The business architecture of a company is a blueprint that shows how a company is structured, as well as the people and processes that make up the organisation. Business architects use this framework to align their firm's initiatives with available resources to achieve the company's strategic goals. A business architect must work closely with the executive team and various departments in their company to get an accurate picture of the entire organisation.
A business architect defines the external and internal systems, employees, customers and suppliers that make up an organisation, as well as how information is shared across these groups. In addition to tracking economic, regulatory and market trends, business architects must evaluate their organisation's health and pinpoint opportunities for growth. These professionals must frequently collect information from market analysts, external vendors, consultants and the management team to help build a business architecture strategy around the company's products and services. As a result, business architects serve as the middleman between the executive team, as well as the different groups that drive the functions in the organisation. A business architect must also map company objectives to metrics that measure the company's performance and efficiency.
Though there is no set educational path for a business architect, the Business Architects Association (BAA) advises candidates to obtain at least an MBA or equivalent experience that teaches the following: financial analysis, market analysis, relationship building, sales, supply chain analysis, business management and computer science. The BAA offers a certification program in partnership with DePaul University to professionals who hold an MBA, are currently enrolled in an MBA program or have equivalent experience as a business architect. In addition to completing three courses, students must pass the Certified Business Architect Registration Examination.
Business architects must know how to think strategically and recognise the relationships between a company's processes, capabilities, technological systems and employees. As a senior level executive, business architects should have extensive experience creating business models and synthesising different types of data to determine how they affect an organisation and business issues. Business architects must have excellent written and verbal communications skills, as well as the ability to act as a liaison between the information technology group and business managers. This position must also work well in groups, have strong negotiation skills and be highly analytical.
According to SalaryList.com, the average salary for a senior business architect role is £108,333. The data is based on the average of three different salaries reporting in 2003, 2006 and 2007. However, annual wages for business architects range based on industry, location and experience. According to an April 2010 Indeed.com report, a business architect made an average salary of £78,650 in New York City; £58,500 in Arizona; and £70,200 in Illinois.
According to the April 2009 article, "Business Architecture: An Emerging Profession," the BAA Institute states that the business architect role will continue to grow and expand as companies try to meet the needs of a global economy and respond to an increasingly competitive marketplace. In addition, Forrester.com stated that as of 2010, 40 per cent of organisations have a business architecture program in place or are working toward implementing one.
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