Category Archives: Professional Development

The Financial Incentive for Health Information Exchanges

By Jim Hietala, VP, Security, The Open Group

Health IT professionals have always known that interoperability would be one of the most important aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now doctors have financial incentive to be proactive in taking part in the process of exchange information between computer systems.

According to a recent article in MedPage Today, doctors are now “clamoring” for access to patient information ahead of the deadlines for the government’s “meaningful use” program. Doctors and hospitals will get hit with fines for not knowing about patients’ health histories, for patient readmissions and unnecessary retesting. “Meaningful use” refers to provisions in the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which authorized incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid to clinicians and hospitals that use electronic health records in a meaningful way that significantly improves clinical care.
Doctors who accept Medicare will find themselves penalized for not adopting or successfully demonstrating meaningful use of a certified electronic health record (EHR) technology by 2015. Health professionals’ Medicare physician fee schedule amount for covered professional services will be adjusted down by 1% each year for certain categories.  If less than 75% of Eligible Professionals (EPs) have become meaningful users of EHRs by 2018, the adjustment will change by 1% point each year to a maximum of 5% (95% of Medicare covered amount).

With the stick, there’s also a carrot. The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. Eligible professionals can receive up to $44,000 through the Medicare EHR Incentive Program and up to $63,750 through the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

According to HealthIT.Gov, interoperability is essential for applications that interact with users (such as e-prescribing), systems that communicate with each other (such as messaging standards) information processes and management (such as health information exchange) how consumer devices integrate with other systems and applications (such as tablet, smart phones and PCs).

The good news is that more and more hospitals and doctors are participating in data exchanges and sharing patient information. On January 30th, the eHealth Exchange, formerly the Nationwide Health Information Network, and operated by Healtheway, reported a surge in network participation numbers and increases in secure online transactions among members.

According to the news release, membership in the eHealth Exchange is currently pegged at 41 participants who together represent some 800 hospitals, 6,000 mid-to-large medical groups, 800 dialysis centers and 850 retail pharmacies nationwide. Some of the earliest members to sign on with the exchange were the Veterans Health Administration, Department of Defense, Kaiser Permanente, the Social Security Administration and Dignity Health.

While the progress in health information exchanges is good, there is still much work to do in defining standards, so that the right information is available at the right time and place to enable better patient care. Devices are emerging that can capture continuous information on our health status. The information captured by these devices can enable better outcomes, but only if the information is made readily available to medical professionals.

The Open Group recently formed The Open Group Healthcare Forum, which focuses on bringing  Boundaryless Information Flow™ to the healthcare industry enabling data to flow more easily throughout the complete healthcare ecosystem.  By leveraging the discipline and principles of Enterprise Architecture, including TOGAF®, an Open Group standard, the forum aims to develop standardized vocabulary and messaging that will result in higher quality outcomes, streamlined business practices and innovation within the industry.

62940-hietalaJim Hietala, CISSP, GSEC, is the Vice President, Security for The Open Group, where he manages all IT security, risk management and healthcare programs and standards activities. He participates in the SANS Analyst/Expert program and has also published numerous articles on information security, risk management, and compliance topics in publications including The ISSA Journal, Bank Accounting & Finance, Risk Factor, SC Magazine, and others.

Leave a comment

Filed under Boundaryless Information Flow™, Enterprise Architecture, Healthcare, Professional Development, Standards, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

Accrediting the Global Supply Chain: A Conversation with O-TTPS Recognized Assessors Fiona Pattinson and Erin Connor

By The Open Group 

At the recent San Francisco 2014 conference, The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF) announced the launch of the Open Trusted Technology Provider™ Standard (O-TTPS) Accreditation Program.

The program is one the first accreditation programs worldwide aimed at assuring the integrity of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) information and communication technology (ICT) products and the security of their supply chains.

In three short years since OTTF launched, the forum has grown to include more than 25 member companies dedicated to safeguarding the global supply chain against the increasing sophistication of cybersecurity attacks through standards. Accreditation is yet another step in the process of protecting global technology supply chains from maliciously tainted and counterfeit products.

As part of the program, third-party assessor companies will be employed to assess organizations applying for accreditation, with The Open Group serving as the vendor-neutral Accreditation Authority that operates the program.  Prior to the launch, the forum conducted a pilot program with a number of member companies. It was announced at the conference that IBM is the first company to becoming accredited, earning accreditation for its Application, Infrastructure and Middleware (AIM), software business division for its product integrity and supply chain practices.

We recently spoke with OTTF members Fiona Pattinson, director of strategy and business development at Atsec Information Security, and Erin Connor, director at EWA-Canada, at the San Francisco conference to learn more about the assessment process and the new program.

The O-TTPS focus is on securing the technology supply chain. What would you say are the biggest threats facing the supply chain today?

Fiona Pattinson (FP): I think in the three years since the forum began certainly all the members have discussed the various threats quite a lot. It was one of things we discussed as an important topic early on, and I don’t know if it’s the ‘biggest threat,’ but certainly the most important threats that we needed to address initially were those of counterfeit and maliciously tainted products. We came to that through both discussion with all the industry experts in the forum and also through research into some of the requirements from government, so that’s exactly how we knew which threats [to start with].

Erin Connor (EC):  And the forum benefits from having both sides of the acquisition process, both acquirers, and the suppliers and vendors. So they get both perspectives.

How would you define maliciously tainted and counterfeit products?

FP:  They are very carefully defined in the standard—we needed to do that because people’s understanding of that can vary so much.

EC: And actually the concept of ‘maliciously’ tainted was incorporated close to the end of the development process for the standard at the request of members on the acquisition side of the process.

[Note: The standard precisely defines maliciously tainted and counterfeit products as follows:

"The two major threats that acquirers face today in their COTS ICT procurements, as addressed in this Standard, are defined as:

1. Maliciously tainted product – the product is produced by the provider and is acquired

through a provider’s authorized channel, but has been tampered with maliciously.

2. Counterfeit product – the product is produced other than by, or for, the provider, or is

supplied to the provider by other than a provider’s authorized channel and is presented as being legitimate even though it is not."]

The OTTF announced the Accreditation Program for the OTTP Standard at the recent San Francisco conference. Tell us about the standard and how the accreditation program will help ensure conformance to it?

EC: The program is intended to provide organizations with a way to accredit their lifecycle processes for their product development so they can prevent counterfeit or maliciously tainted components from getting into the products they are selling to an end user or into somebody else’s supply chain. It was determined that a third-party type of assessment program would be used. For the organizations, they will know that we Assessors have gone through a qualification process with The Open Group and that we have in place all that’s required on the management side to properly do an assessment. From the consumer side, they have confidence the assessment has been completed by an independent third-party, so they know we aren’t beholden to the organizations to give them a passing grade when perhaps they don’t deserve it. And then of course The Open Group is in position to oversee the whole process and award the final accreditation based on the recommendation we provide.  The Open Group will also be the arbiter of the process between the assessors and organizations if necessary. 

FP:  So The Open Group’s accreditation authority is validating the results of the assessors.

EC: It’s a model that is employed in many, many other product or process assessment and evaluation programs where the actual accreditation authority steps back and have third parties do the assessment.

FP: It is important that the assessor companies are working to the same standard so that there’s no advantage in taking one assessor over the other in terms of the quality of the assessments that are produced.

How does the accreditation program work?

FP: Well, it’s brand new so we don’t know if it is perfect yet, but having said that, we have worked over several months on defining the process, and we have drawn from The Open Group’s existing accreditation programs, as well as from the forum experts who have worked in the accreditation field for many years. We have been performing pilot accreditations in order to check out how the process works. So it is already tested.

How does it actually work? Well, first of all an organization will feel the need to become accredited and at that point will apply to The Open Group to get the accreditation underway. Once their scope of accreditation – which may be as small as one product or theoretically as large as a whole global company – and once the application is reviewed and approved by The Open Group, then they engage an assessor.

There is a way of sampling a large scope to identify the process variations in a larger scope using something we term ‘selective representative products.’ It’s basically a way of logically sampling a big scope so that we capture the process variations within the scope and make sure that the assessment is kept to a reasonable size for the organization undergoing the assessment, but it also gives good assurance to the consumers that it is a representative sample. The assessment is performed by the Recognized Assessor company, and a final report is written and provided to The Open Group for their validation. If everything is in order, then the company will be accredited and their scope of conformance will be added to the accreditation register and trademarked.

EC: So the customers of that organization can go and check the registration for exactly what products are covered by the scope.

FP: Yes, the register is public and anybody can check. So if IBM says WebSphere is accredited, you can go and check that claim on The Open Group web site.

How long does the process take or does it vary?

EC: It will vary depending on how large the scope to be accredited is in terms of the size of the representative set and the documentation evidence. It really does depend on what the variations in the processes are among the product lines as to how long it takes the assessor to go through the evidence and then to produce the report. The other side of the coin is how long it takes the organization to produce the evidence. It may well be that they might not have it totally there at the outset and will have to create some of it.

FP: As Erin said, it varies by the complexity and the variation of the processes and hence the number of selected representative products. There are other factors that can influence the duration. There are three parties influencing that: The applicant Organization, The Open Group’s Accreditation Authority and the Recognized Assessor.

For example, we found that the initial work by the Organization and the Accreditation Authority in checking the scope and the initial documentation can take a few weeks for a complex scope, of course for the pilots we were all new at doing that. In this early part of the project it is vital to get the scope both clearly defined and approved since it is key to a successful accreditation.

It is important that an Organization assigns adequate resources to help keep this to the shortest time possible, both during the initial scope discussions, and during the assessment. If the Organization can provide all the documentation before they get started, then the assessors are not waiting for that and the duration of the assessment can be kept as short as possible.

Of course the resources assigned by the Recognized Assessor also influences how long an assessment takes. A variable for the assessors is how much documentation do they have to read and review? It might be small or it might be a mountain.

The Open Group’s final review and oversight of the assessment takes some time and is influenced by resource availability within that organization. If they have any questions it may take a little while to resolve.

What kind of safeguards does the accreditation program put in place for enforcing the standard?

FP: It is a voluntary standard—there’s no requirement to comply. Currently some of the U.S. government organizations are recommending it. For example, NASA in their SEWP contract and some of the draft NIST documents on Supply Chain refer to it, too.

EC: In terms of actual oversight, we review what their processes are as assessors, and the report and our recommendations are based on that review. The accreditation expires after three years so before the three years is up, the organization should actually get the process underway to obtain a re-accreditation.  They would have to go through the process again but there will be a few more efficiencies because they’ve done it before. They may also wish to expand the scope to include the other product lines and portions of the company. There aren’t any periodic ‘spot checks’ after accreditation to make sure they’re still following the accredited processes, but part of what we look at during the assessment is that they have controls in place to ensure they continue doing the things they are supposed to be doing in terms of securing their supply chain.

FP:  And then the key part is the agreement the organizations signs with The Open Group includes the fact the organization warrant and represent that they remain in conformance with the standard throughout the accreditation period. So there is that assurance too, which builds on the more formal assessment checks.

What are the next steps for The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum?  What will you be working on this year now that the accreditation program has started?

FP: Reviewing the lessons we learned through the pilot!

EC: And reviewing comments from members on the standard now that it’s publicly available and working on version 1.1 to make any corrections or minor modifications. While that’s going on, we’re also looking ahead to version 2 to make more substantial changes, if necessary. The standard is definitely going to be evolving for a couple of years and then it will reach a steady state, which is the normal evolution for a standard.

For more details on the O-TTPS accreditation program, to apply for accreditation, or to learn more about becoming an O-TTPS Recognized Assessor visit the O-TTPS Accreditation page.

For more information on The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum please visit the OTTF Home Page.

The O-TTPS standard and the O-TTPS Accreditation Policy they are freely available from the Trusted Technology Section in The Open Group Bookstore.

For information on joining the OTTF membership please contact Mike Hickey – m.hickey@opengroup.org

Fiona Pattinson Fiona Pattinson is responsible for developing new and existing atsec service offerings.  Under the auspices of The Open Group’s OTTF, alongside many expert industry colleagues, Fiona has helped develop The Open Group’s O-TTPS, including developing the accreditation program for supply chain security.  In the past, Fiona has led service developments which have included establishing atsec’s US Common Criteria laboratory, the CMVP cryptographic module testing laboratory, the GSA FIPS 201 TP laboratory, TWIC reader compliance testing, NPIVP, SCAP, PCI, biometrics testing and penetration testing. Fiona has responsibility for understanding a broad range of information security topics and the application of security in a wide variety of technology areas from low-level design to the enterprise level.

ErinConnorErin Connor is the Director at EWA-Canada responsible for EWA-Canada’s Information Technology Security Evaluation & Testing Facility, which includes a Common Criteria Test Lab, a Cryptographic & Security Test Lab (FIPS 140 and SCAP), a Payment Assurance Test Lab (device testing for PCI PTS POI & HSM, Australian Payment Clearing Association and Visa mPOS) and an O-TTPS Assessor lab Recognized by the Open Group.  Erin participated with other expert members of the Open Group Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF) in the development of The Open Group Trusted Technology Provider Standard for supply chain security and its accompanying Accreditation Program.  Erin joined EWA-Canada in 1994 and his initial activities in the IT Security and Infrastructure Assurance field included working on the team fielding a large scale Public Key Infrastructure system, Year 2000 remediation and studies of wireless device vulnerabilities.  Since 2000, Erin has been working on evaluations of a wide variety of products including hardware security modules, enterprise security management products, firewalls, mobile device and management products, as well as system and network vulnerability management products.  He was also the only representative of an evaluation lab in the Biometric Evaluation Methodology Working Group, which developed a proposed methodology for the evaluation of biometric technologies under the Common Criteria.

Leave a comment

Filed under Accreditations, Cybersecurity, OTTF, Professional Development, Standards, Supply chain risk

The Open Group and APMG Work Together to Promote TOGAF® and ArchiMate®

The APM Group (APMG) and The Open Group have announced a new partnership whereby APMG will support the accreditation services of The Open Group’s products. The arrangement will initially focus on TOGAF® and ArchiMate®, both standards of The Open Group.

APMG’s team of global assessors will be supporting The Open Group’s internal accreditation team in conducting their assessment activities. The scope of the assessments will focus on organizations, materials and training delivery.

“A significant value to The Open Group in this new venture is the ability to utilize APMG’s team of experienced multi-lingual assessors who are based throughout the world.  This will help The Open Group establish new markets and ensure quality support of existing markets, “ said James de Raeve, Vice President of Certification at The Open Group.

Richard Pharro, CEO of APMG said, “This agreement presents an excellent opportunity to APMG Accredited Training Organizations which are interested in training in The Open Group’s products, as their existing APMG accredited status will be recognized by The Open Group. We believe our global network will significantly enhance the awareness and take up of TOGAF and ArchiMate.”

About The Open Group

The Open Group is an international vendor- and technology-neutral consortium upon which organizations rely to lead the development of IT standards and certifications, and to provide them with access to key industry peers, suppliers and best practices. The Open Group provides guidance and an open environment in order to ensure interoperability and vendor neutrality. Further information on The Open Group can be found at http://opengroup.org.

About APM Group

The APM Group is one of the world’s largest certification bodies for knowledge based workers. As well as the certifications mentioned above, we offer competency-based assessments for specialist roles in the security and aerospace industries. We work with government agencies to help develop people who can achieve great things for the organizations they work for.

4 Comments

Filed under ArchiMate®, Certifications, Professional Development, Standards, TOGAF®

The Open Group London – Day Two Highlights

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications

We eagerly jumped into the second day of our Business Transformation conference in London on Tuesday October 22nd!  The setting is the magnificent Central Hall Westminster.

Steve Nunn, COO of The Open Group and CEO of Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA), started off the morning introducing our plenary based on Healthcare Transformation.  Steve noted that the numbers in healthcare spend are huge and bringing Enterprise Architecture (EA) to healthcare will help with efficiencies.

The well-renowned Dr. Peter Sudbury, Healthcare Specialist with HP Enterprise Services, discussed the healthcare crisis (dollars, demand, demographics), the new healthcare paradigm, barriers to change and innovation. Dr. Sudbury also commented on the real drivers of healthcare costs: healthcare inflation is higher intrinsically; innovation increases cost; productivity improvements lag other industries.

IMG_sudburyDr. Peter Sudbury

Dr. Sudbury, Larry Schmidt (Chief Technologist, HP) and Roar Engen (Head of Enterprise Architecture, Helse Sør-Øst RHF, Norway) participated in the Healthcare Transformation Panel, moderated by Steve Nunn.  The group discussed opportunities for improvement by applying EA in healthcare.  They mentioned that physicians, hospitals, drug manufacturers, nutritionists, etc. should all be working together and using Boundaryless Information Flow™ to ensure data is smoothly shared across all entities.  It was also stated that TOGAF® is beneficial for efficiencies.

Following the panel, Dr. Mario Tokoro (Founder & Executive Advisor of Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc. Japanese Science & Technology Agency, DEOS Project Leader) reviewed the Dependability through Assuredness™ standard, a standard of The Open Group.

The conference also offered many sessions in Finance/Commerce, Government and Tutorials/Workshops.

Margaret Ford, Consult Hyperion, UK and Henk Jonkers of BIZZdesign, Netherlands discussed “From Enterprise Architecture to Cyber Security Risk Assessment”.  The key takeaways were: complex cyber security risks require systematic, model-based risk assessment; attack navigators can provide this by linking ArchiMate® to the Risk Taxonomy.

“Applying Service-Oriented Architecture within a Business Technology Environment in the Finance Sector” was presented by Gerard Peters, Managing Consultant, Capgemini, The Netherlands. This case study is part of a white paper on Service-Oriented Architecture for Business Technology (SOA4BT).

You can view all of the plenary and many of the track presentations at livestream.com.  And for those who attended, full conference proceedings will be available.

The night culminated with a spectacular experience on the London Eye, the largest Ferris wheel in Europe located on the River Thames.

Comments Off

Filed under ArchiMate®, Cloud/SOA, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Healthcare, Professional Development, Service Oriented Architecture, TOGAF®

The Open Group London 2013 – Day One Highlights

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications

On Monday October 21st, The Open Group kicked off the first day of our Business Transformation conference in London!  Over 275 guests attended many engaging presentations by subject matter experts in finance, healthcare and government.  Attendees from around the globe represented 28 countries including those from as far away as Columbia, Philippines, Australia, Japan and South Africa.

Allen Brown, President and CEO of The Open Group, welcomed the prestigious group.  Allen announced that The Open Group has 67 new member organizations so far this year!

The plenary launched with “Just Exactly What is Going On in Business and Technology?” by Andy Mulholland, Former Global CTO of Capgemini, who was named one of the top 25 influential CTOs by InfoWorld.  Andy’s key topics regarding digital disruption included real drivers of change, some big and fundamental implications, business model innovation, TOGAF® and the Open Platform 3.0™ initiative.

Next up was Judith Jones, CEO, Architecting the Enterprise Ltd., with a presentation entitled “One World EA Framework for Governments – The Way Forward”.  Judith shared findings from the World Economic Forum, posing the question “what keeps 1000 global leaders awake at night”? Many stats were presented with over 50 global risks – economical, societal, environmental, geopolitical and technological.

Jim Hietala, VP, Security of The Open Group announced the launch of the Open FAIR Certification for People Program.  The new program brings a much-needed certification to the market which focuses on risk analysis. Key partners include CXOWARE, Architecting the Enterprise, SNA Technologies and The Unit bv.

Richard Shreeve, Consultancy Director, IPL and Angela Parratt, Head of Transformation and joint CIO, Bath and North East Somerset Council presented “Using EA to Inform Business Transformation”.  Their case study addressed the challenges of modeling complexity in diverse organizations and the EA-led approach to driving out cost and complexity while maintaining the quality of service delivery.

