Category Archives: Open CITS

The Open Group Boston 2014 Preview: Talking People Architecture with David Foote

By The Open Group

Among all the issues that CIOs, CTOs and IT departments are facing today, staffing is likely near the top of the list of what’s keeping them up at night. Sure, there’s dealing with constant (and disruptive) technological changes and keeping up with the latest tech and business trends, such as having a Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) or a mobile strategy, but without the right people with the right skills at the right time it’s impossible to execute on these initiatives.

Technology jobs are notoriously difficult to fill–far more difficult than positions in other industries where roles and skillsets may be much more static. And because technology is rapidly evolving, the roles for tech workers are also always in flux. Last year you may have needed an Agile developer, but today you may need a mobile developer with secure coding ability and in six months you might need an IoT developer with strong operations or logistics domain experience—with each position requiring different combinations of tech, functional area, solution and “soft” skillsets.

According to David Foote, IT Industry Analyst and co-founder of IT workforce research and advisory firm Foote Partners, the mash-up of HR systems and ad hoc people management practices most companies have been using for years to manage IT workers have become frighteningly ineffective. He says that to cope in today’s environment, companies need to architect their people infrastructure similar to how they have been architecting their technical infrastructure.

“People Architecture” is the term Foote has coined to describe the application of traditional architectural principles and practices that may already be in place elsewhere within an organization and applying them to managing the IT workforce. This includes applying such things as strategy and capability roadmaps, phase gate blueprints, benchmarks, performance metrics, governance practices and stakeholder management to human capital management (HCM).

HCM components for People Architecture typically include job definition and design, compensation, incentives and recognition, skills demand and acquisition, job and career paths, professional development and work/life balance.

Part of the dilemma for employers right now, Foote says, is that there is very little job title standardization in the marketplace and too many job titles floating around IT departments today. “There are too many dimensions and variability in jobs now that companies have gotten lost from an HR perspective. They’re unable to cope with the complexity of defining, determining pay and laying out career paths for all these jobs, for example. For many, serious retention and hiring problems are showing up for the first time. Work-around solutions used for years to cope with systemic weaknesses in their people management systems have stopped working,” says Foote. “Recruiters start picking off their best people and candidates are suddenly rejecting offers and a panic sets in. Tensions are palpable in their IT workforce. These IT realities are pervasive.”

Twenty-five years ago, Foote says, defining roles in IT departments was easier. But then the Internet exploded and technology became far more customer-facing, shifting basic IT responsibilities from highly technical people deep within companies to roles requiring more visibility and transparency within and outside the enterprise. Large chunks of IT budgets moved into the business lines while traditional IT became more of a business itself.

According to Foote, IT roles became siloed not just by technology but by functional areas such as finance and accounting, operations and logistics, sales, marketing and HR systems, and by industry knowledge and customer familiarity. Then the IT professional services industry rapidly expanded to compete with their customers for talent in the marketplace. Even the architect role changed: an Enterprise Architect today can specialize in applications, security or data architecture among others, or focus on a specific industry such as energy, retail or healthcare.

Foote likens the fragmentation of IT jobs and skillsets that’s happening now to the emergence of IT architecture 25 years ago. Just as technical architecture practices emerged to help make sense of the disparate systems rapidly growing within companies and how best to determine the right future tech investments, a people architecture approach today helps organizations better manage an IT workforce spread through the enterprise with roles ranging from architects and analysts to a wide variety of engineers, developers and project and program managers.

“Technical architecture practices were successful because—when you did them well—companies achieved an understanding of what they have systems-wise and then connected it to where they were going and how they were going to get there, all within a process inclusive of all the various stakeholders who shared the risk in the outcome. It helped clearly define enterprise technology capabilities and gave companies more options and flexibility going forward,” according to Foote.

“Right now employers desperately need to incorporate in human capital management systems and practice the same straightforward, inclusive architecture approaches companies are already using in other areas of their businesses. This can go a long way toward not just lessening staffing shortages but also executing more predictably and being more agile in face of constant uncertainties and the accelerating pace of change. Ultimately this translates into a more effective workforce whether they are full-timers or the contingent workforce of part-timers, consultants and contractors.

“It always comes down to your people. That’s not a platitude but a fact,” insists Foote. “If you’re not competitive in today’s labor marketplace and you’re not an employer where people want to work, you’re dead.”

