Business Architecture Definition

Dragon1 Icon for Business Architecture
Dragon1 Icon for Business Architecture

Dragon1 Definition for Business Architecture:
Business Architecture is a coherent set of business concepts of a business structure or business system. It is a total concept containing constructive, operative, and decorative business concepts.

What is Business Architecture?

What is the Architecture of a Business:
A business structure is a business system with construction (like departments), operations (like processes), and decoration (like imago, ethics code, and transparency).

business architecture example

A business (structure) is an organization or economic system exchanging goods, services, or products for value.

In Dragon1, an architecture is only real architecture when it contains a coherent set of constructive, operative, and decorative business concepts.

Examples of Business Architecture

Examples of Business Architecture (or total concepts for doing business) are:

  • The 100% Online & Digital Company - all business is done online & digital
  • The 100% Brick and Mortar Money Collection Business - all money is collected in the real world
  • The Trust Based Consultancy Company - all that is advised by this company is believed or accepted by its clients through trust

Example Business Architecture Diagram

This diagram shows a part of the business architecture of an organization. It shows which business capabilities the organization has for some business function, enabled by the implementation of certain business concepts. Also, the diagram shows what the business of the organization is capable of doing, in terms of skills and capacity. The set of business concepts is the actual business architecture.


Unfortunately there are architecture frameworks and approaches that define business architecture completely in confusing ways.

For instance, business architecture is defined as DESCRIPTION or DOCUMENTATION. But that would mean that without describing or documenting the business architecture, there is no business architecture. That, of course, is nonsense.

Other definitions of business architecture say that it is about the interaction between business strategy, organization, functions, business processes, and information needs. But this excludes having a business architecture without a strategy, organization, functions, and business processes. For example, a kid selling cookies door by door does not have a strategy, organization, function, or business process. But it does have a business architecture, namely: Endearing Charm Based Business.

The Problem With Business Architecture and Architects

If you are lending the word architecture from the field of building architecture and placing it in the world of organization and innovation, there is no reason at all to change the meaning of architecture (unless you do not fully understand or know what is architecture and what is an architect).

In the past decades this was done by many architects and frameworks: they changed the definition and meaning of architecture from 'total concept' into 'total logical structure'. Just look up all the definitions of enterprise architecture. They often address the logical and physical level, but not hardly the conceptual level. Dragon1 undoes all this.

Dragon1 as an open EA Method defines architecture as a special total concept and architects as designers of special total concepts. The problem with this is that it is not that easy for everyone to do conceptual design, logical design, and physical design. And after that supervising the realization of a structure using that total concept.

CRASH COURSE: How To Create Your Business Architecture

To create your TO BE business architecture, do the following:

  • 1. List all the business concepts you identify and recognize at your company and/or your competitors' company together with the innovative business concepts you have heard of;
  • 2. List the mission, vision, goals, and objectives your company has formulated;
  • 3. Link all the concepts you need to realize your mission, vision, business goals, and objectives;
  • 3.1 Optionally create a business functions model and business domains model of your organization and map the concepts onto your business functions and business domains. (Read the blog below for an example).
  • 4. To do this look at the principles of the concepts (meaning the way of working of concepts and their results). The results of the concepts must match or relate to your mission, vision, goals, and objectives;
  • 5. Detail all your concepts into elements (logical functional parts);
  • 6. Convert your elements into components (technical physical parts);
  • 7. Implement the components as technical products;
  • 8. Done!

List of Business Concepts

A concept is another word for approach, way of working, or idea, abstracted from its implementation.

Common Business Concepts used in Business Architecture are:

  • Business Oriented way of working
  • Business Domain Orientation
  • Business Function Orientation
  • Customer Intimacy
  • Operational Excellence
  • Digital Product Orientation / Product Management
  • Business Process Orientation / Business Process Management
  • Empowerment
  • Crowd Testing
  • Skilled Service Desk
  • Self Service Orientation
  • Social Marketing and Selling
  • Guerilla Product Selling
  • eLearning
  • eProcurement
  • Instant Factory
  • Scalable Plant
  • DevOps

A business architecture MUST mention all the concepts used in the business architecture, so that includes naming also the fundamental concepts used.

Note that per business function, like procurement, development, sales, and delivery, one can explore many concepts.

Be sure to reference literature and books. Before you use a concept in your architecture, be sure you know the first principle of the concept very well. The first principle is the enforced way the whole concept works, producing results. (This is also a specific Dragon1 open EA Method definition that differs from mainstream Enterprise Architecture).

Every organization will detail the design and implementation of these concepts differ in their structure. Every concept at a logical level consists of elements and at the physical level consists of components. At the implementational level, it consists of technical products (the products you buy from suppliers).

If you have comments or remarks about this Dragon1 term or definition, please mail to

Architecting Solutions

DEMO: Concept Mapping Software

How to generate diagrams using Excel on Dragon1 EA Tool

Learn to generate diagrams using repositories
DEMO: BPMN Onboarding Process Example

DEMO: BPMN Onboarding Process Diagram - Measure Rules Compliance

Manufacturing, Financial Solutions
DEMO: Enterprise Architecture Blueprint Template

DEMO: Generate an Enterprise Architecture Blueprint to discover and solve RISK

Banking, Logistics, Healthcare
DEMO: Process Application Map

DEMO: Generate Process Application Landscape for RPA

Government, Logistics, Banking
DEMO: Strategy Map Template

DEMO: Generate Strategy Map for CLOUD ADOPTION

Automotive, Financial Services, Health Care
DEMO: Data Mapping Software

DEMO: Generate Application Landscape for SECURITY

Retail, Agriculture, Energy, Oil & Gas