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Subject of Business Architecture

If Business Architecture is based on business functionality, it is much more likely that the essence of the corporate business and its strategic goals will fit with the changes in the market. Talking about Business Architecture I assume that it is an architecture, first of all. As one can see, this definition is free from specifics of business or technology. With this definition, I challenged several significant business elements of an enterprise including those that are the most frequently attributed to Business Architecture by other authors.

Out of the above enumeration, only business functionality and business information have appeared to be. That is, those two elements have architectural attributes. Characterizing other enterprise elements, I can briefly say that:. Thus, all elements listed above are not architectural while very important to the enterprise. They form an environment where the Business Architecture exists and Business Architects operate. Business Architecture is not everything that is important for the enterprise not everything in a car is its engine ; Business Architecture is a compact entity but impacts everything in the enterprise.

That is, Business Architecture elaborates on the Enterprise Business Model and Business Strategic Plans, transforms them into a functional landscape of the business while the rest of the company works on how this functionality is or should be implemented.

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Enterprise Business Architecture is the architecture that comprises business functionality and business informational models, positions itself across the business administrative and organizational enterprise structures, and that transforms goals and objectives described in the Business Enterprise Model and refined in the Strategic Business Plans into the functional and informational definition of the corporate business.

This definition of Business Architecture is based on the definition of architecture presented earlier. All these are the factors of an architecture implementation. Business objectives and critical success factors cannot be a part of an architecture because they are external criteria that the architecture should adhere.

There is M:M ratio between Business Architectures and their implementations. Particular Business Architecture may have several alternative implementations; the opposite is also true. An implementation cannot be used for defining the architecture. An architecture should offer models of functionality, information and operation qualities such as accessibility, scalability, robustness, security and alike detailed enough for the implementation.

The latter, therefore, starts with the potential solutions in both business and technology domains while treating Business Architecture as a source of requirements. Business Architecture deals with current and planned functional architectural models. Existing functionality is frequently articulated as business competencies while planned functionality is depicted via business capabilities i.

A business competency may include motivational values and current behaviour while a business capability defines what the business could do if specific conditions occur. A capability is a combination of a business function and its possible reserved implementation as shown in Figure 1. Nonetheless, business capabilities are just a part of what Business Architects do and what the Business Architecture discipline defines. Described Business Architecture differs from the concept that is utterly based on capabilities, value streams and organization as it is promoted by the Business Architecture Guild BAG 5.

In contrast to BAG, this architecture states that a vision and strategies are inputs into architecture while tactics are implementation means, business capabilities are shared with meanagement and organization is a primary implementing mechanism that does not necessary match the architecture unfortunately , value streams are results of implementation that also can appear differently from the architectural directions, architectural design projects are separate from the implementation projects, and policies-rules-regulations-metrics-measures are a contribution of architecture into the Governance for others and for itself, i.

Business Architects may be and are involved in all these activities but as a part of the discipline, not as the subject of architecture. That is, BAG is not a new approach and just supports existing practice of mixing architectural models-plans with implementation, i. It is well known that depending on business circumstances, value streams and capabilities may or may not materialise, i.

Moreover, I have found that several BAG principles are contradictive.

Subject of Business Architecture

The paradigm of Business Architecture presented in this article is prescriptive in a sense it defines the business functionality and an information model that other elements of the enterprise should realise to the best of their abilities. Every enterprise has its Business Architecture though it may be not formally documented or even perceived.

Only business functionality and business informational model jointly form any particular Business Architecture.

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Other business elements of an enterprise make the architectural solutions happen. These elements influence Business Architecture or are influenced by it but do not construct it.

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A Business Architecture, which is based on functionality and information, is, in essence, an architecture of services that realize business functionality and provide access to business capabilities. In other words, this Business Architecture leads to the type of a Service-Oriented Enterprise 3 , which comprises structures of business services. It also needs certain organisational and operational structures of the company.

This architecture transforms an enterprise into a form optimal for the businesses conducted in a highly dynamic external environment. Service Orientation provides a rapid adoption of changes via business flexibility based on re-composition of business services. Flexibility of business solutions 6 cannot be accomplished without the changes in the management and organizational structure of a company demanding them to become flexible as well.

A service-oriented nature of Business Architecture appears as the major consolidating factor in an enterprise that is capable to be compliant with social structure, corporate culture, cooperative work of internal business units and external activities in the market.

Business Architecture oriented on services works for enterprises of all types and sizes. Service Orientation delivers the market competitive advantages based on business innovations, business solution integrity, business flexibility and extensibility, and all of these in convergence with the technological scalability, security and manageability. Business services, which form Business Architecture, are organizational and operational entities that realize certain business functionality via manual and automated means.

These entities usually cross from business to IT areas of the company 4. An Information Technology, as one of the forms of implementation of business functionality, plays an important role in optimization of business services. This corresponds to what Porter describes as "stuck in the middle" situation which eventually ends in decelerating competitive advantages and performance. In this meaning, the efforts the industry pays in undertaking and implementing the relevant competitive strategy will define its future growth and sustainability.

Yet we must recall that governmental policies for support of the industry are critical in this regard.

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    Business Architecture Definition

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