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Business Relationship Manager VS Business Analyst

It is commonly observed that IT firms who have just started putting out job vacancies consider the roles of a Business Analyst and that of a Business Relationship Manager as the same. A good number of professionals also seem to be uncertain of the profiles in both these roles. While medium-sized and established firms have been clear about the individual requirement of both these profiles, let’s dig into what differentiates a BRM from a Business Analyst, and how do both these roles complement each other in an IT enterprise.

What is a business relationship manager?

A business relationship manager also referred to as BRM acts as a liaison between the IT department and other business units of a firm. As any department in a medium or big firm relies on technology, organizations find it necessary to establish a stronger and better way of communication between IT and other business units.

Business Analysis, however, is the process of enabling change in the context of a firm by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders. And a business analyst in IT works with a project and business stakeholders to formulate and communicate processes, scope, and requirements for the project.

Role of a BRM in IT firm:

When talking about the role of a business relationship manager in an IT firm, it is imperative that the candidate needs to have a deep understanding of the IT department, and the necessary skills to effectively communicate with other business units. BRMs are integral to companies that have traditionally kept IT separate from the rest of the organization, operating as an independent department without much interaction with internal or external business leaders. While the job description of a BRM depends on the requirement of a firm.

The general responsibilities of a BRM include…
  • Coaching business leaders on what to communicate to IT for better business growth.
  • Reviewing requirements for change management and business transformation.
  • Communicating with business leaders for joint initiatives and proposals to see how do they align.
  • Identifying business value when developing ideas on digital awareness, risk assessment, business continuity, and business capability.
  • Building and managing a relationship team to oversee strategic partnering across the organization, inclusive of executive and senior-level leadership.
  • Ensuring joint initiatives are set up for success and are in alignment with the corporate strategy.

Role of a Business Analyst in an IT firm:

The star responsibility of a business analyst is to build a quality project. The stakeholders define their needs and the business analyst then takes the responsibility for translating those needs in terms of business processes, technologies, and the scope that can help deliver what the stakeholders want.

It is not surprising to find some professionals such as Data Analysts and Process Analysts perform the role of a business analyst in small firms, but medium and big-sized firms with their core lying in IT always employ a Business Analyst.

The major responsibilities of a BA include…
  • Creating concise requirement documents following the stakeholders’ need to improve processes and implement technology solutions.
  •  Applying data visualization and other visual modeling skills that help in capturing and communicating information visually.
  • Quality assurance to verify whether a software and the working team is well equipped to fulfil a specific need.
  •  Defining how various organizational units and stakeholders interact both within and outside the organization.
  • Develop a roadmap for execution of the project with respect to enterprise architecture.


To sum up, a BRM works with both the business partner and the provider (internal teams like HR, IT, Finance, etc.) to understand the provider’s capabilities. He/she is required to determine business objectives and ensure strategic, innovative solutions that drive growth.

On the other hand, a BA works with a stakeholder to develop and deliver a solution to the stakeholder’s requirement by understanding and defining organizational goals and meeting business needs.

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Note: The content references and benchmarking tool surveys are from the Business Relationship Management Institute, Inc., Copyright, and all rights reserved. Material from this publication has been reproduced with the permission of the BRM Institute.