Insights from Business Architect Esther Choudary


Hosted by Deirdre Caren on Agora Insights’ Blueprints for Success - Business Architect Insights


I had the pleasure of interviewing Esther Choudary, Director, Principal Business Architect at the CNO Financial Group. 

Esther's story is one of passion and determination. From her early days exploring computer science to her current role, she has always sought to understand the 'why' behind actions and decisions. Her curious nature led her to the field of business architecture, even before she knew such a discipline existed!

It was great to hear that she had the privilege of spearheading transformative, strategic initiatives that exposed the value of establishing the need for business architecture and hence paved the way to hire more business architects in the future. 

Let’s get started…


Esther holds a Master of Computer Applications (MCA) degree in Computer Software Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. She is certified as a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)® and a Certified Business Architect (CBA)® by the Business Architecture Guild.

Esther shared her journey from a curious child in India, fascinated by computers, even breaking them open to put them back together, to a professional in the United States, helping her company navigate through strategic and transformational changes using business architecture. With a strong foundation in business systems analysis, the courage to ‘dare to dream’, to remain authentic and with big picture thinking, Esther has played a pivotal role in establishing business architecture within her organization.

Despite how quickly her career has grown, Esther has remained grounded and approachable. She leads cross-functional teams with a collaborative spirit, translating high-level strategies into actionable initiatives that drive digital transformation. Her passion for enhancing customer and employee experiences is palpable, as she works closely with stakeholders to define multi-year roadmaps. 

What sets Esther apart is her dedication to nurturing others. As a mentor and coach, she invests time in developing the next generation of business architects and consultants within the group, ensuring her impact extends far beyond her projects.

3 Key Topics

1. The Role of Business Architecture and AI in Bridging Strategy and Execution

Esther emphasized the importance of Business Architecture in today's organizations because it plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between ambition and action, helping organizations navigate strategy and execution. She likens the role to connecting dots ensuring that strategic decisions across the organization align with the overall picture. She believes that business architecture provides analytical frameworks and insights to solve the right problems and focus on the right opportunities. She sees this role growing even more important with the rise AI as business architects will need to connect those dots to better identify where using AI can best add value. 

Esther explained how business analysis feeds into and complements business architecture. She stressed that a thorough analysis paves the way for a solid architectural foundation, which is critical for any organization's success. To achieve this, big picture thinking is critical. She believes that chasing the 'why' when doing analysis through to business architecture will result in aligning and achieving strategic objectives. 

She emphasized the importance of asking questions from "Why are we doing this? What if we did it this way? Have we explored other options? to How does this align with our goals? and How does this benefit our customers?"

"Business architecture is the bridge from strategy to execution to ensure that the outcomes are aligning with our strategic objectives."
- Ester Choudary

2. The Importance of Continuous Learning and Mentorship

For personal development and career advancement in a rapidly changing business environment, Esther stressed the need for ongoing education. She pointed out that professionals should always be learning and adapting, whether through formal training or self-directed study, to stay ahead of the curve. This included developing in-depth domain knowledge.

She shared how she recently finished a year long business architecture cohort and that the experience was invaluable. She was championed herself, then given the opportunity to champion others. This led her to a quote she loves by Robert Ingersoll which says "we rise by lifting others". 

At the start of her career, Esther received the advice that if she wanted to be successful, she needed to find a mentor. And she is grateful that she found a great mentor. This too proved to be an important factor in her personal growth and learning. She also values a good sponsor, advocates and leaders who show how things are done.

"Advocates are those who see your value and spread the word within the organisation."  
- Esther Choudary  

3. The Value of Effective Communication

We also discussed how crucial it is to communicate clearly and effectively in our roles as business architects. And to look at the role requirements as a whole. This included behavior, skill set and the knowledge we bring to the role.

Esther believes that business architects need to demonstrate key behaviors to be successful. These traits include deep listening, building great relationships, empathy, being adaptable, and having an open mind. Esther shared that there is great value in being able to convey complex ideas in a straightforward manner for collaboration and understanding among team members, stakeholders, and clients.

10 Learning Points

  1. Curiosity Drives Growth: Stay curious. Adapt to changes. Continuously expand your skillset to stay up-to- date and relevant. 
  2. Certification Matters: Obtaining certification in business architecture can enhance credibility and knowledge.
  3. Community Engagement: Joining business architecture communities offers support and shared learning experiences.
  4. Building Relationships: Cultivating strong professional relationships is vital for success in any role. Helping others in the organization.
  5. Strategic Storytelling: Being able to condense complex information and communicate effectively is key.
  6. Understanding Value: Business architects must identify and articulate the value they bring to organizations.
  7. Problem Solving: The ability to adapt and apply business architecture principles across various domains is essential. Connect the dots to solve the right problems and focus on the right opportunities.
  8. Governance and Standards: Establishing clear standards and governance models ensures consistency and reusability.
  9. Leadership Support: Having the support of leadership is critical for establishing and advancing the discipline. Mentors, sponsors and advocates are critical for personal and professional growth. 
  10. Self-Awareness: Balancing authenticity with a keen sense of self-awareness is important for professional development.


Esther's journey and insights provide valuable lessons for anyone looking to advance in business architecture or any professional field. Her advice to "dare to dream" resonates deeply, reminding us that our aspirations should not be limited by self-doubt. As the field of business architecture continues to evolve, it's clear that upcoming professionals like Esther will be at the forefront, championing the discipline and shaping the future of organizations.

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Contact Deirdre Caren on LinkedIn 

About Esther

Business Architecture Leader | Certified Business Architect (CBA)® | Change Enabler | Servant Leader | Strategist | Collaborator | Story teller | Culture Builder | Seasoned Professional 

Esther Choudary is a seasoned professional and business architecture leader with expertise in change enablement, strategic planning, and collaboration. She is a certified business architect (CBA) and has a diverse skill set that includes being a servant leader, storyteller, and culture builder. Esther has a strong dedication to personal growth and communication excellence.


Post sponsored by Agora Insights Ltd 

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