cost of season tickets for rail, bus or car parking.