Thought Leadership in Business Technology Architecture

So, the short story is that we have decided to change the name of the body of knowledge at the Iasa from the IT Architecture Body of Knowledge (ITABoK) to the Business Technology Body of Knowledge. This comes after much wrangling and discussion and review of the materials and concepts in the BoK.

Iasa has been through a major name change before. Our name which started out as an acronym IASA (International Association of Software Architects), to just Iasa which is a meaningless word but retains our brand association and logo. We did this because we have so many enterprise, infrastructure, business, solution, cloud and other types of architects in the group. We were not trying to just represent software architects, but architects in general.

A similar set of things happened with the ITABoK. The original body of knowledge was primarily a deep set of competencies which described what it takes to be a good architect. While people today like to talk about digital transformation, and how technology architects need to ‘understand the business’, we have actually been teaching and certifying these competencies for over 15 years… long before the pundits started discussing it. This competency model has served us very well and has changed very little in those years because it is not based in technology specific changes but in skills, experience and understanding.

Today’s BTABoK is so much more than these competencies (which are still a critical part of the BoK) and they are still used for our training and board level certifications – experiential certifications if you will. The BTABoK is now a conceptual method for running an architecture practice. NOTE: the BTABoK is not a framework in the TOGAF or SAFe since of the word. It is not prescriptive, but is instead descriptive. So while your organization can adopt the BTABoK as is and not use a framework and it will give you all the tools you need to do so successfully, your team may equally use it with FEAF or MODAF or other frameworks. In fact we are seeing that doing it that way makes the use of those other frameworks much more successful… but more on that in future articles.

The reason for the name change is simple. The BoK is about value, business outcomes, technical outcomes, and the relationship between them. It is about what I have been calling Digital Advantage. Achieving a truly digital customer, business model, employee and operations environment and outcomes. The BTABoK contains all of the conceptual tools of things like the BizBoK or BABoK… Business Capabilities, Business Model Tools, Business Ecosystems, Customer Journeys, etc. But most importantly it connects them with technologists in a natural and effective way so that all types of architects in an organization can work together most effectively. We call this the engagement model (again lots more on this in the future).

So, if you read BTABoK or ITABoK they are the same. It will take us a number of months to get the name fully changed over. The sheer number of URL redirects and page linkages alone will take us some time. For now, you can visit us at IasaGlobal – An Association For All IT Architects

But we believe fully that business and technology are now the same and BTABoK knowledge for ALL types of architects is absolutely essential.