Allen Brown announced that the Jericho Forum® leaders together with The Open Group management have concluded that the Jericho Forum has achieved its original mission – to establish “de-perimeterization” that touches all areas of modern business.  In declaring this mission achieved, we are now in the happy position to celebrate a decade of success and move to ensuring that the legacy of the Jericho Forum is both maintained within The Open Group and continues to be built upon.  (See photo below.)

Following the plenary, the sessions were divided into tracks – Finance/Commerce, Healthcare and Tutorials/Workshops.

During the Healthcare track, one of the presenters, Larry Schmidt, Chief Technologist with HP, discussed “Challenges and Opportunities for Big Data in Healthcare”. Larry elaborated on the 4 Vs of Big Data – value, velocity, variety and voracity.

Among the many presenters in the Finance/Commerce track, Omkhar Arasaratnam, Chief Security Architect, TD Bank Group, Canada, featured “Enterprise Architecture – We Do That?: How (not) to do Enterprise Architecture at a Bank”.  Omkhar provided insight as to how he took traditional, top down, center-based architectural methodologies and applied it to a highly federated environment.

Tutorials/workshops consisted of EA Practice and Architecture Methods and Techniques.

You can view all of the plenary and many of the track presentations at livestream.com.  For those who attended, please stay tuned for the full conference proceedings.

The evening concluded with a networking reception at the beautiful and historic and Central Hall Westminster.  What an interesting, insightful, collaborative day it was!

IMG_1311

Comments Off

Filed under Business Architecture, Certifications, Cloud, Cloud/SOA, Conference, Cybersecurity, Information security, Open Platform 3.0, Professional Development, RISK Management, Security Architecture, Standards, TOGAF®

Gaining Dependability Across All Business Activities Requires Standard of Standards to Tame Dynamic Complexity, Says The Open Group CEO

By Dana Gardner, Interarbor Solutions

Listen to the recorded podcast here

Hello, and welcome to a special BriefingsDirect Thought Leadership

Interview series, coming to you in conjunction with The Open Group Conference on July 15, in Philadelphia.

88104-aaadanaI’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host and moderator throughout these discussions on enterprise transformation in the finance, government, and healthcare sector.

We’re here now with the President and CEO of The Open Group, Allen Brown, to explore the increasingly essential role of standards, in an undependable, unpredictable world. [Disclosure: The Open Group is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Welcome back, Allen.

Allen Brown: It’s good to be here, Dana. abrown

Gardner: What are the environmental variables that many companies are facing now as they try to improve their businesses and assess the level of risk and difficulty? It seems like so many moving targets.

 Brown: Absolutely. There are a lot of moving targets. We’re looking at a situation where organizations are having to put in increasingly complex systems. They’re expected to make them highly available, highly safe, highly secure, and to do so faster and cheaper. That’s kind of tough.

Gardner: One of the ways that organizations have been working towards a solution is to have a standardized approach, perhaps some methodologies, because if all the different elements of their business approach this in a different way, we don’t get too far too quickly, and it can actually be more expensive.

Perhaps you could paint for us the vision of an organization like The Open Group in terms of helping organizations standardize and be a little bit more thoughtful and proactive towards these changed elements?

Brown: With the vision of The Open Group, the headline is “Boundaryless Information Flow.” That was established back in 2002, at a time when organizations were breakingdown the stovepipes or the silos within and between organizations and getting people to work together across functioning. They found, having done that, or having made some progress towards that, that the applications and systems were built for those silos. So how can we provide integrated information for all those people?

As we have moved forward, those boundaryless systems have become bigger

and much more complex. Now, boundarylessness and complexity are giving everyone different types of challenges. Many of the forums or consortia that make up The Open Group are all tackling it from their own perspective, and it’s all coming together very well.

We have got something like the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Consortium, which is a managed consortium of The Open Group focused on federal aviation. In the federal aviation world they’re dealing with issues like weapons systems.

New weapons

Over time, building similar weapons is going to be more expensive, inflation happens. But the changing nature of warfare is such that you’ve then got a situation where you’ve got to produce new weapons. You have to produce them quickly and you have to produce them inexpensively.

So how can we have standards that make for more plug and play? How can the avionics within a cockpit of whatever airborne vehicle be more interchangeable, so that they can be adapted more quickly and do things faster and at lower cost.

After all, cost is a major pressure on government departments right now.

We’ve also got the challenges of the supply chain. Because of the pressure on costs, it’s critical that large, complex systems are developed using a global supply chain. It’s impossible to do it all domestically at a cost. Given that, countries around the world, including the US and China, are all concerned about what they’re putting into their complex systems that may have tainted or malicious code or counterfeit products.

The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF) provides a standard that ensures that, at each stage along the supply chain, we know that what’s going into the products is clean, the process is clean, and what goes to the next link in the chain is clean. And we’re working on an accreditation program all along the way.

We’re also in a world, which when we mention security, everyone is concerned about being attacked, whether it’s cybersecurity or other areas of security, and we’ve got to concern ourselves with all of those as we go along the way.

Our Security Forum is looking at how we build those things out. The big thing about large, complex systems is that they’re large and complex. If something goes wrong, how can you fix it in a prescribed time scale? How can you establish what went wrong quickly and how can you address it quickly?

If you’ve got large, complex systems that fail, it can mean human life, as it did with the BP oil disaster at Deepwater Horizon or with Space Shuttle Challenger. Or it could be financial. In many organizations, when something goes wrong, you end up giving away service.

An example that we might use is at a railway station where, if the barriers don’t work, the only solution may be to open them up and give free access. That could be expensive. And you can use that analogy for many other industries, but how can we avoid that human or financial cost in any of those things?

A couple of years after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, a number of criteria were laid down for making sure you had dependable systems, you could assess risk, and you could know that you would mitigate against it.

What The Open Group members are doing is looking at how you can get dependability and assuredness through different systems. Our Security Forum has done a couple of standards that have got a real bearing on this. One is called Dependency Modeling, and you can model out all of the dependencies that you have in any system.

Simple analogy

A very simple analogy is that if you are going on a road trip in a car, you’ve got to have a competent driver, have enough gas in the tank, know where you’re going, have a map, all of those things.

What can go wrong? You can assess the risks. You may run out of gas or you may not know where you’re going, but you can mitigate those risks, and you can also assign accountability. If the gas gauge is going down, it’s the driver’s accountability to check the gauge and make sure that more gas is put in.

We’re trying to get that same sort of thinking through to these large complex systems. What you’re looking at doing, as you develop or evolve large, complex systems, is to build in this accountability and build in understanding of the dependencies, understanding of the assurance cases that you need, and having these ways of identifying anomalies early, preventing anything from failing. If it does fail, you want to minimize the stoppage and, at the same time, minimize the cost and the impact, and more importantly, making sure that that failure never happens again in that system.

The Security Forum has done the Dependency Modeling standard. They have also provided us with the Risk Taxonomy. That’s a separate standard that helps us analyze risk and go through all of the different areas of risk.

Now, the Real-time & Embedded Systems Forum has produced the Dependability through Assuredness, a standard of The Open Group, that brings all of these things together. We’ve had a wonderful international endeavor on this, bringing a lot of work from Japan, working with the folks in the US and other parts of the world. It’s been a unique activity.

Dependability through Assuredness depends upon having two interlocked cycles. The first is a Change Management Cycle that says that, as you look at requirements, you build out the dependencies, you build out the assurance cases for those dependencies, and you update the architecture. Everything has to start with architecture now.

You build in accountability, and accountability, importantly, has to be accepted. You can’t just dictate that someone is accountable. You have to have a negotiation. Then, through ordinary operation, you assess whether there are anomalies that can be detected and fix those anomalies by new requirements that lead to new dependabilities, new assurance cases, new architecture and so on.

The other cycle that’s critical in this, though, is the Failure Response Cycle. If there is a perceived failure or an actual failure, there is understanding of the cause, prevention of it ever happening again, and repair. That goes through the Change Accommodation Cycle as well, to make sure that we update the requirements, the assurance cases, the dependability, the architecture, and the accountability.

So the plan is that with a dependable system through that assuredness, we can manage these large, complex systems much more easily.

Gardner: Allen, many of The Open Group activities have been focused at the enterprise architect or business architect levels. Also with these risk and security issues, you’re focusing at chief information security officers or governance, risk, and compliance (GRC), officials or administrators. It sounds as if the Dependability through Assuredness standard shoots a little higher. Is this something a board-level mentality or leadership should be thinking about, and is this something that reports to them?

Board-level issue

Brown: In an organization, risk is a board-level issue, security has become a board-level issue, and so has organization design and architecture. They’re all up at that level. It’s a matter of the fiscal responsibility of the board to make sure that the organization is sustainable, and to make sure that they’ve taken the right actions to protect their organization in the future, in the event of an attack or a failure in their activities.

The risks to an organization are financial and reputation, and those risks can be very real. So, yes, they should be up there. Interestingly, when we’re looking at areas like business architecture, sometimes that might be part of the IT function, but very often now we’re seeing as reporting through the business lines. Even in governments around the world, the business architects are very often reporting up to business heads.

Gardner: Here in Philadelphia, you’re focused on some industry verticals, finance, government, health. We had a very interesting presentation this morning by Dr. David Nash, who is the Dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health, and he had some very interesting insights about what’s going on in the United States vis-à-vis public policy and healthcare.

One of the things that jumped out at me was, at the end of his presentation, he was saying how important it was to have behavior modification as an element of not only individuals taking better care of themselves, but also how hospitals, providers, and even payers relate across those boundaries of their organization.

That brings me back to this notion that these standards are very powerful and useful, but without getting people to change, they don’t have the impact that they should. So is there an element that you’ve learned and that perhaps we can borrow from Dr. Nash in terms of applying methods that actually provoke change, rather than react to change?

Brown: Yes, change is a challenge for many people. Getting people to change is like taking a horse to water, but will it drink? We’ve got to find methods of doing that.

One of the things about The Open Group standards is that they’re pragmatic and practical standards. We’ve seen’ in many of our standards’ that where they apply to product or service, there is a procurement pull through. So the FACE Consortium, for example, a $30 billion procurement means that this is real and true.

In the case of healthcare, Dr. Nash was talking about the need for boundaryless information sharing across the organizations. This is a major change and it’s a change to the culture of the organizations that are involved. It’s also a change to the consumer, the patient, and the patient advocates.

All of those will change over time. Some of that will be social change, where the change is expected and it’s a social norm. Some of that change will change as people and generations develop. The younger generations are more comfortable with authority that they perceive with the healthcare professionals, and also of modifying the behavior of the professionals.

The great thing about the healthcare service very often is that we have professionals who want to do a number of things. They want to improve the lives of their patients, and they also want to be able to do more with less.

Already a need

There’s already a need. If you want to make any change, you have to create a need, but in healthcare, there is already a pent-up need that people see that they want to change. We can provide them with the tools and the standards that enable it to do that, and standards are critically important, because you are using the same language across everyone.

It’s much easier for people to apply the same standards if they are using the same language, and you get a multiplier effect on the rate of change that you can achieve by using those standards. But I believe that there is this pent-up demand. The need for change is there. If we can provide them with the appropriate usable standards, they will benefit more rapidly.

Gardner: Of course, measuring the progress with the standards approach helps as well. We can determine where we are along the path as either improvements are happening or not happening. It gives you a common way of measuring.

The other thing that was fascinating to me with Dr. Nash’s discussion was that he was almost imploring the IT people in the crowd to come to the rescue. He’s looking for a cavalry and he’d really seemed to feel that IT, the data, the applications, the sharing, the collaboration, and what can happen across various networks, all need to be brought into this.

How do we bring these worlds together? There is this policy, healthcare and population statisticians are doing great academic work, and then there is the whole IT world. Is this something that The Open Group can do — bridge these large, seemingly unrelated worlds?

Brown: At the moment, we have the capability of providing the tools for them to do that and the processes for them to do that. Healthcare is a very complex world with the administrators and the healthcare professionals. You have different grades of those in different places. Each department and each organization has its different culture, and bringing them together is a significant challenge.

In some of that processes, certainly, you start with understanding what it is you’re trying to address. You start with what are the pain points, what are the challenges, what are the blockages, and how can we overcome those blockages? It’s a way of bringing people together in workshops. TOGAF, a standard of The Open Group, has the business scenario method, bringing people together, building business scenarios, and understanding what people’s pain points are.

As long as we can then follow through with the solutions and not disappoint people, there is the opportunity for doing that. The reality is that you have to do that in small areas at a time. We’re not going to take the entire population of the United States and get everyone in the workshop and work altogether.

But you can start in pockets and then generate evangelists, proof points, and successful case studies. The work will then start emanating out to all other areas.

Gardner: It seems too that, with a heightened focus on vertical industries, there are lessons that could be learned in one vertical industry and perhaps applied to another. That also came out in some of the discussions around big data here at the conference.

The financial industry recognized the crucial role that data plays, made investments, and brought the constituencies of domain expertise in finance with the IT domain expertise in data and analysis, and came up with some very impressive results.

Do you see that what has been the case in something like finance is now making its way to healthcare? Is this an enterprise or business architect role that opens up more opportunity for those individuals as business and/or enterprise architects in healthcare? Why don’t we see more enterprise architects in healthcare?

Good folks

Brown: I don’t know. We haven’t run the numbers to see how many there are. There are some very competent enterprise architects within the healthcare industry around the world. We’ve got some good folks there.

The focus of The Open Group for the last couple of decades or so has always been on horizontal standards, standards that are applicable to any industry. Our focus is always about pragmatic standards that can be implemented and touched and felt by end-user consumer organizations.

Now, we’re seeing how we can make those even more pragmatic and relevant by addressing the verticals, but we’re not going to lose the horizontal focus. We’ll be looking at what lessons can be learned and what we can build on. Big data is a great example of the fact that the same kind of approach of gathering the data from different sources, whatever that is, and for mixing it up and being able to analyze it, can be applied anywhere.

The challenge with that, of course, is being able to capture it, store it, analyze it, and make some sense of it. You need the resources, the storage, and the capability of actually doing that. It’s not just a case of, “I’ll go and get some big data today.”

I do believe that there are lessons learned that we can move from one industry to another. I also believe that, since some geographic areas and some countries are ahead of others, there’s also a cascading of knowledge and capability around the world in a given time scale as well.

Gardner: Well great. I’m afraid we’ll have to leave it there. We’ve been talking about the increasingly essential role of standards in a complex world, where risk and dependability become even more essential. We have seen how The Open Group is evolving to meet these challenges through many of its activities and through many of the discussions here at the conference.

Please join me now in thanking our guest, Allen Brown, President and CEO of The Open Group. Thank you.

Brown: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Dana.

Comments Off

Filed under ArchiMate®, Business Architecture, Cloud, Conference, Enterprise Architecture, Healthcare, Open Platform 3.0, Professional Development, Service Oriented Architecture, TOGAF, TOGAF®

Speaking the Language of Business with TOGAF®

By Glenn Evans, Senior Consultant at Enterprise Architects

TOGAF-A-personal-journey

I remember as a young child coming from a ‘non-sports obsessed’ family, I didn’t know what a yorker was, didn’t know what ‘LBW’ meant, or why Dennis Lillee or Geoffrey Boycott were such legends. I was ill equipped to join in on those all-important schoolboy conversations – the Monday morning autopsy of the weekend’s sporting events. Similarly, 30 years later, enterprise architecture presented me with the same dilemma. 

I remember as a junior IT engineer, I’d hear the technology choice made by the customer was for ‘business reasons’, not what was logical in my technical view of the world. I now see ‘Architecture’ was influencing the project decisions, it was the source of the ‘business reasons’.

In my early days as an Architect, it was like being back at primary school; I struggled with the conversation. There was a level of assumed knowledge with respect to the conversation and the process that was not readily accessible to me. So, I learnt the long and hard way.

Fast forward a decade or so… As a mandatory requirement of my new role with Enterprise Architects I recently attended our TOGAF® training. To be honest, I anticipated another dry, idealistic framework that, whilst relevant to the work that I do, would probably not be all that practical and would be difficult to apply to a real world situation. How wrong was I?

Don’t misunderstand! The TOGAF® manual is dry! Yes it is “another framework” and yes you do need to tailor it to the situation you are in, but this is one of its greatest strengths, this is what makes it so flexible and therefore relevant and applicable to real world situations. But it’s not the framework itself that has me excited. It’s what it enables.

To me TOGAF®:

  • Is a common language, linking the discovery from each of the domains together and to the business requirements, across different levels of the business in an iterative process.
  • Provides a toolset to articulate the complex, simply. 
  • Provides a backstop, giving traceable, auditable decision support for those difficult conversations.
  • Allows the development of focused visual models of complex and disparate sets of data.

This was clearly demonstrated to me on a recent engagement. I was deep in thought, staring at a collection of printed Architecture Models displayed on a wall. One of the admin staff with no IT or business background asked me what “it all meant”. I spent a few minutes explaining that these were models of the business and the technology used in it. Not only did they immediately understand the overall concept of what they were looking at, they were actually able to start extracting real insights from the models.

In my mind, it doesn’t get any better than that. I wish I had known about TOGAF® a decade ago, I would have been a better architect – and a lot sooner.

Glenn EvansGlenn Evans is a Senior Consultant for Enterprise Architects and is based in Melbourne, Australia.

This is an extract from Glenn’s recent blog post on the Enterprise Architects web site which you can view here.

2 Comments

Filed under Certifications, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Professional Development, TOGAF, TOGAF®

The Open Group Conference to Emphasize Healthcare as Key Sector for Ecosystem-Wide Interactions

By Dana Gardner, Interarbor Solutions

Listen to the recorded podcast here

Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to a special BriefingsDirect Thought Leadership Interview series, coming to you in conjunction with The Open Group Conference on July 15, in Philadelphia. Registration to the conference remains open. Follow the conference on Twitter at #ogPHL.

Gardner

I’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host and moderator throughout these discussions on enterprise transformation in the finance, government, and healthcare sector.

We’re here now with a panel of experts to explore how new IT trends are empowering improvements, specifically in the area of healthcare. We’ll learn how healthcare industry organizations are seeking large-scale transformation and what are some of the paths they’re taking to realize that.

We’ll see how improved cross-organizational collaboration and such trends as big data and cloud computing are helping to make healthcare more responsive and efficient.

With that, please join me in welcoming our panel, Jason Uppal, Chief Architect and Acting CEO at clinicalMessage. Welcome, Jason.

Jason Uppal: Thank you, Dana.

Inside of healthcare and inside the healthcare ecosystem, information either doesn’t flow well or it only flows at a great cost.

Gardner: And we’re also joined by Larry Schmidt, Chief Technologist at HP for the Health and Life Sciences Industries. Welcome, Larry.

Larry Schmidt: Thank you.

Gardner: And also, Jim Hietala, Vice President of Security at The Open Group. Welcome back, Jim. [Disclosure: The Open Group and HP are sponsors of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Jim Hietala: Thanks, Dana. Good to be with you.

Gardner: Let’s take a look at this very interesting and dynamic healthcare sector, Jim. What, in particular, is so special about healthcare and why do things like enterprise architecture and allowing for better interoperability and communication across organizational boundaries seem to be so relevant here?

Hietala: There’s general acknowledgement in the industry that, inside of healthcare and inside the healthcare ecosystem, information either doesn’t flow well or it only flows at a great cost in terms of custom integration projects and things like that.

Fertile ground

From The Open Group’s perspective, it seems that the healthcare industry and the ecosystem really is fertile ground for bringing to bear some of the enterprise architecture concepts that we work with at The Open Group in order to improve, not only how information flows, but ultimately, how patient care occurs.

Gardner: Larry Schmidt, similar question to you. What are some of the unique challenges that are facing the healthcare community as they try to improve on responsiveness, efficiency, and greater capabilities?

