Monthly Archives: April 2012

Cannes Conference Day 2: Proactively Engaging in the Transformation Process Paramount for Enterprise Architects

By The Open Group Conference Team

After the conference’s first night on the French Riviera, Day 2 of the Cannes Conference continued with the theme of transformation. The first plenary session led by Dr. Saeed Al Daheri, IT director of the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), examined how one of the world’s emerging countries emphasized the alignment of IT and strategy.

MOFA wanted to increase performance by building up process, people and technology. Dr. Al Daheri was in charge of this project and decided to focus on three key initiatives: establishing EA, building IT capacity and running quick wins. MOFA wanted its Enterprise Architecture (EA) program to become central to the operation of IT and to have a mandate over all domains of the enterprise, including business strategy all the way down to business processes. EA provided the foundation to align IT and business, which was considered to be of paramount importance.

As with most major transformations within an organization, Dr. Al Daheri and his team faced several key challenges, which included leadership endorsement, recruitment and IT culture and the traditional view of IT. Through clear communication and education, the project received a top-down mandate that helped them receive buy-in from key stakeholders, which was essential for success. Regarding recruiting, the skills of an architect were hard to come by, especially one who speaks Arabic, so in order to succeed the IT department added 10 new positions to support this initiative and created a training program to develop the skill of existing staff. And finally through more proactive engagement with the rest of MOFA and by anticipating business needs and outlining clear roles and responsibilities, IT was able to work hand-in-hand with the business to achieve the ultimate goal of increased performance.

Through careful planning and proper implementation, MOFA was able to reduce vendor selection to 5 weeks, realize 26% cost savings and reduce project time by 17% – truly transformative results that were achieved through IT and business alignment.

A New Approach to EA: Less Thinking, More Doing

In the second plenary session, Peter Haviland, chief architect and head of business architecture within Ernst & Young‘s Advisory Services, along with two colleagues, Mick Adams and Garth Emrich, presented “World-Class EA 2012: Less Thinking, More Doing.” There’s a lot of talk of enterprise transformation, but how involved are enterprise architects in this process? Haviland started the presentation by asking the question, “How many architects are truly seeking out proactive opportunities?”

Haviland argued that EA is in prime position to help transform organizations through the improvement of the execution of strategy across business functions and the investment in process, tools, training and IT. But in order to do so, architects need to seek out opportunities to become a crucial part of enterprise transformation. Haviland listed out four questions that architects need to ask themselves to become more proactive.

  • What’s the context? Understanding the context of the situation is key to enabling enterprise transformation. EAs need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, rather than purely focusing on building models. This will ensure alignment with the overall business strategy.
  • How do you flex your capability? Once you have completed your situational analysis, how can your skills translate into producing the desired results? Using your skills to help the enterprise achieve its goal of enterprise transformation will ultimately raise the visibility of EA within your organization.
  • What are the risks, opportunities and costs? E&Y recently completed a global survey that explored the top 10 risks that can be turned into opportunities, with the number one risk being regulation and compliance. It’s essential to understand the risks, opportunities and costs before embarking on enterprise transformation, for that is where the biggest gains can be realized.
  • If I’m an architect, what do I want to own? Assess the project and determine where your skill set will provide the biggest overall impact. This will allow you to provide the most value as an architect and set you up for success.

Being more proactive will help architects not only become a more integral part of your organization, but it will also establish EA as a key driver of enterprise transformation.

How to Create Value in the FACE™ of Shrinking Government Budgets

Improving performance while cutting costs – this is the mandate of most organizations these days, including governments. While budget cuts to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) budget require them to scale back on new platforms and funding for military technology procurements, the need for civilian safety and military performance continues to be a top priority. But how can the DoD do more with less?

Judy Cerenzia, The Open Group program director for the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Consortium, and Kirk Avery, chief software architect for Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors, addressed this question during final plenary session of the day. This session examined how FACE was able to help the DoD and the avionics industry provide complex mission capability faster in an environment of shrinking budgets.

In order to achieve this goal, FACE saw the need to transform the operating environment by developing a common operating environment (COE) to support applications across multiple DoD avionics systems – something that had never been done before. After reaching out to the DoD and other stakeholders including corporations that produce military components, FACE concluded that a successful COE would enable real time operating systems, stability, competition to prevent vendor lock-in, the ability to withstand extreme environmental conditions and a system life that spans many years.

