Business architects help business leaders assess status and business capabilities and to identify underlying systemic patterns. Business architecture (BA)—the practice of business architects—helps define desired future target state and provides the tools and support to define a clear path of action, orchestrating all contributors. BA articulates how technology investment allows customers to create and capture business value and translates vision into capabilities to help customers make informed decisions.

Any Cisco BA engagement is based on the customer journey. It changes the conversation from technology to a business-centric discussion. It focuses on understanding the customer, business concerns, and on identifying capabilities to enhance the value proposition.

Business Strategy and Tactics: map the landscape

For business architects, the ability to strategize is necessary. Tactics consist of the use of people, processes and technology to achieve goals. Strategy means the use of tactical outcomes to succeed on the business purpose. Measuring results is key and counting on contingency plans in execution is a must.

A business architect needs to understand the industry landscape, mission, goals, how those are intended to be achieved, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT), and customer business operation in detail. The business architect’s area of influence sits within all courses of action—tactical and strategic—and with a clear comprehension of the desired target state. Business Model Canvas (BMC), Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental & Legal (PESTEL) analysis, Context Map Canvas, Porter’s 5-Forces model, Industry Portfolio Explorer, are all tools that can be used.

The Business Architecture Roadmap (BAR) methodology helps identify customer priorities. Cisco’s Digital Journey Dashboard (DJD) is a one-page transformational strategy & execution summary that summarizes the business mission principals, strategy, tactics, why, how, and what to do next.

Innovation and Design Thinking

In the digital era all business processes rely on continuously evolving technology solutions. This is why innovation is key. Counting with a solid design thinking mindset and using proven methodologies like Cisco’s Business Innovation Sprints (BIS) will help identify the best solutions and use cases to solve business scenarios with a full customer focus mindset.

Taking an outside-in approach is of extreme importance in customer-centric engagements. Avoid assumptions and bias as much as possible.

“As a skillset Business Architecture empowers the delivery of customer outcomes. As a practice it sets up an on-going journey of transformation for and with our customer, materializing the differentiated and complementary value Cisco and our partners bring to their table, and driving customer loyalty induced by co-created and tailored innovation and efficiencies.”
– Koen Jacobs, VP Systems Engineering EMEA


A business architect must be able to synthetize and clearly explain conclusions of a particular business architectures engagement. Storytelling methodologies like SCIPAB (Situation, Complication, Implication, Position, Action, Benefit) and STORRY executive storyboards (Successes, Threats, Opportunities, Reimagine, Roadmap, Yield) are different options used by business architects.

The role of the partner

Cisco partners can participate in BA engagements by collaborating on Cisco-led BA projects, and on partner-led BA opportunities with the help of Cisco BA field advisors.

Cisco Business Architectures provide:

  • A meaningful way of assessing current state and understanding underlying systemic patterns that rule business processes.
  • A collaborative approach that leverages knowledge and experience from different stakeholders, from an outside-in perspective, focused on business purpose and customer priorities.
  • Framework for redefining strategic planning and business transformation goals.
  • Methodology for understanding customers’ sentiment on their journey through business processes and workflows, to identify moments of truth and areas of improvement and change.
  • Design thinking tools to innovate and leverage technology solutions to achieve customers’ business outcomes.
  • Structure and methodology for summarizing and communicating in a concise way.

BA can also address the evolution in the partners’ journey from performance to insights-led transformation, to developing new routes to market and researching ways to improve cost structures and time to revenue. It can increase strategic value for the partner, for Cisco and the customer. Cisco Partners can learn more about the different BA methodologies and tools and how they can help customer outcomes by completing the existing Business Architect Black Belt certification (stages 1 and 2) enablement tracks.


Begin your Business Architect Black Belt Certification journey!



Please complete existing enablement tracks, Business Architect Black Belt certification (stages 1 and 2) to learn the different methodologies and tools.



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Carlos Hernanz

Business Development Manager

Partner Readiness at Scale