Business model

The organization’s business model is a perfect starting point for discovering and improving its enterprise architecture. After all, the purpose of the enterprise architecture is to enable business model execution in order to maintain business continuity and achieve growth.

I recommend using the business model canvas as a guide to explore the business model:

It illustrates how the business brings it products and services to its customers through channels, thereby generating revenue that covers the costs of running the business.

Before I start interviewing people and facilitating workshops, I study the client’s website. Most corporate websites describe value propositions and channels, and often also offers hints about key activities and resources.

I also look up their line of business online to learn the history, principles, and terminology of their field.

Having a background in accounting and business economics, I study their latest financial statement if its available online. Financial statements usually lead with a presentation of the client’s business model, although they typically only mention their value propositions. But the statement also offers insights into the revenue streams and cost structure, which in turn reveals much about key activities and resources.

As I explore the business model, I tend to build mind maps, which helps me develop a suitable capability map later. And I jot down key information entities along the way to gather input to developing an information model later.

Capabilities – and to some extent information entities – are very conducive to identifying processes, which in turn sets the scene for establishing the IT architecture.

Work through the areas of the business model canvas in the order of the following sections.