Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Open Group Conference, London: An open environment for challenging times

By Allen Brown, CEO, The Open Group

In little over a week, The Open Group will convene in London to debate some of today’s key IT issues such as Cloud Computing and Enterprise Architecture.

Our members span a range of companies and organisations, including Capgemini, HP, IBM, Oracle, Kingdee and SAP, and hail from around the globe. It’s not easy trying to get such a range of individuals to reach some sort of consensus; our conferences are vital in developing open standards and certifications. Our rich and varied membership certainly makes for interesting and lively debates. During the London Conference, May 9-13, we’ll hear plenty of opinions on a variety of topics including enterprise architecture (EA), business transformation, cyber-security, Cloud Computing, SOA and skills-based certifications.

We’ve got an excellent group of speakers attending the conference including Peter Edwards, Associate Director, IT & Communications Consulting, Arup, who’ll describe his experiences of being an Enterprise Architect in the land of Architects and Civil Engineers. His speech will discuss his position at Arup and some aspects of his role as Chief Enterprise Architect for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA)​. He’ll discuss examples from recent work on major airports, sports facilities, “smart cities” and efficient data centres, explaining how these all rely heavily and increasingly on complex, integrated systems and how the concepts, tools and techniques of enterprise architecture are helpful in planning and integrating such systems, and in helping to bridge the communication gap between the different types of stakeholders.

Other presenters will address the role of technical experts to investigate organised crime, Cloud vendor selection (how to pick the right combination of better, faster and cheaper), architecting Cloud Computing, securing the global supply chain and much more.

As the IT media is dominated by stories on Cloud and cyber-security, it will be refreshing to debate these in an open environment and discuss the many challenges we all face in navigating an increasingly complex IT world. I’d love to hear your views on the type of questions you’d like answered and any particular issues you feel passionate about.

The Open Group Conference, London, May 9-13 is almost here! Join us for best practices and case studies on Enterprise Architecture, Cloud, Security and more, presented by preeminent thought leaders in the industry.

Allen BrownAllen Brown is the President and CEO of The Open GroupFor more than ten years, he has been responsible for driving the organization’s strategic plan and day-to-day operations; he was also instrumental in the creation of The Association of Open Group Enterprise Architects (AOGEA). Allen is based in the U.K.

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Filed under Cloud/SOA, Cybersecurity, Enterprise Architecture

Giving EA the much-needed business slant: some thoughts

By Raghuraman Krishnamurthy, Cognizant Technology Solutions

Recently, I had the opportunity to quickly look at Chris Potts’s absorbingly written book titled recrEAtion: Realizing the Extraordinary Contribution of Your Enterprise Architects. The best contribution of EA, the book illustrates through a fictitious story line told with finesse, is much beyond IT. Enterprise architects need to be thinking more of business and contribute to strategy coherence by being uniquely able to link business goals with IT.

The word ‘architecture’ has an unfortunate connation with IT resulting in lumping of any architecture into the IT/IS function. That EA is much more than IT/IS has been the uniform rallying point of the community of enterprise architects for several years. There is a degree of success in this effort: for instance, the importance of EA in planning, alignment and program management is well researched and there is evidence in industry of realizing benefits that EA provides in this direction. However, for EA to earn its glorious position of the overall enterprise wide architecture management function,  it needs business embracement.

Business architecture is part of enterprise architecture. Let us consider some of the challenges that have business ramification in equal (or perhaps more) measure as technology:

  • Gaining customer insight is no longer possible with internal systems alone. There are social sites where the views of the customers are shared and debated within the community. How would this challenge be addressed in business architecture?
  • Mobility is opening up enterprise’s business opportunities in innovative ways. Mobility gives the customer the power to do business truly anytime, anywhere. How an enterprise can improve the collaboration in novel ways and generate close customer touch using new channels like mobility? How is business going to measure the effectiveness of this channel and what type of architecture models will be relevant?
  • Business processes are keys to realizing business objectives. How the business process, the associated rules, performance of the business process itself can be modeled in business terms? How can workflows and the associated documents be modeled in business terms?

