Business Architecture vs. IT Architecture

We are finding Business Architecture (BA) to be one of the most misunderstood but high-profile interests of business executives, CIOs and enterprise architects alike. They are asking questions like:

• Is BA the key to enabling business transformation through an enterprise (EA) effort?
• Does everyone have a business architecture?
• Is it owned and driven by the IT organization or the executive leadership of an organization?
• Can you truly enable business transformation with an IT-centric view of Enterprise Architecture?

For decades what IT professionals have called Enterprise Architecture is actually IT architecture. What we see most of the time is an EA effort mostly, if not solely, conducted within the IT function. There are certainly benefits to be achieved from IT architecture – improved adaptability, standardization, cost reduction, reduced integration complexity, and quicker time of delivery tend to be the chief objectives of most IT-led EA efforts. However, the lack of business participation, especially from those with strategic leadership, and the lack of distinction between BA and ITA will keep EA efforts from truly supporting or even contributing to an organization’s transformation efforts.

EAdirections is exploring three perspectives of the structure of EA from traditional to transitional to a truly transformational view. They will demonstrate how you must evolve the view of enterprise architecture as you go through different stages of maturity:

• How the Traditional View of EA supports the establishment of a strong IT foundation for the enterprise
• How the Transitional View of EA enables a more adaptive and agile foundation for quicker solutions delivery
• How the Transformational View of EA leads to true business transformation

Some EA efforts evolve to become more transformational based on the need and request of senior leadership seeking help with major business transformation. However, most EA efforts are going to have to develop the models, language and value proposition in order to get business leadership interested in architecting enterprise business transformation.