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What Is a Business Architecture?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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A business architecture is a means of describing the business model used by a company. Just as architecture often refers to the design of buildings, the same general idea applies when referring to the configuration of business operations. Essentially, a business architecture has to do with the way a business is set up in terms of the hierarchical arrangement of employees and the way that the physical facilities of a business are put together. The goal of this approach is to make sure the structure of the company is as efficient and productive as possible.

Key to the success of any business architecture is how well the organization of the company and its resources aid the business in reaching toward its goals. This means that one of the goals of business architects or consultants who work with this type of business strategy is to help companies integrate their goals and mission statements into the configuration of the business. Depending on the nature of the business operation, this process may call for adapting the current organization somewhat in order to make the operation more effective, either by physically rearranging facilities in order to allow more efficient processing of goods, or even to revamping the way that administrative and clerical tasks are performed.

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The process of creating and maintaining a workable business architecture is essential to the success of any company. Even smaller businesses can benefit from making sure that the company structure is arranged so that the best possible use of all available resources is in fact taking place. Since markets change and companies must also change in order to remain competitive, review of the business architecture from time to time is important. This approach can often aid in identifying changes that must be made in order to deal with everything from changes in consumer demands to responding to the development of new technology.

One of the benefits of using a consultant to evaluate the business architecture is that someone outside the usual operations of the company can often perceive the operation with a degree of objectivity that is difficult for insiders to achieve. A competent business architect can identify which structures within the organization are fine as is, which ones can be adapted slightly and yield more efficiency, and which ones need to be abandoned or added to the combination in order to move the company forward in the pursuit of its goals. Depending on the size and nature of the business, the architect may be able to perform an evaluation in a matter of days and offer constructive suggestions, or may require a longer period of time to make a comprehensive study of the operation. As with many types of consultants, the architect might also be invited by the client to oversee the changing of the business architecture, a task that could take months or possibly even years.

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