Monthly Archives: March 2012

Enterprise Transformation Takes the French Riviera

By The Open Group Conference Team

The Open Group Conference in Cannes, France is just around the corner. Taking place April 23-27, the conference will bring together leading minds in technology to discuss the process of Enterprise Transformation, and the role of Enterprise Architecture (EA) and IT in Enterprise Transformation.

The French Riviera is a true playground for the rich and famous. As the location of the next Open Group Conference, (not to mention the next Open Cannes Awards) it seems only fitting that we not only have an incredible venue for the event, the JW Marriott Cannes, but have our own star-studded lineup of speakers, sessions and activities that are sure to make the conference an unforgettable experience.

In addition to tutorial sessions on TOGAF and ArchiMate, the conference offers roughly 60 sessions on a varied of topics, including:

  • Enterprise Transformation, including Enterprise Architecture and SOA
  • Cybersecurity, Cloud Security and Trusted Technology for the Supply Chain
  • Cloud Computing for Business, Collaborative Cloud Frameworks and Cloud Architectures

The conference theme “Enterprise Transformation” will highlight how Enterprise Architecture can be used to truly change how companies do business and create models and architectures that help them make those changes. Keynote speakers include:

  • Dr. Alexander Osterwalder, Best-selling Author and Entrepreneur

Dr. Osterwalder is a renowned thought leader on business model design and innovation. Many executives and entrepreneurs and world-leading organizations have applied Dr. Osterwalderʼs approach to strengthen their business model and achieve a competitive advantage through business model innovation. His keynote session at the conference, titled: “Business Models, IT, and Enterprise Transformation,” will discuss how to use the Business Model Canvas approach to better align IT and business strategy, empower multi-disciplinary teams and contribute to Enterprise Transformation.

  • Herve Gouezel, Advisor to the CEO at BNP Paribas & Eric Boulay, Founder and CEO of Arismore

Keynote: “EA and Transformation: An Enterprise Issue, a New Role for the CIO?” will examine governance within the Enterprise and what steps need to take place to create a collaborative Enterprise.

  • Peter Haviland, Chief Architect and Head of Business Architecture Advisory Services at Ernst & Young, US

Keynote: “World Class EA 2012: Putting Your Architecture Team in the Middle of Enterprise Transformation,” will identify and discuss key activities leading practice architecture teams are performing to create and sustain value, to remain at the forefront of enterprise transformation.

  • Kirk Avery, Software Architect at Lockheed Martin & Robert Sweeney, MSMA Lead Systems Engineer at Naval Air Systems Command

Keynote: “FACE: Transforming the DoD Avionics Software Industry Through the Use of Open Standards,” will address the DoD Avionics Industry’s need for providing complex mission capability in less time and in an environment of shrinking government budgets

The Common Criteria Workshop and the European Commission

We are also pleased to be hosting the first Common Criteria Workshop during the Cannes Conference. This two-day event – taking place April 25 to 26 – offers a rich opportunity to hear from distinguished speakers from the Common Criteria Security community, explore viewpoints through panel discussions and work with minded people towards common goals.

One of the keynote speakers during the workshop is Andrea Servida, the Deputy Head of the Internet, Network and Information Security unit with the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. With extensive experience defining and implementing strategies and policies on network and information security and critical information infrastructure protection, Mr. Servida is an ideal speaker as we kick-off the first workshop.

The Open Cannes Awards

What trip would be complete to Cannes without an awards ceremony? Presented by The Open Group, The Open Cannes Awards is an opportunity for our members to recognize each other’s accomplishments within The Open Group with a little fun during the gala ceremony on the night of Tuesday, April 24. The goal is to acknowledge the success stories, the hard work and dedication that members, either as individuals or as organizations, have devoted to The Open Group’s ideals and vision over the past decade.

We hope to see you in Cannes! For more information on the conference tracks or to register, please visit our conference registration page, and please stay tuned throughout the next month as we continue to release blog posts and information leading up to The Open Group Conference in Cannes, France!

