What is Enterprise Business Architecture (EBA)?

Enterprise business architecture (EBA) or Strategic Business Architecture is a comprehensive and integrated modeling of a company linking the strategic, structural, informational, technological, and operational aspects of a corporation.  Enterprise Business Architecture is about enabling the strategic intent into a functional reality.

What is the definition of enterprise Business Architecture?

As is usually the case with any evolving and nascent discipline, industry gurus have come up with several definitions of business architecture.  While there are differences in tone and the level of emphasis on various elements,  the core purpose of enterprise business architecture is to encapsulate the essence of business in actionable components, entities, and mappings.

What are some Enterprise Business Architecture Components?

The components of business architecture include business capability maps, value streams, process models, systems and applications mapping, data and information mapping, organizational structure, location mapping, and roles mapping.

Why are Business Capabilities an essential part of Enterprise Business Architecture?

Business Capabilities are the first citizens of the enterprise business architecture continuum.  A capability represents an atomic building block of an enterprise. A business capability model offers a stable foundation that is agnostic to the volatility of the business processes and the quick obsolescence of supporting technologies.  While the business process is essential to complete an interaction or a transaction, and while the supporting applications are necessary to realize the capabilities, capabilities offer an abstraction that helps bridge business and technology alignment and facilitates technology enablement.

How do we build an enterprise business capabilities model?

Building a business capabilities model is a cross-functional and involved endeavor. Creating an enterprise capabilities model requires cohesion between business and technology teams facilitated by enterprise business architects.  Developing a capability model can be done two ways: Start with a blank slate and whiteboard a business capability map. The second method involves licensing some industry frameworks and capability models to act as a springboard and a starting point.  This starting point strawman capabilities map can then be iteratively refined.

How does a Capability Model look like?

Here is an example of a multi-level generic capability map. The Level 1 (or one can deem this Level 0) in this diagram represent the higher-level value chain elements. Moreover, then the capabilities are decomposed into the lower level of granularity.   The enterprise architects, business architects, and subject matter experts contribute to the evolution and refinement of a capability map.

Enterprise Business Architecture - Sample Capability Model Decomposition

List some enterprise business architecture deliverables?

Enterprise business architecture is a discipline where there are a few core deliverables, and much of the others are about relationship mapping to develop views and viewpoints.

Core Business Architecture Deliverables:

  • Enterprise Business Capabilities Model
  • Value Stream Model

Allied Business Architecture Deliverables:

  • Business Strategy – Typically developed by the C-Suite and translated/interpreted by business architects for “Strategy to Execution” linkage.
  • Application Inventory and Application Assessments – Typically done by IT architects and used by business architects for developing a “Capabilities to Systems” mapping.
  • Process Maps – a purview of process architects or business analysts and used by business architects to create a “Capabilities to Process Models” and “Value Streams to Process Maps.”
  • Information and Data Entity Model – Modeled by Data and Information Architects and used by business architects for creating a “Capabilities to Information Mapping.”
  • Organizational Structure – Developed by C-Suite or the HR Team (on behalf of the C-Suite) and used by business architects to form a “Capability to Organizational Mapping. In some companies where the business architecture practice has advanced, the org structure could be influenced by a capability model and the structure could directly map to clusters of related capabilities.

What does a Business Architect do?

A business architect acts as a bridge between business and technology. He or she models the enterprise and develops various blueprints and viewpoints to help technology teams establish optimal business solutions.  Business architects come from divergent backgrounds and with different educational achievements. The career progress depends on the aptitude and knowledge and could lead to positions in operations, technology, product management and of course enterprise architecture.

Business architects’ salaries and compensation depend on several things such as level at which the business architect role is pegged, the relative maturity and the importance of the business architecture practice, the educational background and work experience of the business architect, and overall compensation trends in the industry/company.

The role of a business architect is dynamic and ever-changing, particularly in light of the digital transformation sweeping the world of business. Today, the most successful folks are those can become strategic business architects. So, fundamental factors influencing a business architect’s salary yesterday and today may not be the determining the pay and benefits in the future.

Should we use a pre-built and customizable Business Capability Map?

CIOPages.com sells customizable Business Capabilities Models. (Also, there are several other sources.)  CIOPages offers several functional business capabilities models and industry-specific capabilities models.  (Note: Before you buy an off-the-shelf business capability map, please consider the applicability and relevance to your needs.)

Is Enterprise Business Architecture an integral part of Enterprise Architecture?

There are differing opinions, but we believe business architecture and enterprise architecture are related disciplines. The difference between the two is the one word – Business.

Enterprise architecture focuses on the overall design of the company including information architecture, application architecture, infrastructure architecture and of course business architecture is one of the critical areas.   The enterprise business architecture discipline focuses on the structure of the business and its interplay with other architecture domains.

Where can I find educational articles about Enterprise Business Architecture?

Check out Capstera which makes business architecture and capability mapping software, who also publish many articles on business architecture.

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