It is said that 70% of IT projects end in failure, such is the difficulty of IT development.
For this reason, in recent years there has been a growing focus on business analysts in Japan, who are tasked with analysing a company’s business processes to ensure the success of its projects.
Traditionally, business analysts were seen as experts in analysing business processes, and engaged in various initiatives that did not involve IT. However, the last few years has witnessed a rise in business analysts who specialize in IT. Known as “IT business analysts (IT BA)” or “business systems analysts,” they are in high demand across all industries.
In this article, we take a look at the role of an IT business analyst, the demand for IT business analysts on the job market, and key points to consider when it comes to recruitment.
If you are a company in Japan that is actively thinking about recruiting an IT Business Analyst, this article may be of assistance.
What is an IT Business Analyst?
Put simply, an IT Business Analyst is an expert in analysing business processes.
An IT Business Analyst is an expert that uses IT to analyse data and resolve a company’s issues. Traditionally, a business analyst specialized in business as a whole, and was also engaged in various initiatives that did not involve IT.
However, due to advances in IT solutions and technologies, IT is playing an increasingly important role in both business process analyses and the formulation of management strategies—and the IT business analyst acts as a bridge between the company’s IT departments and its management.
The main roles of an IT Business Analyst are outlined below:
Summarizes the issues facing a company and decides on concrete methods to resolve these issues.
Coordinates relevant internal and external parties and organizes entire projects.
TUses IT tools to visualize and analyse business processes and seeks to identify and understand existing issues.
Proposes optimal solutions in line with the company’s needs.
The IT Business Analyst is therefore required to act as a mediator between the company’s IT departments and its management, utilizing IT technologies to fully meet the demands of the company’s management and departments, and thereby contributing to the company’s success.
What demand is there for IT business analysts?
Demand on the job market for IT business analysts is extremely high in Japan.
In the past, companies had employees who undertook the same roles as present-day IT business analysts. However, these employees rarely specialized in these same roles—instead, they were tasked with these roles for a limited period, for example, or perhaps they had limited authority.
But this led to various issues. Since IT business analysts were not trained to implement projects, system requirements were ill-defined and so for a long time most system development projects ended in failure.
In light of these failures, in recent years all manner of companies have started to employ IT business analysts, who are experts in analysing business processes.
However, since the occupation of the specialist “IT Business Analyst” is still relatively new, there are few people who have worked in such a role, and supply has fallen far behind demand.
What qualifications, experience, and skills should an IT Business Analyst have?
When it comes to recruiting IT business analysts, a candidate’s job history and skillsets are key.
As outlined above, few candidates will have worked as specialist IT business analysts before; however, some candidates will have carried out similar tasks to those expected of an IT Business Analyst.
If you cannot find candidates who have previously worked as IT business analysts, a good alternative is to look for candidates who are experienced in organizing projects.
By choosing candidates who have engaged in projects that align with the needs of your company, you can reduce the chances of a recruitment mismatch.
Below, we outline some of the skills you ought to verify during the recruitment process:
An IT Business Analyst acts as a bridge between various departments and spends a great deal of time conducting interviews with and providing explanations to them.
For this reason, when recruiting business analysts, you should focus on candidates who have smooth communication skills, and who are able to establish appropriate relationships with other parties.
Logical thinking skills
The IT Business Analyst is also required to understand various issues rationally, and to subdivide these issues and resolve them in a logical manner.
Analysis and problem-solving skills
The central task of an IT business analyst is to analyse business processes, identify issues, and propose solutions. If a candidate is lacking in these skills, it is safe to say that they do not possess the skillset required to propose optimal solutions for your company.
When communicating business requirements to system engineers—and these may include areas for improvement identified via data analysis—the IT Business Analyst is required to understand to what extent these improvements are executable and discuss various issues with them in a shared language.
For this reason, an IT Business Analyst must possess IT skills and expertise. Many IT business analysts have previously worked on development as system analysts, so it might be a good idea to check whether this is the case for your candidate as well.
Business knowledge of relevant industries and fields
How much a candidate knows about your company’s business is extremely important. Even if they have satisfactory soft and hard skills, if a candidate does not have a deep understanding of the industry you operate in, they may formulate misguided requirements definitions, and lead your company in a suboptimal direction.
What is the annual salary of an IT Business Analyst?
An IT Business Analyst’s annual salary depends on the industry and size of the company.
The Robert Half Salary Guide provides estimates for the average salary of an IT Business Analyst in Japan.
You can use this guide as a reference when offering a salary to a candidate.
Few people have previously worked as specialist IT business analysts. However, even if a candidate has not worked as an IT Business Analyst before, they may possess the skillsets required to carry out the necessary tasks. Many employees of Japanese companies have managed projects and analysed business processes, even if they are not specialist project managers or business analysts.
Of course, such candidates may have skillsets that are not fully attuned to the tasks at hand; but they may nevertheless benefit your company significantly in the long term. Since there is a shortage of IT business analysts in the Japan job market, it is advisable to act quickly if you are looking to recruit.
If you are a personnel manager seeking to recruit an IT Business Analyst immediately, please do not hesitate to contact Robert Half.