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Filed under Cloud, Cloud/SOA, Conference, Cybersecurity, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, FACE™, Semantic Interoperability, Service Oriented Architecture

The Open Group Testifies before Congress on the Supply Chain Landscape

By David Lounsbury, The Open Group

On Tuesday, March 27, I had the honor of testifying on behalf of The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum to the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee at their congressional hearing on IT supply chain security. The hearing focused on these major supply chain issues:

  • The key risks associated with supply chains used by federal agencies to procure IT equipment, software or services
  • The extent to which selected national security-related agencies have addressed IT supply chain risks
  • The extent to which national security-related federal agencies have determined that their telecommunications networks contain foreign-developed equipment, software or services
  • The extent to which private industry has addressed IT supply chain risks

This was the first time that an Open Group employee has testified in front of Congress, and the invitation was a testament to The Open Group’s work as a vendor-neutral certification authority business for over 20 years as well as the traction that The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF) has made over the past year.

You can see the full session on the YouTube video embedded below. The Chair and Ranking Member’s opening statements underscored three things for me:

  • That this problem is both widespread and critical – both government agencies and many private companies are struggling to address global supply chain vulnerabilities
  • There is a clear need for collaboration and standards, as well as a need to bring transparency on conformance to such standards at all links in the supply chain.
  • The most critical issues are tainted code / malware and counterfeit products in the supply chain – exactly the focus areas of OTTF

We launched OTTF in December 2010 with the objective of reducing risks to IT products that can be introduced through vulnerable supply chain and development processes. Our goal has been to help the technology industry build with integrity and enable customer organizations and governments to buy with confidence. We have worked closely with the U.S. government throughout the process of developing the Open Trusted Technology Provider Standard (O-TTPS). The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) was a founding member of the forum, and the impetus for the forum came out of a collaborative initiative between the DoD and industry verticals looking into cybersecurity for acquisitions. I was very gratified that the DoD witness singled out The Open Group’s efforts on OTTF and highlighted their participation in the forum.

Recognizing that a secure global supply chain is important to all governments, one of OTTF’s main objectives is to outreach to other governments around the world in much the same way they have with the U.S. To that end, forum members plan to extend an invitation to participate in the development of the standard and planned accreditation program for trusted technology providers, which will include governments, providers, integrators and component suppliers from around the world. To preview OTTF’s work, you can download the current draft of the Open-Trusted Technology Provider Standard (Snapshot).

The subcommittee already had a strong background on OTTF’s mission and its current initiatives and was very interested to hear what global procurement strategies and best practices OTTF is planning to include in the O-TTPS and how these best practices could be applied within the U.S. government to ensure the security of supply chain both nationally and globally. The subcommittee noted Open Group’s previous work with international standards such as International Standardization for Organization (ISO) as encouraging, illustrating that the global supply chain is taking a step in the right direction under the stewardship of The Open Group.

Overall, the hearing was very positive, and the whole experience validated the work that OTTF has produced thus far. We anticipate that the standard will have a significant impact on how organizations procure large commercial off-the-shelf information and communication technology over the next few years across the global supply chain and are excited to see governments take an active interest in securing the global supply chain.

 

Dave LounsburyDavid Lounsbury is The Open Group‘s Chief Technology Officer, previously VP ofCollaboration Services.  Dave holds three U.S. patents and is based in the U.S.

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Filed under OTTF

Enterprise Transformation, Innovation, Emergence and the Sewers of Vienna

By Stuart Boardman, KPN 

Enterprise transformation is a topic central to The Open Group’s agenda these days, so I don’t suppose the following assertion is exactly radical. The success of transformation starts by understanding the drivers for change, the goals of the transformation and the factors that can be expected to have a positive or negative influence on it.

Transformation doesn’t necessarily have to involve innovation but it often does. Sometimes innovation is itself a driver for transformation. For some organizations innovation is a fundamental part of their business model. Apple, for example, wouldn’t have survived without it. You can have the best user interface and the grooviest products but to reach a wider market or indeed to get your existing market to buy new stuff, you need to keep innovating. And to do that well you have to enjoy doing it and you have to understand how it works.

Once upon a time, giants like the old IBM and the old Microsoft didn’t need to do that, because they owned so much of the market. But that’s changed too, because, partly as a result of their own competition, there is now an ecosystem of all kinds of players (from a Google or an Apple to the huge number of startups and app developers), who can and do come out of left field with disruptive innovation. And this isn’t only true in the technology world.