The above could be some areas that EA can focus on giving the business flavor.

‘Evolving EA to Architect the Business’ is a subject that will be discussed in depth during The Open Group Conference, London, May 9-13. Join us for best practices and case studies on Enterprise Architecture, Cloud, Security and more, presented by preeminent thought leaders in the industry.

Raghuraman Krishnamurthy works as a Principal Architect at Cognizant Technology Solutions and is based in India. He can be reached at Raghuraman.krishnamurthy2@cognizant.com.

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Challenges of Emergent Architecture

By Balasubramanian Somasundram, Honeywell Technology Solutions Ltd.

In 2009, Gartner had coined a term called ‘Emergent Architecture’ advocating the need for a re-orientation in Enterprise Architecture practice. According to this paradigm, Gartner suggests Enterprise Architects must adopt a new style of Enterprise Architecture to respond to a growing variety and complexity in markets, economics, nations, networks and companies. Gartner had also listed some of the characteristics of such an Emergent Architecture and the kind of changes that we can foresee in near future.

After two years, I wanted to take a closer look at this observation and correlate some of my personal experiences from Enterprise IT.

To set the context, would like to quote the emergence of situational applications. In simple terms, situational applications solve immediate business challenges by addressing a situation in hand. The key characteristics of situational applications are – unique situation, highly personalized, immediate and time-sensitive nature of business scenario.  A “situational application” is a broader term that includes concrete implementations such as Mashups and Composite applications.

So far, Enterprise IT has been busy with ERP/CRM and packaged applications and custom developed web applications. Now, that era of “hand coding” is almost saturated and hit a plateau due to couple of reasons such as – Enterprise roll-outs of ERP/CRM are complete, custom developed applications are rationalized and consolidated with ERP suites and demands for new custom developed applications are challenged for solid business cases.

However, the unique business situations still demand for small/nimble IT solutions that wouldn’t wait for long lead times, big business cases. What is the solution?

Situational Applications can help.

The key characteristic of these situational applications is that business doesn’t have the details about the requirements or responses. All it has is the outcome that needs to be achieved. Sometimes, business just wants to experiment with multiple options before zeroing on one solution. In some cases, business wants to build just a pilot, scaled-down version of the actual solution and eventually evolve it to an enterprise-class solution. Sound familiar?

I would say this is one of the categories of emergence scenarios that Enterprise Architecture needs to deal with, for both business and IT stakeholders.

In contrast to what Gartner states, the key challenges that EA needs help solving are not just macro issues such as geopolitical risks or outsourcing governance etc., but micro issues that would help executing day-to-day projects much more effectively. This will build the credibility of EA groups at grassroots level and drive some real changes in business/IT. I would like to list some of those challenges to be solved:

  1. Given the uncertainty in requirements and technologies, what is the best way to cater to these business requests for building situational applications? Certainly, agile methods can help to certain extent. But the scenarios that revolve around situational applications are much more dynamic and need much faster results. Another way to look at this challenge is, how do these unique business situations fit in the overall business architecture?
  2. How do we engage business users to gather requirements in creative ways, especially when business users themselves may not have all the data upfront?
  3. If we need to build nimble, simple IT solutions, we need to have a solid architecture foundation. How can EA help both segments? – foundational and situational
  4. How do we make sure we create an ecosystem where the new architecture ‘evolves” as the requirements and solutions themselves evolve over a period of time?  How do we make sure architecture not only evolves, but translatable to an enterprise-scale solution?

Thanks to The Open Group, we have robust frameworks and methodologies for building deterministic enterprise architectures. It will be interesting to see how The Open Group addresses the demands and challenges of nondeterministic/emergent enterprise architectures as stated above, in the future.

Enterprise Architecture is a subject that will be discussed in depth during The Open Group Conference, London, May 9-13. Join us for best practices and case studies on Enterprise Architecture, Cloud, Security and more, presented by preeminent thought leaders in the industry.