With this in mind, FACE set out to develop a non-proprietary open environment that enabled a flexible software open systems architecture. The hard work of the consortium, which was established in June 2010, resulted in the creation of the FACE Business Guide and the recently released FACE Technical Standard. Both deliverables have helped the DoD and the avionics industry achieve their goal of providing complex mission capability faster with less budget and realize other benefits that include:

  • Reduction of time to field capabilities of new technologies
  • Interoperable software components within the environment
  • Portability of software components across an avionics platforms
  • Reduction of integration effort, schedule and cost
  • Enablement of truly open software components in existing and future avionics systems

Transformation within the government is quite an accomplishment, and FACE is looking to further develop common operating environments through continued collaboration between government and the avionics industry.

A Day 2 video recap by Peter Haviland will be published soon. To view the full list of conference sessions, please visit http://www3.opengroup.org/cannes2012

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Cannes Conference Day 1: Communication Key for Business Transformation, According to Open Group Speakers

By The Open Group Conference Team

Video recap by Dave Lounsbury, CTO of The Open Group

Much like the wind that blows through the Côte d’Azur, talk of business transformation swept through Cannes like a warm breeze yesterday as Day 1 of The Open Group Cannes Conference concluded. The underlying theme of the day was communication and shared languages – a common concept for all enterprise architects, but this time with a slight twist.

Innovator Dr. Alex Osterwalder presented the first session of the day entitled “Business Models, IT and Enterprise Transformation,” which discussed concepts from his well-known book “Business Model Generation.” As Dr. Osterwalder explained, often times there’s a language gap between IT and strategy when it comes to business models, which is why long meetings are largely unproductive.

Dr. Alex Osterwalder explaining the business model canvas

Dr. Osterwalder stressed the importance of simplicity in models, meaning that business models should be created in such a way that anyone in the company can understand them upon first glance. This is the basis for a concept Osterwalder calls the business model canvas, a literal illustration of an organization’s business model using the following key assets – key partners, key activities, key resources, value propositions, customer relationship, channels, customer segments, cost structure and revenue streams.

The audience was then encouraged to work in pairs and use the business model canvas to break down the business model of one participant. Each group had eight minutes to map out the nine components on a large sheet of paper representing the business model canvas using post-its. The audience enjoyed this exercise, which demonstrated that creating a business model does not have to be a laborious process, and that simple is often times best.

Dr. Osterwalder went on to discuss real-life examples such as Apple’s iPod and Nestle Nespresso, dissecting each company’s business model utilizing the business model canvas to learn why both endeavors were so successful. Apple was disruptive because as Steve Jobs said when the first iPod was released, “It’s a thousand songs in your pocket.” The iPod created a dependency on the product and the iTunes service, and one of the unknown factors of the customer relationships was that iTunes made it so easy to upload and manage your music that the barrier to transfer services was too high for most consumers. Nespresso’s business model was built on the creation of the single drink aluminum cans, the product’s key resource, which are only made by Nespresso.

Companies of all sizes have used the business model canvas to adjust their business models, including Fortune 500 companies and government organizations, and Dr. Osterwalder thought that enterprise architects can act as a bridge between strategy and IT facilitating communication between all facets of the business and overseeing the management of business models.

BNP Paribas saves 1.5B Euro through Careful Business Transformation

In the next plenary session, Eric Boulay, CEO of Arismore, and Hervé Gouezel, Advisor to the CEO of BNP Paribas, looked at how enterprise architects can do a better job of presenting CEOs with Enterprise Architecture’s value proposition. Conversely, Boulay stated that the CEOs also need to outline what expectations need to be met by enterprise architects in order to enable business transformation via enterprise architects.

Boulay argued that a director of transformation is now needed within organizations to manage and develop transformation capability. The results of Enterprise Architecture must be merchandised at the C-level in order to communicate business value, and the director of transformation would be enable architects to continue to invent through this new role.

In the same session, Hervé Gouezel discussed the 2009 merger of BNP Paribas and Fortis Bank and the strategy that went into creating a somewhat seamless transition. The original plan had three phases: phase 1 – take six days to pick new management and six weeks to define taskforces, workgroup organizations and stabilization measures; phase 2 – take six months to plan and synergize; and phase 3 – implement projects and programs over a three year period.

Needless to say, this was a huge undertaking, and the goal of the three-phase process was to save the company 500 million Euros. With careful planning and implementation and by following the three-phased approach, BNP Paribas saved over 1.5 billion Euros – three times the targeted amount! This goes to show that careful planning and implementation can lead to true business transformation.

The Semantics of Enterprise Architecture

Len Fehskens, VP of skills and capabilities at The Open Group, presented the final plenary of the day. Fehskens revisited Enterprise Architecture’s most basic, yet seemingly impossible question: How do you define Enterprise Architecture?

