Business transformation is driving a change in the relationship between IT and the business. Internal and external forces are requiring organizations to be more responsive to customer needs and achieve operational and technological efficiencies. The traditional role of the IT professional has consisted of articulating technology architecture without considering the overall enterprise architecture.
Organizations increasingly require IT professionals to gain a more thorough understanding of the business to ensure that technology solutions adequately support business requirements, vision, and strategy. The IT professional can acquire new business analysis skills and employ techniques that will aide them in acquiring more knowledge about the business. Linking business analysis skills with the methods of The Open Group’s Architecture Framework, TOGAF®, facilitates stronger IT results that drive business value.
This white paper addresses the TOGAF framework and a high-level overview of the key business analysis techniques that IT professionals would benefit from to achieve IT results and establish a valued partnership with the business.
This white paper addresses the changing role of IT in organizations to ensure technology is aligned with business priorities, goals, and strategy. Business transformation requires technology support the business capabilities and expected outcomes. IT professionals must have a more holistic perspective on the enterprise to understand the long-term strategy, goals, and vision for the business. Accomplishing this goal means applying business analysis techniques to the industry standard methods of The Open Group’s Architecture Framework, TOGAF®, for enterprise architecture.
The most widely used enterprise architecture approach, TOGAF, will be referenced to demonstrate how business analysis skills enable IT professionals to view the business across two layers of the TOGAF framework: 1) Architectural Principles, Vision, and Requirements, and 2) Business Architecture. The focus of IT professionals has traditionally been limited to the Technology Architecture layer of the TOGAF framework. However, specific business analysis skills will be introduced to demonstrate how they can be applied for articulating each of the two TOGAF layers.
The list of business analysis skills and techniques can be exhaustive; therefore, a few skills and techniques will be presented for each of the two layers. The intent is to heighten the awareness of these tools and the need for additional professional development to understand their application.
Business transformation is driving a change in the relationship between IT organizations and the Lines of Business (LoBs). Organizations are interested in realizing value from their technology investments and are seeking ways to ensure business strategy shapes technological investments supporting existing and new business capabilities, which ultimately results in business value.
Internal and external forces are requiring businesses to be more responsive to ensure that their value proposition both supports and enhances their value to customers. This requires strategic, operational, technology, and management changes within an enterprise.
As part of this transformation, CIOs are confronted with establishing a technological approach that is responsive and aligned with the CEO’s business strategy. IT professionals are increasingly required to more fully understand business needs, priorities, objectives, and strategy. This requires knowledge acquisition about the business in an effort to transform from a technology-centric to a business-centric view.
IT professionals can accelerate this transformative effort by viewing business from an enterprise architecture perspective. Acquiring an awareness of business analysis skills and techniques enables them to effectively engage with business leaders and stakeholders to establish a holistic view of the business. The power of linking the TOGAF enterprise architecture framework with valuable business analysis skills enables the IT professional and the organization to achieve value-added results.
Traditional Silos Between IT and the Business
IT departments and the LoBs continue to operate in silos where it is difficult to align technology capabilities to business priorities, goals, and long-term strategy. Effective business transformation requires the IT organization be aligned with business strategy; this ensures the technology infrastructure adequately supports business capabilities to meet outcomes and drive value.
Bridging the gap between IT and the business helps build credibility for IT professionals and provides a higher degree of assurance that technology solutions will support business capabilities and needs.
IT professionals can bridge this gap by employing business analysis skills and techniques to gain a better understanding of the organization. This enables an approach to technology solutions from a business perspective instead of first defining technical solutions that require business alignment. Having a thorough understanding of the business also helps IT professionals establish credibility with respective business stakeholders. This is a “business-first” approach to defining technology solutions.
The TOGAF model is one that IT professionals can use to gain a more thorough and holistic view of the business. Business analysis skills and techniques can be applied to different layers of the TOGAF framework.