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What Is Business Architecture?

According to Wikipedia, business architecture is a part of an enterprise architecture related to a corporate business or an organization. A formal definition of the first meaning is defined by the Object Management Group’s Business Architecture Working Group as follows: “A blueprint of the enterprise that provides a common understanding of the organization and is used to align strategic objectives and tactical demands.” The documents and diagrams within this blueprint – created and managed with software products like IRIS Business Architect – describe the architectural structure of this business or organization. Business architecture is the bridge between the enterprise business model and the enterprise strategy on one side, and the business functionality of the corporate business or organization on the other side. People who build business architecture are known as Business Architects. Working as a change agent with senior business stakeholders, the Business Architect plays a key part in shaping and fostering continuous improvement, business transformation, and business innovation initiatives.


Why Is Business Architecture Relevant Now?

Sometimes, we are asked why Business Architects are becoming crucial more often than not, especially after organizations have managed without it in the past. The pace of change in today’s world makes Business Architects within an organization more and more of a necessity. Too often, organizations tend to transform themselves over time into highly isolated silos, as a result of merger and acquisition, or through common absence of planning. The absence of Business Architects prevents organizations from being able to adjust rapidly. Enterprises that are not nimble enough in our current fast-past, hyper-competitive marketplace cannot last. Technology is changing fast. Clients require what they want, where they want it and when they want it. The business environment changes constantly requiring enterprises to respond to new regulatory and compliance measures, new security and privacy concerns, and new competitive pressures from everywhere in the world. Business Architecture is becoming a requirement in order for an enterprise to detect the impact of constant transformation on its business and to respond rapidly and successfully.


How Do Organizations Use Business Architecture?

Here are some of the events and challenges facing enterprises where Business Architects can have a significant impact in ensuring that corporate strategies are implemented with cohesion everywhere in their business units:

  • Define a new market
  • Drive legacy modernization
  • Investment analysis
  • New product offering or service rollout in the marketplace
  • Globalization
  • Divestiture
  • Business capacity outsourcing
  • Supply chain streamlining
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Joint-venture development
  • Business unit restructuring
  • Reinvent what and who a company is
  • Integrate people, processes, capabilities, technology and culture during a merger and acquisition
  • Transform a large corporation to a customer centric business model
  • Make a decision that significantly reshapes a government program


Where Does Business Architecture Fit Within an Organization?

Insert The Strategy-Business Architecture-Execution Table Business Architects serve as the connection between strategy and execution within an enterprise. Strategy and operational requirements drive modifications to Business Architecture and Business Architecture insure the decoding of these ideas into actionable steps that can then be implemented and in an integrated in a consistent manner across all divisions of an organization. As a consequence, Business Architects normally have a direct tie into an organization’s strategy, planning and software development processes.


What Benefits Does Business Architecture Provide?

Enterprises seek different benefits from their Business Architects. Here are the most common:

  • Better decision-making ability. Business Architects help enterprises comprehend the complete impacts of decisions before making them, therefore reducing risk for each decision.
  • Driven and cohesive strategy. Business Architects serves to decode strategy into action and focus investment.
  • Higher operational effectiveness and capacity for growth. Business Architects help enterprises reconsider how it structures and rationalizes business operations for efficiency and scalability.
  • Agility in business and information technology execution. A repository of reusable business architecture content and defined processes that decodes strategies into execution significantly speeds up an enterprise’s ability to recognize and implement the necessary changes.


How Does Business Architecture Relate to Information Technology (IT) Development?

Business Architects define the business targeted state constituents (i.e. process, capability, organization, etc.) and their relationships. These entities, along with the corresponding information technology Enterprise Architectures (Application, Data and Technical Architecture), are efforts to the solution design process.


How Does Business Architecture Bring Agility to Business and Information Technology (IT) Execution?

By leveraging reusable assets produced by Business Architects, an enterprise can rapidly comprehend the impact of changes, without another expensive reinvestment in current-state analysis. Furthermore, Business Architects put the appropriate partnerships and repeatable processes in place to rapidly move from strategic vision to execution.


How Does Business Architecture Increase Operational Efficiency and Capacity for Growth?

Business Architects increase operational effectiveness by assessing the origins and contributing factors of specific problems across the organization. The result detects the full scope of the problem, along with the effects, opportunities, and risks associated with its resolution.