Over 70% of CEO’s are predicting that the next three years will be more critical than the last 50 years. This powerful predication may not be surprising as the business sector has already felt the impact of technology advances in recent years. However, digital transformation is more anticipated than ever before, with 41% of CEO’s believing their organization will look drastically different in three years, up from 29% last year. (Reference: Now or Never: 2016 Global CEO Outlook; KPMG, 2016)
New research commissioned by IIBA and conducted by KPMG indicates the importance of the business analysis (BA) role as organizations work to strategically undergo digital transformation. However, are business leaders fully aware of all the tools they have in their toolbox? Some factors have prevented expansion of the role and reach of business analysis within an organization including a lack of leadership awareness of business analysis skill sets (48 per cent), a lack of sufficient internal BA resources (40 per cent) and an inability to recruit BA talent (37 per cent). In an era of advanced data and analytics, the role of business analysis professionals in pulling insights to inform strategies is essential.
Organizations are looking to embrace evolved methods and skillsets to help inform and drive crucial business decisions. Our research clearly shows that the business analysis profession, discipline and industry are at a pivot point. Never has there been a more critical need to have the right skilled professionals at the table who have specialized knowledge to help lead an organization through change.
Both business leaders and business analysis professionals need to accept responsibility in driving awareness and trust in the BAs role. The challenge facing the business analysis community is two-fold: (i) expand and elevate skill sets to tackle increasingly complex business problems; and, (ii) ensure leadership understands and leverages their full capabilities today. The time to build awareness is now, as organizations undergo and prepare for transformation.
What’s driving digital transformation? Rapid technology advancements such as AI and VR, big data, and the ever increasing tech-savvy nature of consumers. Business leaders are fearful they will not be able to make strategic business decisions quick enough, and are therefore preparing to lean on business analysis professionals. Responding quickly to technology opportunities, correcting mistakes and inefficiencies and evaluating tactics will be more important than ever before.
As a result, technology trends will have an impact on the business analysis profession. As business leaders turn more to business analysis professionals, they are expecting their skills to evolve and adjust to the changes as well. The BA role will demand more agile, value-driven analysis instead of the more traditional, task-based approach to analysis.
Research indicates the shift will see BA’s become more collaborative rather than siloed and more outcome centric than task centric among others. Business leaders are now describing business analysis as “smart, quick, and improved decision-making,” aligning with the expectations of the necessary capabilities in the biggest era of technology led business transformation in history.
This is the time for the BA community to expand its capabilities and provide critical value to the organization. With a massive 86% of global CEOs reporting a lack of time to think strategically about the forces of disruption and innovation shaping their company’s future, businesses leaders must lean on the evolving capabilities of the business analysis community.
Author: Ken Fulmer, Interim President and CEO, IIBA
Ken is the Interim President and CEO of the IIBA. He was formerly CIO at Delek US and the Chief Technology Officer at Sunoco, Inc. He has been active in the IIBA community since 2007, and has held several positions including; Chapter President for the Philadelphia Chapter; member of the International Board of Directors since 2011; and in 2016 was appointed Board Chair.