Category Archives: Uncategorized

A New Year’s Message from Steve Nunn

As we begin 2016, I want to extend my warmest greetings to everyone in The Open Group community! I hope each of you had a wonderful holiday filled with family and friends.

2016 promises to be an exciting year for The Open Group and everyone involved. With everything that is going on across the organization and with our Forums and Work Groups, I am also pleased to report that this is a leap year, so we’ll all have one extra day to fit in everything we need to do! With everything we have planned, we will need it!

Joking aside, there are a great many things to look forward to this year. Our latest Forum, The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum, is quickly gaining traction and plans to launch its first certification program later this spring. Interest for the Forum has been coming from all over the globe, so it has been very exciting to see their vision of IT management take off so quickly. The Open Platform 3.0™ Forum continues to pave the way in determining how new technologies will fit into the IT infrastructure of the future. We can look forward to new work from them in the areas of Digital Strategy and Customer Experience, as well as in Big Data and Data Management in the form of new work around Data Lakes.

This year will also bring new efforts in terms of most well-known Open Group standards. In January, we will be hosting our first ever TOGAF® User Group Meeting during the San Francisco event. We’ve been thinking about this event for quite some time, so it’s something that I am really looking forward to. Having just surpassed 50,000 certifications worldwide for TOGAF® 9, we expect it to be a lively and exciting meeting, and we hope to gain valuable insights into what TOGAF users are looking for from the standard and how they use it. In addition, we just celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Single UNIX® Specification. And new developments are also underway for the next version of the ArchiMate® standard.

As I continue to wrap my arms around my new role as President and CEO and all the various activities our members and staff are involved in, I’m personally excited about all the opportunities The Open Group has before it. We continue to look to the areas where The Open Group can bring expertise to the industry and help make a difference in how new technologies are used in an open, secure manner.

As technology and digitalization continue to change how businesses and industries operate, there are more opportunities than ever for The Open Group to get involved, provide guidance and develop new standards to help companies and verticals navigate the constant waves of technological change. With the work we are seeing in both the IT4IT and Open Platform 3.0 Forums, as well as our work with industry verticals, there is tremendous opportunity for The Open Group to continue to help shape the future of the industry, and I look forward to leading us toward this new future.

Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

President and CEO of The Open GroupSteve Nunn is President and CEO of The Open Group – a global consortium that enables the achievement of business objectives through IT standards. He is also President of the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA).

Steve joined The Open Group in 1993, spending the majority of his time as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel.   He was also CEO of the AEA from 2010 until 2015.

Steve is a lawyer by training, has an L.L.B. (Hons) in Law with French and retains a current legal practicing certificate.  Having spent most of his life in the UK, Steve has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2007. He enjoys spending time with his family, walking, playing golf, 80s music, and is a lifelong West Ham United fan.

 

 

8 Comments

Filed under ArchiMate, The Open Group, The Open Group San Franscisco 2016, Uncategorized, UNIX

The Open Group to Hold Next Event in San Francisco

The Open Group, the vendor-neutral IT consortium, is hosting its next event in San Francisco January 25-28. The Open Group San Francisco 2016 will focus on how Enterprise Architecture is empowering companies to build better systems by architecting for digital business strategies. The event will go into depth on this topic through various individual sessions and keynotes.

Some of the many topics of discussion at the event include Business Architecture; how to architect systems using tools and frameworks such as TOGAF® and ArchiMate® (both Open Group standards); Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC); Risk Management and Cybersecurity; Business Transformation; Professional Development, and improving the security and dependability of IT, including the global supply chain on which they rely.

Key speakers at the event, taking place at San Francisco’s Marriott Union Square, include:

  • Steve Nunn,  President & CEO, The Open Group
  • Trevor Cheung, VP Strategy and Architecture Practice, Huawei Global Services
  • Jeff Matthews, Director of Venture Strategy and Research, Space Frontier Foundation
  • Ajit Gaddam, Chief Security Architect, Visa
  • Eric Cohen, Chief Enterprise Architect, Thales
  • Heather Kreger, Distinguished Engineer, CTO International Standards, IBM

Full details on the range of track speakers at the event can be found here.

There will also be the inaugural TOGAF® User Group meeting taking place on January 25. Facilitated breakout sessions will bring together key stakeholders and users to share best practices, information and learn from each other.

Other subject areas at the three day event will include:

  • Open Platform 3.0™ – The Customer Experience and Digital Business
  • IT4IT – Managing the Business of IT. Case study presentations and a vendor panel to discuss the release of The Open Group IT4IT Reference Architecture Version 2.0 standard
    • Plus deep dive presentations into the four streams of the IT Value Chain along with the latest information on the IT4IT training and certification program.
  • EA & Business Transformation – Understand what role EA, as currently practiced, plays in Business Transformation, especially transformations driven by emerging and disruptive technologies.
  • Risk, Dependability & Trusted Technology – The cybersecurity connection – securing the global supply chain.
  • Enabling Healthcare
  • TOGAF® 9 and ArchiMate® – Case studies and the harmonization of the standards.
  • Understand how to develop better interoperability & communication across organizational boundaries and pursue global standards for Enterprise Architecture that are highly relevant to all industries.

Registration for The Open Group San Francisco is open now, is available to members and non-members, and can be found here.

