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Does anyone else read Nick Malik's blog?

Assuming that “Architecture” can be generically defined as “the art and science of designing or constructing something” (adapted from here and here), then what exactly is Business Architecture?

Extending the generalized definition above, a Business Architect should be “someone concerned with the art and science of designing and constructing a business.” Note the verb: constructing. A business architect needs to be able to construct a business… from parts.

Reality check: How many people, with the title of business architect, are responsible for constructing a business?

Most present business architects are technologists, concerned primarily with the alignment of IT projects to business strategies. They may be planners or solution owners or process owners… but most work in IT departments of large organizations, often directly with the Enterprise Architecture function.

But if we take the view that a Business Architect is responsible for designing a business, or constructing it from constituent parts, then who should have the title of Business Architect? Should it be an IT person… or should it be a business person?

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Replies to This Discussion

Is a Business Architect the same thing as an Enterprise Architect?
In a word, no. Business Domain Expert (or SME) is appropriate. But think about this: A business architect in regards to designing a building? No, you might have a financial expert involved or a style guide expert but NOT an architect. Business Architect is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.

I might have to start reading Nick's blog...

My view continues to evolve but currently I am actually leaning toward a team of 3 people being optimal rather than the one or the other proposed. There is the EA representing the IT strategy that is trying to align with the business strategy which would be led by the Business Architect. The third leg of this stool that often seems to be forgotten is a role that we don't even staff half the time - an enterprise data architect. If I had a person who focused on all of the data in the enterprise, kept track of where we were introducing redundancy and made sure that what we did was optimal that would pay dividends and the other two could focus on their respective areas and make progress.

I am not sure that it really matters whether the Business Architect is in IT or the business. In either case, their ability to be effective is dependent on their ability to articulate the issues and options and be given the authority by the people who have it to propose recommendations. Ultimately their ability to lead people and convince them to adopt a strategy for their business is what matters.

Rule Architect / Knowledge Engineer, SME (several), DBA. Good... But you also need an EA over all of them to guide them and keep them on track. In addition, for an enterprise project, there probably would be quite a few other members. The SME should be the subject matter expert, whether business, legal, financial or whatever. NOT an IT guy but someone who is an expert in that particular field. IMO.



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