Bewildered by the fact that so many different opinions exist around a discipline that nominally has one name, Fehskens went on to discuss the danger of assumptions and the fact that assumptions are rarely made explicit. He also exposed the biggest assumption of all: We’re all sharing the same assumptions about Enterprise Architecture (EA).

Fehskens urged architects to remain open-minded and be aware of the differing perspectives regarding what EA is. The definition of Enterprise Architecture at this point encompasses a variety of opinions, and even if your definition is “correct,” it’s necessary for architects to understand that logical arguments do not change strongly held beliefs. Fehskens ended the session by presenting the teachings St. Augustine, “Let us, on both sides, lay aside all arrogance. Let us not, on either side, claim that we have already discovered the truth. Let us seek it together as something which is known to neither of us. For then only may we seek it, lovingly and tranquilly, if there be no bold presumption that it is already discovered and possessed.”

In other words, Fehskens said, before Enterprise Architecture can move forward as a discipline and fulfill its potential within the enterprise, architects must first learn to agree to disagree regarding the definition of EA. Communication must first be established before true business transformation (and the value of EA) can be realized.

Day 2 of the conference looks to be equally exciting, continuing the theme of enterprise transformation. To view the sessions for the remainder of the conference, please visit: http://www3.opengroup.org/cannes2012

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OTTF – Providing a Level of “Surety”

By Joshua Brickman, CA Technologies

A couple of weeks ago while the Supreme Court heard testimony about the constitutionality of “Obamacare,” I was glued to my computer watching the House of Representatives Sub-Committee on Energy and Commerce hear a very different but no less important type of testimony. The topic was supply chain integrity and security.    Two panels appeared before the committee – one containing U.S. government agencies; and the other focused on industry’s response to the issue. Representing industry was Dave Lounsbury from The Open Group.  While it seemed to me that the focus of the committee was the lack of preparedness some agencies had for supply chain attacks, Lounsbury admirably represented how industry is responding to the burgeoning topic with a public/private partnership and a consensus-driven process.

The process he referred to is the Open Trusted Technology Provider Standard (O-TTPS) for which the Open Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF) published a snapshot of this past February. In full disclosure, I represent a founding member of OTTF. You might say I have a vested interest in the O-TTPS becoming the de-facto standard for supply chain integrity and security, and you would be right. But that’s not just because I worked on the creation of this document. It’s because, as Lounsbury emphasized to the House, I believe the right way to ensure the integrity and security for the supply chains of acquirers or purchasers of technology is to build a consensus driven standard that focuses on the best practices needed to ensure the integrity of the product being produced.  This would allow acquirers to buy products with confidence. With this “snapshot” release, we’ve focused on the two most prevalent threats

  1. Tainted product – the product is produced by the provider and is acquired through reputable channels but has been tampered with maliciously.
  2. Counterfeit product – the product is produced other than by, or for, the provider, or is supplied by other than a reputable channel, and is presented as being legitimate.[1]

For the first time, industry has come together and put together a comprehensive set of best practices that, when followed, can help to protect the supply chain for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products  starting with sourcing, through manufacturing, and ending with delivery to the customer.

But the work is not done. Now that we have a snapshot, the team is working hard to define conformance criteria as well as an accreditation program. The next quarterly meeting at the upcoming Open Group Cannes conference will have some great opportunities for people to hear more about OTTF.

  • Andras Szakal, Chief Technology Officer, IBM U.S. Federal, will present as a part of the Open Trusted Technology Track a talk entitled, “The Global Supply Chain: Presentation and Discussion on The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum and the Challenges of Protecting Products Against Counterfeit and Tampering”
  • Sally Long, Director, The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum, U.S., will follow with “The Global Supply Chain: Presentation and Discussion on The Open Group Trusted Identifying Trusted Technology Providers – What are the Conformance Criteria that Technology Providers and their Component Suppliers need to Meet to be Considered Trusted Technology Providers?”

When Rep. Terry from Nebraska asked Lounsbury if additional definition (regulations) was needed for ensuring the integrity of the supply chain, Lounsbury answered perfectly when he said: “Ultimately the use of COTs implies that an agency purchases from a commercial marketplace. The question is what are the standards that your supplier uses to demonstrate that they can be trusted? Part of that would be the processes they have for themselves throughout their product development and fulfillment lifecycle but also are they imposing those standards on their suppliers as well.”

Rep. Terry followed up:  “Do you think that is sufficient? How do they have a level of surety that somethings not being compromised way down the assembly line?”