Join the conversation @theopengroup #ogSFO

Leave a comment

Filed under Boundaryless Information Flow, The Open Group, The Open Group San Francisco 2016, TOGAF, Uncategorized

TOGAF® 9 Certifications Exceed 50,000

By The Open Group

We are proud to announce that the number of individuals certified in the TOGAF® 9 certification program as of December 16, 2015, is now over 50,000. This represents over 12,000 new certifications in the past twelve month period. TOGAF®, an Open Group standard, continues to be adopted globally with certified individuals from over 125 different countries.

The total number of certifications for the period ending December 1, 2015 is shown in the figure below:
By The Open Group

The top 5 countries with the most TOGAF 9 certifications are UK, USA, India, Netherlands and Australia. In the past year, India has seen a 33% increase in the total number of certifications and has moved up to third in the list of certifications by country.

Rank Individuals Country %
1 6800 UK 15.20
2 6119 USA 13.68
3 4190 India 9.37
4 3758 Netherlands 8.40
5 2814 Australia 6.29
6 2122 Canada 4.74
7 2021 France 4.52
8 1541 South Africa 3.45
9 1156 China 2.58
10 1115 Finland 2.49

 

In February 2016, we will be running an event in Hyderabad, India that focuses on e-Government and includes case study presentations from the Indian state government of Andhra Pradesh on e-Pragati, an EA initiative based on TOGAF. Find out more here.

We would also encourage TOGAF users and stakeholders to get involved in our new TOGAF User Group meetings. The inaugural event is being held in San Francisco, January 25, 2016. It is free to attend and will include facilitated workshops on topics such as:

  • Using TOGAF for Digital Business Transformation
  • Using Business Scenarios in TOGAF
  • Using Security Architecture: Managing Security and Risk in a TOGAF
  • Professionalization: EA and TOGAF
  • Using TOGAF in E-Government

There will also be TOGAF Hot Topics and Ask the Experts sessions as well as networking opportunities to share information, best practices and to learn from each other. To view the agenda and register, please visit: http://www.opengroup.org/togafusergroupSF

More information on TOGAF 9 Certification, including the directory of Certified People and official accredited training course calendar, can be obtained from The Open Group website at: http://www.opengroup.org/togaf9/cert.

Join the conversation – @theopengroup

 

 

7 Comments

Filed under Certifications, The Open Group San Francisco 2016, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

Driving Digital Transformation Using Enterprise Architecture

By Sunil Kr. Singh, Senior Architecture and Digital Consultant at TATA Consultancy Services

Driving Digital Transformation Using Enterprise Architecture as a Problem Solving Tool Set

If I start talking to an audience and start with, “Enterprise Architecture is required for driving Digital Transformation of an organization”, I guess, I would be talking to an empty hall in 30 seconds. However, I believe it is worth the effort; too many transformations are on. You might be starting to wonder what I have here to say.

Changes are happening rapidly

Business Transformation is becoming the normalized playing ground for everyone! It is happening more frequently and far rapidly. It does not end here; it further makes it more challenging by reducing the time to play catch up. As this Digital Tsunami is hitting us, adopting and developing a standardized approach to implement or execute digital transformation initiatives is important to be successful. The key is to develop the competency to be agile or incremental in a very dynamic environment.

Consumerization and Commoditisation of Product and Services, driven by innovation, knowledge sharing, collaboration and crowd-driven mechanics, is driving rapid evolution of business landscape. The desire to use information in better ways was always there. However, the cost and the scale with which it is possible now was only in books and labs even a decade back. If I still have you here and everything sounds familiar, you might be starting to wonder what is so special about the Digital Transformation. This is the right question and I would encourage you to ask this question many times, as you take up the Digital Transformation journey!

I strongly believe that transformation is definitely an old subject for you. Business has been engaged in transformation for a long time; driving transformation by formulating new business strategies. The same is true for Information Technology (IT) departments; they had moved from mainframe to distributed systems, from independent web applications to Portals to mobile applications. We are all seasoned soldiers of Transformation! Still…

One of the biggest causes of starting to feel the butterflies are the uncertainties around how big of a force is the Tsunami. As we see business domains collapse, we wonder what we should do now. Shall we act or watch and catch the next wave? Which waves to catch, there’s no abating of waves!

Too often disruption in business model

The driver for Google Compare is unprecedented! Who can become the car manufacturer? Alternatively, who wants to play in the card payment market? All establishment looks like pack of cards; they are to be blown away and rebuilt by the Digital Tsunami.

The speciality here is, change in pattern for “Transformation” when the prefix “Digital” gets associated. It is no longer IT for Business. It is technology-enabled business, literally! The basics of market place of how one get their 4Ps together to generate values is changing and thus newer Business Model. That is where the critical differentiation comes in. This drives in a couple of thoughts: A) Business Gurus need to understand information and technology B) Technical Gurus need to understand business. It is no longer a question of business and IT alignment, it is a question of merger and how the mix looks like!

Everyone understands this and understands that change is unavoidable. However, they are also apprehensive of repeating “past failures to transform”. Though enough transformation experience exists, it has also taught the Knights that it was never easy and this time the target itself is fuzzy.

Nevertheless, with tons of questions in their mind, everyone is queuing up for getting a makeover done! Key question for the image makeover gurus, what image makeover tools are at their disposal?

EA is the short answer. Nevertheless, not everyone is doing EA – how can someone explain the success stories that are out there? I am sure there are plenty of individual charismatic leaders who do these in Godly ways. However, the challenge starts when they start to convey their ideas to others. Our expressions are always, “She or he doesn’t get all the Challenges!” Alternatively, “The Devil is in the detail!” Neither do we get what they are trying to drive us to. The friction is huge and more than often companies are stuck here, missing their agility! Is there anything that can break the stalemate?

