Monday, July 15, 2013

Business Analysis Drives Business Benefits

In my last blog (Just What is Business Analysis and What Does a BA Do?) I briefly touched on the notion that the work business analysts (BA's) do is not merely to enable “IT” solutions; rather BA's work closely with key stakeholders and strategic team(s) to implement business solutions that add business value to meet real business goals. Technology in the business world is a given, so most if not all solutions will include some type of a technology component, but it's important to remember that these solutions are driven by real business problems and are intended to produce business benefits.

The 21st century has unveiled a business and competitive landscape that if far more confusing and challenging than anything we’ve ever known before.  In fact, insights from a 2010 Global CEO study (a bit dated I know but still relevant) by IBM revealed that CEO’s felt that “the complexity of operating [a business] in an increasingly volatile and uncertain world is their primary challenge.  And…a surprising number of them told us they feel ill-equipped to succeed in this drastically different world.”   

Kathleen B. Hass writes in her book The Enterprise Business Analyst, Developing Creative Solutions to Complex Business Problems (2011), “It is no coincidence that the business analysis profession is taking hold in the 21st century.  Business analysis is all about understanding the needs of organizations, helping them remain competitive, identifying creative solutions to complex business problems, bringing about innovation, and constantly adding value for the customer and revenue to the bottom line.”

Global businesses and organizations today are recognizing the importance of applying business analysis disciplines early on in order to better understand and navigate the murky waters that now surround their environments. I referred to sentence from Ms. Hass’ book above and it’s worth mentioning again - that business analysis is about understanding the needs of organizations, where they want to go and helping decision makers identify creative solutions to solve their complex business problems.  The role of the business analyst, therefore, is becoming increasingly important as strategic and innovative thinkers, capable of interpreting the competitive landscape ahead and helping businesses not only stay alive in this new and challenging environment, but to thrive.