Schmidt: There are several things that have not really kept up with what technology is able to do today.

For example, the whole concept of personal observation comes into play in what we would call “value chains” that exist right now between a patient and a doctor. We look at things like mobile technologies and want to be able to leverage that to provide additional observation of an individual, so that the doctor can make a more complete diagnosis of some sickness or possibly some medication that a person is on.

We want to be able to see that observation in real life, as opposed to having to take that in at the office, which typically winds up happening. I don’t know about everybody else, but every time I go see my doctor, oftentimes I get what’s called white coat syndrome. My blood pressure will go up. But that’s not giving the doctor an accurate reading from the standpoint of providing great observations.

Technology has advanced to the point where we can do that in real time using mobile and other technologies, yet the communication flow, that information flow, doesn’t exist today, or is at best, not easily communicated between doctor and patient.

There are plenty of places that additional collaboration and communication can improve the whole healthcare delivery model.

If you look at the ecosystem, as Jim offered, there are plenty of places that additional collaboration and communication can improve the whole healthcare delivery model.

That’s what we’re about. We want to be able to find the places where the technology has advanced, where standards don’t exist today, and just fuel the idea of building common communication methods between those stakeholders and entities, allowing us to then further the flow of good information across the healthcare delivery model.

Gardner: Jason Uppal, let’s think about what, in addition to technology, architecture, and methodologies can bring to bear here? Is there also a lag in terms of process thinking in healthcare, as well as perhaps technology adoption?

Uppal: I’m going to refer to a presentation that I watched from a very well-known surgeon from Harvard, Dr. Atul Gawande. His point was is that, in the last 50 years, the medical industry has made great strides in identifying diseases, drugs, procedures, and therapies, but one thing that he was alluding to was that medicine forgot the cost, that everything is cost.

At what price?

Today, in his view, we can cure a lot of diseases and lot of issues, but at what price? Can anybody actually afford it?

Uppal

His view is that if healthcare is going to change and improve, it has to be outside of the medical industry. The tools that we have are better today, like collaborative tools that are available for us to use, and those are the ones that he was recommending that we need to explore further.

That is where enterprise architecture is a powerful methodology to use and say, “Let’s take a look at it from a holistic point of view of all the stakeholders. See what their information needs are. Get that information to them in real time and let them make the right decisions.”

Therefore, there is no reason for the health information to be stuck in organizations. It could go with where the patient and providers are, and let them make the best decision, based on the best practices that are available to them, as opposed to having siloed information.

So enterprise-architecture methods are most suited for developing a very collaborative environment. Dr. Gawande was pointing out that, if healthcare is going to improve, it has to think about it not as medicine, but as healthcare delivery.

There are definitely complexities that occur based on the different insurance models and how healthcare is delivered across and between countries.

Gardner: And it seems that not only are there challenges in terms of technology adoption and even operating more like an efficient business in some ways. We also have very different climates from country to country, jurisdiction to jurisdiction. There are regulations, compliance, and so forth.

Going back to you, Larry, how important of an issue is that? How complex does it get because we have such different approaches to healthcare and insurance from country to country?

Schmidt: There are definitely complexities that occur based on the different insurance models and how healthcare is delivered across and between countries, but some of the basic and fundamental activities in the past that happened as a result of delivering healthcare are consistent across countries.

As Jason has offered, enterprise architecture can provide us the means to explore what the art of the possible might be today. It could allow us the opportunity to see how innovation can occur if we enable better communication flow between the stakeholders that exist with any healthcare delivery model in order to give us the opportunity to improve the overall population.

After all, that’s what this is all about. We want to be able to enable a collaborative model throughout the stakeholders to improve the overall health of the population. I think that’s pretty consistent across any country that we might work in.

Ongoing work

Gardner: Jim Hietala, maybe you could help us better understand what’s going on within The Open Group and, even more specifically, at the conference in Philadelphia. There is the Population Health Working Group and there is work towards a vision of enabling the boundaryless information flow between the stakeholders. Any other information and detail you could offer would be great.[Registration to the conference remains open. Follow the conference on Twitter at #ogPHL.]

Hietala: On Tuesday of the conference, we have a healthcare focus day. The keynote that morning will be given by Dr. David Nash, Dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health. He’ll give what’s sure to be a pretty interesting presentation, followed by a reactors’ panel, where we’ve invited folks from different stakeholder constituencies.

Hietala

We are going to have clinicians there. We’re going to have some IT folks and some actual patients to give their reaction to Dr. Nash’s presentation. We think that will be an interesting and entertaining panel discussion.

The balance of the day, in terms of the healthcare content, we have a workshop. Larry Schmidt is giving one of the presentations there, and Jason and myself and some other folks from our working group are involved in helping to facilitate and carry out the workshop.

The goal of it is to look into healthcare challenges, desired outcomes, the extended healthcare enterprise, and the extended healthcare IT enterprise and really gather those pain points that are out there around things like interoperability to surface those and develop a work program coming out of this.

We want to be able to enable a collaborative model throughout the stakeholders to improve the overall health of the population.

So we expect it to be an interesting day if you are in the healthcare IT field or just the healthcare field generally, it would definitely be a day well spent to check it out.

Gardner: Larry, you’re going to be talking on Tuesday. Without giving too much away, maybe you can help us understand the emphasis that you’re taking, the area that you’re going to be exploring.

Schmidt: I’ve titled the presentation “Remixing Healthcare through Enterprise Architecture.” Jason offered some thoughts as to why we want to leverage enterprise architecture to discipline healthcare. My thoughts are that we want to be able to make sure we understand how the collaborative model would work in healthcare, taking into consideration all the constituents and stakeholders that exist within the complete ecosystem of healthcare.

This is not just collaboration across the doctors, patients, and maybe the payers in a healthcare delivery model. This could be out as far as the drug companies and being able to get drug companies to a point where they can reorder their raw materials to produce new drugs in the case of an epidemic that might be occurring.

Real-time model

It would be a real-time model that allows us the opportunity to understand what’s truly happening, both to an individual from a healthcare standpoint, as well as to a country or a region within a country and so on from healthcare. This remixing of enterprise architecture is the introduction to that concept of leveraging enterprise architecture into this collaborative model.

Then, I would like to talk about some of the technologies that I’ve had the opportunity to explore around what is available today in technology. I believe we need to have some type of standardized messaging or collaboration models to allow us to further facilitate the ability of that technology to provide the value of healthcare delivery or betterment of healthcare to individuals. I’ll talk about that a little bit within my presentation and give some good examples.

It’s really interesting. I just traveled from my company’s home base back to my home base and I thought about something like a body scanner that you get into in the airport. I know we’re in the process of eliminating some of those scanners now within the security model from the airports, but could that possibly be something that becomes an element within healthcare delivery? Every time your body is scanned, there’s a possibility you can gather information about that, and allow that to become a part of your electronic medical record.

There is a lot of information available today that could be used in helping our population to be healthier.

Hopefully, that was forward thinking, but that kind of thinking is going to play into the art of the possible, with what we are going to be doing, both in this presentation and talking about that as part of the workshop.

Gardner: Larry, we’ve been having some other discussions with The Open Group around what they call Open Platform 3.0™, which is the confluence of big data, mobile, cloud computing, and social.

One of the big issues today is this avalanche of data, the Internet of things, but also the Internet of people. It seems that the more work that’s done to bring Open Platform 3.0 benefits to bear on business decisions, it could very well be impactful for centers and other data that comes from patients, regardless of where they are, to a medical establishment, regardless of where it is.

So do you think we’re really on the cusp of a significant shift in how medicine is actually conducted?

Schmidt: I absolutely believe that. There is a lot of information available today that could be used in helping our population to be healthier. And it really isn’t only the challenge of the communication model that we’ve been speaking about so far. It’s also understanding the information that’s available to us to take that and make that into knowledge to be applied in order to help improve the health of the population.

As we explore this from an as-is model in enterprise architecture to something that we believe we can first enable through a great collaboration model, through standardized messaging and things like that, I believe we’re going to get into even deeper detail around how information can truly provide empowered decisions to physicians and individuals around their healthcare.

So it will carry forward into the big data and analytics challenges that we have talked about and currently are talking about with The Open Group.

Healthcare framework

Gardner: Jason Uppal, we’ve also seen how in other business sectors, industries have faced transformation and have needed to rely on something like enterprise architecture and a framework like TOGAF® in order to manage that process and make it something that’s standardized, understood, and repeatable.

It seems to me that healthcare can certainly use that, given the pace of change, but that the impact on healthcare could be quite a bit larger in terms of actual dollars. This is such a large part of the economy that even small incremental improvements can have dramatic effects when it comes to dollars and cents.

So is there a benefit to bringing enterprise architect to healthcare that is larger and greater than other sectors because of these economics and issues of scale?

Uppal: That’s a great way to think about this thing. In other industries, applying enterprise architecture to do banking and insurance may be easily measured in terms of dollars and cents, but healthcare is a fundamentally different economy and industry.

It’s not about dollars and cents. It’s about people’s lives, and loved ones who are sick, who could very easily be treated, if they’re caught in time and the right people are around the table at the right time. So this is more about human cost than dollars and cents. Dollars and cents are critical, but human cost is the larger play here.

Whatever systems and methods are developed, they have to work for everybody in the world.

Secondly, when we think about applying enterprise architecture to healthcare, we’re not talking about just the U.S. population. We’re talking about global population here. So whatever systems and methods are developed, they have to work for everybody in the world. If the U.S. economy can afford an expensive healthcare delivery, what about the countries that don’t have the same kind of resources? Whatever methods and delivery mechanisms you develop have to work for everybody globally.

That’s one of the things that a methodology like TOGAF brings out and says to look at it from every stakeholder’s point of view, and unless you have dealt with every stakeholder’s concerns, you don’t have an architecture, you have a system that’s designed for that specific set of audience.

The cost is not this 18 percent of the gross domestic product in the U.S. that is representing healthcare. It’s the human cost, which is many multitudes of that. That’s is one of the areas where we could really start to think about how do we affect that part of the economy, not the 18 percent of it, but the larger part of the economy, to improve the health of the population, not only in the North America, but globally.

If that’s the case, then what really will be the impact on our greater world economy is improving population health, and population health is probably becoming our biggest problem in our economy.

We’ll be testing these methods at a greater international level, as opposed to just at an organization and industry level. This is a much larger challenge. A methodology like TOGAF is a proven and it could be stressed and tested to that level. This is a great opportunity for us to apply our tools and science to a problem that is larger than just dollars. It’s about humans.

All “experts”

Gardner: Jim Hietala, in some ways, we’re all experts on healthcare. When we’re sick, we go for help and interact with a variety of different services to maintain our health and to improve our lifestyle. But in being experts, I guess that also means we are witnesses to some of the downside of an unconnected ecosystem of healthcare providers and payers.

One of the things I’ve noticed in that vein is that I have to deal with different organizations that don’t seem to communicate well. If there’s no central process organizer, it’s really up to me as the patient to pull the lines together between the different services — tests, clinical observations, diagnosis, back for results from tests, sharing the information, and so forth.

Have you done any studies or have anecdotal information about how that boundaryless information flow would be still relevant, even having more of a centralized repository that all the players could draw on, sort of a collaboration team resource of some sort? I know that’s worked in other industries. Is this not a perfect opportunity for that boundarylessness to be managed?

Hietala: I would say it is. We all have experiences with going to see a primary physician, maybe getting sent to a specialist, getting some tests done, and the boundaryless information that’s flowing tends to be on paper delivered by us as patients in all the cases.

So the opportunity to improve that situation is pretty obvious to anybody who’s been in the healthcare system as a patient. I think it’s a great place to be doing work. There’s a lot of money flowing to try and address this problem, at least here in the U.S. with the HITECH Act and some of the government spending around trying to improve healthcare.

We’ll be testing these methods at a greater international level, as opposed to just at an organization and industry level.

You’ve got healthcare information exchanges that are starting to develop, and you have got lots of pain points for organizations in terms of trying to share information and not having standards that enable them to do it. It seems like an area that’s really a great opportunity area to bring lots of improvement.

Gardner: Let’s look for some examples of where this has been attempted and what the success brings about. I’ll throw this out to anyone on the panel. Do you have any examples that you can point to, either named organizations or anecdotal use case scenarios, of a better organization, an architectural approach, leveraging IT efficiently and effectively, allowing data to flow, putting in processes that are repeatable, centralized, organized, and understood. How does that work out?

Uppal: I’ll give you an example. One of the things that happens when a patient is admitted to hospital and in hospital is that they get what’s called a high-voltage care. There is staff around them 24×7. There are lots of people around, and every specialty that you can think of is available to them. So the patient, in about two or three days, starts to feel much better.

When that patient gets discharged, they get discharged to home most of the time. They go from very high-voltage care to next to no care. This is one of the areas where in one of the organizations we work with is able to discharge the patient and, instead of discharging them to the primary care doc, who may not receive any records from the hospital for several days, they get discharged to into a virtual team. So if the patient is at home, the virtual team is available to them through their mobile phone 24×7.

Connect with provider

If, at 3 o’clock in the morning, the patient doesn’t feel right, instead of having to call an ambulance to go to hospital once again and get readmitted, they have a chance to connect with their care provider at that time and say, “This is what the issue is. What do you want me to do next? Is this normal for the medication that I am on, or this is something abnormal that is happening?”

When that information is available to that care provider who may not necessarily have been part of the care team when the patient was in the hospital, that quick readily available information is key for keeping that person at home, as opposed to being readmitted to the hospital.

We all know that the cost of being in a hospital is 10 times more than it is being at home. But there’s also inconvenience and human suffering associated with being in a hospital, as opposed to being at home.

Those are some of the examples that we have, but they are very limited, because our current health ecosystem is a very organization specific, not  patient and provider specific. This is the area there is a huge room for opportunities for healthcare delivery, thinking about health information, not in the context of the organization where the patient is, as opposed to in a cloud, where it’s an association between the patient and provider and health information that’s there.

Extending that model will bring infinite value to not only reducing the cost, but improving the cost and quality of care.

In the past, we used to have emails that were within our four walls. All of a sudden, with Gmail and Yahoo Mail, we have email available to us anywhere. A similar thing could be happening for the healthcare record. This could be somewhere in the cloud’s eco setting, where it’s securely protected and used by only people who have granted access to it.

Those are some of the examples where extending that model will bring infinite value to not only reducing the cost, but improving the cost and quality of care.

Schmidt: Jason touched upon the home healthcare scenario and being able to provide touch points at home. Another place that we see evolving right now in the industry is the whole concept of mobile office space. Both countries, as well as rural places within countries that are developed, are actually getting rural hospitals and rural healthcare offices dropped in by helicopter to allow the people who live in those communities to have the opportunity to talk to a doctor via satellite technologies and so on.

The whole concept of a architecture around and being able to deal with an extension of what truly lines up being telemedicine is something that we’re seeing today. It would be wonderful if we could point to things like standards that allow us to be able to facilitate both the communication protocols as well as the information flows in that type of setting.

Many corporations can jump on the bandwagon to help the rural communities get the healthcare information and capabilities that they need via the whole concept of telemedicine.

That’s another area where enterprise architecture has come into play. Now that we see examples of that working in the industry today, I am hoping that as part of this working group, we’ll get to the point where we’re able to facilitate that much better, enabling innovation to occur for multiple companies via some of the architecture or the architecture work we are planning on producing.

Single view

Gardner: It seems that we’ve come a long way on the business side in many industries of getting a single view of the customer, as it’s called, the customer relationship management, big data, spreading the analysis around among different data sources and types. This sounds like a perfect fit for a single view of the patient across their life, across their care spectrum, and then of course involving many different types of organizations. But the government also needs to have a role here.

Jim Hietala, at The Open Group Conference in Philadelphia, you’re focusing on not only healthcare, but finance and government. Regarding the government and some of the agencies that you all have as members on some of your panels, how well do they perceive this need for enterprise architecture level abilities to be brought to this healthcare issue?

Hietala: We’ve seen encouraging signs from folks in government that are encouraging to us in bringing this work to the forefront. There is a recognition that there needs to be better data flowing throughout the extended healthcare IT ecosystem, and I think generally they are supportive of initiatives like this to make that happen.

Gardner: Of course having conferences like this, where you have a cross pollination between vertical industries, will perhaps allow some of the technical people to talk with some of the government people too and also have a conversation with some of the healthcare people. That’s where some of these ideas and some of the collaboration could also be very powerful.

We’ve seen encouraging signs from folks in government that are encouraging to us in bringing this work to the forefront.

I’m afraid we’re almost out of time. We’ve been talking about an interesting healthcare transition, moving into a new phase or even era of healthcare.

Our panel of experts have been looking at some of the trends in IT and how they are empowering improvement for how healthcare can be more responsive and efficient. And we’ve seen how healthcare industry organizations can take large scale transformation using cross-organizational collaboration, for example, and other such tools as big data, analytics, and cloud computing to help solve some of these issues.

This special BriefingsDirect discussion comes to you in conjunction with The Open Group Conference this July in Philadelphia. Registration to the conference remains open. Follow the conference on Twitter at #ogPHL, and you will hear more about healthcare or Open Platform 3.0 as well as enterprise transformation in the finance, government, and healthcare sectors.

With that, I’d like to thank our panel. We’ve been joined today by Jason Uppal, Chief Architect and Acting CEO at clinicalMessage. Thank you so much, Jason.

Uppal: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: And also Larry Schmidt, Chief Technologist at HP for the Health and Life Sciences Industries. Thanks, Larry.

Schmidt: You bet, appreciate the time to share my thoughts. Thank you.

Gardner: And then also Jim Hietala, Vice President of Security at The Open Group. Thanks so much.

Hietala: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host and moderator throughout these thought leader interviews. Thanks again for listening and come back next time.

Comments Off

Filed under ArchiMate®, Business Architecture, Cloud, Conference, Enterprise Architecture, Healthcare, Open Platform 3.0, Professional Development, Service Oriented Architecture, TOGAF, TOGAF®

As Platform 3.0 ripens, expect agile access and distribution of actionable intelligence across enterprises, says The Open Group panel

By Dana Gardner, Interarbor Solutions

Listen to the recorded podcast here

This latest BriefingsDirect discussion, leading into the The Open Group Conference on July 15 in Philadelphia, brings together a panel of experts to explore the business implications of the current shift to so-called Platform 3.0.

Known as the new model through which big data, cloud, and mobile and social — in combination — allow for advanced intelligence and automation in business, Platform 3.0 has so far lacked standards or even clear definitions.

The Open Group and its community are poised to change that, and we’re here now to learn more how to leverage Platform 3.0 as more than a IT shift — and as a business game-changer. It will be a big topic at next week’s conference.

The panel: Dave Lounsbury, Chief Technical Officer at The Open Group; Chris Harding, Director of Interoperability at The Open Group, and Mark Skilton, Global Director in the Strategy Office at Capgemini. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

This special BriefingsDirect thought leadership interview comes in conjunction with The Open Group Conference, which is focused on enterprise transformation in the finance, government, and healthcare sectors. Registration to the conference remains open. Follow the conference on Twitter at #ogPHL. [Disclosure: The Open Group is a sponsor of this and other BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Here are some excerpts:

Gardner: A lot of people are still wrapping their minds around this notion of Platform 3.0, something that is a whole greater than the sum of the parts. Why is this more than an IT conversation or a shift in how things are delivered? Why are the business implications momentous?

Lounsbury: Well, Dana, there are lot of IT changes or technical changes going on that are bringing together a lot of factors. They’re turning into this sort of super-saturated solution of ideas and possibilities and this emerging idea that this represents a new platform. I think it’s a pretty fundamental change.