In this situation the toolset that will be of help are tools around Enterprise Architecture (EA). I can see jaws drop – “What?” “We’ll never be able to transform if we let the Enterprise Architecture drive the show!” Let us take away the people aspects. The tool tries to present a merged image of business and IT. This is the need of the hour. I agree with the challenges that the industry has been experiencing with EA, however, there is a lot of potential to this practice. On the other hand, EA needs to mature as well. This is the symbiotic opportunity! I would like to hear about options available other than EA to drive Digital Transformation.

The point that I am going to make here is simple. The challenge in front of Business Leaders and IT leaders is to drive things quickly and deliver continuous business value through incremental adoption of change. The opportunity for the transformation team is to use a set of tools around EA to let the leaders achieve their goals.

Below I have picked up three different focus areas where EA Practice and its tool set can be valuable for enabling the Digital Transformation.

  1. Unified View:

As we are all experiencing, at any given point in time there are multiple different strategies in execution in different areas of the organization. For example, what is commonly being observed these days, as some team is creating a 360 degree view of their partner, other team may be engaged in various phases of IT system reengineering. I need not get into the details of how they influence each other!

The above phenomenon is almost like solving the Rubik’s cube. When we try to align one side, arrangement on the other side is broken. The different sides of the Rubik’s cube are like different areas of the organization or initiatives. Enterprise Architecture explicitly handles these through Views. Case in point, during an eGovernance initiative to reorganize the IT Systems and Processes, the organization had to start a parallel initiative to modernize the Data Center. It did not end here, the Government was planning to enable unprecedented amount of self-service to the public. Different business departments were driving these; the IT teams were in silos. Result was a no brainer! Multiple starts and stop resulting in overshooting of budget and timeline!

Let us see the Digital Transformation situation. For most contemporary situations, an organization will have cyber security initiatives, digital initiatives, core system modernizations and a few innovation initiatives, all running in parallel.

Therefore, how the situation on the ground does look like? A typical meeting room situation! In a meeting room of a particular program the lead architect or a shared developer points out – “Oh, I know there is a security initiative going on in the data center and that may impact our time line”. The project manager makes a note of it to check this out. The subsequent situations would be familiar too. When the project manager communicates to her counterpart, no one really understands the language of each other (though they are speaking the same language, English, German or Hindi). They decide to keep each one of them separate so that each one can go live! What is the Result? The organization now has two different security gateways!

The above paragraph is an imaginary situation. However, we can all recollect many similar situations. When these different teams or their representatives get into conversations, they may not have all the structures in front of them to understand the possible impacts. It may sound obvious, however, the devils are in the details; and the details are in different jargon or lingo of each initiative.

The EA exactly tries to solve this problem and drive organization forward. There are many different tools, for example, Vision, Business Motivation Models, Business Capability Models, Business Services Models, Business Processes Models, IT Services Models, and Technology Models, which helps in sustained dialogue. The stakeholders within the enterprise will understand the impact of an initiative when they understand the behaviour of the target state; it is possible to explain the behaviour when there is a good structure to depict and define the behaviour.

There is a classical problem here, whether to focus on the forest and ignore the trees or to look at an individual tree and ignore the forest. In reality one need to do both! The tools mentioned above helps to orchestrate between these different perspectives. It provides a mechanism to do it in a relatively easy way. I have mentioned relatively because nothing is easy if one does not put in effort to build the competency around it.

Let us consider the area under Digital Transformation, Digital Experience, which is most widely in vocabulary today. It touches almost every part of the Enterprise. This initiative may directly affect some process simplification and improvement initiatives that may be underway to drive Operational Excellence. The organization typically gets into a chicken and egg scenario and this result into losing momentum over how to resolve the issues. Instead of trying to tie everything together, the EA tools will help to create building blocks. These building blocks are implemented independently. They are then moved to operations independently and magic, it works.

One way to let initiatives move independently and be confident of their effectiveness is through the usage of Architecture Contract.

It is important to understand what the expected outcome is. For example, in case of “Customer Digital Experience” the question would be, is it a pure Information Technology initiative or does it influence the Business Architecture and Business Model? This is a decisive moment to understand whether the changes are just to leverage some new technology capabilities like Mobile, Wearable, or Big Data. For all good reasons, the initiative may be just that. In that case recommendation would be to run them under any typical IT programs and please do not boil the ocean by putting them under the “Digital Transformation” initiatives. However, if one organization were really looking for changing the business playing field, then adopting EA practices would help immensely.

  1. Enterprise Architecture Tools:

For Digital Transformation, Business Architecture, Technology Architecture, Information Architecture Views and various tools related to them are pillars of the Enterprise Architecture. In fact understanding the Business Capabilities and being able to map the impact of the Digital Forces on the capabilities will be critical for final success of the outcome.

However, a few other areas of the Enterprise Architecture practice help in navigating through the entire effort of Enterprise Architecture, when one is trying to solve the problem of Digital Transformation. For now, I thought of venturing into these EA Tools; may return to applying Business Architecture, Information Architecture and Technology Architecture tools and practices to Digital Transformation in a latter article.