These days it’s hard to read about innovation without coming across the concept of emergence. Emergent innovation develops through interaction in an ecosystem and cannot simply be explained by looking at what each individual member of the ecosystem does. This kind innovation is in a sense serendipitous and is never going to be achieved via the traditional R&D approach. It’s cheaper and faster than that and, exactly because of the way it has developed, more likely to be of immediately applicable value. Achieving transformation with emergent innovation is about the ability to recognize, adopt, adapt and “productize” that innovation. This applies equally whether the innovation is outwardly (product/service) or inwardly (operations) oriented.

Back to transformation. We need, as I said, to be able to understand the factors that will positively or negatively affect the success of our transformation. If we haven’t properly understood them, they might turn out to be very urgent drivers for (re)transformation.

At the beginning of this century mobile communications providers were trying to transform their business models and operations in order to get their share of the internet revolution. They wanted to reach a new market and to escape the trap of becoming just a “bit pipe” for other people’s value added services. The operators spent a lot of money on 3G. The equipment manufacturers spent a lot of money developing new phones and interfaces. By 2003 we already had all the necessary technological capabilities and there was no shortage of marketing but it simply didn’t take off.

Why? It wasn’t really cost, because, when the iPhone arrived a few years later and turned everything around, data was still expensive (and the phone even more so). And it wasn’t really speed or usability, because the download speed was adequate for the services on offer and there were some pretty nifty devices. It just wasn’t very interesting. There was simply not enough valuable content available to justify the outlay. So the operators just reverted to milking the reliable voice and text cow.

When the iPhone arrived, what really made the difference was the ecosystem that came with it. Suddenly there was a world of app developers producing things people didn’t know they needed but discovered were cool. And there was the App Store that made it easy to get your product to market and easy for the customer to discover it. Yes, of course it was a groovy device and a revolutionary interface but without the ecosystem it would have been restricted to a market of Apple fans and people with lots of money to spend on looking hip.

So then what happened? Well the mobile operators (those who could get their hands on the device) finally started getting a return on their investment in 3G. What was largely a new group of smartphone manufacturers (HTC, Samsung, LG etc.) rushed to produce their own versions. And then Google came along with Android and we finally had a really large ecosystem built around innovation.

With that came another form of emergence as the users and the app developers started discovering all kinds of things you could do with these devices and the information available on and via them. That had a negative influence on the mobile operators’ revenues, as people used a whole range of IP based services (with the Mbs paid for in their monthly bundle) to avoid the expensive voice and text services. This was something the operators had ignored, even though they’d predicted years before that it would happen, which of course was exactly what provoked the earlier attempted transformation. In other words, they failed to understand what was going on in their ecosystem and how it might affect them.

All organizations inhabit an ecosystem consisting of their customers, partners, suppliers and in many cases legal and regulatory bodies (and arguably their competitors too). Ecosystems are really the heart of this blog, so here’s a definition. An ecosystem is a collection of entities, whose members are (at least partially) interdependent. Specifically we’re looking at what Jack Martin Leith calls a Business Ecosystem. Jack’s definition is further amended by Ruth Malan to “A business ecosystem is a network of organizations that affect each other, possibly indirectly.” What we see today is that for many (maybe most) organizations the ecosystem is becoming bigger and more diffuse. Apart from the examples above, this is apparent in the extended enterprise, Cloud and social business – and the effect is amplified by emergence.

Now one of the things about an ecosystem is that not all the members are necessarily aware of each other. But as the definition makes clear, they all have an influence on and are influenced by the ecosystem as a whole. Each organization has its own view on the ecosystem, which really defines its enterprise. That doesn’t mean it can’t be affected by what goes on elsewhere in the ecosystem.

A little while ago Peter Bakker published a provocative little blog with the title “Infrastructure Architecture is way more important than Enterprise Architecture.” After a flurry of comments and replies, I understood that Peter was talking about the infrastructure of complete ecosystems. He used the example of the infrastructure of the City of New York. It consists of all the road, rail and waterways, the transportation services (passengers and freight), construction and maintenance services, energy supply, port and harbor services and planning, regulatory and licensing activities. And that’s leaving aside the electronic communications infrastructure and the voice, data and TV services that run on it. These products and services are delivered by multiple providers (commercial organizations, the city council and other public bodies), who are all part of an ecosystem, which also includes the users of the infrastructure (people and organizations including of course the providers themselves). So yes, this infrastructure is much bigger than any one of the enterprises that contributes to it and it is critical to the health of the ecosystem (the efficient functioning of the City of New York) in a way that no individual member could be – not even the City Council.