Lounsbury:  “In the commercial world typically we look to some sort of a conformance program in which a supplier would submit evidence either through a third party lab and certainly to an independent certification authority to make sure in fact that they have some evidence of those best practices before they are recognized as a trusted partner.”

It’s clear that government is concerned about this issue. The OTTF is building a standard that customers can point to and ask suppliers about. When the OTTF finishes its conformance criteria, rolls out the accreditation program and vendors become accredited, that will help provide a level of “surety” that Rep. Terry and others on the committee want.

Joshua Brickman, project management professional, runs CA Technologies Federal Certifications Program. He has led CA through the successful evaluation of sixteen products through the Common Criteria over the last five years (in both the U.S. and Canada). Brickman has given talks at the last four International Common Criteria Conferences. Most recently, he has been a Steering Committee member on the Open Group consortium focused on Supply Chain Integrity and Security, The Trusted Technology Forum. He also runs CA Technologies Accessibility Program. 

[1] Open Trusted Technology Provider Standard (O-TTPS), Catalog number S121, Feb 2012, p1-2

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Is Cloud Computing a “Buyers’ Market?”

By Mark Skilton, Global Director at Capgemini

At the Open Group Cannes Conference, a session we are providing is on the topic of “Selecting and Delivering Successful Cloud Products and Services.” This is an area that comes up frequently in establishing costs and benefits of on-demand solutions using the term Cloud Computing.

Cloud Computing terms have been overhyped in terms of their benefits and have saturated the general IT marketplace with all kinds of information systems stating rapid scalable benefits. Most of this may be true in the sense that readily available compute or storage capacity has commoditized in the infrastructure space. Software has also changed in functionality such that it can be contractually purchased now on a subscription basis. Users can easily subscribe to software that focuses on one or many business process requirements covering virtually all core and non-core business activities from productivity tools, project management, and collaboration to VOIP communication and business software applications all in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model.

I recently heard in conversation a view stating “Cloud Computing, it’s a buyers’ market,” meaning that customers and consumers could just pick their portfolio of software and hardware. But underlying this concept there are still some questions about using a commoditized approach to solving all your enterprise system’s needs.

Is this the whole story, when typically many organizations may seek competitive differentiation in user experience, unique transaction and functional business services? It’s ultimately more a commodity view of Cloud that matches commodity type requirements and functional needs of a customer. But, it does not fit the other 50 percent of customers who want Cloud products and characteristics but not a commodity.

The session in The Open Group Conference, Cannes on April 25 will cover the following key questions:

  • How to identify the key steps in a Cloud Products and Services selection and delivery lifecycle, avoiding tactical level decisions resulting in Cloud solution lock-in and lock-out in one or more of the stages?
  • How Cloud consumers can identify where Cloud products and services can augment and improve their business models and capabilities?
  • How Cloud providers can identify what types of Cloud products and services they can develop and deliver successfully to meet consumer and market needs?
  • What kinds of competitive differentiators to look for in consumer choice and in building providers’ value propositions?
  • What security standards, risk and certifications expertise are needed complement understanding Cloud Products and service advice?
  • What kinds of pricing, revenue and cost management on-demand models are needed to incentivize and build successful Cloud products and service consumption and delivery?
  • How to deal with contractual issues and governance across the whole lifecycle of Cloud Product and services from the perspectives of consumers and providers?

 Mark Skilton is Global Director for Capgemini, Strategy CTO Group, Global Infrastructure Services. His role includes strategy development, competitive technology planning including Cloud Computing and on-demand services, global delivery readiness and creation of Centers of Excellence. He is currently author of the Capgemini University Cloud Computing Course and is responsible for Group Interoperability strategy.

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Tweet Jam Summary: Identity Management #ogChat

By Patty Donovan, The Open Group

Over 300 tweets were posted during The Open Group’s initial tweet jam, which took place this week on Tuesday morning! The hour of spirited conversation included our expert panel, as well as other participants who joined in the spirited discussion including:

If you missed the event this time, here’s a snapshot of how the discussion went:

Q1: What are the biggest challenges of #idM today? #ogChat

Many agreed that regulations at the federal and business levels are inadequate today. Other big challenges include the lack of funding, managing people not affiliated to an organization and the various contexts surrounding the issue. Here’s a sampling of some of the tweets that drove the discussion:

  • @jim_hietala: For users, managing multiple identities with strong auth credentials across myriad systems #ogChat
  • @ErickaChick: Q1 Even when someone writes a check, no one usually measures effectiveness of the spend  #ogChat
  • @dazzagreenwood: #ogchat biggest challenges of #IdM are complexity of SSO, and especially legal and business aspects. #NSTIC approach can help.
  • @Dana_Gardner: Biggest challenges of ID mgmt today are same ones as 10 years ago, that’s the problem. #ogchat #IdM
Q2: What should be the role of governments and private companies in creating #idM standards? #ogChat

Although our participants agreed that governments should have a central role in creating standards, questions about boundaries, members and willingness to adopt emerged. Dana Gardner pointed out the need for a neutral hub, but will competitors be willing to share identities with rival providers?