Lounsbury

If you look at history, not just the history of IT, but all of human history, you see that step changes in societies and organizations are frequently driven by communication or connectedness. Think about the evolution of speech or the invention of the alphabet or movable-type printing. These technical innovations that we’re seeing are bringing together these vast sources of data about the world around us and doing it in real time.

Further, we’re starting to see a lot of rapid evolution in how you turn data into information and presenting the information in a way such that people can make decisions on it. Given all that we’re starting to realize, we’re on the cusp of another step of connectedness and awareness.

Fundamental changes

This really is going to drive some fundamental changes in the way we organize ourselves. Part of what The Open Group is doing, trying to bring Platform 3.0 together, is to try to get ahead of this and make sure that we understand not just what technical standards are needed, but how businesses will need to adapt and evolve what business processes they need to put in place in order to take maximum advantage of this to see change in the way that we look at the information.

Harding: Enterprises have to keep up with the way that things are moving in order to keep their positions in their industries. Enterprises can’t afford to be working with yesterday’s technology. It’s a case of being able to understand the information that they’re presented, and make the best decisions.

Harding

We’ve always talked about computers being about input, process, and output. Years ago, the input might have been through a teletype, the processing on a computer in the back office, and the output on print-out paper.

Now, we’re talking about the input being through a range of sensors and social media, the processing is done on the cloud, and the output goes to your mobile device, so you have it wherever you are when you need it. Enterprises that stick in the past are probably going to suffer.

Gardner: Mark Skilton, the ability to manage data at greater speed and scale, the whole three Vs — velocity, volume, and value — on its own could perhaps be a game changing shift in the market. The drive of mobile devices into lives of both consumers and workers is also a very big deal.

Of course, cloud has been an ongoing evolution of emphasis towards agility and efficiency in how workloads are supported. But is there something about the combination of how these are coming together at this particular time that, in your opinion, substantiates The Open Group’s emphasis on this as a literal platform shift?

Skilton: It is exactly that in terms of the workloads. The world we’re now into is the multi-workload environment, where you have mobile workloads, storage and compute workloads, and social networking workloads. There are many different types of data and traffic today in different cloud platforms and devices.

Skilton

It has to do with not just one solution, not one subscription model — because we’re now into this subscription-model era … the subscription economy, as one group tends to describe it. Now, we’re looking for not only just providing the security, the infrastructure, to deliver this kind of capability to a mobile device, as Chris was saying. The question is, how can you do this horizontally across other platforms? How can you integrate these things? This is something that is critical to the new order.

So Platform 3.0 addressing this point by bringing this together. Just look at the numbers. Look at the scale that we’re dealing with — 1.7 billion mobile devices sold in 2012, and 6.8 billion subscriptions estimated according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) equivalent to 96 percent of the world population.

Massive growth

We had massive growth in scale of mobile data traffic and internet data expansion. Mobile data is increasing 18 percent fold from 2011 to 2016 reaching 130 exabytes annually.  We passed 1 zettabyte of global online data storage back in 2010 and IP data traffic predicted to pass 1.3 zettabytes by 2016, with internet video accounting for 61 percent of total internet data according to Cisco studies.

These studies also predict data center traffic combining network and internet based storage will reach 6.6 zettabytes annually, and nearly two thirds of this will be cloud based by 2016.  This is only going to grow as social networking is reaching nearly one in four people around the world with 1.7 billion using at least one form of social networking in 2013, rising to one in three people with 2.55 billion global audience by 2017 as another extraordinary figure from an eMarketing.com study.

It is not surprising that many industry analysts are seeing growth in technologies of mobility, social computing, big data and cloud convergence at 30 to 40 percent and the shift to B2C commerce passing $1 trillion in 2012 is just the start of a wider digital transformation.

These numbers speak volumes in terms of the integration, interoperability, and connection of the new types of business and social realities that we have today.

Gardner: Why should IT be thinking about this as a fundamental shift, rather than a modest change?

Lounsbury: A lot depends on how you define your IT organization. It’s useful to separate the plumbing from the water. If we think of the water as the information that’s flowing, it’s how we make sure that the water is pure and getting to the places where you need to have the taps, where you need to have the water, etc.

But the plumbing also has to be up to the job. It needs to have the capacity. It needs to have new tools to filter out the impurities from the water. There’s no point giving someone data if it’s not been properly managed or if there’s incorrect information.

What’s going to happen in IT is not only do we have to focus on the mechanics of the plumbing, where we see things like the big database that we’ve seen in the open-source  role and things like that nature, but there’s the analytics and the data stewardship aspects of it.

We need to bring in mechanisms, so the data is valid and kept up to date. We need to indicate its freshness to the decision makers. Furthermore, IT is going to be called upon, whether as part of the enterprise IP or where end users will drive the selection of what they’re going to do with analytic tools and recommendation tools to take the data and turn it into information. One of the things you can’t do with business decision makers is overwhelm them with big rafts of data and expect them to figure it out.

You really need to present the information in a way that they can use to quickly make business decisions. That is an addition to the role of IT that may not have been there traditionally — how you think about the data and the role of what, in the beginning, was called data scientist and things of that nature.

Shift in constituency

Skilton: I’d just like to add to Dave’s excellent points about, the shape of data has changed, but also about why should IT get involved. We’re seeing that there’s a shift in the constituency of who is using this data.

We have the Chief Marketing Officer and the Chief Procurement Officer and other key line of business managers taking more direct control over the uses of information technology that enable their channels and interactions through mobile, social and data analytics. We’ve got processes that were previously managed just by IT and are now being consumed by significant stakeholders and investors in the organization.

We have to recognize in IT that we are the masters of our own destiny. The information needs to be sorted into new types of mobile devices, new types of data intelligence, and ways of delivering this kind of service.

I read recently in MIT Sloan Management Review an article that asked what is the role of the CIO. There is still the critical role of managing the security, compliance, and performance of these systems. But there’s also a socialization of IT, and this is where  the  positioning architectures which are cross platform is key to  delivering real value to the business users in the IT community.

Gardner: How do we prevent this from going off the rails?

Harding: This a very important point. And to add to the difficulties, it’s not only that a whole set of different people are getting involved with different kinds of information, but there’s also a step change in the speed with which all this is delivered. It’s no longer the case, that you can say, “Oh well, we need some kind of information system to manage this information. We’ll procure it and get a program written” that a year later that would be in place in delivering reports to it.

Now, people are looking to make sense of this information on the fly if possible. It’s really a case of having the platforms be the standard technology platform and also the systems for using it, the business processes, understood and in place.

Then, you can do all these things quickly and build on learning from what people have gone in the past, and not go out into all sorts of new experimental things that might not lead anywhere. It’s a case of building up the standard platform in the industry best practice. This is where The Open Group can really help things along by being a recipient and a reflector of best practice and standard.

Skilton: Capgemini has been doing work in this area. I break it down into four levels of scalability. It’s the platform scalability of understanding what you can do with your current legacy systems in introducing cloud computing or big data, and the infrastructure that gives you this, what we call multiplexing of resources. We’re very much seeing this idea of introducing scalable platform resource management, and you see that a lot with the heritage of virtualization.

Going into networking and the network scalability, a lot of the customers have who inherited their old telecommunications networks are looking to introduce new MPLS type scalable networks. The reason for this is that it’s all about connectivity in the field. I meet a number of clients who are saying, “We’ve got this cloud service,” or “This service is in a certain area of my country. If I move to another parts of the country or I’m traveling, I can’t get connectivity.” That’s the big issue of scaling.

Another one is application programming interfaces (APIs). What we’re seeing now is an explosion of integration and application services using API connectivity, and these are creating huge opportunities of what Chris Anderson of Wired used to call the “long tail effect.” It is now a reality in terms of building that kind of social connectivity and data exchange that Dave was talking about.

Finally, there are the marketplaces. Companies needs to think about what online marketplaces they need for digital branding, social branding, social networks, and awareness of your customers, suppliers, and employees. Customers can see that these four levels are where they need to start thinking about for IT strategy, and Platform 3.0 is right on this target of trying to work out what are the strategies of each of these new levels of scalability.

Gardner: We’re coming up on The Open Group Conference in Philadelphia very shortly. What should we expect from that? What is The Open Group doing vis-à-vis Platform 3.0, and how can organizations benefit from seeing a more methodological or standardized approach to some way of rationalizing all of this complexity? [Registration to the conference remains open. Follow the conference on Twitter at #ogPHL.]

Lounsbury: We’re still in the formational stages of  “third platform” or Platform 3.0 for The Open Group as an industry. To some extent, we’re starting pretty much at the ground floor with that in the Platform 3.0 forum. We’re leveraging a lot of the components that have been done previously by the work of the members of The Open Group in cloud, services-oriented architecture (SOA), and some of the work on the Internet of things.

First step

Our first step is to bring those things together to make sure that we’ve got a foundation to depart from. The next thing is that, through our Platform 3.0 Forum and the Steering Committee, we can ask people to talk about what their scenarios are for adoption of Platform 3.0?

That can range from things like the technological aspects of it and what standards are needed, but also to take a clue from our previous cloud working group. What are the best business practices in order to understand and then adopt some of these Platform 3.0 concepts to get your business using them?

What we’re really working toward in Philadelphia is to set up an exchange of ideas among the people who can, from the buy side, bring in their use cases from the supply side, bring in their ideas about what the technology possibilities are, and bring those together and start to shape a set of tracks where we can create business and technical artifacts that will help businesses adopt the Platform 3.0 concept.

Harding: We certainly also need to understand the business environment within which Platform 3.0 will be used. We’ve heard already about new players, new roles of various kinds that are appearing, and the fact that the technology is there and the business is adapting to this to use technology in new ways.

For example, we’ve heard about the data scientist. The data scientist is a new kind of role, a new kind of person, that is playing a particular part in all this within enterprises. We’re also hearing about marketplaces for services, new ways in which services are being made available and combined.

We really need to understand the actors in this new kind of business scenario. What are the pain points that people are having? What are the problems that need to be resolved in order to understand what kind of shape the new platform will have? That is one of the key things that the Platform 3.0 Forum members will be getting their teeth into.

Gardner: Looking to the future, when we think about the ability of the data to be so powerful when processed properly, when recommendations can be delivered to the right place at the right time, but we also recognize that there are limits to a manual or even human level approach to that, scientist by scientist, analysis by analysis.

When we think about the implications of automation, it seems like there were already some early examples of where bringing cloud, data, social, mobile, interactions, granularity of interactions together, that we’ve begun to see that how a recommendation engine could be brought to bear. I’m thinking about the Siri capability at Apple and even some of the examples of the Watson Technology at IBM.

So to our panel, are there unknown unknowns about where this will lead in terms of having extraordinary intelligence, a super computer or data center of super computers, brought to bear almost any problem instantly and then the result delivered directly to a center, a smart phone, any number of end points?

It seems that the potential here is mind boggling. Mark Skilton, any thoughts?

Skilton: What we’re talking about is the next generation of the Internet.  The advent of IPv6 and the explosion in multimedia services, will start to drive the next generation of the Internet.

I think that in the future, we’ll be talking about a multiplicity of information that is not just about services at your location or your personal lifestyle or your working preferences. We’ll see a convergence of information and services across multiple devices and new types of “co-presence services” that interact with your needs and social networks to provide predictive augmented information value.

When you start to get much more information about the context of where you are, the insight into what’s happening, and the predictive nature of these, it becomes something that becomes much more embedding into everyday life and in real time in context of what you are doing.

I expect to see much more intelligent applications coming forward on mobile devices in the next 5 to 10 years driven by this interconnected explosion of real time processing data, traffic, devices and social networking we describe in the scope of platform 3.0. This will add augmented intelligence and is something that’s really exciting and a complete game changer. I would call it the next killer app.

First-mover benefits

Gardner: There’s this notion of intelligence brought to bear rapidly in context, at a manageable cost. This seems to me a big change for businesses. We could, of course, go into the social implications as well, but just for businesses, that alone to me would be an incentive to get thinking and acting on this. So any thoughts about where businesses that do this well would be able to have significant advantage and first mover benefits?

Harding: Businesses always are taking stock. They understand their environments. They understand how the world that they live in is changing and they understand what part they play in it. It will be down to individual businesses to look at this new technical possibility and say, “So now this is where we could make a change to our business.” It’s the vision moment where you see a combination of technical possibility and business advantage that will work for your organization.

It’s going to be different for every business, and I’m very happy to say this, it’s something that computers aren’t going to be able to do for a very long time yet. It’s going to really be down to business people to do this as they have been doing for centuries and millennia, to understand how they can take advantage of these things.

So it’s a very exciting time, and we’ll see businesses understanding and developing their individual business visions as the starting point for a cycle of business transformation, which is what we’ll be very much talking about in Philadelphia. So yes, there will be businesses that gain advantage, but I wouldn’t point to any particular business, or any particular sector and say, “It’s going to be them” or “It’s going to be them.”

Gardner: Dave Lounsbury, a last word to you. In terms of some of the future implications and vision, where could this could lead in the not too distant future?

Lounsbury: I’d disagree a bit with my colleagues on this, and this could probably be a podcast on its own, Dana. You mentioned Siri, and I believe IBM just announced the commercial version of its Watson recommendation and analysis engine for use in some customer-facing applications.

I definitely see these as the thin end of the wedge on filling that gap between the growth of data and the analysis of data. I can imagine in not in the next couple of years, but in the next couple of technology cycles, that we’ll see the concept of recommendations and analysis as a service, to bring it full circle to cloud. And keep in mind that all of case law is data and all of the medical textbooks ever written are data. Pick your industry, and there is huge amount of knowledge base that humans must currently keep on top of.

This approach and these advances in the recommendation engines driven by the availability of big data are going to produce profound changes in the way knowledge workers produce their job. That’s something that businesses, including their IT functions, absolutely need to stay in front of to remain competitive in the next decade or so.

Comments Off

Filed under ArchiMate®, Business Architecture, Cloud, Cloud/SOA, Conference, Data management, Enterprise Architecture, Platform 3.0, Professional Development, TOGAF®

The Open Group July Conference Emphasizes Value of Placing Structure and Agility Around Enterprise Risk Reduction Efforts

By Dana Gardner, Interarbor Solutions

Listen to the recorded podcast here

Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to a special BriefingsDirect Thought Leadership Interview series, coming to you in conjunction with The Open Group Conference on July 15 in Philadelphia.

I’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and I’ll be your host and moderator throughout these discussions on Enterprise Transformation in the finance, government, and healthcare sector.

We’re here now with a panel of experts to explore new trends and solutions in the area of anticipating risk and how to better manage organizations with that knowledge. We’ll learn how enterprises are better delivering risk assessment and, one hopes, defenses, in the current climate of challenging cyber security. And we’ll see how predicting risks and potential losses accurately, is an essential ingredient in enterprise transformation.

With that, please join me in welcoming our panel, we’re here with Jack Freund, the Information Security Risk Assessment Manager at TIAA-CREF. Jack has spent over 14 years in enterprise IT, is a visiting professor at DeVry University, and also chairs a Risk-Management Subcommittee for the ISACA. Welcome back, Jack.

Jack Freund: Glad to be here, Dana. Thanks for having me.

Gardner: We’re also here with Jack Jones. He is the Principal at CXOWARE, and he has more than nine years of experience as a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). He is also an inventor of the FAIR, risk analysis framework. Welcome, Jack.

Jack Jones: Thank you very much.

Gardner: We’re also here with Jim Hietala. He is the Vice President, Security, at The Open Group. Welcome, Jim.

Jim Hietala: Thanks, Dana, good to be here.

Gardner: Let’s start with you, Jim. It’s been about six months since we spoke about these issues around risk assessment and understanding risk accurately, and it’s hard to imagine things getting any better in the last six months. There’s been a lot of news and interesting developments in the cyber-security landscape.

So has this heightened interest? What are The Open Group and others are doing in this field of risk assessment and accuracy and determining what your losses might be and how that can be a useful tool?

Hietala: I would say it has. Certainly, in the cyber security world in the past six or nine months, we’ve seen more and more discussion of the threats that are out there. We’ve got nation-state types of threats that are very concerning, very serious, and that organizations have to consider.

With what’s happening, you’ve seen that the US Administration and President Obama direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a new cybersecurity framework. Certainly on the government side of things, there is an increased focus on what can we do to increase the level of cybersecurity throughout the country in critical infrastructure. So my short answer would be yes, there is more interest in coming up with ways to accurately measure and assess risk so that we can then deal with it.

Gardner: Jack Jones, do you also see a maturity going on, or are we just hearing more in the news and therefore there is a perception shift? How do you see things? How have things changed, in your perception, over the last six to nine months?

Jones: I continue to see growth and maturity, especially in areas of understanding the fundamental nature of risk and exploration of quantitative methods for it. A few years ago, that would have seemed unrealistic at best, and outlandish at worst in many people’s eyes. Now, they’re beginning to recognize that it is not only pragmatic, but necessary in order to get a handle on much of what we have to do from a prioritization perspective.

Gardner: Jack Freund are you seeing an elevation in the attention being paid to risk issues inside companies in larger organizations? Is this something that’s getting the attention of all the people it should?

Freund: We’re entering a phase where there is going to be increased regulatory oversights over very nearly everything. When that happens, all eyes are going to turn to IT and IT risk management functions to answer the question of whether we’re handling the right things. Without quantifying risk, you’re going to have a very hard time saying to your board of directors that you’re handling the right things the way a reasonable company should.

As those regulators start to see and compare among other companies, they’ll find that these companies over here are doing risk quantification, and you’re not. You’re putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage by not being able to provide those same sorts of services.

Gardner: So you’re saying that the market itself hasn’t been enough to drive this, and that regulation is required?

Freund: It’s probably a stronger driver than market forces at this point. The market is always going to be able to help push that to a more prominent role, but especially in information security. If you’re not experiencing primary losses as a result of these sorts of things, then you have to look to economic externalities, which are largely put in play by regulatory forces here in the United States.

Jones: To support Jack’s statement that regulators are becoming more interested in this too, just in the last 60 days, I’ve spent time training people at two regulatory agencies on FAIR. So they’re becoming more aware of these quantitative methods, and their level of interest is rising.

Gardner: Jack Jones, this is probably a good time for us to explain a little bit more about FAIR. For those listeners who might not be that familiar with it, please take a moment to give us the high-level overview of what FAIR is.

Jones: Sure, just thumbnail sketch of it. It’s, first and foremost, a model for what risk is and how it works. It’s a decomposition of the factors that make up risk. If you can measure or estimate the value of those factors, you can derive risk quantitatively in dollars and cents.

You see a lot of “risk quantification” based on ordinal scales — 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 scales, that sort of thing. But that’s actually not quantitative. If you dig into it, there’s no way you could defend a mathematical analysis based on those ordinal approaches. So FAIR is this model for risk that enables true quantitative analysis in a very pragmatic way.

Gardner: FAIR stands for a Factor Analysis of Information Risk. Is that correct?

Jones: That is correct.

Gardner: Jim Hietala, we also have in addition to a very interesting and dynamic cybersecurity landscape a major trend getting traction in big data, cloud computing, and mobile. There’s lots going on in the IT world. Perhaps IT’s very nature, the roles and responsibilities, are shifting. Is doing risk assessment and management becoming part and parcel of core competency of IT, and is that a fairly big departure from the past?

Hietala: As to the first question, it’s having to become kind of a standard practice within IT. When you look at outsourcing your IT operations to a cloud-service provider, you have to consider the security risks in that environment. What do they look like and how do we measure them?

It’s the same thing for things like mobile computing. You really have to look at the risks of folks carrying tablets and smart phones, and understand the risks associated with those same things for big data. For any of these large-scale changes to our IT infrastructure you’ve got to understand what it means from a security and risk standpoint.

