Today's businesses face a turbulent environment in which constant economic, regulatory and technological disruption has become the norm. Businesses need flexible, adaptable systems which can also deliver satisfactorily on 'Business as Usual' (BaU).
The discipline of Enterprise Architecture (EA) has become an important tool in the enterprise's efforts to undertake major transformational changes that are aimed at achieving strategic goals. EA holds out the possibility of aligning Business and IT long-term goals, so that IT is responsive to business change and the business derives real value from its current and future investments in IT.
Most EA frameworks recognise 3 basic architectures that together constitute EA. They go by different names in different frameworks, but generically the 3 are:
- Business Architecture
- Information Systems Architecture
- Information Technology Architecture
Business Architecture is about designing the components of the business itself, such that fit-for-purpose business systems are created and sustained, in line with the organisation's mission and strategic goals. These components include business services and business processes, as well as organisation structure units and infrastructure facilities, such as locations.
Given the importance of this work, some authorities, especially in recent times, suggest that Business Architecture should not be seen as part of EA at all, but as part of a more general concern for architectural work that is holistic enough to embrace the entire fabric of the enterprise, including 'soft' issues, such as style and culture. We respect this point of view, but consider the scope of this to be far too wide for our purpose, covering areas well outside the traditional role of the IS/IT function. Hence our focus in this course is on the role of BA within EA.
Business Architecture within EA is derived by considering the required Business and Operating Models, as communicated by the leadership of the organisation. It must also pay attention to the various governance requirements demanded by legislation and regulatory authorities. The definition of a Business Architecture, which should be seen as a joint Business/IT initiative, starts with consideration of the strategic intent of the enterprise and continues until all the relevant business components are defined that support those goals.
With such a definition in place, we can proceed to design the Information System services required to support the business, and identify the required application and data components that will deliver those services. Using this IS blueprint, we can design the required components of Information Technology. Once all 3 architectures have been specified in this way, we will have the model of an EA, which connects strategic goals to the use of Information Technology. Typically the required EA is planned for deployment as a strategic roadmap, showing the incremental delivery of enhanced business, IS and IT capabilities in a coordinated way.
The course that we offer takes the delegate through the process of deriving a Business Architecture, explaining the components required, and suggesting techniques, models and tools that assist with the process. We also show how eventually these components can be connected to suitable IS and IT services.
The approach taken is loosely aligned to the TOGAF and Archimate standards, but this is not intended to be a formal course on either framework. No knowledge of these frameworks is required, although it would be desirable.
The course would benefit delegates already qualified in TOGAF and/or Archimate, or in some other EA framework, for example Zachman. The course would benefit Enterprise Architects, Business Architects and also Business Analysts and Senior Business Analysts looking to move up into an architectural role. The course would suit the awareness needs of roles such as Programme Manager.