One industry that he says has gotten it right is the consulting industry. “After all, their assets walk out the door every night. Consulting groups within firms such as IBM and Accenture have been good at architecting their staffing because it’s their job to get out in front of what’s coming technologically. Because these firms must anticipate customer needs before they get the call to implement services, they have to be ahead of the curve in already identifying and hiring the bench strength needed to fulfill demand. They do many things right to hire, develop and keep the staff they need in place.”

Unfortunately, many companies take too much of a just-in-time approach to their workforce so they are always managing staffing from a position of scarcity rather than looking ahead, Foote says. But, this is changing, in part due to companies being tired of never having the people they need and being able to execute predictably.

The key is to put a structure in place that addresses a strategy around what a company needs and when. This applies not just to the hiring process, but also to compensation, training and advancement.

“Architecting anything allows you to be able to, in a more organized way, be more agile in dealing with anything that comes at you. That’s the beauty of architecture. You plan for the fact that you’re going to continue to scale and continue to change systems, the world’s going to continue to change, but you have an orderly way to manage the governance, planning and execution of that, the strategy of that and the implementation of decisions knowing that the architecture provides a more agile and flexible modular approach,” he said.

Foote says organizations such as The Open Group can lend themselves to facilitating People Architecture in a couple different ways. First, through extending the principles of architecture to human capital management, and second through vendor-independent, expertise and experience driven certifications, such as TOGAF® or OpenCA and OpenCITS, that help companies define core competencies for people and that provide opportunities for training and career advancement.

“I’m pretty bullish on many vendor-independent certifications in general, particularly where a defined book of knowledge exists that’s achieved wide acceptance in the industry. And that’s what you’ve got with The Open Group. Nobody’s challenging the architectural framework supremacy of TOGAF that that I’m aware of. In fact, large vendors with their own certifications participated actively in developing the framework and applying it very successfully to their business models,” he said.

Although the process of implementing People Architecture can be difficult and may take several years to master (much like Enterprise Architecture), Foote says it is making a huge difference for companies that implement it.

To learn more about People Architecture and models for implementing it, plan to attend Foote’s session at The Open Group Boston 2014 on Tuesday July 22. Foote’s session will address how architectural principles are being applied to human capital so that organizations can better manage their workforces from hiring and training through compensation, incentives and advancement. He will also discuss how career paths for EAs can be architected. Following the conference, the session proceedings will be available to Open Group members and conference attendees at www.opengroup.org.

Join the conversation – #ogchat #ogBOS

footeDavid Foote is an IT industry research pioneer, innovator, and one of the most quoted industry analysts on global IT workforce trends and multiple facets of the human side of technology value creation. His two decades of groundbreaking deep research and analysis of IT-business cross-skilling and technology/business management integration and leading the industry in innovative IT skills demand and compensation benchmarking has earned him a place on a short list of thought leaders in IT human capital management.

A former Gartner and META Group analyst, David leads the research and analytical practice groups at Foote Partners that reach 2,300 customers on six continents.

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Filed under architecture, Conference, Open CA, Open CITS, Professional Development, Standards, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

The Open Group Summit Amsterdam 2014 – Day Three Highlights

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, The Open Group

May 14, day three of The Open Group Summit Amsterdam, was another busy day for our attendees and presenters.  Tracks included ArchiMate®The Open Group Open Platform 3.0™-Big Data, Open CITS, TOGAF®, Architecture Methods and Professional Development.

Mark Skilton, Professor of Practice, Information Systems Management, Warwick Business School, UK presented “Creating Value in the Digital Economy”. Skilton discussed how the digital media in social, networks, mobile devices, sensors and the explosion of big data and cloud computing networks is interconnecting potentially everything everywhere – amounting to a new digital ecosystem.  These trends have significantly enhanced the importance of IT in its role and impact on business and market value locally, regionally and globally.

Other notable speakers included Thomas Obitz, Principal Advisor, KPMG, LLK, UK, and Paul Bonnie, Head of Architecture Office, ING, The Netherlands, who shared how standards, such as TOGAF®, an Open Group standard, are necessary and effective in the financial services industry.

