How Business Architecture Fits within Enterprise Architecture

Fortunately, enterprise architecture is not always only about IT documentation anymore. Many enterprise architects are now more and more involved with the digital transformation of their organization. Yet, their digital transformation initiatives are still too often planned and deployed without involving the business side of their organization. By increasing resources in the business architecture domain of enterprise, enterprise architects can find ways to involve and provide more value to business stakeholders within their firm. Business architecture is a critical component within the broader field of enterprise architecture. Enterprise architecture (EA) is a discipline that helps organizations align their business capabilities, applications, information, and technology with their strategic goals and objectives. It provides a holistic view of an organization’s structure, processes, systems, and technologies. Business architecture, in turn, focuses specifically on the business aspects of this alignment.

Here’s how business architecture fits within enterprise architecture:

Strategic Alignment

Business architecture makes sure that an organization’s business strategies and goals are aligned with its core business processes, capabilities, and resources. It provides a roadmap for how the organization can achieve its strategic objectives through its business operations.

Capability Mapping

Business architecture defines the capabilities that the organization needs to achieve its strategic goals. This involves identifying the owner of a capability and the current and future core competencies, skills, and resources required to enhance each examined capability. By enhancing the maturity of a capability, the organization will be able to deliver additional value to clients and strategic stakeholders.

Information and Data Modeling

Business architecture encompasses the modeling of information and data requirements to support business operations. It helps you identify what minimal and necessary information is required to provide value for your organization. It also defines how information flows through the organization and is utilized to make decisions.

Stakeholder Management

It considers the needs and expectations of various stakeholders, including clients, employees, regulators, and partners. This allows the organization’s business operations and strategies to align better with the interests and preoccupations of these stakeholders.

Risk Management

Business architecture also plays a role in discovering and managing risks within business operations. It assesses the potential impact of risks on the organization’s strategic goals and develops strategies to mitigate them.

Change Management

Business architecture provides a foundation for managing changes within the organization. It helps in understanding how changes in business processes, capabilities, and technologies will impact the overall enterprise.

Business Process Design and Automation

Business architecture also examines the design and documentation of business processes, workflows, and activities. It defines the structure of an organization’s business operations, including how they are organized, executed, optimized, and more automized.

Governance and Compliance

It supports governance by defining the rules, policies, and standards that govern how the organization operates. This includes ensuring compliance with industry regulations and best practices.

Involvement in Agile Delivery

For enterprise architects to get more involved with the entire planning ecosystem of their organizations and increase the success rate of digital transformation projects, they need to increase their resources in business architecture and become more agile. To increase their value in an organization that uses SAFe® or any other sophisticated agile methodology, enterprise architects need to become a lot better at providing value to clients, patients, partners, key managers, and key employees using detailed value streams with identified participating stakeholders, enabling business capabilities, and last but not least required information concepts.

Justifying Financially Business Architecture

The benefits factors of your business architecture practice will include a strategic value contribution, strategic and tactical delivery improvements, and operational execution improvements. There are also costs associated with your business architecture practice. These costs include the compensation of business and enterprise architects, proper training, consulting, and one or several collaborative software business and enterprise architecture application tools.

In summary, business architecture is a fundamental element of enterprise architecture, focusing on the business aspects of an organization. It provides the necessary insights and frameworks to ensure that the business’s strategies, processes, capabilities, and resources are well-aligned with the broader enterprise goals. This alignment is crucial for achieving efficiency, competitiveness, and strategic success within an organization.

Authored by Dr. Steve Else, Chief Architect & Principal Instructor