Digital Transformation: Why Business Analysis becomes more and more important
There is nothing to discuss: Today, airlines are constantly challenged to solve new problems quickly and to seize their opportunities. Problems can be caused, for example, by inefficient processes, by a lack of communication culture or even if IT systems don't meet the requirements of the company and its stakeholders. In times of digitization and permanent change airline organizations therefore need a certain expertise to survive successful on the market. This is where Business Analysis and Requirements Engineering come in.
Business Analysis for doing the business better
So what is Business Analysis all about? Debra Paul defines it as follows: 'Business Analysis as a practice helps facilitate change in an organization by defining business needs (problems or opportunities) in collaboration with its stakeholders through strategy analysis and requirement engineering (planning, elicitation, analysis, management and validation). The recommended solution could be an IT or non-IT, minor or humongous and customized or off-the-shelf product.” Or to put it in a nutshell:
"Business Analysis helps businesses do business better" 
In order to “do business better”, Business Analysis is used to identify and articulate the need for change in the way organizations work and to facilitate that change. The Business Analysts therefore identify and define the solutions that will maximize the value delivered by an organization to its stakeholders. They will work across all levels of an organization and may be involved in everything from defining strategy, to creating the enterprise architecture, to taking a leadership role by defining the goals and requirements for programs and projects or supporting continuous improvement in its technology and processes.
The second important topic within this important complex is Requirements Engineering. It is one of the most important activities of a Business Analyst. It refers to the process of defining, documenting and maintaining requirements in the engineering design process.
What’s the value of Business Analysis?
How can Business Analysis nowadays be of concrete value for airlines? The Business Analysts help them:
- drive digitization to simplify and innovate their processes
- to identify and implement the requirements they really need and – even more important - which can realistically be implemented
- conduct internal IT-Projects state-of-the-art requirements engineering & solution methods
- achieve their goals, while working in different project environments, like in waterfall or agile methods
Where are potential obstacles?
As I already outlined: The demand for expertise in Business Analysis and Requirements Engineering within airline companies is unbeaten today – for any airline or airline group, regardless the size or the business model. Especially in times of digital transformation Business Analysis has become a key success factor for airlines.
Usually experienced Business Analysts are capable to combine airline-know-how, IT competence and methodical capabilities to achieve above mentioned objectives. However, my personal experience is that sometimes the Business Analyst expertise for certain topics or fields is not always fully available at some airlines. Unfortunately, this can lead to the fact that a necessary and value-adding change is not always successfully implemented. To avoid such a situation, sometimes a temporary support that combines all above mentioned three competences might be a smarter way to reach the goals set. It is just like the real life. If I don´t know exactly how to put a parquet floor, I rather ask somebody who has done that many times.
I look forward to hearing your opinion on this topic.