  • @JohnFontana: Q2 NISTIC is 1 example of how it might work. They intend to facilitate, then give way to private sector. Will it work? #ogchat
  • @Dana_Gardner: This is clearly a government role, but they dropped the ball. And now the climate is anti-regulation. So too late? #ogChat #IdM
  • @gbrunkhorst: Corps have the ability to span geopolitical boundaries. any solution has to both allow this, and ‘respect borders’ (mutually Excl?)
Q3: What are the barriers to developing an identity ecosystem? #ogChat 

The panelists opposed the idea of creating a single identity ecosystem, but the key issues to developing one rest on trust and assurance between provider and user. Paul Simmonds from the Jericho Forum noted that there are no intersections between the providers of identity management (providers, governments and vendors).

  • @ErickaChick: Q3 So many IT pros forget that #IdM isn’t a tech prob, it’s a biz process prob #ogChat
    • Response from @NadhanAtHP: @wikidsystems Just curious why you “want” multiple ecosystems? What is wrong if we have one even though it may be idealist? #ogChat #idM
    • Response from @wikidsystems: Q3 to be clear, I don’t want one identity eco system, I want many, at least some of which I control (consumer). #ogChat
  • @451wendy: Q3 Context validation for identity attributes. We all use the Internet as citizens, customers, employees, parents, students etc. #ogChat
  • @451wendy: ‘@TheRealSpaf: regulation of minimal standards for interoperability and (sometimes) safety are reasonable. Think NIST vs Congress.” #ogChat

Q4: Identity attributes may be valuable and subject to monetization. How will this play out? #ogChat

The issue of trust continued in the discussion, along with the idea that many consumers are unaware that the monetization of identity attributes occurs.

  • @Technodad: Q4: How about portability? Should I be able to pick up my identity and move to another #idm provider, like I can move my phone num? #ogchat
  • @NadhanAtHP: Q4 Identify attributes along with information analytics & context will allow for prediction and handling of security violations #idM #ogChat

Q5: How secure are single sign-on (#SSO) schemes through Web service providers such as #Google and #Facebook? #ogChat

There was an almost unanimous agreement on the insecurity of these providers, but other questions were also raised.

  • @simmonds_paul: Q5. Wrong question, instead ask why you should trust a self-asserted identity? #ogchat
  • @dazzagreenwood: Q5  #ogchat The real question is not about FB and Google, but how mass-market sso could work with OpenID Connect with *any* provider
  • @Dana_Garnder: Q5. Issue isn’t security, it’s being locked in, and then them using your meta data against you…and no alternatives. #SSO  #ogChat #IdM
  • @NadhanAtHP: Q5 Tracking liability for security violations is a challenge with #SSO schemes across Web Service Providers #idM #ogChat 

Q6: Is #idM more or less secure on #mobile devices (for users, businesses and identity providers)? #ogChat

Even though time edged its way in and we could not devote the same amount of attention to the final question, our participants painted interesting perspectives on how we actually feel about mobile security.

  • @jim_hietala: Q6. Mobile device (in)security is scary, period, add in identity credentials buried in phones, bad news indeed #ogChat
  • @simmonds_paul: Q6. I lose my SecureID card I worry in a week, I lose Cell Phone I may worry in an hour (mins if under 25) – which is more secure? #ogchat
  • @dazzagreenwood: Q6 #ogchat Mobile can be more OR less secure for #ID – depends on 1) implementation, 2) applicable trust framework(s).
  • @Technodad: @jim_hietala Q6: Mobile might make it better through physical control – similar to passport. #ogChat

Thank you to all the participants who made this a possibility, and please stay tuned for our next tweet jam!

Patricia Donovan is Vice President, Membership & Events, at The Open Group and a member of its executive management team. In this role she is involved in determining the company’s strategic direction and policy as well as the overall management of that business area. Patricia joined The Open Group in 1988 and has played a key role in the organization’s evolution, development and growth since then. She also oversees the company’s marketing, conferences and member meetings. She is based in the U.S.

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A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words…

By The Open Group Conference Team

Calling all photographers! The Open Group Conference in Cannes is just around the corner, and it’s sure to be one for the books. In addition to a stellar line-up of industry influencers presenting at the conference and a record number of submissions for the Open Cannes Awards, The Open Group is also hosting The Open Group Photo Contest again.