During a special users group meeting in the evening, Andrew Josey, Director of Standards within The Open Group, presented the ArchiMate certification program and adoption of the language. . Andrew is currently managing the standards process for The Open Group, and has recently led the standards development projects for TOGAF® 9.1, ArchiMate 2.1, IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (POSIX), and the core specifications of the Single UNIX Specification, Version 4.

Andrew provided an overview of the ArchiMate 2 certification program, including information on the adoption of the ArchiMate modeling language. He discussed the major milestones in the development of ArchiMate and referred to the Dutch origins of the language. The ArchiMate language was developed beginning in 2002 and is now widespread.  There have been over 41,000 downloads of ArchiMate specifications from more than 150 countries.

Henk Jonkers, senior research consultant involved in BiZZdesign’s innovations in Enterprise Architecture (EA) and one of the main developers of the ArchiMate language, took a deep dive into modeling risk and security.

Henk JonkersHenk Jonkers, BiZZdesign

As a final farewell from Amsterdam, a special thanks goes to our sponsors and exhibitors during this dynamic summit:  BiZZdesign, MEGA, ARCA Strategic Group, Good e-Learning, Orbus Software, Corso, Van Haren, Metaplexity, Architecting the Enterprise, Biner and the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA).

For those of you who attended the Summit, please give us your feedback! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AMST2014

Stay tuned for Summit proceedings to be posted soon!  See you at our event in Boston, Massachusetts July 21-22!

 

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Philips Becomes a Platinum Member of The Open Group

The Open Group, has announced that Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), has become a Platinum Member of The Open Group, joining other multinational companies and IT industry leaders such as HP, IBM, and Oracle. Philips has been a member of The Open Group since April 2006 and in 2009 implemented The Open Group Certified IT Specialist (Open CITS) Program framework as part of a competency based IT transformation initiative.

Philips partnered with The Open Group to create career development plans for over 1,000 employees and has changed its IT operation from a distributed to a centrally run function with specific domains for each IT discipline. With over 100 employees now Open CITS certified, Philips is meeting its objective of improving employee engagement and retention, attracting the best IT talent and generating significant cost savings.

“We are very pleased to see Philips upgrade to become a Platinum Member of The Open Group,” said Allen Brown, President and CEO of The Open Group. “We highly value the company’s efforts and determination to help establish our Open CA and Open CITS certification programs as the best way to assess the skills, strengths and development opportunities for their IT workforce and to benchmark them against an industry standard.

“Our membership and on-going partnership with The Open Group enables us to further the development of our employee engagement and competence development programs, as well as getting involved in other new important initiatives,” said Charel van Hoof, Head of IT Delivery at Philips. “We look forward to deepening the partnership we already have and participating with other members to drive the further development of global IT standards.”

As a Platinum Member, Philips will have a seat on The Open Group’s Governing Board and will continue to participate in the Architecture and Security Forums. The group will also continue to promote Open CITS, TOGAF® 9 and The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA) programs as globally recognized IT certification standards. Philips has also applied to become an Accredited Certification Program (ACP) provider for Open CITS and Open CA, which means the company will be able to operate both programs internally. There will be an inaugural Philips and Open Group co-hosted event for IT Specialists at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, The Netherlands on November 20, 2013.     

For more information on The Open Group, please visit: http://www.opengroup.org.

About The Open Group

The Open Group is a vendor-neutral and technology-neutral consortium, which drives the creation of Boundaryless Information Flow™ that will enable access to integrated information within and between enterprises based on open standards and global interoperability. The Open Group works with customers, suppliers, consortia and other standard bodies. Its role is to capture, understand and address current and emerging requirements, establish policies and share best practices; to facilitate interoperability, develop consensus, and evolve and integrate specifications and open source technologies; to offer a comprehensive set of services to enhance the operational efficiency of consortia; and to operate the industry’s premier certification service.

ArchiMate, DirecNet, Jericho Forum, Making Standards Work, OpenPegasus, The Open Group, TOGAF and UNIX are registered trademarks and Boundaryless Information Flow, Dependability through Assuredness, FACE, Open Platform 3.0, and The Open Group Certification Mark are trademarks of The Open Group.

About Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2012 sales of EUR 24.8 billion and employs approximately 115,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.

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Filed under Certifications, Open CA, Open CITS, TOGAF®