Toward a multi-disciplinary business architecture reference model for SMEs

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Conference Proceeding
23rd European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2015, 2015, 2015-May
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Competing in a global, open and dynamic ecosystem of firms, SMEs require a strategic management tool to manage co-evolution with dynamic environments. To sustain their competitive advantages, SMEs must enhance the capacity of orchestrating and integrating resources/capabilities to adopt/shape their chosen ecosystem and meet the emergent market needs. Drawing from existing literature and preliminary interviews it has been found that SMEs need a simple but holistically comprehensive strategic management tool to help the executives implement entrepreneurial practices that have the capacity to quickly identify new resource configuration to align with the changing environments. In particular we develop a multi-disciplinary Business Architecture Reference Model (BARM) for SMEs to help SMEs create value in an open and dynamic ecosystem. Derived from SMEs' internal and external strategic requirements, we revisit conceptual model for the SME BARM by integrating diverse but interrelated disciplines including; IS, strategic management, organization, architecture and service sciences. Theoretically grounded from these diverse disciplines, the BARM provides SMEs with a new holistic approach to orchestrate their socio-technical resources/capabilities and manage their co-evolution within the dynamic ecosystem. The proposed BARM for SMEs comprises architectural components and metamodel that helps SMEs plan, articulate and execute their business strategies, resulting in a business-aligned configuration of resources to attain evolutionary fitness with the competitive environments. By incorporating organisation and strategic management theories in the BARM conceptual model, the paper also contributes to the theoretical foundation of architecture science - accentuating the socio-technical (capability-based) nature of architecture. The preliminary BARM's efficacy and usability has been validated through interviews with industry experts and SME executives.
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