Balasubramanian Somasundaram is an Enterprise Architect with Honeywell Technology Solutions Ltd, Bangalore, a division of Honeywell Inc, USA. Bala has been with Honeywell Technology Solutions for the past five years and contributed in several technology roles. His current responsibilities include Architecture/Technology Planning and Governance, Solution Architecture Definition for business-critical programs, and Technical oversight/Review for programs delivered from Honeywell IT India center. With more than 12 years of experience in the IT services industry, Bala has worked with variety of technologies with a focus on IT architecture practice.  His current interests include Enterprise Architecture, Cloud Computing and Mobile Applications. He periodically writes about emerging technology trends that impact the Enterprise IT space on his blog. Bala holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from MKU University, India.

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Is Enterprise Architecture a Profession?

By Jason Uppal, QRS

I have been involved with the Enterprise Architecture (EA) industry for the past 12 years. If the number of open positions for Enterprise Architects is any indication, there are a great many vacancies for EA opportunities that are going unfulfilled. Every time we discuss how to close this supply and demand gap for architects, the same question arises time and time again – is Enterprise Architecture a profession or discipline? Having some insight to this question – if not a complete answer – will help us further define the curriculum, mentoring and process to develop architects.

The purpose of this blog is to discuss what makes a profession and how to apply this to Enterprise Architecture. The July-August 2010 Harvard Business Review explored a similar subject – Is management a profession or discipline? I would like to apply the same thinking to Enterprise Architecture and would welcome your comments.

What makes a Profession?

The HBR article outlined the following characteristics of a profession:

  • Professions are made up of particular categories of people from whom we seek advice and services because they have knowledge and skills that we do not.
  • We cannot judge the quality of information ourselves even after the actions according to the advice and/or service has been implemented.
  • Since a professional is an expert and we are not, there is always an asymmetry of knowledge.


Scenario for Medicine as a Profession

Let’s apply these characteristics to a well-known profession such as a physician. After a four-year hiatus from marathon running, I asked my family doctor for advice on how to approach my training, the goal being that I just wanted to complete the marathon in less than four hours. He reviewed my physical condition, training plan and demeanour from past records and provided me with a training plan, nutrition plan and regular checkup schedule. During the training, he helped me understand how best to use the tools he provided. The final result, I completed the run in 3 hours and 45 minutes, without injuring myself, and still had enough strength to celebrate afterwards.

Situation Diagnostics – Could another physician have given me a different plan that would achieve the same results? The answer is perhaps yes, but as an information seeker I would have never known. I needed to trust my physician as the expert and that I did not have the expertise to judge the quality of his advice. This information asymmetry will permanently exist.

Scenario for an Enterprise Architecture as a Profession

Let’s apply similar scenario to an Enterprise Architect. Three years ago, I was asked by a manufacturing VP (George) to help upgrade his company’s aging manufacturing production infrastructure with a financially viable business case. For simplicity, let’s ignore other constraints for now. I studied the current situation, defined the target state, quantified the business benefit of being at the target state, validated it with key stakeholders, defined the transition map, created the architecture  — including total cost, benefits, risk and impact of the change on people. We presented the architecture and business case to the CEO in three slides and in seven minutes. He looked at both of us and said, “Are you telling me that you can solve the production problems at that price” – which was half of the anticipated price – “and deliver these benefits by this schedule?” The answer came, “Yes sir”. He immediately said, “George, we should do this program.”

Situation Diagnostics: I framed the problem, defined, implemented and exploited the capabilities to deliver the results at a certain cost and risk appetite. Would George – given his own abilities – be able to determine that the problem could have been solved for half the costs and less risk and impact to the organization? The answer is no, unless he asks another architect for a second review of the problem. This option is not very realistic in practice.

In conclusion, I would like to say that Enterprise Architecture is a profession where we define the role of Enterprise Architect as a person who takes responsibility for the definition and development of necessary Enterprise Capabilities required to achieve the goals and provide expertise based in leading the exploitation of those capabilities until the intended outcome is achieved. This is no different from what I asked my physician in the scenario above.

