Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Business Architect? Whatever!


Although the term "business architecture" has different meanings to different organizations I do believe some boundaries are in order...

(Updated link) This is NOT Business Architecture.

This is also NOT Business Architecture.

I see an interesting behavior springing out of the industry verticals due to three facts:

> the term STRATEGY has lost its hype factor
> consultants with multiple years in industry and witness to many an organization's dysfunction are venturing off on their own thinking they know better
> business managers that were once successful in creating old school IT organizations, lost positions due to new school tactical innovators and integrators, are venturing off on their own to prove they were right

Bottom - line is that these groups that just don't get Business Architecture are starting a new hype around a ROLE and not a DOMAIN.

Am I wrong here? Doesn't Business Architecture belong in the IT organization?
Would really like some others perspectives on this!

3 Comments:

Blogger Stephen said...

Agreed.

I've posted about your post here.

1:56:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Rose said...

James,

My thoughts…

I think certain aspects of Business Architecture reside in the IT domain such as the analysis and decomposition of business processes. Also contains analysis of the operating model to define technical architecture requirements, etc. However, as we move IT responsibility from just a cost center to a profit center, we are going to see radical changes in this aspect of Enterprise Architecture, referred to as Business Architecture. I think the rhetoric filled site you referenced is “over the top” although, these topics are going to eventually move into the scope of Business Architecture.

It’s like Walter Cronkite on in the series "The Twenty-First Century" during the 60s, showing the home of the future with a computer room, the computer of course half the size of the entire room. The average person a computer operator, inconceivable? Now my pre-teen son can assemble one in our family room, and wields PowerPoint as easy as finger painting.

As IT and business operations work closer together, SOA and EDA related technologies evolve, Business Architecture scope will probably contain business strategy, operating models, etc, as well as the IT scope it has today.

Tom

9:44:00 PM  
Blogger Kiran Garimella said...

I don't think Business Archtitecture should be viewed as a purely IT function, though IT seems to be driving this because of their visibility into cross-functional business processes. I think people get confused between these three domains: Business Strategy/Innovation (the equivalent of product engineering) or M&A, IT architecture (anything in IT that doesn't deal with coding or project management), and Business Architecture.

For the first two, most people at least understand where they reside, even though they may not accept the definitions. The last one is not only not even defined, but no one is sure where it should sit.

I would like to see it as a bridging function that translates business strategy to IT architecture (where it makes sense...not everything gets translated into IT right away), even though the name doesn't make it intuitively clear.

Given that Business Architecture is still a new concept, there is no reason to get upset over some one else's definition. After all, there is nothing in the phrase that makes it exclusively IT.

6:06:00 PM  

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