You might be wondering why I am ignoring the pillars. The pillars are something, which we have to go through anyways, however, to get them in place there are other vehicles required and I often find that the teams are struggling with them. For instance, Business Capabilities are going to be the pillars of Business Architecture for driving the Digital Transformation work; however, teams often struggle to find out what business motivations are going to affect the existing capabilities.

Now let us go through a few of the tools here.

To find out what is required to realize the Digital Strategy – If the organization has developed a Digital Strategy, then that is a big achievement. However, that is not the end of the journey. We have all been in situation where it takes months to decide on next steps and years to see the strategy taking bloom. One may like to see a few common reasons why Strategies fail.

A tool that can help untangle different aspects of what you are trying to achieve through the Digital strategy is the Business Motivation Model (BMM). The ArchiMate® supports to create a very effective abridged version of BMM. BMM can help in identifying the next set of activities by helping you to create a model that relates requirement to goals to stakeholders. This can quickly let one see through the next steps and what values it is trying to bring in to move towards the desired target.

EA Methodology – The idea is to move incrementally. Fail with an idea faster so that one can learn faster and apply the learning for success sooner! It is desirable to take incremental steps through modifications of existing Business Model using Business Architecture, keep the IT Architecture aligned during the iterations and the intermediate steps.

TOGAF®, an Open Group standard, ADM is a good place to start; other frameworks like, DODAF, FEA and methodologies around them can help to enrich the ADM. The important point to look for while one is iterating through the ADM or even evaluating it is to consider the kinds of customization required for the enterprise in scope. However, focus to mature the methodology incrementally.

Stakeholders Management: who is impacted and how – In a complex engagement like implementing Digital Transformation, stakeholder management can be challenging. Understanding the stakeholder’s goals and drivers can be daunting. Besides, understanding the real need and what does it mean, under the applicable constraints can be confusing. I have seen organizations stuck in tackling stakeholders and unable to come out of the labyrinth for months to years. There are tools within Archimate to lay down the stakeholders, connect them to their drivers, assessment, goals, and requirement. There are other tools, which independently or with ArchiMate extensions helps in doing the same.

It would be a good idea to lay down multiple levels of stakeholders, overall Digital Organization level, Program level and then various initiatives/project levels. Having an interaction model among these will help one to understand various Enterprise Architecture Views required in meeting the objectives of different stakeholders.

What does the enterprise wants to achieve during the incremental initiative: EA Vision – This is a critical and tricky part. Until now, the Digital Strategy work had mapped the Business Strategy to a clear Business Vision, mapped tactics to realize the Business Strategy. Sometime, each of the tactics may entail into EA Vision for the cycle (there may be multiple EA cycles for an EA vision too – pyramid of visions is the theme). I have seen organizations running with big transformation exercises and not all stakeholders clearly understand all different aspects; there is a lack of EA vision or there is not a well-developed structure other than Words of Mouth and slides. The recommendation is to lay down the EA vision as a subset of the organizational vision; however, the alignment needs to be clear by following a well-defined approach.

Make the EA vision clear, however, need not be something too insurmountable to achieve over a given period. EA Vision is not a blue-sky dream that may take one to the top of the mountain! It is a pragmatic value proposition that the organization is trying to achieve.

How do the milestones on the road look like: Roadmap – The recommendation will be to execute the road mapping activities under the EA initiative of the Digital Transformation. This will allow creating the right alignment from Business Perspective and will help to bind all the stakeholders to the common cause. There is significant number of examples where large programs have surprised the stakeholders with the outcome in a negative way. It would be a more difficult journey for Digital Transformation without the right level of effort or EA effort.

Can we do it better next time: Housekeeping – A significant part of the EA assets and activities that exist today in Literature and are more popular, are around the Housekeeping activities. One of them is EA repository. This is extremely important; however, practitioners should recognize this and appropriately position the activities around the Repository. I would not think positioning a significant amount of housekeeping activities while one is trying to build the house would do justice to the time and effort spent.

Nevertheless, this would be a good time where you can start with a clean EA repository and start populating with the artifacts being produced. Then, in a parallel thread or latter thread start tying things together. The benefit of this approach is to be able to avoid diluting the focus area of using EA as a problem-solving tool and keep the accelerated momentum of the transformation on.

The EA Repository can be helpful for Managing Business Assets, especially those focused around Information Technology (we are discussing technology enabled business transformation). Business Capability creation, impacts on business capabilities, visibility to key stakeholders will receive a boost, through traceability and reusability.

It may appear that the transformation team will adopt the tools and techniques, mentioned above, even without the EA umbrella. The point is – instead of doing these activities in silos of Business or IT at different points in time, the EA can bring all these together. It will help the organization make efficient progress. A few ways these can help, create “Views” for different “concern or focus” areas; thus allowing different groups to visualize their respective stake and impact, as different initiatives run in parallel. All these initiatives are large which is transforming the DNA of the organization; it would be important to understand the impact and be able to manoeuvre the steering.