Gardner: Jack Freund or Jack Jones, any thoughts about the changing role of IT as a service and service-level agreement brokering aspects of IT aligned with risk assessment?

Freund: I read an interesting article this morning around a school district that is doing something they call bring your own technology (BYOT). For anybody who has been involved in these sort of efforts in the corporate world that should sound very familiar. But I want to think culturally around this. When you have students wondering how to do these sorts of things and becoming accustomed to being able to bring current technology, oh my gosh. When they get to the corporate world and start to work, they’re going to expect the same sorts of levels of service.

To answer to your earlier question, absolutely. We have to find a way to embed risk assessment, which is really just a way to inform decision making and how we adapt all of these technological changes to increase market position and to make ourselves more competitive. That’s important.

Whether that’s an embedded function within IT or it’s an overarching function that exists across multiple business units, there are different models that work for different size companies and companies of different cultural types. But it has to be there. It’s absolutely critical.

Gardner: Jack Jones, how do you come down this role of IT shifting in the risk assessment issues, something that’s their responsibility. Are they embracing that or  maybe wishing it away?

Jones: It depends on whom you talk to. Some of them would certainly like to wish it away. I don’t think IT’s role in this idea for risk assessment and such has really changed. What is changing is the level of visibility and interest within the organization, the business side of the organization, in the IT risk position.

Previously, they were more or less tucked away in a dark corner. People just threw money at it and hoped bad things didn’t happen. Now, you’re getting a lot more board-level interest in IT risk, and with that visibility comes a responsibility, but also a certain amount of danger. If they’re doing it really badly, they’re incredibly immature in how they approach risk.

They’re going to look pretty foolish in front of the board. Unfortunately, I’ve seen that play out. It’s never pretty and it’s never good news for the IT folks. They’re realizing that they need to come up to speed a little bit from a risk perspective, so that they won’t look the fools when they’re in front of these executives.

They’re used to seeing quantitative measures of opportunities and operational issues of risk of various natures. If IT comes to the table with a red, yellow, green chart, the board is left to wonder, first how to interpret that, and second, whether these guys really get it. I’m not sure the role has changed, but I think the responsibilities and level of expectations are changing.

Gardner: Part of what FAIR does in risk analysis in general is to identify potential losses and put some dollars on what potential downside there is. That provides IT with the tool, the ability, to rationalize investments that are needed. Are you seeing the knowledge of potential losses to be an incentive for spending on modernization?

Jones: Absolutely. One organization I worked with recently had certain deficiencies from the security perspective that they were aware of, but that were going to be very problematic to fix. They had identified technology and process solutions that they thought would take them a long way towards a better risk position. But it was a very expensive proposition, and they didn’t have money in the IT or information security budget for it.

So, we did a current-state analysis using FAIR, how much loss exposure they had on annualized basis. Then, we said, “If you plug this solution into place, given how it affects the frequency and magnitude of loss that you’d expect to experience, here’s what’s your new annualized loss exposure would be.” It turned out to be a multimillion dollar reduction in annualized loss exposure for a few hundred thousand dollars cost.

When they took that business case to management, it was a no-brainer, and management signed the check in a hurry. So they ended up being in a much better position.

If they had gone to executive management saying, “Well, we’ve got a high risk and if we buy this set of stuff we’ll have low or medium risk,” it would’ve been a much less convincing and understandable business case for the executives. There’s reason to expect that it would have been challenging to get that sort of funding given how tight their corporate budgets were and that sort of thing. So, yeah, it can be incredibly effective in those business cases.

Gardner: Correct me if I am wrong, but you have a book out since we last spoke. Jack, maybe you could tell a bit about of that and how that comes to bear on these issues?

Freund: Well, the book is currently being written. Jack Jones and I have entered into a contract with Elsevier and we’re also going to be preparing the manuscript here over the summer and winter. Probably by second quarter next year, we’ll have something that we can share with everybody. It’s something that has been a long time coming. For Jack, I know he has wanted to write this for a long time.

We wanted to build a conversational book around how to assess risk using FAIR, and that’s an important distinction from other books in the market today. You really want to dig into a lot of the mathematical stuff. I’m speaking personally here, but I wanted to build a book that gave people tools, gave practitioners the risk tools to be able to handle common challenges and common opposition to what they are doing every day, and just understand how to apply concepts in FAIR in a very tangible way.

Gardner: Very good. What about the conference itself. We’re coming up very rapidly on The Open Group Conference. What should we expect in terms of some of your presentations and training activities?

Jones: I think it will be a good time. People would be pleased to have the quality of the presentations and some of the new information that they’ll get to see and experience. As you said, we’re offering FAIR training as a part of a conference. It’s a two-day session with an opportunity afterwards to take the certification exam.

If history is any indication, people will go through the training. We get a lot of very positive remarks about a number of different things. One, they never imagined that risk could be interesting. They’re also surprised that it’s not, as one friend of mine calls it “rocket surgery.” It’s relatively straightforward and intuitive stuff. It’s just that as a profession, we haven’t had this framework for reference, as well as some of the methods that we apply to make it practical and defensible before.

So we’ve gotten great feedback in the past, and I think people will be pleasantly surprised at what they experienced.

Freund: One of the things I always say about FAIR training is it’s a real red pill-blue pill moment — in reference to the old Matrix movies. I took FAIR training several years ago with Jack. I always tease Jack that it’s ruined me for other risk assessment methods. Once you learn how to do it right, it’s very obvious which are the wrong methods and why you can’t use them to assess risk and why it’s problematic.

I’m joking. It’s really great and valuable training, and now I use it every day. It really does open your eyes to the problems and the risk assessment portion of IT today, and gives a very practical and actionable things to do in order to be able to fix that, and to provide value to your organization.

Gardner: Jim Hietala, the emphasis in terms of vertical industries at the conference is on finance, government and healthcare. They seem to be the right groups to be factoring more standardization and understanding of risk. Tell me how it comes together. Why is The Open Group looking at vertical industries at this time?

Hietala: Specific to risk, if I can talk about that for a second, the healthcare world, at least here in the US, has new security rules, and one of the first few requirements is perform an annual risk assessment. So it’s currently relevant to that industry.

It’s the same thing with finance. One of the regulations around financial organizations tells them that, in terms of information security, they need to do a risk assessment. In government, clearly there has been a lot of emphasis on understanding risk and mitigating it throughout various government sectors.

In terms of The Open Group and verticals, we’ve done lots of great work in the area of Enterprise Architecture, security, and all the areas for which we’ve done work. In terms of our conferences, we’ve evolved things over the last year or so to start to look at what are the things that are unique in verticals.

It started in the mining industry. We set up a mining metals and exploration forum that looked at IT and architecture issues related specifically to that sector. We started that work several years ago and now we’re looking at other industries and starting to assess the unique things in healthcare, for example. We’ve got a one day workshop at Philadelphia on the Tuesday of the conference, looking at IT and transformation opportunities in the healthcare sector.

That’s how we got to this point, and we’ll see more of that from The Open Group in the future.

Gardner: Are there any updates that we should be aware of in terms of activities within The Open Group and other organizations working on standards, taxonomy, and definitions when it comes to risk?

Hietala: I’ll take that and dive into that. We at The Open Group originally published a risk taxonomy standard based on FAIR four years ago. Over time, we’ve seen greater adoption by large companies and we’ve also seen the need to extend what we’re doing there. So we’re updating the risk taxonomy standard, and the new version of that should be published by the end of this summer.

We also saw within the industry the need for a certification program for risk analysts, and so they’d be trained in quantitative risk assessment using FAIR. We’re working on that program and we’ll be talking more about it in Philadelphia.

Along the way, as we were building the certification program, we realized that there was a missing piece in terms of the body of knowledge. So we created a second standard that is a companion to the taxonomy. That will be called the Risk Analysis Standard that looks more at some of that the process issues and how to do risk analysis using FAIR. That standard will also be available by the end of the summer and, combined, those two standards will form the body of knowledge that we’ll be testing against in the certification program when it goes live later this year.

Gardner: Jack Freund, it seems that between regulatory developments, the need for maturity in these enterprises, and the standardization that’s being brought to bear by such groups as The Open Group, it’s making this quite a bit more of the science and less of an art.

What does that bring to organizations in terms of a bottom-line effect? I wonder if there is a use case or even an example that you could mention and explain that would help people better understand of what they get back when they go through these processes and they get this better maturity around risk?

Freund: I’m not an attorney, but I have had a lot of lawyers tell me — I think Jim had mentioned before in his vertical conversation — that a lot of the regulations start with performing annual risk assessment and then choose controls based upon that. They’re not very prescriptive that way.

One of the things that it drives in organizations is a sense of satisfaction that we’ve got things covered more than anything else. When you have your leadership in these organizations understanding that you’re doing what a regular reasonable company would do to manage risk this way, you have fewer fire drills. Nobody likes to walk into work and have to deal with hundred different things.

We’re moving hard drives out of printers and fax machines, what are we doing around scanning and vulnerabilities, and all of those various things that every single day can inundate you with worry, as opposed to focusing on the things that matter.

I like a folksy saying that sort of sums things up pretty well — a dime holding up a dollar. You have all these little bitty squabbly issues that get in the way of really focusing on reducing risk in your organization in meaningful ways and focusing on the things that matter.

Using approaches like FAIR, drives a lot of value into your organization, because you’re freeing up mind share in your executives to focus on things that really matter.

Gardner: Jack Jones, a similar question, any examples that exemplify the virtues of doing the due diligence and having some of these systems and understanding in place?

Jones: I have an example to Jack Freund’s point about being able to focus and prioritize. One organization I was working with had identified a significant risk issue and they were considering three different options for risk mitigation that had been proposed. One was “best practice,” and the other two were less commonly considered for that particular issue.

An analysis showed with real clarity that option B, one of the not-best practice options, should reduce risk every bit as effectively as best practice, but had a whole lot lower cost. The organization then got to make an informed decision about whether they were going to be herd followers or whether they were going to be more cost-effective in risk management.

Unfortunately, there’s always danger in not following the herd. If something happens downstream, and you didn’t follow best practice, you’re often asked to explain why you didn’t follow the herd.

That was part of the analysis too, but at the end of the day, management got to make a decision on how they wanted to behave. They chose to not follow best practice and be more cost-effective in using their money. When I asked them why they felt comfortable with that, they said, “Because we’re comfortable with the rigor in your analysis.”

To your question earlier about art-versus-science, first of all, in most organization there would have been no question. They would have said, “We must follow best practice.” They wouldn’t even examine the options, and management wouldn’t have had the opportunity to make that decision.

Furthermore, even if they had “examined” those options using a more subjective, artistic approach, somebody’s wet finger in the air, management almost certainly would not have felt comfortable with a non-best practice approach. So, the more scientific, more rigorous, approach that something like FAIR provides, gives you all kinds of opportunity to make informed decisions and to feel more comfortable about those decisions.

Gardner: It really sounds as if there’s a synergistic relationship between a lot of the big-data and analytics investments that are being made for a variety of reasons, and also this ability to bring more science and discipline to risk analysis.

How do those come together, Jack Jones? Are we seeing the dots being connected in these large organizations that they can take more of what they garner from big data and business intelligence (BI) and apply that to these risk assessment activities, is that happening yet?

Jones: It’s just beginning to. It’s very embryonic, and there are only probably a couple of organizations out there that I would argue are doing that with any sort of effectiveness. Imagine that — they’re both using FAIR.

But when you think about BI or any sort of analytics, there are really two halves to the equation. One is data and the other is models. You can have all the data in the world, but if your models stink, then you can’t be effective. And, of course, vice versa. If you’ve got great model and zero data, then you’ve got challenges there as well.

Being able to combine the two, good data and effective models, puts you in much better place. As an industry, we aren’t there yet. We’ve got some really interesting things going on, and so there’s a lot of potential there, but people have to leverage that data effectively and make sure they’re using a model that makes sense.

There are some models out there that that frankly are just so badly broken that all the data in the world isn’t going to help you. The models will grossly misinform you. So people have to be careful, because data is great, but if you’re applying it to a bad model, then you’re in trouble.

Gardner: We are coming up near the end of our half hour. Jack Freund, for those organizations that are looking to get started, to get more mature, perhaps start leveraging some of their investments in areas like big data, in addition to attending The Open Group Conference or watching some of the plenary sessions online, what tips do you have for getting started? Are there some basic building blocks that should be in place or ways in which to get the ball rolling when it comes to a better risk analysis?

Freund: Strong personality matters in this. They have to have some sort of evangelist in the organization who cares enough about it to drive it through to completion. That’s a stake on the ground to say, “Here is where we’re going to start, and here is the path that we are going to go on.”

When you start doing that sort of thing, even if leadership changes and other things happen, you have a strong commitment from the organization to keep moving forward on these sorts of things.

I spend a lot of my time integrating FAIR with other methodologies. One of the messaging points that I keep saying all the time is that what we are doing is implementing a discipline around how we choose our risk rankings. That’s one of the great things about FAIR. It’s universally compatible with other assessment methodologies, programs, standards, and legislation that allows you to be consistent and precise around how you’re connecting to everything else that your organization cares about.

Concerns around operational risk integration are important as well. But driving that through to completion in the organization has a lot to do with finding sponsorship and then just building a program to completion. But absent that high-level sponsorship, because FAIR allows you to build a discipline around how you choose rankings, you can also build it from the bottom up. You can have these groups of people that are FAIR trained that can build risk analyses or either pick ranges — 1, 2, 3, 4 or high, medium, low. But then when questioned, you have the ability to say, “We think this is a medium, because it met our frequency and magnitude criteria that we’ve been establishing using FAIR.”

Different organizations culturally are going to have different ways to implement and to structure quantitative risk analysis. In the end it’s an interesting and reasonable path to get to risk utopia.

Gardner: Jack Jones, any thoughts from your perspective on a good way to get started, maybe even through the lens of the verticals that The Open Group has targeted for this conference, finance, government and healthcare? Are there any specific important things to consider on the outset for your risk analysis journey from any of the three verticals?

Jones: A good place to start is with the materials that The Open Group has made available on the risk taxonomy and the soon to be published risk-analysis standard.

Another source that I recommend to everybody I talk to about other sorts of things is a book called ‘How to Measure Anything’ by Douglas Hubbard. If someone is even least bit interested in actually measuring risk in quantitative terms, they owe it to themselves to read that book. It puts into layman’s terms some very important concepts and approaches that are tremendously helpful. That’s an important resource for people to consider too.

As far as within organizations, some organizations will have a relatively mature enterprise risk-management program at the corporate level, outside of IT. Unfortunately, it can be hit-and-miss, but there can be some very good resources in terms of people and processes that the organization has already adopted. But you have to be careful there too, because with some of those enterprise risk management programs, even though they may have been in place for years, and thus, one would think over time and become mature, all they have done is dig a really deep ditch in terms of bad practices and misconceptions.

So it’s worth having the conversation with those folks to gauge how clueful are they, but don’t assume that just because they have been in place for a while and they have some specific title or something like that that they really understand risk at that level.

Gardner: Well, very good. I’m afraid we will have to leave it there. We’ve been talking with a panel of experts about the new trends and solutions in the area of anticipating risk and how to better manage organizations with that knowledge. We’ve seen how enterprises are better delivering risk assessments, or beginning to, as they are facing challenges in cyber-security as well as undergoing the larger undertaking of enterprise transformation.

This special BriefingsDirect discussion comes to you in conjunction with The Open Group Conference in July 2013 in Philadelphia. There’s more information on The Open Group website about that conference for you to attend or to gather information from either live streaming or there are resources available by downloading an app for the conference.

So with that thanks to our panel. We’ve been joined by Jack Freund. He is the Information Security Risk Assessment Manager at TIAA-CREF. Thank you so much, Jack.

Freund: Thank you Dana.

Gardner: And also Jack Jones, the Principal at CXOWARE. Thank you, sir.

Jones: It’s been my pleasure. Thanks.

Gardner: And then also lastly, Jim Hietala, Vice President, Security at The Open Group. Thank you Jim.

Hietala: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: And this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host and moderator through these thought leader interview series. Thanks again for listening, and come back next time.

1 Comment

Filed under ArchiMate®, Business Architecture, Conference, Enterprise Architecture, Professional Development, TOGAF®

Enterprise Architecture in China: Who uses this stuff?

by Chris Forde, GM APAC and VP Enterprise Architecture, The Open Group

Since moving to China in March 2010 I have consistently heard a similar set of statements and questions, something like this….

“EA? That’s fine for Europe and America, who is using it here?”

“We know EA is good!”

“What is EA?”

“We don’t have the ability to do EA, is it a problem if we just focus on IT?”

And

“Mr Forde your comment about western companies not discussing their EA programs because they view them as a competitive advantage is accurate here too, we don’t discuss we have one for that reason.” Following that statement the lady walked away smiling, having not introduced herself or her company.

Well some things are changing in China relative to EA and events organized by The Open Group; here is a snapshot from May 2013.

M GaoThe Open Group held an Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference in Shanghai China May 22nd 2013. The conference theme was EA and the spectrum of business value. The presentations were made by a mix of non-member and member organizations of The Open Group, most but not all based in China. The audience was mostly non-members from 55 different organizations in a range of industries. There was a good mix of customer, supplier, government and academic organizations presenting and in the audience. The conference proceedings are available to registered attendees of the conference and members of The Open Group. Livestream recordings will also be available shortly.

Organizations large and small presented about the fact that EA was integral to delivering business value. Here’s the nutshell.

China

Huawei is a leading global ICT communications provider based in Shenzhen China.  They presented on EA applied to their business transformation program and the ongoing development of their core EA practice.

GKHB is a software services organization based in Chengdu China. They presented on an architecture practice applied to real time forestry and endangered species management.

Nanfang Media is a State Owned Enterprise, the second largest media organization in the country based in Guangzhou China. They presented on the need to rapidly transform themselves to a modern integrated digital based organization.

McKinsey & Co a Management Consulting company based in New York USA presented an analysis of a CIO survey they conducted with Peking University.

Mr Wang Wei a Partner in the Shanghai office of McKinsey & Co’s Business Technology Practice reviewed a survey they conducted in co-operation with Peking University.

wang wei.jpg

The Survey of CIO’s in China indicated a common problem of managing complexity in multiple dimensions: 1) “Theoretically” Common Business Functions, 2) Across Business Units with differing Operations and Product, 3) Across Geographies and Regions. The recommended approach was towards “Organic Integration” and to carefully determine what should be centralized and what should be distributed. An Architecture approach can help with managing and mitigating these realities. The survey also showed that the CIO’s are evenly split amongst those dedicated to a traditional CIO role and those that have a dual Business and CIO role.

Mr Yang Li Chao Director of EA and Planning at Huawei and Ms Wang Liqun leader of the EA Center of Excellence at Huawei yang li chao.jpgwang liqun.jpgoutlined the 5-year journey Huawei has been on to deal with the development, maturation and effectiveness of an Architecture practice in a company that has seen explosive growth and is competing on a global scale. They are necessarily paying a lot of attention to Talent Management and development of their Architects, as these people are at the forefront of the company Business Transformation efforts. Huawei constantly consults with experts on Architecture from around the world and incorporates what they consider best practice into their own method and framework, which is based on TOGAF®.

 Mr He Kun CIO of Nanfang Media described the enormous pressures his traditional media organization is under, such as a concurrent loss of advertising and talent to digital media.

he kun.jpgHe gave and example where China Mobile has started its own digital newspaper leveraging their delivery platform. So naturally, Nanfang media is also undergoing a transformation and is looking to leverage its current advantages as a trusted source and its existing market position. The discipline of Architecture is a key enabler and aids as a foundation for clearly communicating a transformation approach to other business leaders. This does not mean using EA Jargon but communicating in the language of his peers for the purpose of obtaining funding to accomplish the transformation effectively.

