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Building a Better Business Analyst: Transforming the Enterprise

Transformation. Many companies claim that they are pursing it, but only a few are equipping one of the most critical groups in the enterprise, the business analyst, with the skills to make transformation happen. In order to deliver sustainable, significant change at the execution level, the business analyst job function requires attention and investment. What can insurance companies do to ensure the development of the appropriate number and quality of business analysts, and thus increase project success and shorten delivery timeframes?

In a new report, Building a Better Business Analyst: Transforming the Enterprise, Celent discusses the drivers, expected benefits, and current models of successful business analyst development.

Companies surveyed expressed various reasons to invest in the skills of this vital resource. Several of the drivers were common across the group, including:

• A response to an outsourced IT structure

• The need to backfill for an aging employee population

• A recognition that development quality requires improvement

• The imperative to improve project delivery

This report outlines qualitative and quantitative justifications for investments. A benefits model, including expected payoff by project lifecycle phase, is presented. Specific benefits accrued by individual insurance companies are also detailed.

The report describes company and vendor programs in detail. The various approaches span a variety of organizational structures, including:

• The global IT function within a multi-line insurer (general and life) headquartered in Europe

• The enterprise-level approach taken by a North American life insurer

• Division and department responses of P&C companies

• Vendor programs deployed in companies servicing the insurance industry

"Transforming an enterprise involves identifying, facilitating, documenting, and communicating new business processes," says Mike Fitzgerald , senior analyst with Celent's insurance practice and author of the report. "The people responsible for these critical activities in most insurance companies are the business analysts. By improving their skills, companies are increasing the quality and quantity of successful project implementations."