11 years, 1 month ago

Ten Predictions for Business Architecture in 2020

Link: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBusinessArchitect/~3/9iIUqtbNxTQ/

crystal ball

Architects of all types like to peer into the future and I am no different. When my Forrester colleague, Gordon Barnett, mentioned he was working on a new report on the state of business architecture in 2020, I thought it was time for me to look into my business architecture crystal ball. For the record, I haven’t read Gordon’s article so I have no idea how we align or misalign.

Even though business architecture was born out of enterprise architecture, big changes are coming. The children are leaving home, off to greater success than their parents.

  1. Business architecture will become a vertical function. Business architects will move away from the notion of a single architecture for the entire enterprise. The focus will be on lines of business (LOBs), business units, and departments. Most of the practicing business architects have already made this shift. There will be minimal activity around the concept of “Enterprise Business Architecture” beyond clarifying corporate strategy and goals for application at the local level. A few organizations with large transformation efforts will be the exception.
  2. Business architects will be distributed. Business architecture functions will be located in individual LOBs and business units. Most will have no formal reporting relationship to IT or EA though a few will have a dotted line relationship back to the enterprise technical architecture function.  
  3. Business architecture roles will largely be filled by candidates with business experience. Though some enterprise architects will make the jump, many will not. The business architecture ranks will be filled with former, business analysts, strategists, business managers, and others with a less technology focus. Many business architecture teams will have a former EA staffer in their organization to coordinate technology changes with EA and IT.
  4. Most business architecture functions will operate under a community of practice framework. The business architecture operating style for most organizations will be collaborating, sharing, and innovating – not standardizing. A few organizations will operate under a center of excellence framework with a small central team providing standards, best practices, and training for the distributed business architecture teams.
  5. Business architects primary role will be managing strategy implementation and organizational change. Business architects will participate in LOB strategy development but their primary role will be strategy clarification, illumination, and implementation. As they work more closely with business leaders to clarify strategy their contribution to strategy development will increase post 2020.  
  6. Mature business architecture organizations will manage other functions. As business architects become adept at strategy implementation they will take on managing the local PMO, business analysts, BPM, and other functions that are closely tied to strategy implementation. 
  7. Business architects will operate more as consultants than architects. The traditional idea of creating a global reference architecture as a driving force will give way to more targeted work. Business architects will largely be called upon to solve specific business problems and help with specific decisions. They will operate more like internal consultants, bringing a broad set of tools to bear on the problem of the day.
  8. Business architects will largely focus on business effectiveness. Many business architects get their start by addressing efficiency topics such as application portfolio and project rationalization but the more successful ones quickly move on to focus on effectiveness with significantly less emphasis on operational efficiency. For most groups the 80/20 rule will apply. They will spend 80% of their time on strategic and operational effectiveness and 20% on creating efficiencies.
  9. Capability approaches will dominate. There is currently a lot of disagreement surrounding how business architecture should be structured. The biggest contention is between process centric and capability centric advocates. The process viewpoint won’t disappear but business leaders will resonate more with a capability approach largely because it creates a better canvas for strategy design and implementation.  
  10. Business architects will be in high demand. By 2020 business architecture will reach the top of the hype-cycle curve. Expectations will be inflated, consultants and vendors will be heavily promoting the role, and experienced business architects will be in short supply. This problem will be exacerbated by the lack of practice standardization as many business architects will have great experience – but companies will be looking for experience in their approach.  

Agree? Disagree? Let me know.

Tagged: Business Architecture, Vision