But that information isn’t much use to us unless we can do something with it. So I set off on a journey to see if I could find a way of modeling such an ecosystem as a sort of Enterprise Architecture. That probably sounds a bit grandiose but you need to see this as just a set of techniques, which could help us create a usable and meaningful overview of an ecosystem – something you can project your proposed changes onto.

It’s not about details. Even if I thought one could capture all the details, the result would be unmanageable and therefore unusable! So the detailed view is constrained to the individual enterprise from whose perspective one is viewing this.

The journey’s just begun. I’ve built the basics of the story, which is about the mythical city of Metropolis. I’m sticking to this city infrastructure example, because it’s familiar to everyone and doesn’t need too much background explanation. I’m now looking at the techniques that might be useful in achieving this. I’m looking at and have started working on Customer Journeys. If you’re interested, you can find some text here and images here.

I think it will be very useful to create a Business Model Canvas (or some similar technique of your preference) for some or all of the organizations involved. In the most cases we’d be looking at generic organization types. So for, example, there won’t be a canvas for every single bus company but the fact that there usually are multiple passenger transport companies means that competition is an important factor.

So we probably need an additional model, which is capable of taking that into account – like Tom Graves’s Enterprise Canvas. I’m also considering a service model (what are all the relevant services, how do they interact, etc.). Stafford Beer’s Viable Systems Model may be a good way to capture the system as a whole, so I’m working on that now. I’d be only too pleased to exchange ideas about the whole approach with anyone who doesn’t think I’ve taken leave of my senses – and maybe even with those who do! My thanks to Jack, Ruth, Peter, Tom and Charles for the good ideas and encouragement. Please don’t blame them, if you think it’s rubbish.

So finally – you might be wondering what this has to do with the sewers of Vienna. If you’ve seen The Third Man, you might figure it out. For those who haven’t: in the film Orson Wells plays Harry Lime, a wanted man in the Western sector of post-war Vienna. He fakes his death and disappears to the Russian controlled East – and continues his operation in the West using the sewer system to get across (under) the city avoiding all control posts and remaining effectively invisible. It’s just a somewhat lighthearted example of an innovative (one might say emergent) transformation of an infrastructure to serve a totally different purpose. And it does illustrate how you can get caught out if you don’t understand your ecosystem properly.

Stuart Boardman is a Senior Business Consultant with KPN where he co-leads the Enterprise Architecture practice as well as the Cloud Computing solutions group. He is co-lead of The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group’s Security for the Cloud and SOA project and a founding member of both The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group and The Open Group SOA Work Group. Stuart is the author of publications by the Information Security Platform (PvIB) in The Netherlands and of his previous employer, CGI. He is a frequent speaker at conferences on the topics of Cloud, SOA, and Identity. 

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The SOA RA Provides a Way to Assess or Design your SOA

By Dr. Ali Arsanjani, IBM

The Standard in Summary

The SOA Reference Architecture (SOA RA) published by The Open Group provides a prescriptive means of assessment or creation of a service-oriented architecture (SOA) solution, including the architecture for Cloud-based solutions. It does so by grouping the capabilities required of an SOA into a set of layers, each containing a set of Architectural Building Blocks (ABBs) that can serve as a checklist for an implementation of an SOA, depending on the level of maturity required by an organization. The SOA RA is intended to support organizations adopting SOA, product vendors building SOA infrastructure components, integrators engaged in the building of SOA solutions and standards bodies engaged in the specifications for SOA.

The SOA RA provides a vendor-neutral product-agnostic perspective on the logical architecture that supports the service eco-system of providers, consumers and brokers bound together by services, their interfaces and contracts.

A high level description of the SOA RA can be found above. The layers shown in figure 1 above provide a starting point for the separation of concerns required to build or assess an SOA. Each group of the separated concerns is represented by a “layer” of their own.

Starting with a robust and complete set of building blocks provided by the standard is a key enabler for the achievement of the value propositions of an SOA, such as business agility, cost-reduction, faster time to market enabled by a flexible IT infrastructure. It does so in part by providing insights, patterns and the building blocks for integrating fundamental elements of an SOA into a solution or Enterprise Architecture. 

