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5 February 2008

Enterprise Architecture and Business Analysis

There is a community of Enterprise Architects out there with a handful of activie bloggers. (You may have read my post a few days ago from Nick Malik for example.)

When you look at the role of the EA you see it's about planning and macro level design of the technology environment of an organisation. It addreses the need to balance the short term needs to get things done with the need for a scalable an uncertain future.

The Enterpise Architects I have met came to the role from business analysis, so it's not surprising that the BABOK (v1.6) identifies Enterprise Analysis as one of the key knowledge areas for Business Analysts. (Solution architects I know tend to have been developers.)

"Enterprise Analysis is the Knowledge Area of the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BA BoK) that describes the Business Analysis activities that take place for organizations to

  1. identify business opportunities,
  2. Build their Business Architecture framework, and
  3. determine the optimum project investment path for the enterprise, including implementation of new business and technical system solutions."

The BABOK goes on to characterise Enterprise Analysis as mainly pre-project work that is involved in project portfolio planning, feasibility studies, strategic planning and busienss architecture.

It's focus is on the business side of the business/technology divide, but as a consequence of that macro level view technology infrastructure is included in it's application.

The Business Architecture describes the businesses strategy, its long term goals and objectives, the high level business environment through a process or functional view, the technological environment, and the external environment. It also defines the relevant stakeholders, such as the government, regulatory agencies, customers, employees, etc.

According to the BABOK, business architecure is one of five dimensions of Enterprise Architecture;

    1. Business Architecture
    2. Information Architecture
    3. Application Architecture
    4. Technology Architecture
    5. Security Architecture

This context is interesting and is part of a wider conversation about the degree to which IT drives business decisions and how appropriate that is.

I am sure it is one our Enterprise Architect friends have views on.

Enterprise Architect