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IBM Research

CBM - Component Business Modeling

Business Transformation


Component Business Modeling (CBM) is a technique for analyzing an enterprise by first partitioning it into relatively independent, non-overlapping business components to identify opportunities for innovation and/or improvement.

A business component is:

  • Part of an enterprise that has the potential to operate independently-in the extreme case as a separate company, or as part of another company
  • A logical view of part of an enterprise that includes the resources, people, technology, and know-how necessary to deliver some value
  • A building block or capability that creates value in the organization
  • A value-adding aspect of the enterprise, offering products or services to other business components, some of which are outside the enterprise

In the CBM view, an enterprise is simply a collection of business components that are "networked" together. CBM creates a Business Component Map of the essential "building blocks" of your organization into a tabular structure that can easily fit on a single page. A Heat Map is a business component map, annotated with the values of selected evaluation criteria, with color-coding of business components to indicate overall evaluation.

The CBM approach allows us to address a number of critical business and technology issues:
  • Strategic issues: Aligning business capabilities to the overall strategy and identifying differentiating requirements, and ensuring investments are aligned with the strategy
  • Sourcing issues: Identifying non-differentiated parts of the business that are better served with shared services or alternate sourcing / partnering arrangements
  • Technology issues: Creating an underlying technology architecture that leverages the existing investments and builds incremental capabilities to support increased flexibility and responsiveness
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Enabling a comprehensive, non-political view of organizational capabilities and creating a single roadmap for integration
  • Prioritizing transformation initiatives: Creating integrated business and technology transformation roadmaps aligned with the overall strategy
  • Unlocking value through the identification and creation of new solutions: Creating new linkages and relationships between different component parts of the business

The IBM Haifa Research Lab has contributed to the CBM approach with the data model that constitutes the theoretical foundation of the approach, tooling development, method formalization, and advanced analytics.


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