Enterprise Architecture plays many roles in organizations, such as strategy facilitator , capability producer; decision influencer, governance enforcer.
In dealing with rapid change and fierce competitions, today’s digital organizations need to be highly responsive, flexible, and self-adaptive to the dynamic environment. Business Architecture as a tool is about capturing business insight and foresight, facilitating strategic planning and business transformation; dealing with management paradoxes, connecting relevant dots if only making sense to optimize management disciplines, striking the right balance between digital speed and industrial speed for driving seamless paradigm shifts.
Architecture, strategy, capability connection for improving business maturity: Business architecture is a facilitation tool to orchestrate business transformation. The “strategic” part of the planning process orchestrated via architecture is the continual attention to current changes in the organization and its external environment, as well as how this affects the future of the organization. The ultimate goal of Business Architecture is to architect business in transition to the strategic state defined in the enterprise Strategic Plan and make a smooth transition from “as is” to “to-be” state of the business.
Strategic planning must be closely tied to that of the business, enhancing the maturity level of the organization defined by enterprise architecture. With architecture as an effective mapping tool of aligning capabilities and strategic goals, those business capabilities with gaps are evaluated more deeply, and can be improved structurally. It helps to harness cross-functional collaboration. which produces a list of remediation work that needs to be completed to improve differentiated business capabilities. Capability based strategy has significantly higher success rate.
Architecture, design, and engineering aspects of people-centric organization: All enterprises are designed to varying degrees of detail and with varying degrees of success, but that does not mean that they are architected comprehensively. Without an architectural view, design could become silo and out of focus. Business Architecture’s role in designing and planning future enterprise is necessary but challenging because it helps to set up the environment for implementing business solutions such that it becomes hard to not do good design, and improve business people-centricity, agility, and maturity.
Architecture makes design more coherent and holistic; it can also enhance engineering disciplines. At the high mature level of business management, the science of engineering is for automation, reliability, and continuity; the art of engineering is about imagination, innovation, and invention, etc. The effective architecture is able to bridge the difference between engineering as art and engineering as science. The architecture captures business insight, design elaborates the intuitiveness, elegance, customer-centricity of the business and engineering figures out how to make things work technically.
Knowledge, experience, and skill of enterprise architects: Business architecture is about boundary conditions; establishing those boundaries and understanding their interactions is key to how businesses are structured. There are many channels to mature as enterprise architects who take different maturing paths may see the same organization from varying lenses and with very different challenges. So architects need to work closely with business managers to keep improving enterprise architecture by using their interdisciplinary knowledge, design experience and integral professional skills.
Besides the “hard skills” such as business domain knowledge, project management experiences, and organizational restructuring skills, great architects also have strong envisioning and communication soft skills, as well as culture reinvention influence. In specific, enterprise architects with organizational design skills can help to restructure the company which is solid enough to give meanings and open enough to its environment which allows the movement of people, ideas, and information frictionlessly.
Enterprise Architecture plays many roles in organizations, such as strategy facilitator , capability producer; decision influencer, governance enforcer. The goal of Business Architecture is to reinvent learning agile, intelligent, resilient businesses that can operate effectively in a dynamic market driven conditions, often unpredictable and ambiguous environment/ ecosystem.