Becoming a Business Architect: Steps and Meaning

As a business architect, you design the framework guiding a company's processes, systems, and policies, mapping information flows and business capabilities.

Olena Kuzmenko
Becoming a Business Architect: Steps and Meaning
Olena Kuzmenko

A business architect is key in linking strategy and execution, just like a service level objective sets up service level agreements. Ironically, this role aligns perfectly with the career path I wanted.

With an MBA and a master's in organizational leadership, I can bridge the gap between business and technology. When a recruiter told me about the job, I knew it was perfect for me. I love challenges and learning new things, and this role has been great for my career.

Here are some reasons why we should know more about business architecture:

  1. It's a core part of enterprise architecture, tying together business strategy, technology, infrastructure, and security to serve the business's best interests.
  2. As a business architect, my job includes managing our practice and governance. I set standards and best practices for our work and build relationships within our company. Also, I gather info on our business and map domains using the business architecture framework to get insights.
  3. Business architecture is crucial today for aligning strategies across units, improving decisions, reducing duplicates, timeline changes, and budget growth, and supporting business and IT execution. This approach is special to business architecture.

It's worth noting that business architecture is different from technology architecture. While business architects focus on business needs, they don't get into data, application, or technical architecture like IT architects. Instead, they offer solutions with a business perspective, making sure it fit the overall strategy.

Typical work for a business architect includes capability maps, domain mapping, and developing business ideas. But the real success is when the practice fully blends into the company's ecosystem with a strong framework.

A typical day for me involves lots of meetings and emails. Being new, I spend time learning about various business areas, their functions, and applications. I'm also getting to know our business architecture framework and working on baseline mapping and best practices for our team.

To become a business architect, there are different routes. The Business Architecture Guild has a certification program, and many online courses are available. You need good communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and deep knowledge of your organization.

Business architecture's value lies in explaining what a business does, making decision-making clearer, and bettering business outcomes through effective planning and initiatives. When a business needs to meet its strategies, business architects deliver significant value to stakeholders.

Real-Life Cases and Experience

As a Business Consultant at White Sales, I work with startups and existing businesses to develop or improve their business processes. Each project involves an Ideologist, our term for Business Architect. This person must:

  • Identify the current process
  • Research best practices
  • Select the optimal solution for the business
  • Design the model and assess its strengths and weaknesses
  • Discuss options with the team and identify issues
  • Implement, test, and refine the process
  • Present the final result to the client

In essence, this is akin to designing or architecting a business strategy.

To embark on this path, consider these steps:

  1. Educate Yourself: Start with a degree in business administration, information technology, or a related field.
  2. Gain Experience: Work in various business roles to understand different functional areas.
  3. Learn the Tools: Familiarize yourself with enterprise architecture software and methodologies.
  4. Get Certified: Consider certifications from reputable organizations like The Open Group.
  5. Network: Connect with professionals in the field through events and online forums.
  6. Specialize: Pick an industry or area you're passionate about and focus your expertise there.

Remember, a successful business architect constantly adapts to new technologies and changing business landscapes.

In conclusion, business architecture is an essential practice that deserves more attention. Its role in connecting strategy and execution, uniting business units, and leading to successful results makes it incredibly valuable to companies.

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