The Role of Business Architects in Modern Organizations

3 Apr 2024

by Deborah Theseira

As Enterprise Architecture continues to make great strides to refocus on people, processes, and value rather than primarily technology, the line between Enterprise Architect and business architect becomes more and more unclear. In some organizations, business architects play very similar roles to Enterprise Architects, and in others, business architects maintain a distinctly separate strategic focus on the organization’s operations.

In this blog, we’ll delve into business architecture’s relationship with Enterprise Architecture and the role of business architects in the digital organizations of today. 

Business Architecture vs Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise Architecture can be subdivided into four different architectural domains: business, data, applications, and technology. Business architecture is, therefore, not a separate discipline outside of EA but a critical component of it that outlines how to execute against business strategy.

The Business Architecture Guild’s Body of Knowledge (BIZBOK) defines business architecture as the “blueprint of the enterprise that provides a common understanding of the organization and is used to align strategic objectives and tactical demands.” This indicates that rather than spending a great deal of time mired in the organization’s technology and processes as a whole, business architecture is about the organization’s strategy and enabling the execution of that strategy effectively. 
enterprise architecture business it

Business Architects vs Enterprise Architects: The Difference In Practice

It follows then that the goals of business architecture are also the goals of Enterprise Architecture. Business architects and Enterprise Architects both play crucial roles in shaping and optimizing organizational structures and processes, but they have different focuses and scopes within the broader field of enterprise architecture.

So, how does it work in practice? How significantly does the day-to-day of an Enterprise Architect differ from a business architect, for example, with both of them working to empower the business with technology?

Scope and Focus

Enterprise Architects have a much broader scope that encompasses more than just the business aspects. They work towards alignment of the entire organization, including the IT infrastructure, technology, and data architecture, with the strategy.

Business architects focus primarily on the business side of an organization. Their key areas of work are: 

  • Business operating models: Documenting and analyzing how the business creates, delivers, and captures value for customers as well as how it operates to support itself.
  • Business capabilities: Outlining and defining the activities or abilities that enable an organization to achieve specific goals or objectives. Defining a business by its capabilities allows the organization to describe “what” it can do regardless of the “who” and “how,” that is, the teams and technology that make those activities possible. Business capabilities are activities grouped around a common resource or information type.
  • Business processes and value streams: Business processes are logical sequences of activities for a specific outcome in an organization. Business architects outline these at a high level in order to identify opportunities for optimization of key processes that create value in the organization.
  • Information architecture: Information architecture defines an enterprise's business operations and management, including applications, business processes, analytics and reporting systems, and information workflow. Business architects need to manage information that will support decision-making and how the organization operates.
  • Strategy and objectives: Business architects work closely with stakeholders to define key business strategies and outcomes in terms of goals and metrics as well as an organization’s positioning relative to key competitors. They then ensure that the business architecture is able to support these goals and, if not, develop roadmaps toward these goals.

That said, business architects do not necessarily sit within an organization’s Enterprise Architecture team. Depending on the complexity, maturity, and structure of a given organization, there could be dedicated teams focused on business architecture that are separate from the Enterprise Architecture team. Regardless, close collaboration between them is necessary to ensure comprehensive support and overview of an organization. 

Skills, Qualifications, and Background

While many business architects have a background in IT, with their heavier focus on the business side of things, they may also have a strong background in business analytics, project management, and business consultancy. They may also have strong experience in technical architecture or EA. 
business architect

Business architects should possess a range of soft skills such as:

  • Strong interpersonal communication and collaboration skills to aid definition and documentation of business capabilities and processes with key stakeholders
  • Able to position themselves as a trusted bridge between business and IT, especially in translating complex technical knowledge into actionable, outcome-driven requirements
  • Ability to visualize and model to aid future state analysis and road mapping
  • Effective project management skills

Two notable industry groups when it comes to business architecture and architects are:

  • The Business Architecture Guild® (BAG): An industry group that promotes best practices and expands the knowledgebase of the business architecture discipline.
  • The Open Group: A global consortium that leads the development of open, vendor-neutral technology standards and certifications. They are focused on enabling the achievement of business objectives through technology standards.

How Ardoq Supports Business Architects

The Ardoq platform’s flexible metamodel is well-suited for business architects seeking to quickly leverage various established frameworks or methodologies available from leading organizations in the field, such as BAG and The Open Group.

The Business Architecture Guild (BAG)’s Metamodel

One of the organizations key to defining, maturing, and promoting business architecture as a discipline is BAG. Formed in 2010, their mission is to deepen knowledge of the field and as well as provide a valuable network for business architects to gain support and learn from fellow architects. As part of promoting best practices for the discipline, they maintain the Business Architecture Body of Knowledge® (BIZBOK®) as well as provide their own methodology for business architecture.

The Ardoq platform comes with a quick-start approach and bundle for leveraging the BA Guild’s metamodel for business architecture, including prebuilt resources to speedily establish a foundation that can be evolved and extended to meet a given organization’s needs and objectives. Ardoq’s collaborative features, such as surveys, easily integrate data collection into existing tools and workflows while pre-configured data-driven visualizations allow for quickly developing views needed to collaborate with stakeholders across the enterprise.

Out-of-the-box Expert Approaches for Quick Time to Value

Ardoq’s Strategy to Execution solution covers many of a business architect’s key deliverables, such as:

  • Strategies and Objectives: Map out strategies and objectives, then subsequently connect them to people, initiatives, and technology. The Ardoq Platform automatically creates data-driven visualizations of all these elements and their interconnections. This provides quick and invaluable insight when it comes to ownership, feasibility, interdependencies, and prioritization. Easily drill up or down in these visualizations to the level of detail required for different stakeholders. The solution also comes bundled with prebuilt dashboards for a quick, always up-to-date overview of key metrics such as initiatives, their progress, and related costs. 
  • Capability-Based Analysis: Understand the business benefits from initiatives and the corresponding business capability changes needed to deliver on objectives. Get insights into which critical business capabilities are not being addressed by current objectives and the impact that will have on the company-level benefits. See the teams connected to these capabilities and which ones will be impacted by initiatives.
  • Business Roadmaps: Model a dynamic business roadmap of the organization based on the goals set and the initiatives supporting those goals. See how these initiatives track over time and the impact changes in prioritization will have on the business’s overall journey. 


Business architects play a vital role in modern organizations as the ones responsible for translating business strategies into actionable plans. Whether organizations are seeking to get a better understanding of what they are capable of through modeling capabilities or finding a more data-driven, effective approach to strategic execution and alignment, Ardoq’s offers relief from painful, manual documentation and empowers business architects to better fulfill their roles from a strategic perspective. 

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Deborah Theseira Deborah Theseira Deborah is a Content Specialist at Ardoq. She wields words in the hope of demystifying the complex and ever-evolving world of Enterprise Architecture. She is excited about helping the curious understand the immense potential it has for driving effective change.
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