Mr Chen Peng Vice General Manager of GKHB Chengdu described the use of an Architecture approach to managing precious national resources such as forestry, bio diversity and endangered species. He descrichen peng.jpgbed the necessity for real time information in observation, tracking and responses in this area and the necessity of “Informationalization” of Forestry in China as a part of eGovernment initiatives not only for the above topics but also for the countries growth particularly in supplying the construction industry. The Architecture approach taken here is also based on TOGAF®.

The take away from this conference is that Enterprise Architecture is alive and well amongst certain organizations in China. It is being used in a variety of industries.  Value is being realized by executives and practitioners, and delivered for both IT and Business units. However for many companies EA is also a new idea and to date its value is unclear to them.

The speakers also made it clear that there are no easy answers, each organization has to find its own use and value from Enterprise Architecture and it is a learning journey. They expressed their appreciation that The Open Group and its standards are a place where they can make connections, pull from and contribute to in regards to Enterprise Architecture.

Comments Off

Filed under Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Professional Development, Standards, TOGAF, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

What is Business Architecture? Part 2

By Allen Brown, President and CEO, The Open Group

I recently wrote that I had heard and read the opinions of a number of people about what is Business Architecture, as I am sure many of us have but I wanted to understand it from the perspective of people who actually had Business Architect in their job title.  So I wrote to 183 people in Australia and New Zealand and asked them.

The initial summary (blog) of the responses I received was focused on the feedback from Business Architects who were employed by organizations I think of as consumers; this one is focused on the feedback from consultants, ranging from those who are working on their own to others who are working with some of the largest consulting firms that we know.

Why I chose the countries I did and the questions I asked are contained in that earlier blog.

Again the responses have been amazing and thank you to everyone who took the time to do so.  They included some wonderful insights into their role and into their beliefs with respect to Business Architecture.

Summarizing the feedback from the consultants is even more difficult than that of the consumers.  Understandably, each of them has their own approach.  I have found it very difficult to decide what to leave out in order to get this down to a reasonable length for a blog.

It is important to repeat that I am still in the process of seeking to understand, so I would be really pleased to hear from anyone who has such a role, to correct any misunderstandings I might have or erroneous conclusions I may have drawn.

The first point of note from the responses is that Business Architecture is still evolving and finding its place in the enterprise.  While the consumers saw it as somewhere between immature and missing in action, the consultants tended to look at the how and why of its evolution.  In one case the view was that Business Architecture is evolving in response to a demand for greater business oriented control over transformation, while another reported, disappointedly, that business architecture is often seen as Business Process Review/Improvement on steroids.  Other comments included:

  • Generally Business Architecture is seen as business process review and/or business process improvement. There is not much real Business Architecture going on at the moment.
  • It is not widely understood at this point in time.  This first initiative will be conducted in a lightweight manner to gain the business buy in and get some projects onto the roadmap.  Delivery time will be a key factor in prioritization as we will be looking for some projects with shorter duration and lower complexity so some tangible benefits can be realized
  • It is not formally recognized.  Last year I was in the supply chain team (who also deal with Lean and other operational improvement skills).  We have Business Analysts, and a People and Change Team.  We have several areas than do Operating Models.  To me various elements of these would be included under the Business Architecture banner.

In common with the consumer viewpoint, the focus of Business Architecture is on the “What”.  Some of the comments included:

  • The Business Architecture will exist with or without technology, but as soon as technology is involved, the technology exists to service the business architecture, and the business architecture should be the input to the technology and application architecture.
  • Make recommendations of what projects the business should perform, in addition to relevant and timely corrections to the governance structure, business processes, and the structure of business information
  • The business architecture I am referring to is not the traditional element of the IT based Enterprise Architecture, but a framework that is totally business oriented and in which the whole business, including IT, can commit to in order to truly understand their problems and most of all the potential to genuinely improve the business.
  • “Business Architecture is not about telling people how to do their job at a detail level. Its function is to help us all to understand how together we can achieve the business goals and objectives
  • The primary focus of the Business Architect includes the analysis of business motivations and business operations, through the use of business analysis frameworks and related networks that link these aspects of the enterprise together. The Business Architect works to develop an integrated view of the business unit, in the context of the enterprise, using a repeatable approach, cohesive framework, and available industry standard techniques.

In some cases the focus of activity was the entire enterprise: the CEO view.  In others it was at the line of business or business unit level.  In all cases the focus was very much on the business issues:

  • Strategy
  • Business goals, objectives and drivers
  • Business operating model
  • Organization structure
  • Functions, roles, actors
  • Business processes
  • Key data elements

Being able to see the big picture and have the ability to communicate with key stakeholders was emphasized time and again.

  • Make it relevant and “makes sense” to senior management, operations and IT groups.  Visualize problems; have a way to communicate with the business team
  • Be able to relate – what big decision we need to make and to package it up so that execs can make a decision
  • The only person who cares about the whole picture is the CEO.  BA provides the CEO with a one page picture of the whole enterprise in a logical fashion
  • Show the CEO where impact is on a page – give confidence – control.  Help him make decisions around priorities.
  • The secret of good architecture is taking all the complexity and presenting it in a simplistic way that anyone can understand on a ‘need to know’ basis and quickly find the right answer to the current and/or planned state of business components.
  • BA facilitates strategic consistency with the business.  Where do we need to differentiate more than others?  How do we build in once or move to one instance?
  • Drive prioritization of when to invest based on the businesses strategic goals
  • Distil, communicate and relate to a business person
  • A key purpose of this new business driven architecture is to provide the means for communicating and controlling the strategic and operational intentions of the business in a way that is easy to understand for everyone in the organization

A common feature in the feedback is that underneath the models the information is rich – enables drill down – traceability to underlying requirements linked to the requirements.

Two areas of activity stood out the most: Capabilities and Value Streams.  Both of these are focused on WHAT a company needs to be able to do to execute its business strategy and to bring a product or service to a consumer.  Comments included:

  • Capabilities – combination of people, process and technology to deliver product features
  • Logical building blocks – gather information and compare the level of maturity in each capability, compare with others, understand where could we go to
  • Define/ champion 1 common reference model / capability model / logical building blocks of the enterprise.
  • Establish Capability, Information maps, Value Streams, stages and business processes.
  • Have intimate knowledge of the Business Capability (As Is/To Be), Business Component Structure, Business Processes, Value Streams and Conceptual Business Models.
  • Have the capability picture
  • … not only the capability of each component but also the relationship between components from every appropriate perspective (purpose, technical, compliance, risk, acceptability, etc.)
  • The Business Architecture is the first stage in a broader EA initiative.  Subsequent phases will align capabilities to applications and look at the major data flows between those applications

Since value stream mapping is a lean manufacturing technique, lean techniques are also called out as being relevant to business architecture because they identify areas of waste, which often change work processes or procedures, which may or may not impact applications and technology.  Feedback included:

  • Each value steam has Inputs (that triggers the value stream) and Outputs (the value based result of completing the business activities).
  • Each value stream is designed against Critical Success Factors, founded on the strategic intentions and priorities of the business, that represent the required business performance with Time, Cost, Quality, Risk and Compliance.
    • Time – How long the process should take from a Customer Perspective
    • Cost – How much the process should cost, measured using for example TDABC (Time Driven Activity Based Costing)
    • Quality – A statement clearly describing the (fit for) purpose of the activity
    • Risk – The protected acceptable residual risk involved due to effective control within the proposed design
    • Compliance – The specific interpreted requirements placed on the activity by interpreting the obligations of associated legislation and regulations.
    • Value streams are directed or informed by policies, plans, procedures, governance, regulations, business rules and other guidance, and are enabled by roles, IT Systems and other resources that will directly or indirectly support their completion.
    • The As-Is Architecture consists of the related value streams, indicating how the business is currently performing.   Under the facilitation of the business architect, design teams investigate how these can be improved to produce the Target State version of the Value Stream.

It was argued that displaying the relationship between the guidance, the enablers and the value streams, opens up the potential to discuss many things related to the business performance; that this alignment is critical for ensuring the business functions operate as expected; and that this is the major feature of business architecture and provides answers to so many previously unanswered questions for business managers.

Incidentally, since value stream maps are often drawn by hand in pencil (to keep the mapping process real-time, simple and iterative by allowing for simple correction) this tends to reinforce the comment by one of the consumer respondents that his most useful tools are pencil and paper.

The role and relationship of Business Architects, Business Analysts and other folk that might come under the general heading of Enterprise Architecture, varied from one organization to another, often seemingly dependent upon the size of the consulting firm.  At different ends of the spectrum were:

  • To a greater or lesser extent, Business Architects are supported by Business Analysts (“the knowledge processing factory) and by people with deep skills in design and process, Lean, 6 Sigma, HR, organization design and training.  The Business Architects ensure that all of the pieces fit together in a logical manor and that the impact can be shown in dollar terms
  • The Enterprise Architect is a person who can perform as both Solution Architect (SA) and a Business Architect (as needed) and has some ability as an Information Architect. In addition, an EA can perform at an enterprise level, something that is NOT required of either an SA or BA

The feedback on the title of Enterprise Architect was as varied as the number of responses.  The comments included:

  • Enterprise Architecture seen as a bad word
  • With hindsight, referring to it as architecture was a mistake
  • Enterprise Architecture is an IT version of technical specifications and drawings and not architecture, as such, and Enterprise Architects are mainly focused on the Application and Technology areas.
  • I think the technology story wave is coming to an end.  The focus will be more on the BusArch and InfoArch as that is where, in my view, the business IP sits. In the future more Bus/Info architects will become Enterprise WIDE architects, not so much enterprise architects

In most cases but not all, there is no such job as an Enterprise Architect.  It is in instead the overall term for Business Architects, Solution Architects, Information Architects, Value architects, Journey architects and so on.

The key differences that were highlighted between the roles of Business Architect and Enterprise Architect was a matter of depth and potentially also of education:

  • Enterprise Architects will tend to have more depth in technology; Business Architects will tend to have more depth in business techniques
  • Enterprise Architects will tend to have a Computer Science degree, or similar; Business Architects will tend to have a business degree or experience.

It was also stated that Business Architecture is a logical growth path for an experienced Business Analyst provided they get an Enterprise level understanding of the Business and Architecture.

When I actually look at the background of the respondents, I can see experience in:

  • IT consulting
  • Operations management
  • Product management
  • Project management
  • Business Analyst
  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Logistics
  • … and much more besides

and education backgrounds are similarly varied.

The common theme is a deep interest in the business issues and what makes organizations work.

The evolution of Business Architecture clearly has a long way to go and depends upon the ability of the practitioners to relate to the business leaders.  One respondent predicted a shift and a segmentation in these comments:

  • For business that serve the “mum and dads”. I believe you will see a grouping of the different architectures based upon the business objectives and capabilities.
  • I think the technology story wave is coming to an end.  The focus will be more on the BusArch and InfoArch as that is where, in my view, the business IP sits. Applications and Technologies are all COTS nowadays (unless you are developing them). I think in the future more Bus/Info architects will become Enterprise WIDE Architects, not so much Enterprise Architects

The last word goes to the feedback that one Business Architect reported:

“In my time with this amazing new methodology I have had two separate reactions that stand out:

The first from an Acting CEO that was one of the biggest sceptics when I started the initiative and in admitting he had been, said that he owed me a big apology that he found the Business Architecture to be both highly useful and quite remarkable.

The second was in relation to a BPO initiative for a long standing traditional finance industry organization, when the chairman of the board said it [Business Architecture] had made a major decision relatively easy, that would have otherwise been one of the most difficult in the company‘s history.”

Allen Brown

Allen Brown is President and CEO, The Open Group – a global consortium that enables the achievement of business objectives through IT standards.  For over 14 years Allen has been responsible for driving The Open Group’s strategic plan and day-to-day operations, including extending its reach into new global markets, such as China, the Middle East, South Africa and India. In addition, he was instrumental in the creation of the AEA, which was formed to increase job opportunities for all of its members and elevate their market value by advancing professional excellence.

4 Comments

Filed under Business Architecture, Certifications, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Professional Development, TOGAF

The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA) Program Transformed My Career

By Bala Prasad Peddigari, Tata Consultancy Services Limited

openca

Learning has been a continuous journey for me throughout my career, but certification in TOGAF® truly benchmarked my knowledge and Open CA qualified my capability as a practitioner. Open CA not only tested my skills as a practitioner, but also gave me valuable recognition and respect as an Enterprise Architect within my organization.

When I was nominated to undergo the Open CA Certification in 2010, I didn’t realize that this certification would transform my career, improve my architecture maturity and provide me with the such wide spread peer recognition.

The Open CA certification has enabled me to gain increased recognition at my organization. Furthermore, our internal leadership recognizes my abilities and has helped me to get into elite panels of jury regarding key initiatives at the organization level and at my parent company’s organization level. The Open CA certification has helped me to improve my Architecture Maturity and drive enterprise solutions.

With recognition, comes a greater responsibility – hence my attempt to create a community of architects to within my organization and expand the Enterprise Architecture culture. I started the Architects Cool Community a year ago. Today, this community has grown to roughly 350 associates who continuously share knowledge, come together to solve architecture problems, share best practices and contribute to The Open Group Working Groups to build reference architectures.

I can without a doubt state that TOGAF and Open CA have made a difference in my career transformation: they created organization-wide visibility, helped me to get both internal and external recognition as an Enterprise Architect and helped me to achieve required growth. My Open CA certification has also been well received by customers, particularly when I meet enterprise customers from Australia and the U.S. The Open CA certification exemplifies solid practitioner knowledge and large-scale end-to-end thinking. The certification also provided me with self-confidence in architecture problem solving to drive the right rationale.

I would like to thank my leadership team, who provided the platform and offered lot of support to drive the architecture initiatives. I would like to thank The Open Group’s Open CA team and the board who interviewed me to measure and certify my skills. I strongly believe you earn the certification because you are able to support your claims to satisfy the conformance requirements and achieving it proves that you have the skills and capabilities to carry out architecture work.

You can find out if you can meet the requirements of the program by completing the Open CA Self Assessment Tool.

balaBala Prasad Peddigari (Bala) is an Enterprise Architect and Business Value Consultant with Tata Consultancy Services Limited. Bala specializes in Enterprise Architecture, IT Strategies, Business Value consulting, Cloud based technology solutions and Scalable architectures. Bala has been instrumental in delivering IT Solutions for Finance, Insurance, Telecom and HiTech verticals. Bala currently heads the HiTech Innovative Solutions Technology Excellence Group with a focus on Cloud, Microsoft, Social Computing, Java and Open source technologies. He received accolades in Microsoft Tech Ed for his cloud architectural strengths and Won the Microsoft ALM Challenge. Bala published his papers in IEEE and regular speaker in Open Group conference and Microsoft events. Bala serves on the Open CA Certification Board for The Open Group.

Comments Off

Filed under Certifications, Open CA, Professional Development, TOGAF, TOGAF®

The Open Group Sydney – My Conference Highlights

By Mac Lemon, MD Australia at Enterprise Architects

Sydney

Well the dust has settled now with the conclusion of The Open Group ‘Enterprise Transformation’ Conference held in Sydney, Australia for the first time on April 15-20. Enterprise Architects is proud to have been recognised at the event by The Open Group as being pivotal in the success of this event. A number of our clients including NBN, Australia Post, QGC, RIO and Westpac presented excellent papers on leading edge approaches in strategy and architecture and a number of EA’s own thought leaders in Craig Martin, Christine Stephenson and Ana Kukec also delivered widely acclaimed papers.

Attendance at the conference was impressive and demonstrated that there is substantial appetite for a dedicated event focussed on the challenges of business and technology strategy and architecture. We saw many international visitors both as delegates and presenting papers and there is no question that a 2014 Open Group Forum will be the stand out event in the calendar for business and technology strategy and architecture professionals.

My top 10 take-outs from the conference include the following:

  1. The universal maturing in understanding the criticality of Business Architecture and the total convergence upon Business Capability Modelling as a cornerstone of business architecture;
  2. The improving appreciation of techniques for understanding and expressing business strategy and motivation, such as strategy maps, business model canvass and business motivation modelling;
  3. That customer experience is emerging as a common driver for many transformation initiatives;
  4. While the process for establishing the case and roadmap for transformation appears well enough understood, the process for management of the blueprint through transformation is not and generally remains a major program risk;
  5. Then next version of TOGAF® should offer material uplift in support for security architecture which otherwise remains at low levels of maturity from a framework standardisation perspective;
  6. ArchiMate® is generating real interest as a preferred enterprise architecture modelling notation – and that stronger alignment of ArchiMate® and TOGAF® meta models in then next version of TOGAF® is highly anticipated;
  7. There is industry demand for recognised certification of architects to demonstrate learning alongside experience as the mark of a good architect. There remains an unsatisfied requirement for certification that falls in the gap between TOGAF® and the Open CA certification;
  8. Australia can be proud of its position in having the second highest per capita TOGAF® certification globally behind the Netherlands;
  9. While the topic of interoperability in government revealed many battle scarred veterans convinced of the hopelessness of the cause – there remain an equal number of campaigners willing to tackle the challenge and their free and frank exchange of views was entertaining enough to justify worth the price of a conference ticket;
  10. Unashamedly – Enterprise Architects remains in a league of its own in the concentration of strategy and architecture thought leadership in Australia – if not globally.

Mac LemonMac Lemon is the Managing Director of Enterprise Architects Pty Ltd and is based in Melbourne, Australia.

This is an extract from Mac’s recent blog post on the Enterprise Architects web site which you can view here.

Comments Off

Filed under ArchiMate®, Business Architecture, Certifications, Conference, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Professional Development, Security Architecture, TOGAF, TOGAF®

What is Business Architecture?

By Allen Brown, President and CEO, The Open Group

I have heard and read the opinions of a number of people about what is Business Architecture, as I am sure many of us have but I wanted to understand it from the perspective of people who actually had Business Architect in their job title.  So I wrote to 183 people in Australia and New Zealand and asked them.

I chose Australia and New Zealand because of our conference in Sydney that was coming up at the time.  It is also worth mentioning that when counting the number of individuals in each country who have achieved TOGAF®9 certification, Australia is ranked 4th in the world and New Zealand is 20th.

I explained that I had thought of constructing a survey instrument but I always think that such an approach is only really suitable when you want to measure opinion on things that you know.  Since I really wanted to have an open mind, I asked everyone for their thoughts and provided a small number of open questions that showed the sort of thing I was interested in learning.

These were:

  • What is Business Architecture in the context of your organization?
  • Do you have Enterprise Architects in your organization? If so, what is it that you do that they do not? If not, how do you see Business Architecture differently from Enterprise Architecture?
  • Who do you report to? Is your line of reporting up to the CIO, the COO if you have one, or other senior level person?
  • How is Business Architecture perceived in your organization?

 It would also help me if I knew something about your organization.
  • Which industry are you in? e.g. IT, Oil, Finance, Healthcare, National or Local Government, etc.?
  • Is your organization primarily a consumer of Business Architecture or a supplier? e.g. consultant, trainer, vendor etc.
  • What type of organization do you work in? e.g. a for-profit entity, a government department, a charity, etc.
  • How big is the organization? Some idea of revenue or budget, number of employees – doesn’t have to be precise. You could just say small, medium or large.
  • How many Business Architects, Enterprise Architects or other architects are there in your organization?

And perhaps a little about yourself.
  • Your background e.g. Operations, Business Analysis, Project Management, IT, Finance etc.
  • Were you recruited for the role or did you develop into it?
  • I don’t wish to take up too much of your time but anything you can share would be very helpful. And please feel free to add anything else that you feel is relevant.

I have so far received 24 responses which is what I was hoping for but I am open to any other views people who are performing this role might have.  16 of the responses came from people employed by organizations that I think of as consumers of IT products and services (government departments, telcos, banks, accountants, energy companies, and mutuals) and 8 came from suppliers.

