The Evolution of the Business Architect

The way we communicate with business is changing, from online to offline. Organizations are going through fundamental change. At the heart of this transformation is the business architect.

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Who is a Business Architect?

A Business Architect understands and contextualizes strategy for operational requirements, develops specific remainders such as business capability maps. And value streams to help connect the gap between strategy and execution, and assists streamline and rationalize the IT enablement process.

In addition to developing particular deliverables, views, and viewpoints, a business architect synergies and synthesizes the work of others drawing from methods such as strategy process management, development, systems analysis, business analysis,  and operations.

However, in fact, in many large companies, the role of a business architect has devolved into an arm of IT and has run into uncertainty about the specific nature, deliverables, and intended outcomes from the position. The change has to do with a lot of factors, and none of which alone can resolve the status quo.

Business Architect: Dispelling the Myths and Misperceptions

A business architect is not an enterprise architect. However, because business architecture is an essential part of enterprise architecture, there are many similarities and overlaps at least as far as the business area definition and strategy interpretation. 

A business architect is not a solution architect. The deliverables from business architecture, including the business solution conceptual vision, is a necessary input for the solution architecture teams.

A business architect is not a project manager. Of course, a business architect may manage a business architecture project or give to an overall plan, but he or she is not a project manager.

A business architect is not a business analyst. While views of business analysis are a necessary part of business analysis, the business architect is not the same as a business analyst. Of course, a person named a Business Analyst can do some work that concerns the business architecture. We are talking about the disciplines, which are involved, even if some of the tools, methodologies, techniques, and outputs may use from each other.

A business architect is not a product manager. A product manager may utilize the deliverables of business architecture, individually business capabilities, and capability-based roadmaps. Similarly, a business architect may leverage a lot of the product managers’ work to understand the business, its markets, products and services, customers, and overall business context. 

Who Makes a Great Business Architect?

Business architects come from various backgrounds. Historically, technologists made a change in the role of business architects. However, given the type of business architecture as an interdisciplinary and multi-functional use, the following backgrounds and experience will business architects in good stead. 

Business strategists and business consultants with big-picture thinking can be great business architects. Product management is another area that can provide excellent business architects. Business analysis or systems analysis is another area that offers good grounding. And of course, technical or solution architects with a business mindset also may see the transition more comfortable to become a business architect.

Role of the Business Architect

The business architect role was imagined to be a strategic, senior role responsible for architecting new organizations or re-architecting features of existing ones in response to change. Because of technology, the volume and rate of change that organizations view have increased so significantly that most are performing enterprise-wide transformation and becoming more agile. Business architecture is a significant enabler of both, which is why there is more demand for the business architect role.

The three sections of responsibility which require to be addressed by business architects are:

  • Business Architecture as a Strategy Translator: This involves using the business architecture in a kind of business scenarios to evaluate areas for improvement and changes necessary to carry out a strategy or reshape the business.

  • Business Architecture as a Mapmaker: It includes creating and maintaining the business architecture knowledgebase and comparing it to domains outside of business architecture.

  • Business Architecture as a Practice Manager:As the business architecture within an organization matures, and the decision is made to build a workout. It includes formalizing the supporting infrastructure such as role definition and organizational structure, training, methodology, governance, and tools.

Responsibilities of a Business Architecture Practitioner

  • Develop a business architecture strategy based on a situational knowledge of different business scenarios and motivations.

  • Apply a structured business architecture strategy and methodology for capturing the critical views of the enterprise.

  • Explain the primary business functions of the enterprise and distinguish between business execution, customer-facing, supplier-related, and business management functions.

  • Define the set of strategic, core and support processes that transform functional and organizational boundaries; identify and describe external entities such as customers, suppliers, and external systems that interact with the business; and explain which people, resources, and controls are involved in the processes.

  • Define the data shared over the enterprise and the connections between those data.

  • Capture the relationships among roles, skills, and business units, the decomposition of those business segments into subunits, and the internal or outside management of those groups.

Salary of Business Architect

Business Architect Average Base Pay is $109,310 per year.

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Senior Business Architect Base Pay is $128,428 per year.

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(Salary Source from Glassdor)

Conclusion

Changes in business architecture are going to stimulate as business and technology continue to evolve quickly. Business architects have a clear role to play in this space. As they proceed to transition from architect to leader, their use to organizations will become vital.

Business architecture is now nearly an expected competency and provides innumerable possibilities for new and experienced practitioners.

From making a forward strategy to participation in agile teams, the future has never seemed so bright for the discipline of business architecture. To move forward, organizations must have a concept for how they want to use it, and business architects need to take control of their journeys.

The subsequent five years of business evolution is unpredictable, but with strong business architecture capabilities in place.

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