SOA Consortium Publishes Discussion Paper on Business Architecture: The Missing Link between Business Strategy and Enterprise Architecture

Jan 05, 2010, 09:10 ET from SOA Consortium

NEEDHAM, Mass., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The SOA Consortium(TM) has published a discussion paper developed by its Enterprise Architecture 2010 (EA2010) Working Group on "Business Architecture: The Missing Link between Business Strategy and Enterprise Architecture." The paper is the culmination of several months of discussion by group members as well as a starting point for further discussion by the community at large. The paper is available to the public and may be viewed at

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The SOA Consortium's EA2010 Working Group -- a group of "street-smart" enterprise architecture practitioners -- has been actively discussing the domains, services, practices and skills required for a thriving, business relevant enterprise architecture practice in the 2010s.

"This paper highlights the importance of Enterprise Architects working together to help each other with ideas and lessons learned. They know that streamlining and optimizing the business is the key to innovation and better service across the service/supply chain," said Richard Mark Soley, Ph.D., executive director, SOA Consortium. "As the SOA Consortium merges with the BPM Consortium, the members will continue to advocate for true integration of business and IT."

A critical finding of these discussions is the emphasis of technology concerns at the expense of business understanding, and ultimately, true business enablement, in most enterprise architecture practices today. Successful enterprise architecture practices in the 2010s must give equal emphasis to technology and business concerns. The means for this re-balancing is the elevation, and in some cases initial adoption, of business architecture practices.

Typically, the business architecture practices and artifacts in enterprise architecture frameworks focus on business processes and business uses cases. This is not surprising, since these artifacts and practices are a prerequisite to IT-based business solution delivery. However, this is not sufficient.

To reap the benefits of business architecture -- business visibility and agility -- the business architecture must reflect the entire business design, from the point of view of business designers and owners, rather than IT solution delivery. This point of view begins with business motivations, includes key business execution elements -- such as operating model, capabilities, value chains, processes, and organizational models -- and transcends information technology representations, such as business services, rules, events and information models.

While EA2010 group members strongly believe that business architecture is a business domain, the Chief Information Officer (CIO), given his/her unique position to view business plans, business processes, information flows, and technology portfolios across the organization, most often champions business architecture formalization.

In this discussion-oriented paper, the EA2010 group shares their findings on the following questions:

  • What comprises business architecture?
  • What is the purpose?
  • Who participates?
  • How do you make business architecture accessible?
  • How does business architecture facilitate business decision-making and change?
  • How do you keep business architecture current?
  • How does business architecture relate to BPM, SOA and IT solution delivery?

To join the conversation, please visit the SOA Insights blog

About The SOA Consortium

The SOA Consortium is an advocacy group of end users, service providers and technology vendors committed to helping the Global 1000, major government agencies, and mid-market businesses successfully adopt Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) by 2010. SOA Consortium founding enterprise members include Fortune 200 companies in Financial Services, Travel, Manufacturing, Retail and Telecommunications. Sponsors are Cisco, HP, IBM Corporation, Layer 7 Technologies, MegaPractical, NEC Sphere, SPARX Systems and Sun Microsystems, Inc. Participants include Fortune 1000 corporations, major government agencies and non-governmental organizations. Any organization may join the SOA Consortium. The SOA Consortium is managed by OMG.

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