  1. Enterprise Agility:

Why Enterprise “Agility” is important in the context of Digital Transformation? Is it just because Agility is the fad these days? I believe it is the environment. It has become very dynamic, for all reasons mentioned above. On the other hand, agility is being driven by the fact that it is possible to be agile with both information and tools available. We have moved quite far since the days of Mr. Ford’s era of “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants as long as it is black.” In a very dynamic environment, ability to iterate is important. The points shared so far will help to achieve agility and make incremental progress. The main pillars to achieve incremental transformation are:

  1. Ability to have a single coherent view, though multiple threads are being run independently
  2. Conceptualize and initiate multiple iterations of Enterprise Architecture, driven by a vision (or pyramid of visions)
  3. A strong enterprise architecture repository so that every iterations and every independent thread is contributing to the common goal; this doesn’t mean that it is the most important thing (one of the important element)

As one is moving through the transformation, it is imperative to have a clear vision of what one wants to achieve. Then, it is required to break it down (architectural decomposition) into smaller achievable chunks and then iteratively implement the chunks. Approaches other than EA would fail to maintain the stability of the Enterprise System, after each of the viable iteration. This means that at every point in time during the transformation business should function in a seamless way with transformed and existing business and IT functions; there should be seamless flow of information across all business functions. Moreover, business benefits should be clear and measurable during each of the iteration.

Summing it up, if the technical initiatives with Big Data, Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence or Cloud or Mobility or Social does not affect the Business (apart from adoption of new Information Services or Technology Services) then EA may not be required. However, if one wants to change business functions by leveraging digital tools or would have to change it because of Digital Forces, then EA would be the best vehicle to board to take up the journey of transformation!

The risk of not taking an architecture-centric approach is that it is too complex to handle the different variables that can influence the net outcome of Digital Transformation. The immediate success can soon wane out into an unmanageable mess of different organizations, departments, roles, systems and information. There are too many variables; which a few individuals can relate them, communicate them, and track them as they changes.

The promise of Digital in the business space is the capability to use information, move incrementally, and continuously optimize. Transformation of Enterprises (large or small) incrementally is not an easy affair, as we have realized and experienced it! Thus, without using a tool set that helps to ease out the transformation, the cost of technology and its rapid evolution will be difficult to manage.

During the whole journey of transformation, EA can produce tangible outputs. The organization can refer back to these outputs at any point in time to understand the rational for failure or success. Organizations, not matured in implementing strategies often, grapple with the outcome if it is not a great success. Their success seems to depend too much on the binary nature of success or failure, though business is continuous. There is plenty of opportunity to avoid the binary result and follow a path of incremental change.

By Sunil Kr. Singh, TATASunil Kr. Singh is a Senior Architecture and Digital Consultant at TATA Consultancy Services. He has more than 16 years of experience with Information Technology driven transformation and developing IT systems for business solutions. He has a wide range of hands on experience; established Enterprise Architecture Practices, streamlined IT and business processes, developed, designed and architected business systems.
https://ca.linkedin.com/in/sunilsingh1

The opinions expressed in this article/presentation are those of the author; no organization that the author is affiliated or works for is related to these views.

Join the conversation @theopengroup #ogchat

Leave a comment

Filed under ArchiMate®, cloud, EA, TOGAF, Uncategorized

The 20th Anniversary of the UNIX® Standard and Certification

By The Open Group

The UNIX® platform, as a technology, has been around more than 40 years, being at the center of innovation and technology in computer science and driving the Fortune 1000 businesses today. Over twenty years ago, a number of companies came together to acknowledge the value of the UNIX platform, but more importantly, the need for all UNIX implementations to be interoperable and compatible to support the tremendous ecosystem built on top of UNIX systems. An open and inclusive collaboration followed, which led to the creation of the Single UNIX Specification, the industry standard for UNIX systems. The standard is supported by extensive certification tests to ensure that the theory of interoperability and compatibility became a reality with suppliers, vendors and customers knowing and demanding UNIX certification in their solution. UNIX, the go-to operating system, is trusted for mission critical applications because it is robust with a powerful footprint and is inherently more secure and stable than the alternatives. The first UNIX certifications were awarded twenty years ago this year.

During the following 20 years, the UNIX standard has continued to evolve and embrace new technology. The most recent version UNIX V7 is the latest step in the evolution of the standard, but by no means the end as there is greater and greater demand by those developing UNIX operating systems, those who integrate UNIX operating system in their solutions and, most importantly, the customers who deploy those solutions as part of their business innovation.

“The UNIX platform demonstrates the value of being open, since as a truly open standard it allows all to focus on driving innovation of the ecosystem around the platform rather than competing at the core OS level.  The open standard makes it easier for software developers’ portability, integrators to have choice in the building blocks of solutions and customers focus on solving business problems than integration issues,” says Steve Nunn, CEO, The Open Group.

“The Open Group from day one has been the shepherd for the standard leveraging its long history in the development of open standards. This ensures the value of the standard UNIX platform grows for both member companies who contribute, as well as those who demand openness as part of their solution,” comments Andrew Josey, Director, Standards, The Open Group.

Please join The Open Group and our Platinum Member UNIX Partners in celebrating this momentous 20-year milestone.

@theopengroup @unixr

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under interoperability, Single UNIX Specification, standards, Uncategorized, UNIX

The Open Group Edinburgh—The State of Boundaryless Information Flow™ Today

By The Open Group

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first version of TOGAF®, an Open Group standard, and the publication of “The Boundaryless Organization,” a book that defined how companies should think about creating more open, flexible and engaging organizations. We recently sat down with The Open Group President and CEO Allen Brown and Ron Ashkenas, Senior Partner at Schaffer Consulting and one of the authors of “The Boundaryless Organization,” to get a perspective on Boundaryless Information Flow™ and where the concept stands today. Brown and Ashkenas presented their perspectives on this topic at The Open Group Edinburgh event on Oct. 20.

In the early 1990s, former GE CEO Jack Welch challenged his team to create what he called a “boundaryless organization”—an organization where the barriers between employees, departments, customers and suppliers had been broken down. He also suggested that in the 21st Century, all organizations would need to move in this direction.