Are we ready to define and accept Enterprise Architect’s role as above? I welcome all feedback … negative and positive.

This post was originally posted to the QRS blog on April 16.

The profession of Enterprise Architecture is a subject that will be discussed in depth during The Open Group Conference, London, May 9-13, both in public sessions and during The Open Group Architecture Forum meetings. Join us in London for best practices and case studies on Enterprise Architecture, Cloud, Security and more, presented by preeminent thought leaders in the industry.

Jason Uppal, P.Eng. is the Chief Architect at QRS and was the first Master IT Architect certified by The Open Group, by direct review, in October 2005. He holds an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, graduate degree in Economics and a post graduate diploma in Computer Science. Jason’s commitment to Enterprise Architecture Life Cycle (EALC) has led him to focus on training (TOGAF®), education (UOIT) and mentoring services to his clients as well as being the responsible individual for both Architecture and Portfolio & Project Management for a number of major projects. Jason has found that education is only beneficial to those companies who can industrialize the EALC process – staff must be able to implement what they have learned. To that end, he lead a team of java software developers to develop an end to end industrialization product which encapsulates Enterprise Architecture, Portfolio and Project Management, Project Management and  IT Services Management processes. Implementing this software product, ITO, (www.itoProcesses.com.) permits companies to take full advantage of TOGAF® and any other custom processes which might already be in place within their organization.

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“Making Standards Work®”

By Andrew Josey, The Open Group

Next month as part of the ongoing process of “Making Standards Work®,” we will be setting standards and policy with those attending the member meetings at The Open Group Conference, London, (May 9-12, Central Hall Westminster). The standards development activities include a wide range of subject areas from Cloud Computing, Tools and People certification, best practices for Trusted Technology, SOA and Quantum Lifecycle Management, as well as maintenance of existing standards such as TOGAF® and ArchiMate®. The common link with all these activities is that all of these are open standards developed by members of The Open Group.

Why do our members invest their time and efforts in development of open standards? The key reasons as I see them are as follows:

  1. Open standards are a core part of today’s infrastructure
  2. Open standards allow vendors to differentiate their offerings by offering a level of openness (portable interfaces and interoperability)
  3. Open standards establish a baseline from which competitors can innovate
  4. Open standards backed with certification enable customers to buy with increased confidence

This is all very well, you say — but what differentiates The Open Group from other standards organizations? Well, when The Open Group develops a new standard, we take an end-to-end view of the ecosystem all the way through from customer requirements, developing consensus standards to certification and procurement. We aim to deliver standards that meet a need in the marketplace and then back those up with certification that delivers an assurance about the products or in the case of people certification, their knowledge or skills and experience. We then take regular feedback on our standards, maintain them and evolve them according to marketplace needs. We also have a deterministic, timely process for developing our standards that helps to avoid the stalemate that can occur in some standards development.

Let’s look briefly at two of the most well known Open Group standards:  UNIX® and TOGAF®,. The UNIX® and TOGAF® standards are both examples of where a full ecosystem has been developed around the standard.

The UNIX® standard for operating systems has been around since 1995 and is now in its fourth major iteration. High reliability, availability and scalability are all attributes associated with certified UNIX® systems. As well as the multi-billion-dollar annual market in server systems from HP, Oracle, IBM and Fujitsu, there is an installed base of 50 million users* using The Open Group certified UNIX® systems on the desktop.

TOGAF® is the standard enterprise architecture method and framework. It encourages use with other frameworks and adoption of best practices for enterprise architecture. Now in its ninth iteration, it is freely available for internal use by any organization globally and is widely adopted with over 60% of the Fortune 50 and more than 80% of the Global Forbes 50. The TOGAF® certification program now has more than 15,000 certified individuals, including over 6,000 for TOGAF® 9.

If you are able to join us in London in May, I hope you will be able to also join us at the member meetings to continue making standards work. If you are not yet a member then I hope you will attend the conference itself and network with the members to find out more and consider joining us in Making Standards Work®!

