What is Business technology and its role?
It is imperative to understand what is business architecture and role in any enterprise before diving into the business architecture. Business architecture is defined as “a blueprint of the enterprise that provides a common understanding of the organisation and is used to align strategic objectives and tactical demands.” People who develop and maintain business architecture are known as business architects.
So who is a Business architect? A business architect is a practitioner of business architecture, a discipline concerned with developing and maintaining business capabilities of the enterprise in line with the corporate strategy as well as contributing to the business strategy and plans. “Reference Wikipedia”. The contentions and complimenting activities of both EA and BA groups is always like a Venn diagram lucid chart; people try to define boundaries. However, they coincide with each other. The enterprise architect has always been treated with more of the information system, and technology-heavy focused roles vs business focused. Though it’s a balance and combination, however always been looked with a myopic view. The other aspect that comes into play is the business analyst. How they are leveraged and tagged with job description is what matters and not looked as a jack of all trades vs master of none.
The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), a nonprofit professional association, considers the business analyst “an agent of change,” writing that business analysis “is a disciplined approach for introducing and managing change to organisations, whether they are for-profit businesses, governments, or non-profits.”
EBA must be an integral part of EA; otherwise, organisations risk investing in automation, augmentation, enhancement and innovation without a link to and from technology, information and solution architecture. The result is highly ineffective investment in business change and transformation, fragmented and disconnected information, wasted investments in technology, and solutions without a clear business driver or focus. – Gartner
EA as the person, or organisation, that shepherds business requirements into Services and then manages the realisation of those Services through the IT development organisation. In this light, it would seem that the role of the EA eclipses, competes, or otherwise impedes the efforts of the BA in the organization. BAs are primarily tasked with requirements generation and facilitation of communications with technical groups to make sure those requirements are reliably implemented. In this regards, while an EA has both feet firmly planted on both sides of the business-IT divide, the BA (even an IT BA) is weighted towards the business.
Most organisations separate the roles of the BA and EA. However, organisations that are looking to maximise the benefit they receive from SOA and other architecturally-driven IT efforts should think more holistically about either combining the EA and BA responsibilities in the business or creating a new organisational structure that puts the business analysis and enterprise architecture roles into more intimate contact.
NO vs YES
It is essential to define what you are not vs what you are and provide clear demarcations of roles vs responsibilities and accountabilities. In many cases, organizations have focused their EBA efforts solely on “business process architecture.” The “How” is in the domain of the Solution Architects, Application, Data and Technology Architects and the Business Analysts: business, process and data.
The crucial element is how well the Business Architects are integrated with the other architects and with the analysts. In many cases Business Architecture was within the Enterprise Architecture function – as an aside, it was pointed out by one or two respondents that they considered Enterprise Architecture as a function rather than a person – in other cases it was not.
The haunting question keeps on coming back is What is the primary focus of Business architects or how one can justify the role segregating themselves from the EA or BA or the business line managers and so on functions created by business themselves to frontend the request coming in from the IT or somewhere else.
The effectiveness is measured based on multiple parameters or has proven itself based on numerous surveys, and one should adopt considering the same. The initiatives drastically vary by the industry type from manufacturing to the public sector to business services and so on.
- Size of the organisation
- Clear definitions on improvement or expansion
- Operations or transformational lead
What is KEY?
It is vital to bridge the Business Analysis and Business Architecture with enterprise architecture since these are the vital functions which are more domain, customer and vertical centric which revolves around the critical principle of Enterprise architecture of Data, information, Business, security and technology.
The thought process needs to change and be evaluated from similar to Venn diagram of roles and responsibilities of business architect vs enterprise architect.
The term ‘business function’ is more commonly used to represent the logical level structure an organisation uses to control and manage its resources and processes (e.g., human resource management function, investment portfolio management function). TOGAF 9.1 somewhat obscurely defines ‘business function’ as “Delivers business capabilities closely aligned to an organisation, but not necessarily explicitly governed by the organisation”. Assuming a business function is concerned with ‘governing’ resources, an organisational chart might be considered the physical implementation of a business function model because it shows how, via the lines of reporting, the control and management of resources is structured and exercised within a given organisation. Indeed, the TOGAF 9.1 definition seems to call out this distinction between actual organisation structure and the more abstract concept ‘business function.’