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Business Architecture Model

Most companies start out their business architecture journey without a business architecture model, which is clearly a mistake.

What is a Business Architecture Model?

Capstera business architecture model is a simple and yet effective way to gain a holistic perspective of what business architecture means and how it manifests.  The goal of the business architecture model is not to overwhelm, but help chart out the course and also determine which components and elements are important to the enterprise business architecture journey.  A team of business architects, enterprise architects, and data architects are the primary consumers of a business architecture model.

Business Model vs. Business Architecture Model:

A business model (or a business model canvas) is not a business architecture model. A business model deals with how a company survives and thrives with details of customer segments, products, value proposition, revenue streams, and the like. A business architecture model concerns itself with providing a conceptual model of how business architecture components come together to provide a cohesive and coherent view of an enterprise. Each model is important and complementary but not the same.

The highest-level view of Capstera Business Architecture Model:

  • Strategic Context: The core reason the company exists and its strategic blueprint.
  • Business Context: The overall enterprise information that is pertinent to the effectiveness of business architecture.
  • Business Capabilities: The business capabilities capture “What” a business does.
  • Value Streams: Value streams or Stakeholder Journeys capture the “How” business activities come together to serve the end-to-end needs of stakeholders.
  • Data Context: Data is the lifeblood of an organization and juxtaposing data to other business architecture elements help provide transparency of information flows
  • IT Context: IT enables and powers the business capabilities and value streams and overlay of IT information creates the underpinnings of how capabilities and value streams come to life.

business architecture model - top level components

Now, let’s examine each of the areas and the underlying elements that constitute these top-level constructs in the business architecture model.

Sub-Elements of the Top-Level Business Architecture Model Components:

Strategic Context: 

The strategic context provides the business motivation and the rationale for the enterprise. 

  1. Strategic Context:
    • Vision and Mission
    • Goals and Objectives
    • Business Model
    • Operating Model
    • Strategic Plan
      • Research and Analysis
      • Goals and Objectives
      • SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats)
      • Strategy Pillars
      • Initiatives
        • Programs
          • Projects
        • KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

business architecture model - strategic context

Business Context:

Business context or enterprise context is various types of information that is an input as well as a mapping element or an overlay to the other elements to understand the footprint, overlap, and relationship at a granular context.

  1. Business Context
    • Domains:
      • Business Domains
      • Information Domains
      • Architecture Domains
      • Technology Domains
    • Inputs and Outputs
    • Structure
      • Locations
      • Business Units
      • Departments
      • Roles
      • Channels
    • Offerings
      • Products
      • Services
      • Solutions
    • Constituents
      • Employees
      • Partners
      • Suppliers
      • Shareholders
      • Community
      • Customer Segments
    • Directives
      • Business Rules
      • Standard Operating Procedures
      • Methods
    • Measurements
      • Key Performance Indicators
      • Benchmarks
    • Exposures
      • Risks
      • Controls

Business Architecture Model - Business Context

Business Capabilities:

Business capabilities are the definition of “What business does!” and it is the glue that binds the various aspects of the enterprise by abstracting the underlying form, function, and flow. 

  1. Business Capabilities
    • Value Chain Entities
      • Top-level Business Capabilities (Strategic Level)
        • Granular Business Capabilities (Operational Level)

Business architecture model - business capabilities

Please read more about various aspects of how to create, manage, and harness capabilities in the following insights and products:

How to build a business capability map

Value of Business Capability Mapping

Business Architecture Case Study

Value Streams:

Value Streams are end-to-end flows of delivering value to a stakeholder.  If capabilities capture the “What,” the value streams and related elements capture the “How.”

The following are some of the essential elements of a value stream. What and how many different processes may be appropriate is entirely dependent on the situation and the specific use case.

  1. Value Streams
    • Journeys
    • Processes
      • Process Map
      • Business Context Diagram
      • Data Flow Diagram
      • State-Machine Diagram
      • Network Diagram
      • Decision Tree
      • Entity Relationship
      • Control Diagram

business architecture model - value streams

Data Context:

Data context provides the information overlay for the business architecture. The traditional data and information architecture are allied disciplines and are complementary to what is necessary for the context of business architecture.  Most of the time data architects collaborate with business and enterprise architects to model the following information.

  1. Data Context
    • Business Information Model
      • Subject Areas
        • Data Entities
      • Common Data Model
      • Business Glossary

business architecture model - data context

Technology Context:  

Technology context is the information technology foundational elements which power the various capabilities and realize the value streams.  The following are just a few samples and enterprise business, enterprise, and technical architects will need to determine what minimal information is necessary to achieve the desired results.

  1. Technology Context:
    • Services
    • Software
    • Databases
    • Network
    • Infrastructure
      • Datacenters
      • Cloud (Public and Private)
    • Security
    • Identity

business architecture model - technology context

What is the value of a Business Architecture Model?

A well-thought-out business architecture model provides a bird’s eye view of how the enterprise modeling comes together and what components, elements, and entities are an integral part of the business architecture journey.

Of course, one can add or modify a specific component or an element or an entity, but without a perspective of what is the scope and depth of the business architecture endeavor, the teams will be lost and not able to achieve the initial objectives.

Capstera business architecture software can support the business architecture model. It is not necessary to boil the ocean and instead start with a few core components and entities and make progress along the way. 












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