Introduction to Business Architecture

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Course Technology PTR, 2010 - Business & Economics - 249 pages
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Business Architecture is a disciplined approach to creating and maintaining business models that enhance enterprise accountabilities and improve decision-making. Business Architecture's value proposition, unlike other disciplines, is to increase organizational effectiveness by mapping and modeling the business to the organization's business vision and strategic goals. The book is an introduction to this burgeoning new field. It explains what Business Architecture is, what a good, sustainable one should include, and explains how to implement a business architecture practically within the reader's environment. Extensive examples and case studies are included to clarify points and demonstrate clearly to the reader how they too can begin to build business architecture within their organization.

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Introduction to Business Architecture/Chris Reynolds
Cengage Learning 2010 (268 pages) Citation
The book introduces Business architecture as a new filed and explains how it could be implemented within the context of the reader. This review is focused on the adaptability of the generic framework proposed by author by consulting organisations to its clients.
The Book introduced a generic framework to business architecture that consists of five views that a business need to take into consideration when moving from as-is state to an expected future state. The five views are Goals, Facades, Communication, Processes and Entities. Each view has its own distinct explanation to model on, for example, Goals speaks of analysing the Goal Hierarchy and Facades speaks of identifying various external faces of the business and what functionality the business offer on each end. The book further introduces how to implement the business architecture within different organisational contexts and adoption of tools from the existing industry best practice toolbox such as BPMN and UML to map and present the architecture.
When facades are introduced, the author has emphasised only on external facades and stated that the other views will be addressing the inner workings of the business. The facades analysis is a novelty and it is important to have an internal facades analysis to identify how various business units look at the entire business operations. Leaving this to other views such as Process, Entity or Goal will not surface the functionality offered by the overall business to each business unit which will be a good starting point to refine the services.
The author introduces Business Architecture as a new subject area and claims that the book will help implement the business architecture within the reader’s business context. For the reader, there are a few questions raised at end of each chapter as a check list. Most of these questions are quite generic and may not be sufficient for a reader to self-assess the context and draft business architecture as suggested by the author. It will certainly require a consulting organisation and experienced consultants to assist.
Further the author has compared leading architecture frameworks such as Zachman and TOGAF with the views introduced in the book but indicated that each framework run across all the views. This in particular creates an issue for an organisation to implement the proposed business architecture on their own framework if they are currently adopting a leading architecture. Most certainly such organisation may need a consulting support from a skilful consulting organisation.
Also, the book does not address other frameworks like COBIT and related ValIT which in turn adopted by most of large enterprises. Having a closer analysis of the proposed business architecture views with COBIT/ValIT frameworks will help enterprises to understand the alignments better.
Finally, the book attempts to introduce Business Architecture at a high-level and at the same time advocates of low-level tools that can be used to define and draft the architecture. This creates a huge gap in the minds of the reader of adoptability of the tools. Naturally, business architecture and other architectures such enterprise, application, security and infrastructure architectures has a strong link and the proposed tools in the book has not established this link.
In conclusion, the book on Introduction to Business Architecture adds novelty to the subject of architecture. It highlights five different views to consider when defining the business architecture. Apart from the missing linkages between the views introduced and there practical implementation, the author gets the reader motivated and constructively think towards its suitability and implementation.
 

About the author (2010)

Chris Reynolds has been consulting in the IT industry for over 15 years, and has been doing business design work for over 20 years. He has performed business architecture work for wholesale and logistics companies, manufacturers, telecom companies, and financial institutions.

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