Many of our conference attendees are already familiar with the photo contest from previous conferences, but here are the details for those of you who haven’t yet participated or need a short refresher on our guidelines.

We will have two categories for this conference:

  • The Open Cannes(vas) Award for any photo taken in and around Cannes.
  • Best of Cannes Conference for any photo taken during the conference. This includes photos of any of the conference sessions, candid photos of The Open Group members and the Gala Dinner on Tuesday, April 24.

Similar to previous contests, all photos will be uploaded to The Open Group’s Facebook page, where members and Open Group Facebook fans can vote by “liking” a photo. Photos with the most “likes” in each category will be named the winner. Photos will be uploaded in real-time, so the sooner you submit a photo, the more time members and fans will have to vote on it!

Winners of each category will receive an Eye-Fi wireless memory card for photos and video uploads!

All photos must be submitted via email to photo@opengroup.org. Please include your full name and the photo’s category upon submission. The submission period will end on Friday, April 27 at 10:00 p.m. PT, with voting ending on Friday, May 4 at noon PT. The winners will be announced at 5:00 p.m. PT on Friday, May 4.

Below are the photo contest winners of the San Francisco conference, which was held in January 2012:

Winner: Best of San Francisco (Chris Lockhart)

Winner: Best of San Francisco Conference (Joshua Brickman)

Winner: Best of Member Dinner (Mike Walker)

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Connect with @theopengroup on April 17 for an Identity Management Tweet Jam #ogChat

By Patty Donovan, The Open Group

In about a week, The Open Group will be hosting its very first tweet jam! In case you’re not familiar with tweet jams, a tweet jam is a one hour “discussion” hosted on Twitter. The purpose of the tweet jam is to share knowledge and answer questions on a chosen topic – in this case, identity management. Each tweet jam is led by a moderator (The Open Group) and a dedicated group of experts to keep the discussion flowing. The public (or anyone using Twitter interested in the topic) is free (and encouraged!) to join the discussion.

Tweet, Tweet – Come Join Us

You can join our Identity Management Tweet Jam on April 17 at 9:00 a.m. PT/12:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. BST. We welcome Open Group members and interested participants from all backgrounds to participate in the session and interact with our panel of experts in the identity management space.

Here is the current line-up for our expert panel:

To access the discussion, please follow the #ogChat hashtag next Wednesday during the allotted discussion time. Other hashtags we recommend you use for this tweet jam that encompass the topics that will be discussed include:

  • Identity management: #IdM
  • Single sign-on: #SSO
  • Cloud computing: #cloud
  • Mobile: #mobile
  • IT security: #ITSec
  • Information security: #InfoSec
  • Enterprise identity: #EntID
  • Identity ecosystem: #IDecosys

Below are a list of the questions that will be addressed during the hour-long discussion:

  1. What are the biggest challenges of identity management today?
  2. What should be the role of governments and private companies in creating identity management standards?
  3. What are the barriers to developing an identity ecosystem?
  4. Identity attributes may be valuable and subject to monetization. How will this play out?
  5. How secure are single sign-on schemes through Web service providers such as Google and Facebook?
  6. Is identity management more or less secure on mobile devices?
Participation Guidance

Whether you’re a newbie or veteran Twitter user, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Have your first #ogChat tweet be a self-introduction: name, affiliation, occupation.
  • Start all other tweets with the question number you’re responding to and the #ogChat hashtag.
    • Sample: “Q2: @theopengroup, attributes are absolutely more critical than biometrics #IdM #ogChat”
  • Please refrain from product or service promotions. The goal of a tweet jam is to encourage an exchange of knowledge and  stimulate discussion.
  • While this is a professional get-together, we don’t have to be stiff! Informality will not be an issue!
  • A tweet jam is akin to a public forum, panel discussion or Town Hall meeting – let’s be focused and thoughtful.

If you have any questions prior to the event, please direct them to Rod McLeod (rmcleod at bateman-group dot com). We anticipate a lively chat on April 17, so you will be able to join!

Patricia Donovan is Vice President, Membership & Events, at The Open Group and a member of its executive management team. In this role she is involved in determining the company’s strategic direction and policy as well as the overall management of that business area. Patricia joined The Open Group in 1988 and has played a key role in the organization’s evolution, development and growth since then. She also oversees the company’s marketing, conferences and member meetings. She is based in the US.

