I’ve Been Thinking

by Jeff Scott, on Dec 15, 2016 10:33:38 AM

Accelare - Business ArchitectureAs the year comes to a close, I’ve been thinking about the business architecture profession – where we are and where we want to go. Though the concept of business architecture arose in the late 1990s it was really just ten years ago that we started to see practices start up and the initial ideas for the profession get defined. After a decade of progress (and struggle) it is a good time for some taking stock and reflecting on what we have accomplished and where we go from here.

First the good news.

Business architecture has generated a lot of interest. Enterprise architects, business analyst, management consultants, process engineers and a host of others have resonated with business architecture concepts and continue to drive a broad community of business architecture “activists” that promote business architecture within their organizations and the community at large. Over the past ten years the energy and ranks of these activists has continued to grow.

A small group of business architects have been highly successful. All the data I see indicates that somewhere around 15 to 20 percent of business architecture efforts have integrated themselves into their organization’s operating model in some way. Some are working on operational excellence but a much larger number are working on aspects of strategy execution.

Now for some bad news.

After ten years, business architecture still hasn’t made broad gains in the business community. Business leaders do not understand business architecture (and most have never even heard of it). Many business architects still see business architecture through an IT lens while proclaiming it is about the business.

According to industry analyst reports, most initial business architecture efforts fail within two to three years and most of the rest continue to struggle. Much of the success of the established business architecture teams can be traced to one or two strong champions who make it work rather than broader acceptance of the concepts in general.

The question for us is “where do we go from here?” To be a little more direct,

“what do we need to do to make business architecture sustainable in the long run”.

Do we believe that we are on the right track and just need more time to prove that business architecture works? Is our rate of progress acceptable? Do we have the right people leading our profession forward? Do we need to reexamine the role of the business architect and its basic axioms or do we just need a little tweaking around the edges?

Over the next few posts, I will be exploring these and other questions to attempt to find the roots of our successes and failures.

What questions would you like answered? Leave a comment!

The bottom line:_________________________________________________________________

Business architecture is a great concept that has yet to move into the mainstream. After 10 years of steady but slow progress is it in danger of becoming last year’s management fad? Where are we likely to be if continue along the same trajectory for the next 10 years?


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