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Mapping the Business Architect skills taxonomy

As a Business Architect working in the 21st century, you are called upon to keep up with the latest technology trends and compliance requirements that impact your business partners. From the flurry of AI releases such as OpenAI's ChatGPT-4, Google's Astra, and Microsoft's Co-Pilot, to tracking the latest sustainability measures in the EU and beyond, it's crucial to stay informed about these trends.


In addition, you need to figure out how these technologies can be applied to your business. This article from McKinsey highlights three use cases for generative AI:


  1. Taker use cases: Companies use off-the-shelf, generative AI-powered software from third-party vendors such as GitHub Copilot or Salesforce Einstein to achieve their goals.

  2. Shaper use cases: Companies integrate bespoke generative AI capabilities by engineering prompts, data sets, and connections to internal systems to achieve their goals.

  3. Maker use cases: Companies create their own large language models (LLMs) by building large data sets to pre-train models from scratch. Examples include OpenAI, Anthropic, Cohere, and Mistral AI.


Keeping track of these changes and learning how they can impact your business is an essential part of the Business Architect skillset.


I recently completed my BCS, Chartered Institute for IT Professional Certification in Business Architecture. According to the syllabus, candidates for the certification are required to have knowledge covering the following areas:


  • Business Architecture Domain

  • Business Architecture Frameworks

  • Business Motivation/Organisation View

  • Capability View

  • Value/Process View

  • Competency/People View

  • Information and Technology Views

  • Business Architecture and Business Change


I asked ChatGPT what skills are required by a Business Architect and here's what it identified:


Business Architect - Skills Taxononmy
Business Architect - Skills Taxononmy

Reflecting now on the skills I have developed over my career I saw that the skill of Abstraction is missing from the outline above. I asked ChatGPT why Abstraction wasn't included and where it would place it. It agreed with me and updated the taxonomy, placing abstraction underneath Soft Skills: Analytics Thinking with the following sub skills:


  • Simplifying complex systems to create high-level models and frameworks.

  • Focusing on essential aspects while ignoring irrelevant details to facilitate understanding and communication.


Abstraction helps in focusing on the essential aspects of a system or process while omitting unnecessary details. It enables clearer communication, better problem-solving, and more effective decision-making. Here’s how it applies to a business architect's role:


  1. Simplifies Complexity: Breaks down complex business processes and systems into manageable components.

  2. Enhances Communication: Facilitates clear and concise communication with stakeholders, especially those who may not have technical expertise.

  3. Improves Design: Helps in creating scalable, flexible, and adaptable business architectures.

  4. Aids in Analysis: Allows for better identification of core issues and opportunities for improvement.


Conclusion


Staying current with technological advancements and compliance requirements is imperative for modern Business Architects. By understanding and applying various AI use cases, professionals can drive significant value within their organizations.


Additionally, continuous professional development, such as obtaining certifications and creating comprehensive skill taxonomies, ensures we as Business Architects remain adept and versatile in our roles. This proactive approach not only enhances personal expertise but also contributes to the overall success and sustainability of the business.


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