Background

In recent years, the decoupling of interface from implementation at the programming level has been elevated to an architectural level by loosely coupling the interface of a service consumed by a service consumer from its implementation by a service provider and by decoupling the implementation from its binding. This concept is reflected in a layer in the architecture corresponding to each of these notions: i.e., a layer for services and a layer for the runtime operational systems.

This style of architecture has come to be known as SOA, where rather than the implementations of components being exposed and known, only the services provided are published and consumers are insulated from the details of the underlying implementation by a provider.

Thus, an SOA enables business and IT convergence through agreement on a (contract consisting of a) set of business-aligned IT services that collectively support an organization’s business processes and business goals. Not only does it provide flexible decoupled functionality that can be reused, but it also provides the mechanisms to externalize variations of quality of service in declarative specifications such as WS-Policy and related standards.

The SOA RA can be used as a template to be used in defining capabilities and building blocks for SOA-based solutions. This is provided by the standard as a checklist of key elements that must be considered when an SOA solution is being evaluated or architected. The SOA RA provides this through a definition of layers and architectural building blocks within those layers. The elements underlying the SOA RA is based on a meta-model defined in figure 2:

The main SOA RA abstractions, represented in figure 2 above, collectively provide a logical design of an SOA and the inter-relationships between a set of architectural building blocks residing in its layers. During Architectural Assessments or the design of a solution or Enterprise Architecture, the SOA RA provides enterprise architects with a set of architectural building blocks and their associations in each layer, the available options, and architectural and design decisions that need to be made at each layer. This allows organizations to gradually mature into the implementation of more intricate SOA designs in a gradual fashion.

In the next blog post I will describe the details behind each of the layers.

Here is a brief description of those layers as an introduction.

Brief Description of Layers

The layers that are defined in the SOA RA each provide a set of capabilities that are then realized through the use of the architectural building blocks. Note that there are five functional layers providing direct business functional value in SOA solutions. An additional four layers (Integration, Information, QoS and Governance) provide cross-cutting capabilities expected of SOA and Cloud –based solutions. A brief description of these layers is provided below:

  • Operational Systems Layer – captures the new and existing organization infrastructure and is needed to support the SOA solution at design, deploy and run time.
  • Service Component Layer – contains software components, each of which provide the implementation or “realization” for a service, or operation on a service. The layer also contains the functional and technical components that facilitate a Service Component to realize one or more services.
  • Services Layer – consists of all the services defined within the SOA. The service layer can be thought of as containing the service descriptions for business capabilities, services and IT manifestation used/created during design time as well as runtime service contracts and descriptions that used at runtime.
  • Business Process Layer – covers the process representation, composition methods and building blocks for aggregating loosely coupled services as a sequencing process aligned with business goals.
  • Consumer Layer – where consumers interact with the SOA. It enables a SOA solution to support a client-independent, channel agnostic set of functionality, which is separately consumed and rendered through one or more channels (client platforms and devices).
  • Integration Layer – enables and provides the capability to mediate, which includes transformation, routing and protocol conversion to transport service requests from the service requester to the correct service provider.
  • Quality of Service Layer – supports non functional requirement (NFR) related issues as a primary feature/concern of SOA and provides a focal point for dealing with them in any given solution.
  • Information Architecture Layer – is responsible for manifesting a unified representation of the information aspect of an organization as provided by its IT services, applications, and systems enabling business needs and processes and aligned with the business vocabulary – glossary and terms. This enables the SOA to support data consistency, and consistency in data quality.
  • Governance Layer – contains the registries, repositories, and other capabilities required to support the governance of your SOA within the SOA ecosystem and is adapted to match and support the target SOA goals of the organization.

Conclusion

The SOA RA is an excellent tool in the toolbox forEnterpriseand Application Architects.  It maps out the path for enterprise architects to assess their current SOA implementations against an industry agreed upon standard and define and customize their own internal implementations and product mappings against it.  The SOA RA provides the tools necessary to allow architects to speak in a standard, consistent vocabulary to the business line executives when designing solutions for the enterprise.  As the industry moves more towards the Cloud, the SOA RA ensures a strong foundation to pave the way towards Cloud Computing, helping businesses leverage the investments they have made in SOA services that will keep them on solid ground while moving towards the Cloud Computing Model.  Lastly, the SOA RA defines the architecture for all kinds of services based solutions, where Cloud extends and leverages services into the infrastructure in a virtualized, elastic and monitored model of pooled resources on a grander scale.

