Digital Transformation and Business Architecture (Part 3 of 3) – by Dr. Giovanni Traverso, Huawei

At The Open Group Shanghai 2016 summit, we invited Dr. Giovanni Traverso, Chief Business Architect of HUAWEI Service Strategy and Architecture Practice, to give a keynote speech “New Open Business Architecture (O-BA) to Support the Construction of Digital Business and Smart Government”.

Huawei was a Diamond Sponsor of this summit, is a Platinum Member of The Open Group and is participating in the creation of the O-BA standard, whose first part was launched in July 2016 as a Preliminary Standard.

Giovanni, who is leading this effort within Huawei, presented Huawei’s perspectives on Business Architecture coming from best practices.

This is part three in a three-part series.

Part #3 – Business Architecture Answers the Business Questions

When undertaking our transformation efforts we need to answer, in a structured way, the inherent business questions, such as:

How to ensure a common understanding of the transformation within the organization? How to align an organization and its constituents towards the goal? Do we have the necessary skills and what changes should we drive, even in our organization’s culture? How to unleash technology-driven innovation to lead business model innovation, as well as the other way round? How processes and organization are going to be impacted? How to identify priorities? What about dependencies and risks?

More importantly: how to focus investments and ensure that the desired business outcomes will be achieved?

How our partners and channels are going to be impacted? How our customers/users’ experience is going to be impacted?

The O-BA standard reflects industry best practices addressing the business view of a transformation.

There are several techniques to uncover the capabilities that a business requires. Any of them will try to combine the business stakeholders’ views in a holistic picture.

For a digital business sake, as discussed in my first post, we want to start from the intended customer experience and make it our baseline.

By The Open Group.png

The relevant customer journeys – tailored to customer personas – represent the main value stream which is the backbone of the whole story.

Along with the customer’s perspective, we will align the relevant value streams of the other stakeholders, including their pursued goals.

Then we will analyze them and uncover the capabilities that enable each stage of the value streams and their respective relationships (e.g. information exchanges).

Capabilities will be mapped to organization and then we will identify respective enablers such as technology, application, process, information, skills.

By The Open Group.png

Business Architecture builds the overall picture and connects the dots in a logical a traceable framework, generating blueprints that represent the current state, future state and possible intermediate steps of a transformation. In this way we can find answers to our business questions.

O-BA describes a typical transformation lifecycle providing a framework for two dimensions of traceability: vertical (from strategy to competitive assessment to investment to implementation and outcomes) and horizontal (across different domains of the organization/ecosystem).

By The Open Group.png

While O-BA is meant to be the overarching framework for a transformation, technology, data and application architectures complete the view according to TOGAF®, an Open Group standard.

By The Open Group.png

Diagrams like the one reported below show the overall transformation and traceability across business objectives (customer’s being on top), capabilities and their interconnections allowing to achieve the objectives, metrics that audit capabilities, applications and relevant investments enabling the desired capabilities. In a closed loop, business architecture provides a framework to control the return on investment from a complex transformation.


More details on this example are given in the linked whitepaper produced by Huawei and published by The Open Group:

The O-BA is an initiative in the Architecture Forum of The Open Group, driven by six Platinum Members (Capgemini, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, IBM, Oracle, Philips) It intends to standardize a common understanding of Business Architecture, reflecting the best practices in the industry (most notably with a contribution by the Business Architecture Guild).

Members of The Open Group can download this presentation at

The Open Group Shanghai 2016 event proceedings are available for members here.



Giovanni Traverso
• 28 years in telecom business, Product Management, R&D Management, Business Unit GM and Transformation Management
• Now leading the Enterprise Architecture team at Huawei Global Services, Standard and Industry Development Dept.
• Certified Business Architect (CBA)
• Contributor to The Open Group Open Business Architecture (O-BA) Standard and the Business Architecture Body of Knowledge (BizBOK)