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The Open Group Brings the Cloud to Cannes (Well, Let’s Hope That’s Only Metaphorically the Case)

By Stuart Boardman, KPN 

On Wednesday, April 25 at The Open Group Cannes Conference, we have a whole stream of sessions that will discuss Cloud Computing. There’s a whole bunch of interesting presentations on the program but one of the things that struck me in particular is how many of them are dealing with Cloud as an ecosystem. As a member of The Open Group’s Cloud Work Group, this is not a huge surprise for me (we do tell each other what we’re working on!), but it also happens to be a major preoccupation of mine at the moment, so I tend to notice occurrences of the word “ecosystem” or of related concepts. Outside of The Open Group in the wider Enterprise Architecture community, there’s more and more being written about ecosystems. The topic was the focus of my last Open Group blog .

On Wednesday, you’ll hear Boeing’s TJ Virdi and Kevin Sevigny with Conexiam Solutions talking about ecosystems in the context of Cloud and TOGAF. They’ll be talking about “how the Cloud Ecosystem impacts Enterprise Architecture,” which will include “an overview of how to use TOGAF to develop an Enterprise Architecture for the Cloud ecosystem.”  This work comes out of the Using TOGAF for Cloud Ecosystem project (TOGAF-CE), which they co-chair. Capgemini’s Mark Skilton kicks off the day with a session called “Selecting and Delivering Successful Cloud Products and Services.” If you’re wondering what that has to do with ecosystems, Mark pointed out to me that  “the ecosystem in that sense is business technology dynamics and the structural, trust models that….” – well I won’t spoil it – come along and hear a nice business take on the subject. In fact, I wonder who on that Wednesday won’t be talking in one way or another about ecosystems. Take a look at the agenda for yourself.

By the way, apart from the TOGAF-CE project, several other current Open Group projects deal with ecosystems. The Cloud Interaction Ecosystem Language (CIEL) project is developing a visual language for Cloud ecosystems and then there’s the Cloud Interoperability and Portability project, which inevitably has to concern itself with ecosystems. So it’s clearly a significant concept for people to be thinking about.

In my own presentation I’ll be zooming in on Social Business as a Cloud-like phenomenon. “What has that to do with Cloud?” you might be asking. Well quite a lot actually. Technologically most social business tools have a Cloud delivery model. But far more importantly a social business involves interaction across parties who may not have any formal relationship (e.g. provider to not-yet customer or to potential partner) or where the formal aspect of their relationship doesn’t include the social business part (e.g. engaging a customer in a co-creation initiative). In some forms it’s really an extended enterprise. So even if there were no computing involved, the relationship has the same Cloud-like, loosely coupled, service oriented nature. And of course there is a lot of information technology involved. Moreover, most of the interaction takes place over Internet- based services. In a successful social business these will not be the proprietary services of the enterprise but the public services of one or more market leading provider, because that’s where your customers and partners interact. Or to put it another way, you don’t engage your customers by making them come to you but by going to them.

I don’t want to stretch this too far. The point here is not to insist that Social Business is a form of Cloud but rather that they have comparable types of ecosystem and that they are therefore amenable to similar analysis methods. There are of course essential parts of Cloud that are purely the business of the provider and are quite irrelevant to the ecosystem (the ecosystem only cares about what they deliver). Interestingly one can’t really say that about social business – that really is all about the ecosystem. It may not matter whether we think the IT underlying social business is really Cloud computing but it most certainly is part of the ecosystem.

In my presentation, I’ll be looking at techniques we can use to help us understand what’s going on in an ecosystem and how changes in one place can have unexpected effects elsewhere – if we don’t understand it properly. My focus is one part of the whole body of work that needs to be done. There is work being done on how we can capture the essence of a Cloud ecosystem (CIEL). There is work being done on how we can use TOGAF to help us describe the architecture of a Cloud ecosystem (TOGAF-CE). There is work being done on how to model ecosystem behavior in general (me and others). And there’s work being done in many places on how ecosystem participants can interoperate. At some point we’ll need to bring all this together but for now, as long as we all keep talking to each other, each of the focus areas will enrich the others. In fact I think it’s too early to try to construct some kind of grand unified theory out of it all. We’d just produce something overly complex that no one knew how to use. I hope that TOGAF Next will give us a home for some of this – not in core TOGAF but as part of the overall guidance – because enterprises are more and more drawn into and dependent upon their surrounding ecosystems and have an increasing need to understand them. And Cloud is accelerating that process.

You can expect a lot of interesting insights on Wednesday, April 25. Come along and please challenge the presenters, because we too have a lot to learn.