Based on the early experience of GE, and a number of other companies, the first book on the subject, “The Boundaryless Organization,” was published in 1995. This was the same year that The Open Group released the first version of the TOGAF® standard, which provided an architectural framework to help companies achieve interoperability by providing a structure for interconnecting legacy IT systems. Seven years later, The Open Group adopted the concept of Boundaryless Information Flow™—achieved through global interoperability in a secure, reliable and timely manner—as the ongoing vision and mission for the organization. According to Allen Brown, President and CEO of The Open Group, that vision has sustained The Open Group over the years and continues to do so as the technology industry faces unprecedented and rapid change.

Brown’s definition of Boundaryless Information Flowis rooted in the notion of permeability. Ron Ashkenas, a co-author of “The Boundaryless Organization” emphasizes that organizations still need boundaries—without some boundaries they would become “dis-organized.” But like the cells walls in the human body, those boundaries need to be sufficiently permeable so that information can easily flow back and forth in real time, without being distorted, fragmented or blocked.

In that context, Brown believes that learning to be boundaryless today is more important than ever for organizations, despite the fact that many of the boundaries that existed in 1995 no longer exist, and the technical ability to share information around the world will continue to evolve. What often holds organizations back however, says Ashkenas, are the social and cultural patterns within organizations, not the technology.

“We have a tendency to protect information in different parts of the organization,” says Ashkenas. “Different functions, locations, and business units want their own version of ‘the truth’ rather than being held accountable to a common standard. This problem becomes even more acute across companies in a globally connected ecosystem and world. So despite our technological capabilities, we still end up with different systems, different information available at different times. We don’t have the common true north. The need to be more boundaryless is still there.  In fact it’s greater now, even though we have the capability to do it.”

Although the technical capabilities for Boundaryless Information Flow are largely here, the larger issue is getting people to agree and collaborate on how to do things. As Ashkenas explains, “It’s not just the technical challenges, it’s also cultural challenges, and the two have to go hand-in-hand.”

What’s more, collaboration is not just an issue of getting individuals to change, but of making changes at much larger levels on a much larger scale. Not only are boundaries now blurring within organizations, they’re blurring between institutions and across global ecosystems, which may include anything from apps, devices and technologies to companies, countries and cultures.

Ashkenas says that’s where standards, such as those being created by The Open Group, can help make a difference.  He says, “Standards used to come after technology. Now they need to come before the changes and weave together some of the ecosystem partners. I think that’s one of the exciting new horizons for The Open Group and its members—they can make a fundamental difference in the next few years.”

Brown agrees. He says that there are two major forces currently facing how The Open Group will continue to shape the Boundaryless Information Flow vision. One is the need for standards to address the changing perspective needed of the IT function from an “inside-out” to “outside-in” model fueled by a combination of boundaryless thinking and the convergence of social, mobile, Cloud, the Internet of Things and Big Data. The other is the need to shift from IT strategies being derived from business strategies and reacting to the business agenda that leads to redundancy and latency in delivering new solutions. Instead, IT must shift to recognize technology as increasingly driving business opportunity and that IT must be managed as a business in its own right.

For example, twenty years ago a standard might lag behind a technology. Once companies no longer needed to compete on the technology, Brown says, they would standardize. With things like Open Platform 3.0™ and the need to manage the business of IT (IT4IT™) quickly changing the business landscape, now standards need to be at the forefront, along with technology development, so that companies have guidance on how to navigate a more boundaryless world while maintaining security and reliability.

“This is only going to get more and more exciting and more and more interesting,” Brown says.

How boundaryless are we?

Just how boundaryless are we today? Ashkenas says a lot has been accomplished in the past 20 years. Years ago, he says, people in most organizations would have thought that Boundaryless Information Flow was either not achievable or they would have shrugged their shoulders and ignored the concept. Today there’s a strong acceptance of the need for it. In fact, a recent survey of The Open Group members found that 65 percent of those surveyed believe boundarylessness as a positive thing within their organization. And while most organizations are making strides toward boundarylessness, only a minority–15 percent—of those surveyed felt that Boundaryless Information Flow was something that would be impossible to achieve in a large international organization such as theirs.

According to Brown and Ashkenas, the next horizon for many organizations will be to truly make information flow more accessible in real-time for all stakeholders. Ashkenas says in most organizations the information people need is not always available when people need it, whether this is due to different systems, cultural constraints or even time zones. The next step will be to provide managers real-time, anywhere access to all the information they need. IT can help play a bigger part in providing people a “one truth” view of information, he says.

Another critical—but potentially difficult—next step is to try to get people to agree on how to make boundarylessness work across ecosystems. Achieving this will be a challenge because ways of doing things—even standards development—will need to adapt to different cultures in order for them to ultimately work. What makes sense in the U.S. or Europe from a business standpoint may not make sense in China or India or Brazil, for example.

“What are the fundamentals that have to be accepted by everyone and where is there room for customization to local cultures?” asks Ashkenas. “Figuring out the difference between the two will be critical in the coming years.”

Brown and Ashkenas say that we can expect technical innovations to evolve at greater speed and with greater effectiveness in the coming years. This is another reason why Enterprise Architecture and standards development will be critical for helping organizations transform themselves and adapt as boundaries blur even more.

