Monthly Archives: November 2013

Open Platform 3.0™ to Help Rally Organizations in Innovation and Development

by Andy Mulholland, Former Global CTO, Capgemini

The Open Platform 3.0™ initiative, launched by The Open Group, provides a forum in which organizations, including standards bodies, as much as users and product vendors, can coordinate their approach to new business models and new practices for use of IT, can define or identify common vendor-neutral standards, and can foster the adoption of those standards in a cohesive and aligned manner to ensure a integrated commercial viable set of solutions.

The goal is to enable effective business architectures, that support a new generation of interoperable business solutions, quickly, and at low cost using new technologies and provisioning methods, but with integration to existing IT environments.

Acting on behalf of its core franchise base of CIOs, and in association with the US and European CIO associations, Open Platform 3.0 will act as a rallying point for all involved in the development of technology solutions that new innovative business models and practices require.

There is a distinctive sea change in the way that organizations are adopting and using a range of new technologies, mostly relating to a front office revolution in how business is performed with their customers, suppliers and even within their markets. More than ever The Open Group mission of Boundaryless Information Flow™ through the mutual development of technology standards and methods is relevant to this change.

The competitive benefits are driving rapid Business adoption but mostly through a series of business management owned and driven pilots, usually with no long term thought as to scale, compliance, security, even data integrity. Rightly the CIO is concerned as to these issues, but too often in the absence of experience in this new environment and the ability to offer constructive approaches these concerns are viewed as unacceptable barriers.

This situation is further enflamed by the sheer variety of products and different groups, both technological and business, to try to develop workable standards for particular elements. Currently there is little, if any, overall coordination and alignment between all of these individually valuable elements towards a true ‘system’ approach with understandable methods to deliver the comprehensive enterprise approach in a manner that will truly serve the full business purposes.

The business imperatives supported by the teaching of Business Schools are focused on time as a key issue and advocate small fast projects built on externally provisioned, paid for against use, cloud services.  These are elements of the sea change that have to be accepted, and indeed will grow as society overall expects to do business and obtain their own requirements in the same way.

Much of these changes are outside the knowledge, experience of often power of current IT departments, yet they rightly understand that to continue in their essential role of maintaining the core internal operations and commercial stability this change must introduce a new generation of deployment, integration, and management methods. The risk is to continue the polarization that has already started to develop between the internal IT operations based on Client-Server Enterprise Applications versus the external operations of sales and marketing using Browser-Cloud based Apps and Services.

At best this will result in an increasingly decentralized and difficult to manage business, at worst Audit and Compliance management will report this business as being in breach of financial and commercial rules. This is being recognized by organizations introducing a new type of role supported by Business Schools and Universities termed a Business Architect. Their role in the application of new technology is to determine how to orchestrate complex business processes through Big Data and Big Process from the ‘Services’ available to users. This is in many ways a direct equivalent, though with different skills, to an Enterprise Architect in conventional IT who will focus on the data integrity from designing Applications and their integration.

The Open Group’s massive experience in the development of TOGAF®, together with its wide spread global acceptability, lead to a deep understanding of the problem, the issues, and how to develop a solution both for Business Architecture, as well as for its integration with Enterprise Architecture.

The Open Group believes that it is uniquely positioned to play this role due to its extensive experience in the development of standards on behalf of user enterprises to enable Boundaryless Information Flow including its globally recognized Enterprise Architecture standard TOGAF. Moreover it believes from feedback received from many directions this move will be welcomed by many of those involved in the various aspects of this exciting period of change.

mulhollandAndy joined Capgemini in 1996, bringing with him thirteen years of experience from previous senior IT roles across all major industry sectors.

In his former role as Global Chief Technology Officer, Andy was a member of the Capgemini Group management board and advised on all aspects of technology-driven market changes, as well as serving on the technology advisory boards of several organizations and enterprises.

A popular speaker with many appearances at major events all around the World, and frequently quoted by the press, in 2009 Andy was voted one of the top 25 most influential CTOs in the world by InfoWorld USA, and in 2010 his CTOblog was voted best Blog for Business Managers and CIOs for the third third year running by Computing Weekly UK. Andy retired in June 2012, but still maintains an active association with the Capgemini Group and his activities across the Industry lead to his achieving 29th place in 2012 in the prestigious USA ExecRank ratings category ‘Top CTOs’.

Comments Off

Filed under Open Platform 3.0, TOGAF

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

By Stuart Boardman, KPN

What does the apocalyptic vision of Blade Runner have to do with The Open Group’s Open Platform 3.0™ Forum?

Throughout history, from the ancient Greeks and the Talmud, through The Future Eve and Metropolis to I Robot and Terminator, we seem to have been both fascinated and appalled by the prospect of an autonomous “being” with its own consciousness and aspirations.

Hal-2001

But right now it’s not the machines that bother me. It’s how we try to do what we try to do with them. What we try to do is to address problems of increasingly critical economic, social and environmental importance. It bothers me because, like it or not, these problems can only be addressed by a partnership of man and (intelligent) machine and yet we seem to want to take the intelligence out of both partners.