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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Why We Can’t Agree on What We Mean by “Enterprise Architecture” and Why That’s OK, At Least for Now

By Leonard Fehskens, The Open Group

Many people have commented that one of the most significant consequences of the Internet is the “democratization of commentary.” The ability to comment on subjects of interest to a community is no longer limited to those few who have access to traditional methods of broadcast communications (e.g., printed media, radio and television). At the same time, membership in such communities is no longer limited to those who are physically proximate. The result is everyone has a wide-reaching public voice now (even this blog is one such example).

The chorus of public voices speaking about Enterprise Architecture has created something of a din. Over the past several years my listening to this chorus has revealed an extraordinary diversity of opinion about what we mean by “Enterprise Architecture.” I have tried to sort out and categorize this diversity of opinion to try to understand how the Enterprise Architecture community could think so many different things about the idea that unites it. Creating a true profession of Enterprise Architecture will require that we come to some sort of convergence and agreement as to what the profession is about, and I hope that understanding the roots of this wide diversity of opinion will facilitate achieving that convergence.

At The Open Group Conference in Cannes, France later this month, I will be speaking on this subject. Here is a preview of that talk.

Assumptions and Approaches 

In many discussions about Enterprise Architecture I have seen preliminary apparent agreement rapidly disintegrate into disagreement bordering on hostility. People who initially thought they were saying the same things discovered as they explored the implications of those statements that they actually meant and understood things quite differently. How can this happen?

There seem to me to be two things that contribute to this phenomenon. The first is the assumptions we make, and the second is the approaches we adopt in defining, thinking about and talking about Enterprise Architecture. As important as the nature of these assumptions and approaches is the fact that we are almost never explicit about them. Indeed, one of the most widespread and consequential assumptions we make is that we all share the same assumptions.

To keep this article short and to avoid “stealing my own thunder” from my upcoming conference presentation, I’m going to step from the tip of one iceberg to the next, hopefully whetting your appetite for a more in-depth treatment.

How We Approach the Problem

There are an even half dozen ways that I have observed people approach the problem of defining Enterprise Architecture that have, by their use, created additional problems. They are:

  • The use of ambiguous language – many of the words we have borrowed from common usage to talk about Enterprise Architecture have multiple meanings.
  • Failing to understand, and account for, the difference between denotation and connotation – a word denotes its literal meaning, but it also connotes a set of associations. We may all agree explicitly on what a word denotes, but at the same time each hold, probably implicitly, very different connotative associations for the word.
  • The use of figures of speech (metaphor, simile, metonymy, synecdoche) – figures of speech are expressive rhetorical gestures, but they too often have very little practical value as models for reasoning about the subject to which they are applied.
  • Conflation – the inclusion of a related but distinct discipline as an integral part of Enterprise Architecture.
  • Mixing up roles and job definitions or job descriptions – jobs are defined to meet the needs of a specific organization and may include parts of many different roles.
  • The “blind men and the elephant” syndrome – defining something to be the part of it that we individually know.

The Many Things We Make Assumptions About

The problem with assumptions is not that we make them, but that we do so implicitly, or worse, unknowingly. Our assumptions often reflect legitimate choices that we have made, but we must not forget that there are other possible choices that others can make.

I’ve identified fifteen areas where people make assumptions that lead to sometimes radically different perspectives on Enterprise Architecture. They have to do with things like what we think “architecture,” “enterprise,” and “business” mean; what we think the geography, landscape or taxonomy of Enterprise Architecture is; how we name or think we should name architectures; what kinds of things can have architectures; what we think makes a good definition; and several more. Come to my talk at The Open Group conference in Cannes at the end of the month if you want to explore this very rich space.

What Can We Do?

It’s tempting when someone comes at a problem from a different perspective, or makes a different choice from among a number of options, to conclude that they don’t understand our position, or too often, that they are simply wrong. Enterprise Architecture is a young discipline, and it is still sorting itself out. We need to remain open to alternative perspectives, and rather than focus on our differences, look for ways to accommodate these different perspectives under unifying generalizations. The first step to doing do is to be aware of our assumptions, and to acknowledge that they are not the only assumptions that might be made.

In the words of St. Augustine, “Let us, on both sides, lay aside all arrogance. Let us not, on either side, claim that we have already discovered the truth. Let us seek it together as something which is known to neither of us. For then only may we seek it, lovingly and tranquilly, if there be no bold presumption that it is already discovered and possessed.”

Len Fehskens is Vice President of Skills and Capabilities at The Open Group. He is responsible for The Open Group’s activities relating to the professionalization of the discipline of enterprise architecture. Prior to joining The Open Group, Len led the Worldwide Architecture Profession Office for HP Services at Hewlett-Packard. Len is based in the US.

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