Today´s IT architectures are organized by business capabilities – especially if a microservices architecture is in place. Typically, the business architecture layer incorporates the business capability model and maps to applications, data, and technology etc. on the other architecture layers. This article gives an introduction to business capabilities, defines it and provides an example.
In my article “What is modern Enterprise Architecture”, I mention that business and IT need to stronger collaborate to drive Enterprise Architecture towards success. In this article, I describe why business needs to engage more in the Enterprise Architecture practice.
Business capabilities more and more take over the role as primary concept when it comes to manage all kinds of alignments and gain transparency of one or more organizations. In this article, I would like to present five major use cases that business capabilities can enable and what is needed to achieve the desired benefits.
I have seen many organizations in which someone had the idea to use business capabilities for their work. Business capabilities are still a relatively new concept and there is little agreement and accepted literature when it comes to the theory of the concept. Several organizations have tried to establish standards, yet, the scope of their standards ends at the boundaries of their organization. The results are little available guidance, heterogeneous development results, few success stories in the market, and many sceptic stakeholders. In order to support those organizations struggling with developing business capabilities, I have summarized my top 12 lessons learnt that I experienced during the past few years.
Every business capability map requires a starting point; may it be existing documentation of the organization itself, generic process descriptions, or a purchased best practices capability map. Each of the potential sources has its advantages and disadvantages which I would like to describe in this article.
Most organizations used to take process descriptions to describe their organization and their IT. Nowadays, organizations consider business capabilities to be more adequate for such purposes. In short, business capabilities describe what a company does, while processes describe, how a company does it. Also, business capabilities are a more stable and easier-to-understand framework than a traditional process landscape is. This enables a couple of fundamental use cases.
Interestingly, there are even large companies out there that put very little to no effort in assessing, managing, and developing their business architecture within their enterprise architecture practice. It seems that, due to the very few benefits realized from business architecture in the short-term, the focus of enterprise architecture had been more on technology solutions, information, and data. With the rediscovery of enterprise architecture during the past few years, this seems to be changing and the result is a high demand for business architecture Expertise.
As most of today’s architecture frameworks are quite old (from the 80s and 90s), many companies ask for adaptions to it or even do not believe in the benefit of such frameworks at all. In this post, I will suggest a modernized framework that takes into account what today’s companies need to consider and that better fits to today’s business environment.