Two recent posts that came my way via Twitter this week provoked me to write this blog. One is a GE Report that looks very thoroughly, if somewhat uncritically at what it calls the Industrial Internet. The other, by Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, appeared in Forbes under the title There Is No Internet of Things and laments the lack of interconnectedness in most “Smart” technologies.hammer

What disturbs me about both of those pieces is the suggestion that if we sort out some interoperability and throw masses of computing power and smart algorithms at a problem, everything will be dandy.

Actually it could just make things worse. Technically everything will work but the results will be a matter of chance. The problem lies in the validity of the models we use. And our ability to effectively model complex problems is at best unproven. If the model is faulty and the calculation perfect, the results will be wrong. In fact, when the systems we try to model are complex or chaotic, no deterministic model can deliver correct results other than by accident. But we like deterministic models, because they make us feel like we’re in control. I discussed this problem and its effects in more detail in my article on Ashby’s Law Of Requisite Variety. There’s also an important article by Joyce Hostyn, which explains how a simplistic view of objectivity leads to (at best) biased results. “Data does not lie. It just does not (always) mean what you think it does” (Claudia Perlich, Chief Scientist at Dstillery via CMSWire).

Now that doesn’t detract from the fact that developing a robot vacuum cleaner that actually “learns” the layout of a room is pretty impressive. That doesn’t mean that the robot is aware that it is a vacuum cleaner and that it has a (single) purpose in life. And just as well. It might get upset about us continually moving the furniture and decide to get revenge by crashing into our best antique glass cabinet.

With the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data in particular, we’re deploying machines to carry out analyses and take decisions that can be critical for the success of some human endeavor. If the models are wrong or only sometimes right, the consequences can be disastrous for health, the environment or the economy. In my Ashby piece I showed how unexpected events can result in an otherwise good model leading to fundamentally wrong reactions. In a world where IoT and Big Data combine with Mobility (multiple device types, locations and networks) and Cloud, the level of complexity is obviously high and there’s scope for a large number of unexpected events.
IoT Society

If we are to manage the volume of information coming our way and the speed with which it comes or with which we must react we need to harness the power of machine intelligence. In an intelligent manner. Which brings me to Cognitive Computing Systems.

On the IBM Research Cognitive Computing page I found this statement: “Far from replacing our thinking, cognitive systems will extend our cognition and free us to think more creatively.”  Cognitive Computing means allowing the computer to say “listen guys, I’m not really sure about this but here are the options”. Or even “I’ve actually never seen one of these before, so maybe you’d like to see what you can make of it”. And if the computer is really really not sure, maybe we’d better ride the storm for a while and figure out what this new thing is. Cognitive Computing means that we can, in a manner of speaking, discuss this with the computer.

It’s hard to say how far we are from commercially viable implementations of this technology. Watson has a few children but the family is still at the stage of applied research. But necessity is the mother of invention and, if the technologies we’re talking about in Platform 3.0 really do start collectively to take on the roles we have envisaged for them, that could just provide the necessary incentive to develop economically feasible solutions.

spacemenIn the meantime, we need to put ourselves more in the centre of things, to make the optimal use of the technologies we do have available to us but not shirk our responsibilities as intelligent human beings to use that intelligence and not seek easy answers to wicked problems.

 

 

I’ll leave you with 3 minutes and 12 seconds of genius:
marshalldavisjones
Marshall Davis Jones: “Touchscreen”


Stuart BoardmanStuart 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.

Comments Off

Filed under Cloud, Cloud/SOA, Open Platform 3.0, Platform 3.0

Evolving Business and Technology Toward an Open Platform 3.0™

By Dave Lounsbury, Chief Technical Officer, The Open Group

The role of IT within the business is one that constantly evolves and changes. If you’ve been in the technology industry long enough, you’ve likely had the privilege of seeing IT grow to become integral to how businesses and organizations function.

In his recent keynote “Just Exactly What Is Going On in Business and Technology?” at The Open Group London Conference in October, Andy Mulholland, former Global Chief Technology Officer at Capgemini, discussed how the role of IT has changed from being traditionally internally focused (inside the firewall, proprietary, a few massive applications, controlled by IT) to one that is increasingly externally focused (outside the firewall, open systems, lots of small applications, increasingly controlled by users). This is due to the rise of a number of disruptive forces currently affecting the industry such as BYOD, Cloud, social media tools, Big Data, the Internet of Things, cognitive computing. As Mulholland pointed out, IT today is about how people are using technology in the front office. They are bringing their own devices, they are using apps to get outside of the firewall, they are moving further and further away from traditional “back office” IT.

Due to the rise of the Internet, the client/server model of the 1980s and 1990s that kept everything within the enterprise is no more. That model has been subsumed by a model in which development is fast and iterative and information is constantly being pushed and pulled primarily from outside organizations. The current model is also increasingly mobile, allowing users to get the information they need anytime and anywhere from any device.