Dr. Ali Arsanjani is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for SOA, BPM & Emerging Technologies within IBM Global Services where he leads a team responsible for developing worldwide competency in SOA/ BPM and increasing delivery excellence of SOA solutions using IBM and non-IBM tools and SOA offerings. Dr. Arsanjani represents IBM in standards bodies such as The Open Group and is responsible for co-chairing the SOA Reference Architecture, SOA Maturity Model, Cloud Computing Reference Architecture standards within that body.

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Part 3 of 3: Building an Enterprise Architecture Value Proposition Using TOGAF® 9.1. and ArchiMate® 2.0

By Serge Thorn, Architecting the Enterprise

This is the third and final post in a three-part series by Serge Thorn. For more in this series, please see Part One and Part Two.

Value Management uses a combination of concepts and methods to create sustainable value for both organizations and their stakeholders. Some tools and techniques are specific to Value Management and others are generic tools that many organizations and individuals use. There exist many Value Management techniques such as cost-benefits analysis, SWOT analysis, value analysis, Pareto analysis, objectives hierarchy, function analysis system technique (FAST), and more…

The one I suggest to illustrate is close to the objectives hierarchy technique, which is a diagrammatic process for identifying objectives in a hierarchical manner and often used in conjunction with business functions. Close, because I will use a combination of the TOGAF® 9.1 metamodel with the ArchiMate® 2.0 Business Layer, Application Layer and Motivation Extensions Metamodels, consider core entities such as value, business goals, objectives, business processes and functions, business and application services, application functions and components. This approach was inspired by the presentation by Michael van den Dungen and Arjan Visser at The Open Group Conference in Amsterdam 2010, and here I’m also adding some ArchiMate 2.0 concepts.

First, the entities from the TOGAF 9.1 metamodel:

Then I will consider the entities from ArchiMate 2.0. Some may be identical to TOGAF 9.1. In the Business Layer, one key concept will obviously be the value. In this case I will consider the product (“A coherent collection of services, accompanied by a contract/set of agreements, which is offered as a whole to (internal or external) customers” according to ArchiMate 2.0), as the Enterprise Architecture program. In addition to that, I would refer to business services, functions, and processes.

In the Motivation Extension Metamodel, the goals. The objective entity in TOGAF 9.1 can also be represented using the concept of “goal.”

And in the Application Layer Metamodel, application services, functions, and components.

It is important to mention that when we deliver a value proposition, we must demonstrate to the business where the benefits will be with concrete examples. For example: the business sees Operational Excellence and Customer Intimacy as key drivers, and soon you will realize that BPM suites or CRM could support the business goals. These are the reasons why we consider the Application Layer Metamodel.

We could then use a combination of the ArchiMate 2.0 viewpoints such as: Stakeholder Viewpoint, Goal Realization Viewpoint, Motivation Viewpoint, or some other viewpoints to demonstrate the value of Enterprise Architecture for a specific business transformation program (or any other strategic initiative).

To be mentioned that the concept of benefit does not exist in any of the metamodels.

I have added the concept as an extension to ArchiMate in the following diagram which is the mapping of the value to a program related to the “improvement of customers’ relationships.” I also have intentionally limited the number of concepts or entities, such as processes, application services or measures.

Using these ArchiMate 2.0 modelling techniques can demonstrate to your stakeholders the value proposition for a business program, supported by an Enterprise Architecture initiative.

As a real example, if the expected key business benefit is operational excellence through process controls, which would represent a goal, you could present such a high level diagram to explain why application components like a BPM Suite could help (detecting fraud and errors, embedding preventive controls, continuously auditing and monitoring processes, and more).

There is definitely not a single way of demonstrating the value of Enterprise Architecture and you probably will have to adapt the process and the way you will present that value to all companies you will be working with. Without a doubt Enterprise Architecture contributes to the success of an organization and brings numerous benefits, but very often it needs to be able to demonstrate that value. Using some techniques as described previously will help to justify such an initiative.

The next steps will be the development of measures, metrics and KPIs to continuously monitor that value proposition.

