The Evolution of the Business Architect
Business architecture reference model (BARM) for small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
Understanding organizations and their needs for new technology has never been more challenging than in today’s high-tech business world. Enterprise managers are required to coordinate with other departmental managers, direct their personnel and solve problems along the way. Communicating new designs to IT for needed applications may not be in the manager’s skillset. When the enterprise grows rapidly or tries to compete in new areas, a set of basic diagrams illustrating common workflows may no longer accurately reflect the complex environment. What is needed is a simple method for illustrating the enterprise as a whole, interoperable structure so managers and workers alike can describe their requirements in the unique vocabulary of their industry. REBAR offers a novel approach for using key strategic and operational business documents, written in natural language, as the basis for the formal enterprise ontology. Popular semantic web standards, including RDF, FOAF and DC, provide generic terms already designed to convey the subject–predicate–object structure of natural language in a social structure. The REBAR enterprise ontology extends these existing standards, thus evolving a socio-technical model of the functional organization distilled directly from existing enterprise documents. REBAR captures the essence of the unique enterprise in a graphical application that can be queried and dynamically recombined to illustrate details of complex workplace collaborations. An enterprise ontology should unite all defined departmental functions authorized by executive enterprise managers. Additionally, findings indicate the REBAR ontology has the potential to provide a reusable structure for linking core social business functions of the enterprise to other explicit enterprise knowledge, including policies, procedures, tech manuals, training documents and project metrics. The REBAR methodology offers evidence that the enterprise is more than the sum of its parts, it is the bridge unifying explicit and tacit knowledge during work projects across the entire enterprise.
A considerable number of organizations continually face difficulties bringing strategy to execution, and suffer from a lack of structure and transparency in corporate strategic management. Yet, enterprise architecture as a fundamental exercise to achieve a structured description of the enterprise and its relationships appears far from being adopted in the strategic management arena. To move the adoption process along, this paper develops a comprehensive business architecture framework that assimilates and extends prior research and applies the framework to selected scenarios in corporate strategic management.
Today, enterprises more than ever find themselves confronted with a constant need to transform themselves to better cope with current pressures and to prepare for future opportunities and challenges. Enterprise architecture management plays a crucial role in that context. It may not only aid in shaping the future enterprise, but it may also facilitate subsequent transformation governance. Based on the perception of enterprise architecture management as both a strategic and an operational exercise, this article distinguishes between four general modes of architectural transformation governance and presents the different faces of enterprise architecture management prevalent in these modes. In particular, this involves solution architecture, roadmapping, and business architecture activities.