At the same time, there is a push from business and management for increasingly rapid turnaround times and smaller scale projects that are, more often than not, being sourced via Cloud services. The focus of these projects is on innovating business models and acting in areas where the competition does not act. These forces are causing polarization within IT departments between internal IT operations based on legacy systems and new external operations serving buyers in business functions that are sourcing their own services through Cloud-based apps.

Just as UNIX® provided a standard platform for applications on single computers and the combination of servers, PCs and the Internet provided a second platform for web apps and services, we now need a new platform to support the apps and services that use cloud, social, mobile, big data and the Internet of Things. Rather than merely aligning with business goals or enabling business, the next platform will be embedded within the business as an integral element bringing together users, activity and data. To work properly, this must be a standard platform so that these things can work together effectively and at low cost, providing vendors a worthwhile market for their products.

Industry pundits have already begun to talk about this layer of technology. Gartner calls it the “Nexus of Forces.” IDC calls it the “third platform.” At the The Open Group, we refer to it as Open Platform 3.0™, and we announced a new Forum to address how organizations can address and support these technologies earlier this year. Open Platform 3.0 is meant to enable organizations (including standards bodies, users and vendors) coordinate their approaches to the new business models and IT practices driving the new platform to support a new generation of interoperable business solutions.

As is always the case with technologies, a point is reached where technical innovation must transition to business benefit. Open Platform 3.0 is, in essence, the next evolution of computing. To help the industry sort through these changes and create vendor-neutral standards that foster the cohesive adoption of new technologies, The Open Group must also evolve its focus and standards to respond to where the industry is headed.

The work of the Open Platform 3.0 Forum has already begun. Initial actions for the Forum have been identified and were shared during the London conference.  Our recent survey on Convergent Technologies confirmed the need to address these issues. Of those surveyed, 95 percent of respondents felt that converged technologies were an opportunity for business, and 84 percent of solution providers are already dealing with two or more of these technologies in combination. Respondents also saw vendor lock-in as a potential hindrance to using these technologies underscoring the need for an industry standard that will address interoperability. In addition to the survey, the Forum has also produced an initial Business Scenario to begin to address these industry needs and formulate requirements for this new platform.

If you have any questions about Open Platform 3.0 or if you would like to join the new Forum, please contact Chris Harding (c.harding@opengroup.org) for queries regarding the Forum or Chris Parnell (c.parnell@opengroup.org) for queries regarding membership.

 

Dave LounsburyDave is Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and Vice President, Services for The Open Group. As CTO, he ensures that The Open Group’s people and IT resources are effectively used to implement the organization’s strategy and mission.  As VP of Services, Dave leads the delivery of The Open Group’s proven collaboration processes for collaboration and certification both within the organization and in support of third-party consortia. Dave holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and is holder of three U.S. patents.

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Cloud, Data management, Future Technologies, Open Platform 3.0, Standards, Uncategorized, UNIX

Three Things We Learned at The Open Group, London

By Manuel Ponchaux, Senior Consultant, Corso

The Corso team recently visited London for The Open Group’s “Business Transformation in Finance, Government & Healthcare” conference (#ogLON). The event was predominantly for learning how experts address organisational change when aligning business needs with information technology – something very relevant in today’s climate. Nonetheless, there were a few other things we learnt as well…

1. Lean Enterprise Architecture

We were told that Standard Frameworks are too complex and multidimensional – people were interested in how we use them to provide simple working guidelines to the architecture team.

There were a few themes that frequently popped up, one of them being the measurement of Enterprise Architecture (EA) complexity. There seemed to be a lot of talk about Lean Enterprise Architecture as a solution to complexity issues.

2. Risk Management was popular

Clearly the events of the past few years e.g. financial crisis, banking regulations and other business transformations mean that managing risk is increasingly more important. So, it was no surprise that the Risk Management and EA sessions were very popular and probably attracted the biggest crowd. The Corso session showcasing our IBM/CIO case study was successful with 40+ attending!

3. Business challenges

People visited our stand and told us they were having trouble generating up to date heat maps. There was also a large number of attendee’s interested in Software as a Service as an alternative to traditional on-premise licensing.

So what did we learn from #ogLON?

Attendees are attracted to the ease of use of Corso’s ArchiMate plugin. http://www.corso3.com/products/archimate/

Together with the configurable nature of System Architect, ArchiMate® is a simple framework to use and makes a good starting point for supporting Lean Architecture.

Roadmapping and performing impact analysis reduces the influence of risk when executing any business transformation initiative.

We also learnt that customers in the industry are starting to embrace the concept of SaaS offerings as it provides them with a solution that can get them up and running quickly and easily – something we’re keen to pursue – which is why we’re now offering IBM Rational tools on the Corso cloud. Visit our website at http://www.corsocloud.com

http://info.corso3.com/blog/bid/323481/3-interesting-things-we-learned-at-The-Open-Group-London

Manuel Poncheau Manuel Ponchaux, Senior Consultant, Corso

1 Comment

Filed under ArchiMate®, Enterprise Architecture, Standards, Uncategorized