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Organisational complexity drives demand for qualified business analysts

Oct 10, 2017
Organisational complexity drives demand for qualified business analysts

Increasing automisation of business processes is driving the demand for qualified and experienced business analysts, as these professionals are uniquely positioned to help companies adapt, innovate and reinvent in a challenging environment, an expert says.

“For an organisation to retain its competitive advantage, it is constantly required to identify new opportunities and different ways of conducting its business, and human insight and understanding remain invaluable in this context,” says Wonga Ntshinga, Senior Head of Programme: Faculty of ICT at The Independent Institute of Education, SA’s largest and most accredited private higher education institution.

He says some of the challenges still faced by organisations, particularly in South Africa, and in both the public and private sector, include:

  • That business processes are still performed manually,
  • An increase in employee workload due to an increase in clients,
  • An unstructured and inconsistent approach which sees duplication in ICT systems and personnel functions,
  • That processes are adapted to software applications rather than the other way around,
  • That systems processes need to be manually rectified due to incorrect reconciliation,
  • That entire processes are compromised due to attempts at streamlining and optimising.

Ntshinga says that public universities and higher education institutions are increasingly recognising the need for qualifications that specifically address these emerging organisational demands, which will only increase in coming years.

“To survive and thrive as the fourth industrial revolution begins to manifest, organisations and companies need to adapt, innovate and reinvent. Institutions of learning therefore need to prepare students for this reality, where customers are smarter, enterprises are extending, business models are continuously changing, and where there is an increase in intelligent automation and Artificial Intelligence application.

“Business Analysis is a relatively new discipline that draws on and consolidates learning and experiences from other fields, and prepares students for this skill of the future.

“We predict a marked rise in coming years in the demand for well-rounded graduates who have proper technical depth combined with a good appreciation of the business edge of ICT.”

Ntshinga explains that Business Analysis involves the understanding of how organisations function to accomplish their purpose, and the ability to define and implement the capabilities an organisation requires to effectively provide products and services to external stakeholders.

“Business analysis, as a discipline, gives students and graduates an opportunity to analyse business needs and challenges, to propose creative, workable and desired solutions that are financially sound.”

In order to do this, Business Analysts are required to:

  1. Clarify what problems an initiative is trying to solve – i.e. define and solve problems to ensure that the real, underlying problem is understood; 
  2. Apply project management skills, together with written and oral communication skills to effectively express ideas in ways that are appropriate to the target audience;
  3. Adapt to organisational culture and seek out communities of practise to help requirement elicitation. Eliciting requirements is a key to business analysis because the requirements serve as the foundation for the solution to the business need;
  4. Model and low-code business processes (e.g. using Business Process Modelling Notation); and
  5. Manage the risks related to the ability of a solution to meet the business need.

“As organisations will increasingly require professionals who can ensure that IT service management integrates people, processes and technology initiatives to deliver business value, there will be an increase in demand for candidates who can demonstrate that they are qualified and up to this complex task. Ultimately, these professionals will have to ensure that they address challenges of duplication, redundancy, the lack of standardisation, and inconsistent measurement and control.”