The Business of Business Analysis

How has the role of the business architect changed for the enterprise?
By Ramsay Millar, Practice Leader, Integrate IT, LLC
Business architecture practice traces back many years but practice leaders like myself are growing increasingly concerned that an open practice of business architecture is not maturing quickly enough to meet the insights of our business leaders and growing business demands.

Business enterprises, private and public, are operating in volatile times of instant communications, increasing automation, regulation changes, financial challenges, cyber security threats and demands for business flexibility. Business models are at risk. All of this is occurring against a backdrop in the US market with a shortage of 2.6 million knowledge workers. Labor analysts claim that the job of business analyst rates 11th in demand during a poor economy.

Business architecture involves “things” of interest to a business enterprise. Business architects take a holistic or systems thinking approach toward business solutions and do not throw technology at everything. Business models are very complex and multi-dimensional like (who, when, what, how, where, and why). Business architecture must address stakeholder concerns, capabilities, metrics, risk, business events, business processes, business rules and business services just to name a few.

Business architects demonstrate a unique ability to simplify and communicate terse business models. For example, I attended a talk at BBC 2012 named “Business Architecture Trends and Methods” presented by Andrew Guitarte, a gifted business architect. He shared valuable trends and methods practiced by Wells Fargo Bank.

More pragmatic books are now available “Business Architecture – A practical guide” by Whelan and Meaden. This book makes it easier to bring this important practice out of the cloud of words.

Business architecture practice is in the early adoption phase but at conferences like BA World 2012, BBC 2012 audiences are filling rooms to capacity. There is strong demand to learn more. Business architecture consultants/speakers are in high demand as I witnessed during my own presentations on “Business Architecture” at BA World 2012.

At no other time do we need to know the benefits of an open, more widely accepted business architecture practice than now. Who is developing a shared and open practice? Here are the tribes of business architecture worth watching in 2013.

Business Architecture Innovation Summit 2013 – Co-Sponsored by Object Management Group Business Architecture Special Interest Group & the Business Architecture Guild present a two-day practitioner-focused event. The Business Architecture Innovation Summit will feature business practitioners from industry and government to share stories about how they deployed business architecture in their organizations.

Building Business Capability 2013 – The BBC 2012 Business Architecture Forum was attended by gurus like Zachmann, Burlton, Ross & Silver to name a few. I also witnessed a wide array of high caliber speakers and papers. Growing at 40% every year BBC 2013 will be better than ever.

The Open Group, TOGAF 9, has contributed strong works on business transformation and business architecture semantics helping SOA to align with and serve business architectures. Conferences and books have strong support from business and public business leaders. What will TOGAF 10 contribute going forward?

Let’s watch how these tribes collaborate and work together to develop an open business architecture practice and standards we all need.

Ramsay Millar, Business Analysis practice leader for Integrate IT LLC. Millar has 25 years of demonstrated success as a business analyst and spends his working days as close as anyone can get to applying emerging trends in business analysis and business architecture. Millar a strong IIBA supporter, OMG Business Architecture Working Group member and judge for the Business Process Management Excellence Awards published yearly. http://www.in2grateIT.com

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