Twenty or thirty years ago the title ‘Business Architect’ would have been considered only in the literal definition, probably as an architect who literally built business buildings. When a company needed a new building constructing, they would say ‘bring in the Business Architect’.
Today however, that same title represents one of the most important senior roles for businesses across the world. Over the last decade the Business Architect has become an increasingly sought-after professional. For many employers they hold the key to ensuring their business remains relevant in an increasingly competitive world.
From buildings to business
It could be said that there is a correlation between the growth in demand for business architects and the rapid acceleration of IT and computer technology. Over the last twenty years technology ranging from data warehouses to WiFi has significantly improved the way businesses are structured and function in the world.
Despite these technological enhancements, businesses still struggle to gain a competitive market edge. But why? Well imagine a running hosepipe, left to its own devices it will aimlessly squirt water in every direction but the grass. However, with a person holding it, the hosepipe will send water directly to the grass, nourishing it and helping it survive.
A Business Architect is that guiding hand, they enable businesses to target their assets, whether they be technology led, people based etc. to the exact areas of the business which require it. Because of this central function, the role and positioning of a Business Architect is often agile.
They can work on a consultative level to plan and implement a single project, or they can work on a more permanent basis to ensure the business structure is continually improved. Some businesses have even implemented full Business Architect teams within their workforce.
Enough with the metaphors, what does a Business Architect do?
Defining exactly what a Business Architect does is easier said than done, as each role can vary depending on the individual business they work with. Generally however, the role can be split into three main functions:
Improving current business structure – this involves constantly assessing the current business structure through a business architecture perspective. Then, identifying areas of the businesses that could be improved or made more efficient with a single improvement project or multiple improvement programmes.
Implementing a business structure - often businesses going through an entire transformation will require a Business Architect to create new a business structure that will support the new direction and goals of the company. This will typically involve mapping out new aspects of the business such as customer/client journeys, internal staffing structures, HR functions, IT and systems efficiencies etc.
Future proofing the new business structure – this will often require the Business Analyst to work across the business to define the new structure to the workforce and ensure that proper governance is understood by the appropriate teams. This will involve setting KPI’s, measuring performance and ensuring the business needs are being met.
The future of Business Architects
The future seems bright for Business Architects. As technology and market demands continue to change the way businesses function, the role of the Business Architect is likely to become firmly integrated within the central function of many businesses across the world. The ability to react in almost real time to changes in market demands, or to gain that competitive edge with an intelligent business structure is enough to turn the head of any employer looking to invest in business architecture. As long as the desire to achieve more that is integral to any good business survives, so will the role of the Business Architect.
At the Bridge we work with companies across the UK to help improve their business structure through hiring experienced Business Architects. Whether you’re an employer or job seeker, we can help find the right fit for you. Get in touch today on 0113 380 1919.