The responses were amazing and thank you to everyone who took the time to do so.  They included some wonderful insights into their role and into their organization, without of course divulging anything that they should not have.  But of course because I asked open questions, the responses are, at the same time both more complex and more interesting.  It’s a case of be careful of what you wish for – but I am really glad that I did.

So far I have been able to summarize the views of the consumers.  I will turn to the suppliers next.  It will be really interesting to see where the similarities and variations lay.

It is important to note that I am still in the process of seeking to understand, so I would be really pleased to hear from anyone who has such a role, to correct any misunderstandings I might have or erroneous conclusions I may have drawn.

A number of comments jumped out at me.  One example came from a Business Architect in a government department.  The reason it stood out was very simple.  Many times I am told that Business Architecture only applies to commercial business and cannot apply to governments or non-profits.  Which is strange to me, since I lead a non-profit and when I was at business school, part-time of course, a good proportion of my classmates were from the public sector.  The comment was in response to the question: who do you report to?  The answer was, “we report to the Secretary but all reporting lines are business focused”.

The first level of analysis, which should come as no surprise is that Business Architecture is a relatively new discipline for most organizations: in most cases it has been around for between 1 and 5 years.  Described by some as a growing capability, or as immature, or even as “largely missing”.  One respondent describes herself quite rightly as a pioneer.

A recurring theme was that the ability to have a company-wide or industry-wide model was critical as it provides a common terminology across the board to what the organization actually does and enables understanding of the implications of any changes.  Another was that the success or lack of it in Business Architecture really came down to the expertise of the people in the team; and another was that Business Architects acted very much, like internal consultants and often had a consulting background.

What Business Architects do is exactly that – their focus is on the “What”.  Some of the comments included:

  • Understanding strategic themes and drivers
  • Modeling value chains, value streams, configurations
  • Context modeling e.g. external interactions
  • Capabilities, including business capability, service capability (including both business and IT capabilities), capability maturity, targets and gaps
  • Calling out the interdependencies of all the business and architecture domains: strategy, governance, market, distribution, product, capability
  • Design – entities, people (organization structure, incentives), process, systems, functions, roles
  • Linking with and supporting the strategy and injecting into the investment planning cycle
  • The Business Architect provides processes, part of the input and information for the business to determine whether or not any investment will be made within their organisation

The “How” is in the domain of the Solution Architects, Application, Data and Technology Architects and the Business Analysts: business, process and data.

The crucial element is how well the Business Architects are integrated with the other architects and with the analysts.  In many cases Business Architecture was within the Enterprise Architecture function – as an aside it was pointed out by one or two respondents that they considered Enterprise Architecture as a function rather than a person – in other cases it was not.

The reporting lines for Business Architects varies from organization to organization.  Some reporting lines ultimately end up with the CIO or CTO, others to the COO and others did not.  In many cases they reported directly to a GM or Head of change management, transformation or business strategy or improvement.

In those cases where Business Architecture was not embedded within the Enterprise Architecture function the relationship was enabled via a forum or committee that brought the Business Architects together with those working on the other disciplines.   Gaining agreement on a common content framework, on business modeling standards and on governance procedures were cited as approaches that supported the collaboration.

Although in one case, Business Architecture was relegated to a sub-discipline of IT architecture to focus on the “business stuff”.  In most cases the Business Architects described a differentiated focus or role.

  • A focus on business performance, process design, organization design, strategy and planning
  • The documentation and governance of business processes, organizational elements, business requirements, regulatory requirements, business rules and risks
  • The description of what we are trying to do, what value it adds and how it can be done

The difference from the other architecture domains was often described under the general heading of technology.

  • Technical architecture and governance
  • Strategic solutioning
  • Information, application, data architecture
  • Portfolio management
  • The enterprise stack of tools
  • Innovation through new technology

Business Architecture often demands a certain amount of analysis work and in one case it was seen as glorified business analysis. I have also heard “industry experts” say that they do not understand the difference between Business Architects and Business Analysts.  But that is unfair both to the Business Architects and to the Business Analysts.  They are both important functions in their own right.  In fact it has been emphasized that you need all three disciplines: Business Analyst, Business Architect and the Solution, Information, Technology Architect.

Perhaps in smaller organizations you might get by with a Jack of all trades but the size of the organization represented by these respondents ranged from 1,500 employees to 50,000 employees and they need the benefit of the three different specializations.

While the Business Analysts are the source of the very detailed information needed, the Business Architect brings the skills needed to distil that information and discuss it with the business leaders.  The people they are talking with are the senior leaders, the strategic solutioning teams, the program directors of large change programs and others who need pragmatic, easily digestible information.  They need to understand the implications and gaps, the dependencies, the opportunities and the limitations.

As one person said, “the success gauge for Business Architecture is an organization that starts solving business problems by defining them within the organization’s context across the spectrum of change areas, minus the technology change area, and then works toward the technology, rather than starting at a technology solution that might solve the problem and playing catch-up from there.  I continue to hold to the view that investing in the Business Architecture up front saves on people, process and technology cost at the end.”

Again, I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to respond.  Everyone has a valuable story to tell and everyone is fully committed to the role and function of the Business Architect.  If I have misunderstood anything, please do not hesitate to correct me. I look forward to hearing your comments.

Allen Brown

Allen Brown is President and CEO, The Open Group – a global consortium that enables the achievement of business objectives through IT standards.  For over 14 years Allen has been responsible for driving The Open Group’s strategic plan and day-to-day operations, including extending its reach into new global markets, such as China, the Middle East, South Africa and India. In addition, he was instrumental in the creation of the AEA, which was formed to increase job opportunities for all of its members and elevate their market value by advancing professional excellence.

2 Comments

Filed under Business Architecture, Certifications, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Professional Development, TOGAF

The Open Group Speakers Discuss Enterprise Architecture, Business Architecture and Enterprise Transformation

By Dana Gardner, Interarbor Solutions

Listen to the recorded podcast here: Expert Panel Explores Enterprise Architecture and Business Architecture as Enterprise Transformation Agents, or read the transcript here.

Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to a special BriefingsDirect Thought Leadership interview series, coming to you in conjunction with The Open Group Conference on April 15, in Sydney, Australia.

I’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and I’ll be your host and moderator throughout these business transformation discussions. The conference, The Open Group’s first in Australia, will focus on “How Does Enterprise Architecture Transform an Enterprise?” And there will be special attention devoted to how enterprise transformation impacts such vertical industries as finance and defense, as well as exploration, mining, and minerals. [Disclosure: The Open Group is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

We’re here now with two of the main speakers at the conference — Hugh Evans, the Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Architects, a specialist enterprise architecture (EA) firm based in Melbourne, Australia; and Craig Martin, Chief Operations Officer and Chief Architect at Enterprise Architects.

As some background, Hugh is both the founder and CEO at Enterprise Architects. His professional experience blends design and business, having started out in traditional architecture, computer games design, and digital media, before moving into enterprise IT and business transformation.
In 1999, Hugh founded the IT Strategy Architecture Forum, which included chief architects from most of the top 20 companies in Australia. He has also helped found the Australian Architecture Body  of Knowledge and the London Architecture Leadership Forum in the UK.

Since starting Enterprise Architects in 2002, Hugh has grown the team to more than 100 people, with offices in Australia, the UK, and the U.S.
With a career spanning more than 20 years, Craig has held executive positions in the communications, high tech, media, entertainment, and government markets and has operated as an Enterprise Architect and Chief Consulting Architect for a while.

In 2012, Craig became COO of Enterprise Architects to improve the global scalability of the organization, but he is also a key thought leader for strategy and architecture practices for all their clients and also across the EA field.

Craig has been a strong advocate of finding differentiation in businesses through identifying new mixes of business capabilities in those organizations. He advises that companies that do not optimize how they reassemble their capabilities will struggle, and he also believes that business decision making should be driven by economic lifecycles.

So welcome to you both. How are you doing?

Hugh Evans: Great, Dana. Good morning, Dana. Welcome everyone. Craig Martin: Thanks very much for having us.

Big-picture perspective

Gardner: I look forward to our talk. Let’s look at this first from a big-picture perspective and then drill down into what you are going to get into at the conference in a couple of weeks. What are some of the big problems that businesses are facing, that they need to solve, and that architecture-level solutions can really benefit them. I’ll open this up to both Hugh and Craig?

Evans: Thanks very much, Dana. I’ll start with the trend in the industry around fast-paced change and disruptive innovation. You’ll find that many organizations, many industries, at the moment in the U.S., Australia, and around the world are struggling with the challenges of how to reinvent themselves with an increasing number of interesting and innovative business models coming through. For many organizations, this means that they need to wrap their arms around an understanding of their current business activities and what options they’ve got to leverage their strategic advantages.

We’re seeing business architecture as a tool for business model innovation, and on the other side, we’re also seeing business architecture as a tool that’s being used to better manage risk, compliance, security, and new technology trends around things like cloud, big data, and so on.

Martin: Yes, there is a strong drive within the industry to try and reduce complexity.  As organizations are growing, the business stakeholders are confronted with a large amount of information, especially within the architecture space. We’re seeing that they’re struggling with this complexity and have to make accurate and efficient business decisions on all this information.

What we are seeing, and based upon what Hugh has already discussed, is that some of those industry drivers are around disruptive business models. For example, we’re seeing it with the likes of higher education, the utility space, and financial services space, which are the dominant three.
There is a lot of change occurring in those spaces, and businesses are looking for ways to make them more agile to adapt to that change, and looking towards disciplined architecture and the business-architecture discipline to try and help them in that process.

Gardner: I think I know a bit about how we got here — computing, globalization, outsourcing, companies expanding across borders, the ability to enter new markets freely, and dealing with security, but also great opportunity. Did I miss anything? Is there anything about the past 10 or 15 years in business practices that have led now to this need for a greater emphasis on that strategic architectural level of thinking?

Martin: A lot has to do with basically building blocks. We’ve seen a journey that’s travelled within the architecture disciplines specifically. We call it the commodification of the business, and we’ve seen that maturity in the IT space. A lot of processes that used to be innovative in our business are now becoming fairly utility and core to the business. In any Tier 1 organization, a lot of the processes that used to differentiate them are now freely available in a number of vendor platforms, and any of their competitors can acquire those.

Looking for differentiation

So they are looking for that differentiation, the ability to be able to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and away from that sort of utility space. That’s a shift that’s beginning to occur. Because a lot of those IT aspects have become industrialized, that’s also moving up into the business space.

In other words, how can we now take complex mysteries in the business space and codify them? In other words, how can we create building blocks for them, so that organizations now can actually effectively work with those building blocks and string them together in different ways to solve more complex business problems.

Evans: I’ll add to that Dana. EA is now around 30 years old, but the rise in EA has really come from the need for IT systems to interoperate and to create common standards and common understanding within an organization for how an IT estate is going to come together and deliver the right type of business value.

Through the ’90s we saw the proliferation of technologies as a result of the extension of distributed computing models and the emergence of the Internet. We’ve seen now the ubiquity of the Internet and technology across business. The same sort of concepts that ring true in technology architecture extend out into the business, around how the business interoperates with its components.

The need to change very fast for business, which is occurring now in the current economy, with the entrepreneurship and the innovation going on, is seeing this type of thinking come to the fore. This type of thinking enables organizations to change more rapidly. The architecture itself won’t make the organization change rapidly, but it will provide the appropriate references and enable people to have the right conversations to make that happen.

Gardner: So architecture can come as a benefit when the complexity kicks in. When you try to change an organization, you don’t get lost along the way. Give me a sense about what sort of paybacks your clients get when they do this correctly, and what happens when you don’t do this very well?

Evans: Business architecture, as well as strategic architecture, is still quite a nascent capability for organizations, and many organizations are really still trying to get a grip on this. The general rule is that organizations don’t manage this so well at the moment, but organizations are looking to improving in this area, because of the obvious, even heuristic, payoffs that you get from being better organized.

You end up spending less money, because you’re a more efficient organization, and you end up delivering better value to customers, because you’re a more effective organization. This efficiency and effectiveness need within organizations is worth the price of investment in this area.
The actual tangible benefits that we’re seeing across our customers includes reduced cost of their IT estate.

Meeting profiles

You have improved security and improved compliance, because organizations can see where their capabilities are meeting the various risk and compliance profiles, and you are also seeing organizations bring products to market quicker. The ability to move through the product management process, bring products to market more rapidly, and respond to customer need more rapidly puts organizations in front and makes them more competitive.

The sorts of industries we’re seeing acting in this area would include the postal industry, where they are moving from a traditional mail- to parcels, which is a result of a move towards online retailing. You’re also seeing it in the telco sector and you’re seeing it in the banking and finance sector.
In the banking and finance sector, we’ve also seen a lot of this investment driven by the merger and acquisition (M&A) activity that’s come out of the financial crisis in various countries where we operate. These organizations are getting real value from understanding where the enterprise boundaries are, how they bring the business together, how they better integrate the organizations and acquisitions, and how they better divest.

Martin: We’re seeing, especially at the strategic level, that the architecture discipline is able to give business decision makers a view into different strategic scenarios. For example, where a number of environmental factors and market pressures would have been inputs into a discussion around how to change a business, we’re also seeing business decision makers getting a lot of value from running those scenarios through an actual hypothesis of the business model.

For example, they could be considering four or five different strategic scenarios, and what we are seeing is that, using the architecture discipline, it’s showing them effectively what those scenarios look like as they cascade through the business. It’s showing the impact on capabilities, on people and the approaches and technologies, and the impact on capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operational expenditures (OPEX). Those views of each of those strategic scenarios allows them to basically pull the trigger on the better strategic scenario to pursue, before they’ve invested all of their efforts and all that analysis to possibly get to the point where it wasn’t the right decision in the first place. So that might be referred to as sort of the strategic enablement piece.

We’re also seeing a lot of value for organizations within the portfolio space. We traditionally get questions like, “I have 180 projects out there. Am I doing the right things? Are those the right 180 projects, and are they going to help me achieve the types of CAPEX and OPEX reductions that I am looking for?”

With the architecture discipline, you don’t take a portfolio lens into what’s occurring within the business. You take an architectural lens, and you’re able to give executives an overview of exactly where the spend is occurring. You give them an overview of where the duplication is occurring, and where the loss of cohesion is occurring.

Common problems

A common problem we find, when we go into do these types of gigs, is the amount of duplication occurring across a number of projects. In a worst-case scenario, 75 percent of the projects are all trying to do the same thing, on the same capability, with the same processes.
So there’s a reduction of complexity and the production of efforts that’s occurring across the organizations to try and bring it and get it into more synergistic sessions.

We’re also seeing a lot of value occurring up at the customer experience space. That is really taking a strong look at this customer experience view, which is less around all of the underlying building blocks and capabilities of an organization and looking more at what sort of experiences we want to give our customer? What type of product offerings must we assemble, and what underlying building blocks of the organization must be assembled to enable those offerings and those value propositions?

That sort of traceability through the cycle gives you a view of what levers you must pull to optimize your customer experience. Organizations are seeing a lot of value there and that’s basically increasing their effectiveness in the market and having a direct impact on their market share.
And that’s something that we see time and time again, regardless of what the driver was behind the investment in the architecture project, seeing the team interact and build a coalition for action and for change. That’s the most impressive thing that we get to see.

Gardner: Let’s drill down a little bit into some of what you’ll be discussing at the conference in Sydney in April. One of the things that’s puzzling to me, when I go to these Open Group Conferences, is to better understand the relationship between business architecture and IT architecture and where they converge and where they differ. Perhaps you could offer some insights and maybe tease out what some discussion points for that would be at the conference.

Martin: That’s actually quite a hot topic. In general, the architecture discipline has grown from the IT space, and that’s a good progression for it to take, because we’re seeing the fruits of that discipline in how they industrialize IT components. We’re seeing the fruits of that in complex enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, the modularization of those ERP systems, their ability to be customized, and adapt to businesses. It’s a fairly mature space, and the natural progression of that is to apply those same thinking patterns back up into the business space.

In order for this to work effectively well, when somebody asks a question like that, we normally respond with a “depends” statement. We have in this organization a thing called the mandate curve, and it relates to what the mandate is within the business. What is the organization looking to solve?

Are they looking to build an HR management system? Are they looking to gain efficiencies from an enterprise-wide ERP solution? Are they looking to reduce the value chain losses that they’re having on a monthly basis? Are they looking to improve customer experience across a group of companies? Or are they looking to improve shareholder value across the organization for an M&A, or maybe reduce cost-to-income.

Problem spaces

Those are some of the problem spaces, and we often get into that mind space to ask, “Those are the problems that you are solving, but what mandate is given to architecture to solve them?” We often find that the mandate for the IT architecture space is sitting beneath the CIO, and the CIO tends to use business architecture as a communication tool with business. In other words, to understand business better, to begin to apply architecture rigor to the business process.

Evans: It’s interesting, Dana. I spent a lot of time last year in the UK, working with the team across a number of business-architecture requirements. We were building business-architecture teams. We were also delivering some projects, where the initial investigation was a business- architecture piece, and we also ran some executive roundtables in the UK.

One thing that struck me in that investigation was the separation that existed in the business- architecture community from the traditional enterprise and technology architecture or IT architecture communities in those organizations that we were dealing with.
One insurance company, in particular, that was building a business-architecture team was looking for people that didn’t necessarily have an architecture background, but possibly could apply that insight. They were looking for deep business domain knowledge inside the various aspects of the insurance organization that they were looking to cover.

So to your question about the relationship between business architecture and IT architecture, where they converge and how they differ, it’s our view that business architecture is a subset of the broader EA picture and that these are actually integrated and unified disciplines.
However, in practice you’ll find that there is often quite a separation between these two groups. I think that the major reason for that is that the drivers that are actually creating the investment for business architecture are actually now from coming outside of IT, and to some extent, IT is replicating that investment to build the engagement capability to engage with business so that they can have a more strategic discussion, rather than just take orders from the business.

I think that over this year, we’re going to see more convergence between these two groups, and that’s certainly something that we are looking to foster in EA.

Gardner: I just came back from The Open Group Conference in California a few weeks ago, where the topic was focused largely on big data, but analysis was certainly a big part of that. Now, business analysis and business analysts, I suppose, are also part of this ecosystem. Are they subsets of the business architect? How do you see the role of business analysts now fitting into this, given the importance of data and the ability for organizations to manage data with new efficiency and scale?

Martin: Once again, that’s also a hot topic. There is a convergence occurring, and we see that across the landscape, when it comes to the number of frameworks and standards that people certify on. Ultimately, it comes to this knife-edge point, in which we need to interact with the business stakeholder and we need to elicit requirements from that stakeholder and be able to model them successfully.
The business-analysis community is slightly more mature in this particular space. They have, for example, the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK). Within that space, they leverage a competency model, which in effect goes through a cycle, from an entry level BA, right up to what they refer to as the generalist BA, which is where they see the start of the business- architecture role.

Career path

There’s a career path from a traditional business analyst role, which is around requirements solicitation and requirements management, which seems to be quite project focused. In other words, dropping down onto project environments, understanding stakeholder needs and requirements, and modeling those and documenting them, helping the IT teams model the data flows, the data structures but with a specific link into the business space.

As you move up that curve, you get into the business-architecture space, which is a broader structural view around how all the building blocks fit together. In other words, it’s a far broader view than what the business analyst traditional part would take, and looks at a number of different domains. The business architect tends to focus a lot on, as you mentioned, the information space, and we see a difference between the information and the data space.