Serge Thorn is CIO of Architecting the Enterprise.  He has worked in the IT Industry for over 25 years, in a variety of roles, which include; Development and Systems Design, Project Management, Business Analysis, IT Operations, IT Management, IT Strategy, Research and Innovation, IT Governance, Architecture and Service Management (ITIL). He is the Chairman of the itSMF (IT Service Management forum) Swiss chapter and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Part 2 of 3: Building an Enterprise Architecture Value Proposition Using TOGAF® 9.1. and ArchiMate® 2.0

By Serge Thorn, Architecting the Enterprise

This is the second post in a three-part series by Serge Thorn.

Continuing from Part One of this series, here are more examples of what an enterprise cannot achieve without Enterprise Architecture:

Reduce IT costs by consolidating, standardizing, rationalizing and integrating corporate information systems

Cost avoidance can be achieved by identifying overlapping functional scope of two or more proposed projects in an organization or the potential cost savings of IT support by standardizing on one solution.

Consolidation can happen at various levels for architectures — for shared enterprise services, applications and information, for technologies and even data centers.

This could involve consolidating the number of database servers, application or web servers and storage devices, consolidating redundant security platforms, or adopting virtualization, grid computing and related consolidation initiatives. Consolidation may be a by-product of another technology transformation or it may be the driver of these transformations.

Whatever motivates the change, the key is to be in alignment, once again, with the overall business strategy. Enterprise architects understand where the business is going, so they can pick the appropriate consolidation strategy. Rationalization, standardization and consolidation processes helps organizations understand their current enterprise maturity level and move forward on the appropriate roadmap.

More spending on innovation

Enterprise Architecture should serve as a driver of innovation. Innovation is highly important when developing a target Enterprise Architecture and in realizing the organization’s strategic goals and objectives. For example, it may help to connect the dots between business requirements and the new approaches SOA and cloud services can deliver.

Enabling strategic business goals via better operational excellence

Building Enterprise Architecture defines the structure and operation of an organization. The intent of Enterprise Architecture is to determine how an organization can most effectively achieve its current and future objectives. It must be designed to support an organization’s specific business strategies.

Jeanne W. Ross, Peter Weill, David C. Robertson in “Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business” wrote “Companies with more-mature architectures reported greater success in achieving strategic goals” (p. 89). “This included better operational excellence, more customer intimacy, and greater product leadership” (p. 100).

Customer intimacy

Enterprises that are customer focused and aim to provide solutions for their customers should design their business model, IT systems and operational activities to support this strategy at the process level. This involves the selection of one or few high-value customer niches, followed by an obsessive effort at getting to know these customers in detail.

Greater product leadership

This approach enabled by Enterprise Architecture is dedicated to providing the best possible products from the perspective of the features and benefits offered to the customer. It is the basic philosophy about products that push performance boundaries. Products or services delivered by the business will be refined by leveraging IT to do the end customer’s job better. This will be accomplished by the delivery of new business capabilities (e.g. on-line websites, BI, etc.).

Comply with regulatory requirements

Enterprise Architecture helps companies to know and represent their processes and systems and how they correlate. This is fundamental for risk management and managing regulation requirements, such as those derived from Sarbanes-Oxley, COSO, HIPAA, etc.

This list could be continued as there are many other reasons why Enterprise Architecture brings benefits to organizations. Once your benefits have been documented you could also consider some value management techniques. TOGAF® 9.1 refers in the Architecture Vision phase to a target value proposition for a specific project.  In the next blog, we’ll address the issue of applying the value proposition to the Enterprise Architecture initiative as a whole.

The third and final part of this blog series will discuss value management. 

Serge Thorn is CIO of Architecting the Enterprise.  He has worked in the IT Industry for over 25 years, in a variety of roles, which include; Development and Systems Design, Project Management, Business Analysis, IT Operations, IT Management, IT Strategy, Research and Innovation, IT Governance, Architecture and Service Management (ITIL). He is the Chairman of the itSMF (IT Service Management forum) Swiss chapter and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Part 1 of 3: Building an Enterprise Architecture Value Proposition Using TOGAF® 9.1. and ArchiMate® 2.0

By Serge Thorn, Architecting the Enterprise

This is the first post in a three-part series by Serge Thorn. 

