How to manage requirements within the Enterprise Architecture using the TOGAF® and SABSA® frameworks

By Pascal de Koning, KPN 

You want to put your company’s business strategy into action. What’s the best way to accomplish this?  This can be done in a structured manner by using an Enterprise Architecture
Framework like TOGAF®. TOGAF® offers an overview of business and IT related architectures, as well as a process model to deliver these, called the Architecture Development Method (ADM-figure 1).

As the figure shows, Requirements Management plays a central role in the architecture work in the TOGAF® methodology. It’s very important to know the business requirements, because these demand what’s needed in the underlying architecture layer. In fact, this counts for every layer. Each architecture layer fulfills the requirements that are defined in the layer above. Without proper Requirements Management, the whole architecture would be loose sand.

Unfortunately, TOGAF® does not offer guidance on Requirements Management. It does however stress the importance and central role of Requirements Management, but doesn’t offer a way to actually do Requirements Management. This is a white spot in the TOGAF® ADM. To resolve this, a requirements management method is needed that is well-described and flexible to use on all levels in the architecture. We found this in the SABSA® (Sherwood’s Applied Business-driven Security Architecture) framework. SABSA® offers the unique Business Attribute Profiling (BAP) technique as a means to effectively carry out Requirements Management.

Business Attribute Profiling is a requirements engineering technique that translates business goals and drivers into requirements (see figure 2). Some advantages of this technique are:

  • Executive communication in non-ICT terms
  • Grouping and structuring of requirements, keeping oversight
  • Traceability mapping between business drivers, requirements and capabilities

The BAP process decomposes the business goal into its core elements. Each core element is a single business attribute. Examples of business attributes are Available, Scalable, Supported, Confidential, Traceable, etc.

As business processes tend to become more Internet-based, cyber security is becoming more important every day because the business processes are increasingly vulnerable to forces outside the business. Organizations must now consider not only the processes and requirements when planning an architecture, but they also need to consider the security of that architecture. A Security Architecture consists of all the security-related drivers, requirements, services and capabilities within the Enterprise. With the adoption of the Business Attribute Profiling technique for Requirements Management, it is now possible to integrate information security into the Enterprise Architecture.

The TOGAF®-SABSA® Integration white paper elaborates more on this and provides a guide that describes how TOGAF® and SABSA® can be combined such that the SABSA® business risk-driven security architecture approach is seamlessly integrated into the a TOGAF®-based enterprise architecture. It can be downloaded from https://www2.opengroup.org/ogsys/jsp/publications/PublicationDetails.jsp?publicationid=12449

TOGAF® is a registered trademark of The Open Group.  SABSA® is a registered trademark of The SABSA Institute.

Pascal de Koning MSc CISSP is a Senior Business Consultant with KPN Trusted Services, where he leads the security consulting practice. He is chairman of The Open Group TOGAF-SABSA Integration Working Group. He has worked on information security projects for the Dutch central government, European Union and KPN, to name just a few. Pascal has written articles for Computable and PvIB, and is a frequent speaker at conferences like RSA Europe and COSAC on the topics of Cyber Security and Enterprise Security Architecture. When not working, Pascal loves to go running.

1 Comment

Filed under Enterprise Architecture, TOGAF®, Security Architecture

One response to “How to manage requirements within the Enterprise Architecture using the TOGAF® and SABSA® frameworks

  1. SAP executive

    Requirements traceability on SAP projects are done in different way with main goal to trace requirements all the way to testing. SAP BUSINESS requirements can be tracked using custom SI TOOLS.