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A New Home in the New Year for SAP Community!
Galactic 3
Galactic 3


A new day is here. I am inspired by Martin Mysyk’s article introducing the SAP Enterprise Architecture Community Group and how he describes the evolution of enterprise architecture (EA) and the EA role. He makes the critical point that, “Enterprise Architecture may have started in Information Technology but has evolved all the way up the business food chain into corporate strategy." 

This is the opportunity and the necessity: for enterprise architecture to help inform, translate, enable, and underpin the entire journey for organizations from strategy to execution and results. Enterprise architects can play a critical role to guide, give trusted opinions, and help people see the bigger picture to make well-informed decisions on their organizations’ transformational journeys – journeys that will ultimately shape the future for all of us.   

Business architecture is a gateway to leveraging enterprise architecture strategically. 

The contemporary evolution of business architecture in particular is a gateway and accelerator to help organizations leverage enterprise architecture strategically. After decades of working with organizations across all sectors, industries, and geographies as well as helping to formalize the business architecture discipline globally, I have fueled and witnessed an important evolution and expansion: business architecture has become a strategic business practice. Business architecture is undoubtedly the tip of the spear for and a part of the enterprise architecture umbrella. But, it has become so much more. Business architecture is arguably a missing aspect of strategic management (and something we all should be learning about in business school) to give organizations a shared, integrative framework to bridge silos, inform and translate strategy with a more robust perspective, and make holistic decisions.

Business architecture bridges worlds, especially when it is positioned and leveraged upfront in the strategy to execution life cycle to inform and translate strategy and shape the work, in close partnership with other EA roles and other teams. In addition, this positioning and leverage of business architecture is also advantageous to bring the whole discipline of enterprise architecture into a new strategic context with a seat at the table.

Leveraging enterprise architecture strategically brings competitive advantage.

Why does this matter? Very simply stated, enterprise architecture helps organizations build better capacity for end-to-end strategy execution, better organization design, and better decisions. In today’s digital and connected world of shifting business models and continuous disruption, the ability to translate business direction into action, and constantly innovate and adapt to change, has now become competitive advantage (or necessary to serving one’s constituents). The organizations that can execute in a coordinated way – and with agility – will win.

First, organizations must do change well. They need to strengthen their strategy to execution muscle for defining clear strategic intent and then translating it into organized effort across people, process, and technology with transparency, accountability, and intentional change management from end-to-end. Enterprise architecture plays a unique role to inform and translate strategy, and business architecture provides the golden thread traceability for strategic alignment, tying the strategies to the architecture to the initiatives.

Second, enterprise architecture helps organizations design for effectiveness, agility, and resilience. For example, enterprise architecture can help with anything from streamlining processes and applications to facilitating a new composable business mindset, architecture, and technology. An organization that is designed for effectiveness and agility is not only more efficient but can make changes even quicker.

Finally, enterprise architecture helps people make better decisions for the organization and its stakeholders. The architecture knowledgebase provides a macrolevel, multidimensional view of the business and its connections that can be used to inform a wide range of business scenarios. 

The call to action is for organizations to build a strategic business architecture practice.

Where do we go from here?

Build a business architecture practice within your organization or mature your existing one. If your organization already has a business architecture function, does it have a clearly defined, strategic value proposition? Is it delivering relevant and valuable business outcomes regularly? Is business architecture leveraged early in the cycle of formulating strategies and ideas? Does the practice have business sponsorship and ownership? Is it tightly integrated with enterprise architecture and other key partners such as the strategy, strategic planning, and design teams?

Rediscover business architecture. If you are an architect or practitioner, explore the expansions and nuances of business architecture that have come as a result of its formalization and bridge building over the last decade, such as through efforts by the Business Architecture Guild®. Be conversant in and an advocate for your organization’s business architecture.

Make business architecture for everybody. While building a strategic business architecture practice is a journey that takes time, as the ideas of architecture become adopted, make the business architecture available for everyone. A business architecture provides a shared business language and mental model for an entire whole organization. The more people that use it the more powerful it will become to help create a common understanding and democratize and support well-informed decision-making across the organization.

It's a new day.


Photo Credit: Unsplash (Tim Graf)


Hi Whynde - Thanks for the post, I like your perspective on Business Architecture and why we need it even more today than ever. Hopefully there will be more posts on how we get there from a practical sense. Many organizations get the WHY but struggle with the HOW. 

Feel free to comment on how we get to where Whynde is proposing in this blog post.


Great response Whynde.  I am also inspired by your passion to support/encourage organizations to evolve or stand up the business architecture practice, integrated and partnered with enterprise architecture.

As enterprise architects, we grew into the role through experience in the other architecture domains, such as business, information, application, technology, and security.  Having gained breath over time, we also have specialized knowledge in one or more of the domains.  This means, we rely and partner on specialists in the various domains to provide the level of expertise required to ensure the desired outcomes.  This is where your input is significant, since many EAs require business architecture specialists for support.

In the past, I have encountered great business strategies, however, many of the execution plans fell a little short.   Whether the execution was lacking capabilities, value scenario expectations, engaged ecosystems, people, change management, competencies, or technology the result was always the same, a disrupted initiative and strategy.  Which all could have been mitigated through robust business architecture to link the business strategy to execution.  For me, business architecture are the barbells to develop the execution muscle as you put it.  So I am absolutely aligned on the importance of developing business architecture with organizations today.

“In today’s digital and connected world of shifting business models and continuous disruption, the ability to translate business direction into action, and constantly innovate and adapt to change, has now become competitive advantage (or necessary to serving one’s constituents).”  I absolutely agree!  With the new digital age, organizations have had and will need to respond in changing their business model, the way they operate, and the value they provide.  All the domains of enterprise architecture are key, which all stem from business architecture and constant considerations of new innovations.

I would suggest others in the community start by reading your book – Strategy to Reality.   It’s a great primer we all need to read.

“So, this is our call to action.  It’s a call for bold leadership, vision, and collaboration – and a commitment to something greater than ourselves.  Let’s come together and start a movement to formalize and practice strategy to reality, for the benefit of our organization and world.” – Whynde Kuehn, Strategy to Reality

Galactic 2
Galactic 2

100% agree with your reasoning. People like architecture. Especially when it's setup and can be appreciated. In the meanwhile the hard stuff is engaging all the potentially interested parties and get the necessary funding to set up the tools and to transform the architecture towards its target.