So the business architect is looking at performance, market-related aspects, and customer, information, as well as the business processes and functional aspects of an organization. You can see that the business analysts could almost be seen as the soldiers of these types of functions. In other words, they’re the guys that are in the trenches seeing what’s working on a day-to-day basis. They’ve got a number of tools that they’re equipped with, which for example the BABOK has given them. And there are all different ways and techniques that they are using to elicit those requirements from various business stakeholders, until they move out that curve up into the business architecture and strategic architecture space.

Evans: There’s an interesting pattern that I’ve noticed with the business-analyst-to-business- architecture career journey and the traditional IT track, where you see a number of people move into solution architect roles. There might be a solution architect on a project, they might move to multiple projects and ultimately do a program, and a number of those people then pop out to a much broader enterprise view, as they go through their career.

The business analyst is, in many respects, tracking that journey, where business analysts might focus on a project and requirements for a project, might look across at a high view, and possibly get to a point where they have a strong domain understanding that can drive high level sort of strategic discussions within the organization.

There is certainly a pattern emerging, and there are great opportunities for business analysts to come across into the architecture sphere. However, I believe that the broader EA discipline does need to make the effort to bridge that gap. Architecture needs to come across and find those connection points with the analyst community and help to elevate and converge the two sides.

Gardner: Craig, in your presentation at The Open Group Conference in Sydney, what do you hope to accomplish, and will this issue of how the business analyst fits in be prominent in that?

Martin: It’s a general theme that we’re using leading right up to the conference. We have a couple of webinars, which deal specifically with this topic. That’s leading up to the plenary talk at The Open Group Conference, which is really looking at how we can use these tools of the architecture discipline to be able to achieve the types of outcomes that we’ve spoken about here.

Building cohesion

In other words, how do I build cohesion in an organization? How do I look at different types of scenarios that I can execute against? What are the better ways to assemble all the efforts in my organization to achieve those outcomes? That’s taking us through a variety of examples that will be quite visual.

We’ll also be addressing the specific role of where we see the career path and the complementary nature of the business analyst and business architect, as they travel through the cycle of trying to operate at a strategic level and as a strategic enabler within the organization.

Gardner: Maybe you could also help me better understand something. When organizations decide that this is the right thing for them — as you mentioned earlier, this is still somewhat nascent — what are some good foundational considerations to get started? What needs to be put in place? Maybe it’s a mindset. How do you often find that enterprises get beyond the inertia and into this discussion about architecture and about the strategic benefits of it?

Martin: Once again, it’s a “depends” answer. For example, we often have two market segments, where a Tier 1 type company would want to build the capability themselves. So there’s a journey that we need to take them on around how to have a business-architecture capability while delivering the actual outcomes?

Tier 2 and Tier 3 clients often don’t necessarily want to build that type of capability, so we would focus directly on the outcomes. And those outcomes start with two views. Traditionally, we’re seeing the view driven almost on a bottom-up view, as the sponsors of these types of exercises try to get credibility within the organization.

That relates to helping the clients build what we refer to as the utility of the business-architecture space. Our teams go in and, in effect, build a bunch of what we refer to as anchor models to try and get a consistent representation of the business and a consistent language occurring across the entire enterprise, not just within a specific project.

And that gives them a common language they can talk about, for example, common capabilities and common outcomes that they’re looking to achieve. In other words, it’s not just a bunch of building blocks, but the actual outcome of each of those building blocks and how does it match something like a business-motivation model.

They also look within each of those building blocks to see what the resources are that creates each of those building blocks — things like people, process and tools. How do we mix those resources in the right way to achieve those types of outcomes that the business is looking for? Normally, the first path that we go through is to try to get that sort of consistent language occurring within an organization. As an organization matures, that artifact starts to lose its value, and we then find that, because it has created a consistent language in the organization, you can now overlay a variety of different types of views to give business people insights. Ultimately, they don’t necessarily want all these models, but they actually want insight into their organizations to enable them to make decisions.

We can overlay objectives, current project spend, CAPEX, and OPEX. We can overlay where duplication is occurring, where overspend is occurring, where there’s conflict occurring at a global scale around duplication of efforts, and with the impact of costs and reduction and efficiencies, all of those types of questions can be answered by merely overlaying a variety of views across this common language.

Elevating the value

That starts to elevate the value of these types of artifacts, and we start to see our business sponsors walking into meetings with all of these overlays on them, and having conversations between them and their colleagues, specifically around the insights that are drawn from these artifacts. We want the architecture to tell the story, not necessarily lengthy PowerPoint presentations, but as people are looking at these types of artifacts, they are actually seeing all the insights that come specifically from it.

The third and final part is often around the business getting to a level of maturity, in that they’re starting to use these types of artifacts and then are looking for different ways that they can now mix and assemble. That’s normally a sign of a mature organization and the business-architecture practice.

They have the building blocks. They’ve seen the value or the types of insights that they can provide. Are there different ways that I can string together my capabilities to achieve different outcomes? Maybe I have got different critical success factors that I am looking to achieve. Maybe there are new shift or new pressures coming in from the environment. How can I assemble the underlying structures of my organization to better cope with it? That’s the third phase that we take customers through, once they get to that level of maturity.

Evans: Just to add to that, Dana, I agree with Craig on the point that, if you show the business what can actually be delivered such as views on a page that elicit the right types of discussions and that demonstrate the issues, when they see what they’re going to get delivered, typically the eyes light up and they say, “I want one of those things.”

The thing with architecture that I have noticed over the years is that architecture is done by a lot of very intelligent people, who have great insights and great understanding, but it’s not just enough to know the answer. You have to know how to engage somebody with the material. So when the architecture content that’s coming through is engaging, clear, understandable, and can be consumed by a variety of stakeholders, they go, “That’s what I want. I want one of those.”

So my advice to somebody who is going down this path is that if they want to get support and sponsorship for this sort of thing, make sure they get some good examples of what gets delivered when it’s done well, as that’s a great way to actually get people behind it.

Gardner: I’m afraid we will have to leave it there. We’ve been talking with Hugh Evans, the CEO of Enterprise Architects, a specialist EA firm in Melbourne; and Craig Martin, the COO and Chief Architect at Enterprise Architects. Thanks to you both.

Evans: Thanks very much Dana, it has been a pleasure.

Martin: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: This BriefingsDirect discussion comes to you in conjunction with The Open Group Conference, the first in Australia, on April 15 in Sydney. The focus will be on “How Does Enterprise Architecture Transform an Enterprise?”

So thanks again to both Hugh and Craig, and I know they will be joined by many more thought leaders and speakers on the EA subject and other architecture issues at the conference, and I certainly encourage our readers and listeners to attend that conference, if they’re in the Asia- Pacific region.

This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host and moderator through these thought leadership interviews. Thanks again for listening, and come back next time.

1 Comment

Filed under ArchiMate®, Business Architecture, Conference, Enterprise Architecture, Professional Development, TOGAF®

Welcome to Platform 3.0

By Dave Lounsbury, The Open Group

The space around us is forever changing.

As I write now, the planet’s molten core is in motion far beneath my feet, and way above my head, our atmosphere and the universe are in constant flux too.

Man also makes his own changes as well. Innovation in technology and business constantly create new ways to work together and create economic value.

Over the past few years, we have witnessed the birth, evolution and use of a number of such changes, each of which has the potential to fundamentally change the way we engage with one another. These include: Mobile, Social (both Social Networks and Social Enterprise), Big Data, the Internet of Things, Cloud Computing as well as devices and application architectures.

Now however, these once disparate forces are converging – united by the growing Consumerization of Technology and the resulting evolution in user behavior – to create new business models and system designs.

You can see evidence of this convergence of trends in the following key architectural shifts:

  • Exponential growth of data inside and outside organizations converging with end point usage in mobile devices, analytics, embedded technology and Cloud hosted environments
  • Speed of technology and business innovation is rapidly changing the focus from asset ownership to the usage of services, and the predication of more agile architecture models to be able to adapt to new technology change and offerings
  • New value networks resulting from the interaction and growth of the Internet of Things and multi-devices and connectivity targeting specific vertical industry sector needs
  • Performance and security implications involving cross technology platforms , cache and bandwidth strategies, existing across federated environments
  • Social behavior and market channel changes resulting in multiple ways to search and select IT and business services
  • Cross device and user-centric driven service design and mainstream use of online marketplace platforms for a growing range of services

The analyst community was the first to recognize and define this evolution in the technological landscape which we are calling Platform 3.0.

At Gartner’s Symposium conference, the keynote touched on the emergence of what it called a ‘Nexus of Forces,’ and warning that it would soon render existing Business Architectures “obsolete.”

However, for those organizations who could get it right, Gartner called the Nexus a “key differentiator of business and technology management” and recommended that “strategizing on how to take advantage of the Nexus should be a top priority for companies around the world.”[i]

Similarly, according to IDC Chief Analyst, Frank Gens, “Vendors’ ability (or inability) to compete on the 3rd Platform [Platform 3.0] right now — even at the risk of cannibalizing their own 2nd Platform franchises — will reorder leadership ranks within the IT market and, ultimately, every industry that uses IT.”[ii]

Of course, while organizations will be looking to make use of Platform 3.0 to create innovative new products and services, this will not be an easy transition for many. Significantly, there will be architectural issues and structural considerations to consider when using and combining these convergent technologies which will need to be overcome. Accomplishing this will in turn require cooperation among suppliers and users of these products and services.

That is why we’re excited to announce the formation of a new – as yet unnamed – forum, specifically designed to advance The Open Group vision of Boundaryless Information Flow™ by helping enterprises to take advantage of these convergent technologies. This will be accomplished by identifying a set of new platform capabilities, and architecting and standardizing an IT platform by which enterprises can reap the business benefits of Platform 3.0. It is our intention that these capabilities will enable enterprises to:

  • Process data “in the Cloud”
  • Integrate mobile devices with enterprise computing
  • Incorporate new sources of data, including social media and sensors in the Internet of Things
  • Manage and share data that has high volume, velocity, variety and distribution
  • Turn the data into usable information through correlation, fusion, analysis and visualization

The forum will bring together a community of industry experts and thought leaders whose purpose it will be to meet these goals, initiate and manage programs to support them, and promote the results. Owing to the nature of the forum it is expected that this forum will also leverage work underway in this area by The Open Group’s existing Cloud Work Group, and would coordinate with other forums for specific overlapping or cross-cutting activities.

Looking ahead, the first deliverables will analyze the use of Cloud, Social, Mobile Computing and Big Data, and describe the business benefits that enterprises can gain from them. The forum will then proceed to describe the new IT platform in the light of this analysis.

If this area is as exciting and important to you and your organization as it is to us, please join us in the discussion. We will use this blog and other communication channels of The Open Group to let you know how you can participate, and we’d of course welcome your comments and thoughts on this idea.

21 Comments

Filed under Enterprise Architecture, Professional Development

Open CA Candidate Profile: An Interview with Andrey Zaychikov

By Steve Philp, The Open Group

Andrey Zaychikov is CIO and Chief Enterprise Architect Ministry of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy for the Russian Federation

In February 2012, Andrey Zaychikov became the first Russian to go through the Open CA program via the direct route. He flew to London Heathrow from Moscow to attend the certification board at a local hotel near Heathrow airport and successfully achieved Master Open CA status. We asked him why he wanted to get Open CA certified and how he found the process.

Can you tell us something about yourself in terms of your background and career to date?

I started my career as a software developer with a Master’s degree in computer science and more than five years experience in creating applications using C, C++ and .NET. In those days I was eager to understand how to define the solution requirements and design its implementation, how to deal with the risks, how to organize the communication with customers in a most effective manner. I applied different approaches based on Booch-2 (in early days), then UML etc. They were quite effective (of course, if adopted to the needs of the particular projects and being common-sense) especially talking about small or medium silo applications.

In 2007, I was put in charge of a huge project involving more than 300 organizations within the enterprise and affecting 80 percent of its operational activities. The enormous complexity of this project forced me to look for the other ways to handle it. I found out that enterprise architecture was the only solution to deal with that issue. That was the start of my career as an Enterprise Architect.

Why did you decide to go for Open CA certification?

On the one hand, I had some problems with the quality of assessment of my professional skills and assessment of my approach to defining and governing enterprise architectures, and on the other hand it was a real chance to demonstrate the level of my personal skills and acquirement to the customers, employees, colleagues and competitors.  Besides, it is a good line in a CV to refer to and it will help to boost my career.

Why is Open CA different from other IT certifications that you have previously been involved with?

I chose Open CA Certification Program because it is:

  • Really vendor, country and methods neutral
  • Based on best practices
  • A great challenge to succeed as an Enterprise Architect
  • A unique chance to assess one’s personal skills and acquirement against the world’s best professionals
  • It is linked to a certified professional and not to a company
  • It helps to determine one’s strengths and weaknesses
  • It is instrumental in building one’s personal development and educational plan
  • It is one of the most prestigious enterprise architecture certifications.

In fact, as I thought, it could really help me to define my place in the world of enterprise architecture and to look at myself from another point of view. It helps not only to assess one’s methodological, technical or business skills but also to assess one’s common approach to work in the terms of enterprise architecture.

How did you prepare for Open CA certification?

My preparation was organized in a step-by-step manner.  First of all, I read the Conformance Requirements and a sample package in order to understand what I should do at the first stage of the certification. I used a  self-assessment tool at this stage as well. Then, I completed the experience profiles because it seemed to me to be far easier to write the profiles rather than the questions section first. I wrote the experience profiles in Russian, my native language and then translated them into English. Therefore, it took me approximately twice as much time as estimated by the Certification Board.

Then I answered the questions in the sections. This time I did not translate them – I just wrote the responses straight in English.

After that I did several reviews of my package in order to squeeze it into 50 pages, simplified some responses and diagrams.

While reviewing my package I tried to conform my package with the requirements and made every response clear to the people who are not aware of the current vertical industry and specific project situation. I watched some sitcoms and read a lot of fiction in English for language practice since I did not use English at work.

Having received the review of my package from The Open Group, I made some minor changes in order to clear up some issues.

Then I began preparation for the interview. I read carefully the certification board member handbook to figure out what the Board might be interested in during the interview. I reviewed my package again trying to ask myself as many questions as I could and answered them mentally, in other words, I tried being in interviewers’ shoes.

Then, taking into consideration the time left before the interview, I chose the most important questions and answered only them in English.

Two days before the interview I read thoroughly my package and the questions again. I arrived to London two days before the interview, again in order to practice the language a bit and not to have the linguistic shock.

What benefits do you think having this certification will bring you?

Despite of the fact that the Open CA certification program is not really well known in Russia, it has already brought me some recognition at Russian IT market, especially among vendors as an excellent and unique specialist. Besides, it really helped me to interact with international community. I think it will speed up my career as a CIO and EA in the near future.

What are your plans for future certifications?

I am planning to progress to Open CA Level 3 in a couple of years. I am thinking over PMBOK certification as well, as I often had to fulfill the role of the project manager in some large projects. Plus, I would like to take TOGAF 9 Certification as my TOGAF 8.1.1 has expired and I am going to continue working on my PhD.

Steve Philp is the Marketing Director for the Open CA and Open CITS certification programs at The Open Group. Over the past 20 years, Steve has worked predominantly in sales, marketing and general management roles within the IT training industry. Based in Reading, UK, he joined the Open Group in 2008 to promote and develop the organization’s skills and experience-based IT certifications.

2 Comments

Filed under Certifications, Enterprise Architecture, Professional Development, Uncategorized

Three Things I Wish I Had Known When I Started My Career

By Leonard Fehskens, The Open Group

It being the time of year for commencement speeches, Patty Donovan asked if I could offer some advice to graduates entering the Enterprise Architecture profession.

She specifically asked what three things I wished I had known when I began my career, and it’s impossible to resist the setup.  I wish I had known:

1)   What stocks to buy and sell when

2)   Which managers at what companies to work for

3)   Which personal relationships to pursue and which to avoid

Had I known these things, my life would likely have been free of much unproductive stress.

OK; that’s not really helpful advice; these aren’t things that one can actually know in advance.

But there are some things that I sort of knew when I got out of school, that in retrospect have proven to be far more important than I imagined at the time.  They are:

1)   Things, especially big things, only get done by collaborating with other people.

2)   Be open to other perspectives.

3)   Nothing in the real world is linear or one-dimensional.

4)   You have to be able to commit, and be prepared to deal with the consequences.

Let’s explore each of these in turn.

Things, especially big things, only get done by collaborating with other people

This seems pretty obvious, but we never seem to take it into account.  Unless you’re a genius of staggering magnitude, your success is going to be largely dependent on your ability to work with other people.

If you majored in some aspect of information systems, unless you minored in psychology or sociology it’s unlikely you took more than one or two elective courses in one or the other.  If you’re lucky, the company you work for will send you on a two or three day “team building exercise” every few years.  If you’re really lucky, you may get sent to a week-long “executive development program” in leadership or “organizational dynamics.”  These sorts of development programs used to be much more common, but are now much harder to cost-justify.  My experience with these things was that they were often interesting, though some of the exercises were a bit contrived.  But the key problem was that whatever one might learn from them was easily forgotten without any subsequent coaching and reinforcement, washed out by the implicit assumption that how to collaborate as part of team is something we all knew how to do intuitively.

So what we’re left with is “learning by doing,” and it’s clear from experience that this basically means picking up habits that, without expert coaching, will be a random mix of both good and bad.  What can we do about this?

Most organizations have an HR policy about staff development plans, and while people are rarely held accountable for not carrying out such a plan, a sensible request to take advantage of the policy will also rarely be refused.  Don’t neglect any opportunity you get to develop your “soft skills” or “people skills.”

 Be open to other perspectives

A thoughtfully open mind—the ability to recognize good ideas and not so good ideas, especially when they’re someone else’s ideas—is probably one of the most useful and most difficult faculties to develop.

It’s a cliché that truly effective communication is difficult.  In practice I have found this often means that we don’t understand why someone takes a position different from ours, and without that understanding, it is too easy to discount that position.  This is compounded by our predisposition, especially among techno-dweeb-weenies, to focus on differences rather than similarities, something Freud called the “narcissism of small differences.”

Fred Brooks (“The Mythical ManMonth,” “The Design of Design”) has long argued that the chief or lead architect is responsible for ensuring the “conceptual integrity” of a design, but this doesn’t mean that all the ideas have to come from that architect.  Nobody has all the answers.  It is the architect’s responsibility to synthesize worthwhile contributions, wherever they come from, into an integrated whole.

 Nothing in the real world is linear or one-dimensional

When I moved on to a new position after leading an architecture team for several years at Digital Equipment Corporation, the team gave me two rubber stamps as a token of their appreciation.  One said “It depends …”, and the other said “Yes, but …”.

Though it’s almost never possible, or sensible, to rank anything non-trivial on a single linear scale, we try to do this all the time.  Simple models of complex things do not make those things simple.  Acting as if they do is called “magical thinking,” for a reason.

So there’s almost never going to be a clearly best answer.  The best we can do is understand what the tradeoffs are, and make them knowingly and deliberately.

 You have to be able to commit, and be prepared to deal with the consequences

Each of the above three lessons tends to complicate things, and complications tend to delay decision-making and commitment to a particular way forward.  While successful architects understand that delayed binding is often an effective design strategy, they also understand that they will never have all the information they need to make a fully informed decision, and finally, and most importantly, that you can’t postpone decisions indefinitely.  They seem to have a knack for understanding which decisions really need to be made when, and how to connect the information they do have into a coherent context for making those decisions.

But they also have contingency plans, and ways to tell as early as possible whether they need to use them.  In a genuinely supportive environment, it will be OK to reconsider a decision, but only if you do so as soon as you realize that you need to.

So, don’t make decisions any sooner than they must be made, but don’t make them any later either, and make sure you don’t “paint yourself into a corner.”

 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.

1 Comment

Filed under Enterprise Architecture, Professional Development

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,818 other followers

%d bloggers like this: