Through their business analysis authority, insight and mastery the Business Change Management Group (BCMG) are catalysing the infinite possibilities of business analysis in South Africa.
“There has been a huge uptake in business analysis as a serious profession in South Africa over the last few years”. Mohamed Bray, Engagements and Practice Manager at Saratoga and Opening Keynote Speaker at the 2016 Business Analysis Summit, explains that the business analyst role has evolved from being a subject-matter expert who is expected to do anything and everything in a typical IT delivery team. “Nowadays, being a business analyst means critically analysing business needs, seeking competitive advantages through internal process refinement, enabling the digital shift and managing the ever-changing tech space.”
As projects are getting more complex and technologically mixed, Saratoga, as a leading provider of business analysis services, is noticing a huge demand for these services. “In the ever-changing business landscapes projects need business analysts with specialised skills to get an IT project from boardroom to end user” explains Mohamed.
Ryan Folster, Conference Chair of the 2016 BA Summit, agrees that business analysis is evolving and adds that the modern analyst should focus on taking their role in an organisation beyond being considered a documenter of change. “Business and industry are realising that in order to thrive in a world where change is a necessity they need individuals to champion and direct this change, to ensure organisations disrupt and are not disrupted.”
Where there is growth, there are also growing pains. Looking at data from the 2016 Inter-View Report, Joe Newbert, Managing Director at BCMG and Founder of Inter-View, found some interesting results that contradict popular thinking.
“Modelling business processes forms a significant part of the role, yet a consistent pattern over the three surveys is that few people are keen to formalise their business process modelling skills. Secondly, a common statistic is that the number one reason people leave their job is because of their manager, yet very few people prioritise who their boss will be as an important career decision-maker.”
Mohamed adds that the rapid growth of new technologies also poses significant challenges to analysts. “With the tech scene exploding with start-ups, cloud, analytics and self-service platforms the business analyst role needs to adapt.” Mohamed urges analysts to keep up to date with technology, not just as a business enabler but also as a life enabler. “It is no longer about the Internet of things, it is more like the Internet of everything. The business analyst role might soon shift from being corporate-driven to rather entrepreneurial and consultant-driven.”
Joe hopes that the Inter-View Report will continue to be a source of information and a conversation starter for business analysts.
“There are some great community initiatives and platforms available, such as associations, chapter events, special interest group and conferences, then digital and social mechanisms continue to break-down communication barriers. As a profession are we making the most of them? No, I don’t think so. We can certainly better leverage these networking opportunities and collaborate across professional silos.”
“As a young business analyst, it’s an exciting time: organisations are starting to realise the value of having a fresh perspective and approach to solving ‘old world’ business problems.” Inga Davids, Consultant at Saratoga, will be presenting a talk at the 2016 BA Summit titled, ‘The Fundamentals of the Millennial BA – Recruiting, Retaining and Growing the 21st Century BA‘. Davids believes that in order to attract the next generation of business analysts organisations need to ensure their brand and values are appealing to millennials. “Some millennials are known to place a strong emphasis on growth, development and social responsibility.” Davids adds that it’s not all about flexi-hours and Friday afternoon drinks for millennials.
“To retain a strong and productive workforce, employers need to understand how to motivate, reward and recognise millennials”
Ryan sums up the energy and possibilities of the business analysis profession perfectly: “I believe that business analysis is on the verge of a new dawn, a time where the profession has evolved to a point where its true value is starting to be appreciated. The potential of business analysis to grow is infinite and it takes a brave few to step up to the challenge and lead the community forward.”
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‘Infinite Possibilities Of Business Analysis In South Africa’ originally appeared in IT Web on 5 September 2016.