As Brown notes, the reason that the architecture discipline and standards such as TOGAF arose 20 years ago was exactly because organizations were beginning to move toward boundarylessness and they needed a way to figure out how to frame those environments and make them work together. Before then, when IT departments were implementing different siloed systems for different functions across organizations, they had no inkling that someday people might need to share that information across systems or departments, let alone organizations.

“It never crossed our minds that we’d need to add people or get information from disparate systems and put them together to make some sense. It wasn’t information, it was just data. The only way in any complex organization that you can start weaving this together and see how they join together is to have some sort of architecture, an overarching view of the enterprise. Complex organizations have that view and say ‘this is how that information comes together and this is how it’s going to be designed.’ We couldn’t have gotten there without Enterprise Architecture in large organizations,” he says.

In the end, the limitations to Boundaryless Information Flow will largely be organizational and cultural, not a question of technology. Technologically boundarylessness is largely achievable. The question for organizations, Brown says, is whether they’ll be able to adjust to the changes that technology brings.

“The limitations are in the organization and the culture. Can they make the change? Can they absorb it all? Can they adapt?” he says.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Strategic Planning – Ideas to Delivery

By Martin Owen, CEO, Corso

Most organizations operate at a fast pace of change. Businesses are constantly evaluating market demands and enacting change to drive growth and develop a competitive edge.

These market demands come from a broad number of sources, and include economic changes, market trends, regulations, technology improvements and resource management. Knowing where the demands originated, whether they are important and if they are worth acting on can be difficult.

We look at how innovation, Enterprise Architecture and successful project delivery needs to be intertwined and traceable.

In the past, managing ideation to the delivery of innovation has not been done, or has been attempted in organizational silos, leading to disconnections. This in turn results in change not being implemented properly or a focus on the wrong type of change.

How Does an Organization Successfully Embrace Change?

Many companies start with campaigns and ideation. They run challenges and solicit ideas from within and outside of their walls. Ideas are then prioritized and evaluated. Sometimes prototypes are built and tested, but what happens next?

Many organizations turn to the blueprints or roadmaps generated by their enterprise architectures, IT architectures and or business process architectures for answers. They evaluate how a new idea and its supporting technology, such as SOA or enterprise-resource planning (ERP), fits into the broader architecture. They manage their technology portfolio by looking at their IT infrastructure needs.

Organizations often form program management boards to evaluate ideas, initiatives and their costs. In reality, these evaluations are based on lightweight business cases without the broader context. organizations don’t have a comprehensive understanding of what systems, processes and resources they have, what they are being used for, and how much they cost and the effects of regulations. Projects are delivered and viewed on a project-by-project basis without regard to the bigger picture. Enterprise, technology and process-related decisions are made within the flux of change and without access to the real knowledge contained within the organisation or in the market place. IT is often in the hot seat of this type of decision-making.

Challenges of IT Planning

IT planning takes place in reaction to and anticipation of these market demands and initiatives. There may be a need for a new CRM or accounting system, or new application for manufacturing or product development. While IT planning should be part of a broader enterprise architecture or market analysis, IT involvement in technology investments are often done close to the end of the strategic planning process and without proper access to enterprise or market data.

The following questions illustrate the competing demands found within the typical IT environment:

How can we manage the prioritization of business, architectural-and project-driven initiatives?

Stakeholders place a large number of both tactical and strategic requirements on IT. IT is required to offer different technology investment options, but is often constrained by a competition for resources.

How do we balance enterprise architecture’s role with IT portfolio management?

An enterprise architect provides a high-level view of the risks and benefits of a project and the alignment to future goals. It can illustrate the project complexities and the impact of change. Future state architectures and transition plans can be used to define investment portfolio content. At the same time, portfolio management provides a detailed perspective of development and implementation. Balancing these often-competing viewpoints can be tricky.

How well are application lifecycles being managed?

Application management requires a product/service/asset view over time. Well-managed application lifecycles demand a process of continuous releases, especially when time to market is key. The higher level view required by portfolio management provides a broader perspective of how all assets work together. Balancing application lifecycle demands against a broader portfolio framework can present an inherent conflict about priorities and a struggle for resources.

How do we manage the numerous and often conflicting governance requirements across the delivery process?

As many organizations move to small-team agile development, coordinating the various application development projects becomes more difficult. Managing the development process using waterfall methods can shorten schedules but can also increase the chance of errors and a disconnect with broader portfolio and enterprise goals.

How do we address different lifecycles and tribes in the organization?

Lifecycles such as innovation management, enterprise architecture, business process management and solution delivery are all necessary but are not harmonised across the enterprise. The connection among these lifecycles is important to the effective delivery of initiatives and understanding the impact of change.

The enterprise view, down through innovation management, portfolio management, application lifecycle management and agile development represent competing IT viewpoints that can come together using an ideas to delivery framework.

Agile Development and DevOps

A key component of the drive from ideas to delivery is how strategic planning and the delivery of software are related or more directly the relevance of Agile Enterprise Architecture to DevOps.

DevOps is a term that has been around since the end of the last decade, originating from the Agile development movement and is a fusion of “development” and “operations”. In more practical terms it integrates developers and operations teams in order to improve collaboration and productivity by automating infrastructure, workflows and continuously measuring application performance.

The drivers behind the approach are the competing needs to incorporate new products into production whilst maintaining 99.9% uptime to customers in an agile manner.

