Recently while hosting one of our Business Architecture Information Sessions I found myself reflecting on how far Business Architecture has come as a profession. I pondered an episode from our past which many would now find hard to believe. It was around early 2007 and as a provider of architecture talent, EA had developed a very sophisticated view of the architecture job family framework and there was a discussion around our board table where we entertained the question: Is Business Architect a valid member of the Architecture Job Family framework?
Happily we concluded the answer was YES, but there was still some debate. In hindsight this seems like an obvious conclusion but trust me this is a reflection on how far the profession has evolved. At that time Business Architecture was something that business management consultants claimed as their own – while IT architects were typically working on process models, functional decompositions and requirements gathering at the business layer of enterprise architecture. The strategic management consultant and enterprise architecture perspectives were two substantially differing perspectives of what business architecture comprised.
The reality of that time was that we at Enterprise Architects were advocating the importance of common capability models, to support both strategic business planning and the alignment of technology investment to business priorities – while it is a common expectation today, at that time it was anything but.
Seven years later and the world is very different; everyone claims to be doing business architecture. Today half the enterprise architects we interview claim business architecture as a competency – though when interrogated we find that this is rarely the case. We have realised that business architecture is a bit like old-age sex (don’t make me define old) – everyone is talking about it but very few are actually engaging in it. We’ve sought to change that with the introduction of our Applied Business Architecture course which trains others in the strategic planning and business architecture techniques honed in our consulting practice.
Along the way we have asked ourselves where is the best raw stock for fashioning business architects, as frankly there are real questions whether the majority of enterprise architects – grown through a history of infrastructure and application, development, design and architecture – have the right grounding to be great business architects. In this journey we determined that Business Architecture was a natural career progression for Business Analysts, due to their rich experience understanding the challenges of their business stakeholders and the trusted relationship they build.
Today I think we can honestly say that Business Architecture has come of age. This week the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) has officially endorsed EA’s Applied Business Architecture training course as a key professional development programme for its members. In my mind this is a resounding confirmation of our belief that a natural career option for experienced business analysts, is to up-skill in business architecture methods and assist business stakeholders in their strategic planning for IT and investment planning decisions.
EA’s Chief Architect Craig Martin explored this subject further in his webinar ‘Driving Your Ba Career’. You can click here to watch his presentation.
Or if you would like more details about EA’s Business Architecture, click here. The good news for IIBA members is that EA is offering IIBA members a 20% discount off their Applied Business Architecture Courses; reach out to one of our learning services consultants at email@example.com to find out more.