Throughout its history, Enterprise Architecture (EA) has focused on technical aspects, particularly applications, information, and infrastructure. While initial efforts often acknowledge business requirements and seek to unify business and IT, the core focus of EA typically remains on technical aspects.

However, this approach is not necessarily ideal. EA’s role should extend beyond technical concerns to support organizations in realizing their value propositions. Rather than solely prioritizing technical considerations, EA should closely collaborate with business stakeholders to shape business models and drive customer value. Placing the customer’s value at the forefront is essential for effective EA.

In a previous blog post, we discussed how the mantra “The Customer is Always Right” can also be applied to successful Experience Design. Steve Krug, a renowned UX expert, echoes this sentiment in his book “Don’t Make Me Think“, emphasizing the importance of intuitive design that minimizes user effort.

In this blog, we’ll apply these principles to Enterprise Architecture, treating architects as our “customers”. By doing so, we aim to simplify the often complex world of EA using a business model canvas.

What is a Business Model Canvas?

Just as there are different blueprints for building things, companies have different ways of doing business, sometimes even more than one. These different ways can be quite detailed. For example, a company may deal with different types of customers, or its plan may be complicated, unique or very strict. However, at the end of the day, for any organization looking to transform its business, it’s about becoming more efficient, delivering new or better products/services and being resilient in terms of security. In addition, more and more organizations are focusing on sustainability. The Circular economy is one of the key keywords in this context.

Leveraging the Business Model for Enterprise Architecture is the chance to put the customer into the focus of our endeavours. The value proposition is at the heart of the Business Model Canvas (BMC), making it an invaluable tool for aligning business strategies with customer needs and preferences.

“A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value.”

Alexander Osterwalder,
Co-creator of the Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas, developed by Alex Osterwalder, is like a handy map for designing and describing business models. Condensing everything onto a single page, it illustrates how an organization generates and delivers value. This helps spot opportunities or tweak strategies easily.

Example of a Business Model Canvas

Leveraging Business Model Canvas in EA

The versatility of the Business Model Canvas extends across various applications within Enterprise Architecture. It can be used for many purposes such as Business Model Innovation, Strategic Planning, Performance Monitoring and many more.

In this blog, we delve into leveraging the Business Model Canvas to enhance experience design. In this context, it must serve pivotal purposes, including:

Customer Journey Mapping:

By examining the customer segments, value propositions, and channels within the canvas, enterprise architects can map out the customer journey comprehensively. This holistic view enables the identification of touchpoints and pain points, facilitating the design of seamless and intuitive customer experiences.

Service Design:

The canvas assists in designing and optimizing services, like EA services, by delineating key activities, resources, and partnerships involved in service delivery. This structured approach enables enterprises to streamline service processes, enhance service quality, and ensure alignment with customer needs and expectations.

User-Centric Innovation:

Through the lens of the canvas, organizations can foster user-centric innovation by systematically analysing customer segments and value propositions. This facilitates the identification of unmet needs and opportunities for differentiation, driving the development of innovative products and services tailored to user preferences.

Persona Development:

Enterprise architects utilize the canvas to inform persona development by understanding the diverse needs and preferences of different customer segments. By mapping out value propositions and customer relationships, organizations can create detailed personas that serve as empathetic representations of target users, guiding experience design efforts effectively.

Touchpoint Optimization:

By scrutinizing the channels and customer relationships depicted in the canvas, enterprises can optimize touchpoints across various interaction channels. This optimization ensures consistency and coherence in the customer experience, fostering engagement and loyalty.

In essence, the Business Model Canvas serves as a foundational tool for experience design in Enterprise Architecture, enabling organizations to craft compelling and customer-centric experiences across all facets of their operations. The greatest strength of the Business Model Canvas lies in its systematic and notable visual approach, which resonates well with the stakeholders. Its concise yet comprehensive format enables rapid comprehension, fostering engagement and facilitating collaborative decision-making. By leveraging Canvas, Enterprise Architects can effectively communicate complex business concepts in a manner that is both accessible and compelling to stakeholders.

Consequently, it bridges the gap between technical architecture insights and business strategy, empowering partners to drive innovation and make informed investments with confidence.

Nine blocks of the Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas comprises nine crucial components that outline a business model, providing a comprehensive view of how these parts interconnect and operate collectively. Architects analyse the interrelationships between these components. Collaborating with their Architecture team, business stakeholders scrutinize patterns, identify gaps, map out exchanges, and grasp the overarching strategy by examining how these vital components integrate within the system:

Key Partnerships:

Companies or organizations you collaborate with to make your business work, like suppliers or strategic alliances.

Key Activities:

The primary functions of your company through which revenue is generated, such as producing goods, providing services, or developing technology.

Key Resources:

The essential assets your business needs to operate, like equipment, people, or intellectual property.

Value Proposition:

What makes your product or service attractive to customers, and why should they choose you over the competition?

Customer Segments:

The different groups of people or organizations you target with your product or service.

Customer Relationships:

How you interact with your customers to satisfy and retain them, e.g. through customer support or personalized services.


The ways you deliver your product or service to customers, such as online sales, retail stores, or partnerships with distributors.

Cost Structure:

The expenses your business incurs to operate, including production costs, marketing expenses, and overhead.

Revenue Streams:

The different ways your business earns money, such as through sales, subscriptions, or advertising.

Benefits of creating Business Model Canvas with ArchiMate and ADOIT

Business Model Canvas modelled with ArchiMate in ADOIT


ArchiMate allows you to align your business model with other architectural aspects, such as strategy, processes, and technology, ensuring coherence across the organization.


It provides a visual representation of your business model within the broader enterprise architecture, making it easier to understand and communicate to stakeholders.


ArchiMate enables you to integrate your business model with other architectural elements, such as capabilities, applications, and infrastructure, supporting the design of the operating model that needs to be in place to deliver the promised value proposition.


You can analyse the connections. You can immediately see which application, resource or capability is considered central to your business models.

Insights Dashboard of a Capability


In the digitalized world, where everything can easily be overseen and overlooked, understanding and visualizing your business model is crucial for success. Enter the Business Model Canvas, a versatile tool that offers a structured framework for mapping out the key components of any business. From identifying customer segments to defining revenue streams, Canvas empowers entrepreneurs and managers to make informed decisions and drive innovation.

But why stop there? Pairing the Business Model Canvas with ArchiMate modelling in an EA tool like ADOIT takes business understanding to the next level. ArchiMate’s standardized notation and language provide a deeper dive into the relationships between business elements, IT infrastructure, and organizational goals. By modelling your business with ArchiMate, you can effectively align strategies with capabilities, optimize processes, and drive sustainable growth. Together, the Business Model Canvas and ArchiMate offer a powerful combination for comprehensive business modelling, strategic planning, and enterprise architecture management. Unlock the full potential of your business today!

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