What is TOGAF?
TOGAF, ‘The Open Group Architecture Framework’, is an esteemed name in the world of enterprise architecture (EA). Virtually all professional enterprise architects have at least some knowledge of the framework. After all, having been around for over two decades, it has had a part in developing key architectures for many of the most successful organizations on the planet.
TOGAF provides users with the guidance required to develop high-level enterprise architectures. These architectures can then grant a holistic, high-level perspective that helps stakeholders to both maximize the efficiency of critical processes and create comprehensive, risk-aware strategies for organizational development.
However, while the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM) is generic enough to be used by organizations of virtually any size, industry, or location, there is still more depth to EA than it lets on. One of the most important areas for organizations to explore is ‘business architecture’.
To provide a simple definition, ‘business architecture’ looks at optimizing the structure of a business to make sure it can achieve strategic goals while running at peak performance. The role of a ‘business architect’ is to design, build, and maintain architectures that demonstrate how different sections of a business interact. They then use this top-level awareness to improve individual processes in order to maximize the value delivered to clients. At the same time, they also work to make the business capable of meeting the capabilities required for reaching long-term targets. It is a strategic role that works at an enterprise level, covering an organization’s business strategy, structure, roles, capabilities, processes, information, data, and so on.
As is the case with enterprise architecture, business architecture (sometimes called ‘enterprise business architecture’) requires strong analytical capabilities. Despite being a specialization, it serves as a key part of the foundation for success throughout the enterprise architecture development process. As TOGAF Phase B says: ‘A knowledge of the Business Architecture is a prerequisite for architecture work in any other domain.’
‘TOGAF Business Architecture (BA)’ is one of the world’s leading business architecture frameworks. It builds on Phase B of the TOGAF ADM, going into a greater amount of detail on how business architecture supports other domains and how to become a business architect.
So, what exactly is TOGAF BA? How does it work, and how valuable is it for companies and candidates interested in business architect roles?
- How does TOGAF BA Work?
- How Can TOGAF BA Certification Help My Business?
- Is Studying Business Architecture Worth it?
- Why Gain a TOGAF BA Certification With Good E-Learning?
How Does TOGAF BA Work?
The TOGAF Business Architecture framework is a specialization of TOGAF and a separate qualification from TOGAF Foundation and TOGAF Certified. It offers a more strategic approach than the wider framework. In fact, the ‘Business Architecture’ phase of the TOGAF ADM is relatively generic in comparison. TOGAF BA goes into far greater detail in areas like structure, processes, and capabilities. In short, it provides models, techniques, and guidelines to take business architectures to the next level.
TOGAF BA works by utilizing a variety of concepts and tools to create accurate architectures:
- Business Models – These describe the rationale for how organizations create, deliver, and capture value. They are, essentially, top-level views of a business’ structure or what it will look like in the future. The perspective created by business models can be extremely useful for high-level executives and decision-makers.
- Business Capabilities – These describe what a business does, including abilities and processes which a business can use or exchange in order to achieve specific objectives.
- Value Streams – This refers to a stream of ‘value-adding activities’ which together create an end result of ‘value’ from the perspective of stakeholders or customers. Value mapping can be used to describe everything an organization does in order to create, deliver or capture ‘value’, which refers to anything that provides advantages, usefulness, benefits, or desirability.
- Information Mapping – This is used to define which information is crucial to various sections of a business. Business architects can use this knowledge to create appropriate strategies for improving processes for consuming, processing, and delivering information. This, in turn, can help to boost integration and collaboration, ensuring more accurate financial and regulatory reporting while also helping to clarify business terms for all key stakeholders.
- Business Scenario – Business scenarios are used to identify and record business requirements. That is to say, typical problems that need to be solved, the environments in which said problems occur, the value chains enabled by business capabilities, desired outcomes, and various human and computing components. The purpose of a business scenario is to achieve the desired outcome. Because of this, a new business architecture will typically be composed of several business scenarios at once.
TOGAF BA teams typically consist of members with diverse experience and knowledge. These varying perspectives help to ensure that business architectures can fully reflect the various aspects of a business, taking into account business services, business processes, technology, and more.
To take an in-house business architecture team’s perspective even further, many organizations choose to invest in BA training for existing internal talent, as these candidates will already be familiar with the ground-level elements which are to be improved.
The value of TOGAF BA goes beyond Phase B of the ADM. In fact, it can also have an impact on Phase A, ‘Architecture Vision’, which, together with Phase B, is considered one of the most fundamental aspects of the ADM overall.
How Can TOGAF BA Certification Help My Business?
With technology constantly growing and evolving in the Digital Age, it has become easier and more important than ever for stakeholders to fine-tune the various aspects of a business. Indeed, taking advantage of these opportunities to improve is vital for staying ahead of competitors.
The relationships between the elements that make up a business define what it does. They are essential for helping it achieve its goals and turning its plans into actionable objectives. At the same time, these elements must be continually reassessed in order to maximize alignment, efficiency, and effectiveness.
In helping users to understand how an organization is structured, the TOGAF BA methodology can help a business plan, implement, and support:
- Business transformation projects
- The creation of new divisions
- Large-scale technology shifts
- New compliance initiatives
- Efforts to enter new markets
- The development of new products or services
- The restructuring of units within a business
- The integration of key processes, capabilities, technology, and cultural elements
Having certified proof of these capabilities can greatly help an individual TOGAF practitioner as they seek to advance their career. Trusted certification providers like The Open Group carry a great deal of weight in EA, and certified employees often find themselves earning a great deal more than their colleagues. Investing in business architecture training and passing the TOGAF Business Architecture exam also wins each student three academic credits for use in The Open Group Certification Program, allowing them to further develop their qualifications down the line.
Is Studying Business Architecture Worth it?
The popularity of frameworks like TOGAF has helped practitioners unlock impressive career opportunities across a range of industries. This certainly applies to business architect jobs, as achieving a business architect qualification can quickly demonstrate a candidate’s knowledge of the subject as well as their mastery in practice.
As business, enterprise, solutions, and technology architect job descriptions often overlap, it can be difficult to find exact salary expectations. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for business architects is approximately:
- $130,081 in the USA
- £65,713 in the UK
Gaining experience to complement business architect certification can quickly help a candidate enjoy access to higher-level roles.