Business Analysis Trends for 2012: Part 2 of 2

by Jason Questor
EVP Learning Systems

In this second installment I list business analysis trends for 2012 as described by the Board for the IIBA Toronto Chapter. These will be evaluated at our chapter meeting in January 2013 for accuracy.

  • A continued growing trend for companies who have traditionally not been investing in business analysis competency development to do so. Many companies scaled back their training and professional development budgets during the economic downturn. Employees similarly held tight. Now that the economy is rebounding companies are realizing that employees are beginning to jump ship as firms resume recruiting efforts. In response, companies are putting a greater emphasis on incenting employees to stay with training offerings.
  • An increased rate of certification as HR departments ask for it during recruitment. This will remain in pockets, rather than across the board.
  • More specializations beyond the business systems analyst:  business solution analysts operating at the enterprise,  program and portfolio levels, BA finance / banking / manufacturing  . . .
  • In a parallel trend, some employers will increase their demand for business analysts with a high degree of technical knowledge. For those firms whose solutions are deeply tied to complex technologies, the traditional business analyst whose knowledge is limited to the business only will be replaced by the Business-Systems Analyst  whose skills will not only include the general business process of a given domain but also the complex systems that make up rules engines, class libraries and the like.
  • Senior business analysts being  included at a more strategic and cross enterprise level as business architects.
  • Continued maturation of the discipline, including the ability to influence without authority and moving away from just order taking
  • Cloud Computing – There will be a heavy focus on cloud computing in 2012 as companies invest in the expected benefits it brings. Re.al potential lies with involvement by strong business analysts to help realize the true benefits within their organizations. Current focus is on monetization of Cloud Computing by consulting companies as a source of revenue – not necessarily what’s in the best interest of the business / enterprise. Key = the BA can serve as the conduit to truly extract value for the business / enterprise as they move towards using Cloud Computing.
  • Business Analysis Discipline – More focus within organizations to grow the business analysis discipline, requiring more business analyst contribution to corporate strategy (want more seasoned business analysts). Big emphasis on leaner IT and strong relationship between business and IT stakeholders – stronger business analysts who can help unite the different groups and align competing requirements, needs, objectives. Focus will be on leadership capabilities within business analysis arena – facilitation, relationship management, expectation setting and communication. Growing recognition that the business analyst is in the best position to develop the Business Case for organizational initiatives beyond projects.
  • The business analyst will play a large role on Agile projects, which might in some cases result in a business analysis specialization in agile. In the marketplace, companies are increasingly sending their business analysts to Agile /Scrum training courses.

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