When introducing Enterprise Architecture as a program or initiative, it is regularly done from an IT perspective rarely considering what the costs will be and if there will be any return on investment. This presents a particular challenge to Enterprise Architecture.

Generally speaking, IT departments have all sorts of criteria to justify projects and measure their performance. They use measurements, metrics and KPIs. Going to the solution level, they commonly use indicators such as percentage uptime for systems from the system management team, error rates for applications from the development support team or number of calls resolved on the first call from the service desk, etc. These KPIs usually are defined at an early stage and very often delivered in dashboards from various support applications.

On the other hand, it is much more difficult to define and implement a quantifiable measure for Enterprise Architecture. Many activities introduced with appropriate governance will enhance the quality of the delivered products and services, but it still will be a challenge to attribute results to the quality of Enterprise Architecture efforts.

This being said, Enterprise Architects should be able to define and justify the benefits of their activities to their stakeholders, and to help executives understand how Enterprise Architecture will contribute to the primary value-adding objectives and processes, before starting the voyage. The more it is described and understood, the more the Enterprise Architecture team will gain support from the management. There are plenty of contributions that Enterprise Architecture brings and they will have to be documented and presented at an early stage.

There won’t be just one single answer to demonstrate the value of an Enterprise Architecture but there seems to be a common pattern when considering feedback from various companies I have worked with.

Without Enterprise Architecture you can probably NOT fully achieve:

IT alignment with the business goals

As an example among others, the problem with most IT plans is that they do not indicate what the business value is and what strategic or tactical business benefit the organization is planning to achieve. The simple matter is that any IT plan needs also to have a business metric, not only an IT metric of delivery. Another aspect is the ability to create and share a common vision of the future shared by the business and IT communities.

Integration

With the rapid pace of change in business environment, the need to transform organizations into agile enterprises that can respond quickly to change has never been greater. Methodologies and computer technologies are needed to enable rapid business and system change. The solution also lies in enterprise integration (both business and technology integration).

For business integration, we use Enterprise Architecture methodologies and frameworks to integrate functions, processes, data, locations, people, events and business plans throughout an organization. Specifically, the unification and integration of business processes and data across the enterprise and potential linkage with external partners become more and more important.

To also have technology integration, we may use enterprise portals, enterprise application integration (EAI/ESB), web services, service-oriented architecture (SOA), business process management (BPM) and try to lower the number of interfaces.

Change management

In recent years the scope of Enterprise Architecture has expanded beyond the IT domain and enterprise architects are increasingly taking on broader roles relating to organizational strategy and change management. Frameworks such as TOGAF® 9.1 include processes and tools for managing both the business/people and the technology sides of an organization. Enterprise Architecture supports the creation of changes related to the various architecture domains, evaluating the impact on the enterprise, taking into account risk management, financial aspects (cost/benefit analysis), and most importantly ensuring alignment with business goals and objectives. Enterprise Architecture value is essentially tied to its ability to help companies to deal with complexity and changes.

Reduced time to market and increased IT responsiveness

Enterprise Architecture should reduce systems development, applications generation and modernization timeframes for legacy systems. It should also decrease resource requirements. All of this can be accomplished by re-using standards or existing components, such as the architecture and solution building blocks in TOGAF 9.1. Delivery time and design/development costs can also be decreased by the reuse of reference models. All that information should be managed in an Enterprise Architecture repository.

Better access to information across applications and improved interoperability

Data and information architectures manage the organization assets of information, optimally and efficiently. This supports the quality, accuracy and timely availability of data for executive and strategic business decision-making, across applications.

Readily available descriptive representations and documentation of the enterprise

Architecture is also a set of descriptive representations (i.e. “models”) that are relevant for describing an enterprise such that it can be produced to management’s requirements and maintained over the period of its useful life. Using an architecture repository, developing a variety of artifacts and modelling some of the key elements of the enterprise, will contribute to build this documentation.

The second part of the series will include more examples of what an enterprise cannot achieve without Enterprise Architecture. 

Serge Thorn is CIO of Architecting the Enterprise.  He has worked in the IT Industry for over 25 years, in a variety of roles, which include; Development and Systems Design, Project Management, Business Analysis, IT Operations, IT Management, IT Strategy, Research and Innovation, IT Governance, Architecture and Service Management (ITIL). He is the Chairman of the itSMF (IT Service Management forum) Swiss chapter and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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