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To effectively plan and execute a technology-driven service or product offering, IT and business leaders should start with business architecture. Business architecture is the essential building block for mapping an organization's business vision of what they want to accomplish. Business architecture is one of the four enterprise architecture domains - including data, applications and technology.

The main components of business architecture are the business experience, business processes, and business information. Effectively understanding these components will guide business and IT leaders in making better business and technology decisions.

Start with building a core diagram. The core diagram is a simple representation of the business vision and illustrates operational business processes, data, applications and technology as well as how customers experience the related product or service offerings that leverage this information. Figure 1 is our new simplified core diagram template, after further feedback from the original recommendation of the core diagram from A Guide to Delivering I.T. Business Value (download).

Figure 1


To best utilize the core diagram, map the high-level or core elements of the operational process relative to the business data and technologies. How business customers experience these elements should be at the forefront to how everything relates together.

Focus on the data, highlighting the core data and application objects, which are at the center of the diagram. Think about how the data interacts with the business processes and how it is used and changed by the business user’s experience. The data is leveraged by the applications and technology.

The core diagram maps the high-level business information and sets the foundation to illustrate the business vision. Detailed additional processes, data and technology mapping should follow to guide decisions for how the business vision will achieve business results.

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