Saturday, May 9, 2020

The Ultimate Goal and Practicability of Business Architecture

A business architecture contains the organizational context and is strategic in that it gives direction to the business design and transformation. 

The emerging digital era upon us is all about the exponential growth of information and the rapid speed of changes. Therefore, today’s digital organizations need to be highly responsive, flexible, and self-adaptive to the dynamic environment. Business Architecture (BA) as a useful tool is not just for knowledge collection, more about capturing business insight and foresight, facilitates the planning and communicating of business change initiatives, and translates the abstract concept back into the real world example. The ultimate goal of Business Architecture is to architect business in the transition to the strategic state.

Business Structure Tuning: Traditional organizations are often silo-based and strictly hierarchical, react to business dynamics, or even stagnate due to the exponential growth of information and the increasing speed of changes. The degree of business responsiveness depends on how business systems and subsystems interact with each other. Forward-looking organizations leverage Business Architecture as a practical tool to dismantle business bureaucracy, experiment with different types of organizational structures to enforce business alignment, enablement, and collaboration.

Business Architecture as a practical tool helps to frame the organizational structure, establish a formal and enabling organizational structure in line with your desired direction and organizational ambition, also identify the unofficial structures and take them along on the journey of transformative change. so the organizational structure should enable not only the structured processes but also the unstructured processes of the hyperconnected digital enterprise; balance the welfare, freedoms, and responsibilities of the subsystems and the total system to accelerate performance, improve business adaptability and maturity.

Business Planning:
A business plan outlines the preferred course of action and provides direction. Business Architecture is a great tool for designing and planning. With today’s business velocity and frequent digital disruptions, the dynamic planning process is the continual attention to current changes in the organization and its external environment, and how this affects the future of the organization.

The challenge of Business Architecture is to build an organization that in times of change and in times of relative status quo remains. The planning process is never "done,” it is a continuous cycle with the proper adjustment on the way. With the fast-paced change, if planned in detail as far ahead as the end state, much planning time and effort will be wasted. Foresighted organizations apply BA as a practical tool to define more than one way of achieving the strategic goal. Conduct organizational level briefing and choose the most suitable and acceptable approach to reach the desired destination.

BPM or Re-engineering: There are smaller process improvement efforts, some may be larger process re-engineering and the largest are truly transformational in nature. Business Architecture is an effective tool for gaining visibility across the core business processes and having someone owning the end-to-end process, as well as helping to optimize business processes for improving business efficiency.

With the hyperconnectivity and interdependence nature of digital organizations, business process management needs to become more dynamic and people-centric, eliminate unnecessary complications, and reduce the burden on the company. Architects are the "chief engineer" of systems, in which they must make sure that everything works as a "system," ensuring overall business integrity, not just from a technical perspective, but from the perspective of the system's goals such as delivering better performance results.

Acquisition: Modern businesses are complex, complexity may come from M&A and other business operation and expansion activities. Business Architecture can help an organization understand the boundary between the organization and the external world, manage its partnerships and supply chains, digitalization, globalization, influence and comply with relevant regulation,, assess and execute M&A activities, and develop an extended organization.

Altering cultural, organizational, and operating systems can sometimes have unintended consequences that may generate even more complexity. Complex organizations don’t always behave in a linear way. Making business more transparent is the first step in order for people to understand and optimize complexity. BA as a useful tool helps to make complexity transparent, define accountability, remove duplication, sort out and streamline processes, drive exceptional growth, and foster diversification.

Project Initiation: Any initiative, even though a very technical one should have a business objective associated with it. Business Architecture as a useful tool helps to identify gaps, assumptions, risks, etc, shape the prioritization of the opportunities, level set scope, and approach. Compelling business cases describe the initiative’s benefits and costs flow, how the initiative builds business processes that differentiate the organization from its major competitors; or how the initiative situates the organization within a growing and highly profitable product market niche.

BA is also a useful communication tool to improve greater transparency, trust, and collaboration, leverage repeatable processes, and master expectation management such as support from C-Level peers and buy-in from staff. The benefits of using BA in project initiatives perhaps also include things like portfolio rationalization, digital road maps, operational reliability metrics/dashboard, and human capital investment, etc.

A business architecture contains the organizational context and is strategic in that it gives direction to the business design and transformation, looks for leverage within the ecosystems, industries, and domain knowledge that defines the business interactions and interrelationships, reference and intelligence, etc. It also helps to orchestrate organizational interrelationship by bridging gaps, enforcing communication, fostering collaboration, building trust, and ultimately leading to greater business autonomy and high-level organizational maturity.


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