For more information on The Open Group Standards Process visit http://www.opengroup.org/standardsprocess/

(*) Apple estimated number from Briefing October 2010. Mac OS X is certified to the UNIX 03 standard.

Standards development will be part of member meetings taking place at The Open Group Conference, London, May 9-13. Join us for best practices and case studies on Enterprise Architecture, Cloud, Security and more, presented by preeminent thought leaders in the industry.

Andrew Josey is Director of Standards within The Open Group, responsible for the Standards Process across the organization. Andrew leads the standards development activities within The Open Group Architecture Forum, including the development and maintenance of TOGAF® 9, and the TOGAF® 9 People certification program. He also chairs the Austin Group, the working group responsible for development and maintenance the POSIX 1003.1 standard that forms the core volumes of the Single UNIX® Specification. He is the ISO project editor for ISO/IEC 9945 (POSIX). He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core and is the IEEE P1003.1 chair and the IEEE PASC Functional chair of Interpretations. Andrew is based in the UK.

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Filed under Standards, TOGAF, UNIX

The Open Group Announces New Information Security Management Standard: O-ISM3

By Jim Hietala, The Open Group

The Open Group yesterday announced the approval of a new standard in information security, O-ISM3. This standard, which derives its name from The Open Group Information Security Management Maturity Model, aims to help information security managers and practitioners to more effectively manage information security. Information security management is one of two focus areas for The Open Group Security Forum (security architecture being the other).

The development of the O-ISM3 standard has been in process in the Security Forum for the past 18 months. Like all Open Group standards, O-ISM3 was developed through an open, consensus-based process. The O-ISM3 standard leverages work previously done by the ISM3 consortium to produce the ISM3 version 2.3 document.

O-ISM3 brings some fresh thinking to information security management. O-ISM3:

  • Provides a framework to align security objectives and security targets to overall business objectives
  • Delivers a much-needed continuous improvement approach to the management of information security
  • Expresses security outcomes in positive terms

O-ISM3 can be implemented as a top-down methodology to manage an entire information security program, or it can be deployed more tactically, starting with just a few information security processes. As such, it can deliver value to information security organizations of varying sizes, maturity levels, and in different industries.

The O-ISM3 standard is available free on The Open Group website (registration required), and on Kindle. The standard provides an approach which is complementary to ISO 27001/2, as well as to ITIL and COBIT.

The Open Group is conducting a series of webcasts on the O-ISM3 standard in April and May. Details and registration may be found here.

Many thanks to the many members of The Open Group who worked hard over the past 18 months to make O-ISM3 a reality. Many had a hand in developing O-ISM3 in the Security Forum, and I thank them all; however, I would be remiss if I did not recognize the leadership of workgroup chair Vicente Aceituno, who brought this work to The Open Group, and who has continued to work tirelessly to make O-ISM3 an important standard for information security.

The working group will in the coming months be developing maturity levels for O-ISM3, and exploring certification programs. If you have interest in O-ISM3 and these future developments, please contact us at ogsecurity-interest@opengroup.org and we will help you get involved.

Jim HietalaAn IT security industry veteran, Jim is Vice President of Security at The Open Group, where he is responsible for security programs and standards activities. He holds the CISSP and GSEC certifications. Jim is based in the U.S.

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TOGAF® and ArchiMate®: Learning from academia

By Garry Doherty, The Open Group

Entitled “Just enough EA”, a set of case studies has been published by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), made up of senior managers, academics and technology experts working in UK further and higher education. These experts determine JISC’s programme of work to reflect the present and future needs of the education and research communities.

Case studies from Staffordshire University, Roehampton University, Liverpool John Moores University and Leeds Metropolitan University delve briefly into their experiences with many aspects TOGAF® and ArchiMate®, and look at the “Do’s and Don’ts” of engaging with Enterprise Architecture… It’s certainly worth a look. Read the case studies here.

Garry DohertyGarry Doherty is an experienced product marketer and product manager with a background in the IT and telecommunications industries. Garry is the TOGAF® Product Manager and theArchiMate® Forum Director at The Open Group. Garry is based in the U.K.

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