To understand further the increase in complexity we need to look at how new features and functions need to be applied to our delivery of software. The world of mobile apps, middleware and cloud deployment has reduced release cycles to weeks not months with an emphasis on delivering incremental change. Previously a business release would be every few months with a series of modules and hopefully still relevant to the business goals.

The shorter continuous delivery lifecycle will help organizations:

  • Achieve shorter releases by incremental delivery and delivering faster innovation.
  • Be more responsive to business needs by improved collaboration, better quality and more frequent releases.
  • Manage the number of applications impacted by business release by allowing local variants for a global business and continuous delivery within releases.

The Devops approach achieves this by providing an environment that:

  • Will minimize software delivery batch sizes to increase flexibility and enable continuous feedback as every team delivers features to production as they are completed.
  • Has the notion of projects replaced by release trains which minimizes batch waiting time to reduce lead times and waste.
  • Has a shift from central planning to decentralized execution with a pull philosophy thus minimizing batch transaction cost to improve efficiency.
  • Makes DevOps economically feasible through test virtualization, build automation, and automated release management as we prioritize and sequence batches to maximize business value and select the right batches, sequence them in the right order, guide the implementation, track execution and make planning adjustments to maximize business value.

By Martin Owen, CEO, CorsoFigure 1: DevOps lifecycle

Thus far we have only looked at the delivery aspects, so how does this approach integrate with an enterprise architecture view?

To understand this we need to look more closely at the strategic Planning Lifecycle. Figure 2 shows how the strategic planning lifecycle supports an ‘ideas to delivery’ framework.

By Martin Owen, CEO, Corso

Figure 2: The strategic planning lifecycle

You can see here, the high level relationship between the strategy and goals of an organization and the projects that deliver the change to meet these goals. The enterprise architecture provides the model to govern the delivery of projects in line with these goals.

However we must ensure that any model that is built must be just enough EA to provide the right level of analysis and this has been discussed in previous sections of this book regarding the use of Kanban to drive change. The Agile EA model is then one that can both provide enough analysis to plan which projects should be undertaken and then to ensure full architectural governance over the delivery. The last part of this is achieved by connecting to the tools used in the Agile space.

By Martin Owen, CEO, Corso

Figure 3: Detailed view of the strategic planning lifecycle

There are a number of tools that can be used within DevOps. One example is the IBM toolset, which uses open standards to link to other products within the overall lifecycle. This approach integrates the Agile enterprise architecture process with the Agile Development process and connects project delivery with effective governance of the project lifecycle and ensures that even if the software delivery process is agile the link to goals and associated business needs are met.

To achieve this goal a number of internal processes must interoperate and this is a significant challenge, but one that can be met by building an internal center of excellence and finding a solution by starting small and building a working environment.

The Strategic Planning Lifecycle Summary

The organization begins by revisiting its corporate vision and strategy. What things will differentiate the organization from its competitors in five years? What value propositions will it offer customers to create that differentiation? The organization can create a series of campaigns or challenges to solicit new ideas and requirements for its vision and strategy.

The ideas and requirements are rationalized into a value proposition that can be examined in more detail.

The company can look at what resources it needs to have on both the business side and the IT side to deliver the capabilities needed to realize the value propositions. For example, a superior customer experience might demand better internet interactions and new applications, processes, and infrastructure on which to run. Once the needs are understood, they are compared to what the organization already has. The transition planning determines how the gaps will be addressed.

An enterprise architecture is a living thing with a lifecycle of its own. Figure 3 shows the ongoing EA processes. With the strategy and transition plan in place, EA execution begins. The transition plan provides input to project prioritization and planning since those projects aligned with the transition plan are typically prioritized over those that do not align. This determines which projects are funded and entered into, or continue to the Devops stage. As the solutions are developed, enterprise architecture assets such as models, building blocks, rules, patterns, constraints and guidelines are used and followed. Where the standard assets aren’t suitable for a project, exceptions are requested from the governance board. These exceptions are tracked carefully. Where assets are frequently the subject of exception requests, they must be examined to see if they really are suitable for the organization.

If we’re not doing things the way we said we wanted them done, then we must ask if our target architectures are still correct. This helps keep the EA current and useful.

Periodic updates to the organization’s vision and strategy require a reassessment of the to-be state of the enterprise architecture. This typically results in another look at how the organization will differentiate itself in five years, what value propositions it will offer, the capabilities and resources needed, and so on. Then the transition plan is examined to see if it is still moving us in the right direction. If not, it is updated.

Figure 3, separates the organization’s strategy and vision, the enterprise architecture lifecycle components and the solution development & delivery. Some argue that the strategy and vision are part of the EA while others argue against this. Both views are valid since they simply depend on how you look at the process. If the CEO’s office is responsible for the vision and strategy and the reporting chain as responsible for its execution, then the separation of it from the EA makes sense. In practice, the top part of the reporting chain participates in the vision and strategy exercise and is encouraged to “own” it, at least from an execution perspective. In that case, it might be fair to consider it part of the EA. Or you can say it drives the EA. The categorization isn’t as important as understanding how the vision and strategy interacts with the EA, or the rest of the EA, however you see it.

Note that the overall goal here is to have traceability from our ideas and initiatives, all the way through to strategic delivery. This comes with clear feedback from delivery assets to the ideas and requirements that they were initiated from.

By Martin Owen, CEO, CorsoMartin Owen, CEO, Corso, has held executive and senior management and technical positions in IBM, Telelogic and Popkin. He has been instrumental in driving forward the product management of enterprise architecture, portfolio management and asset management tooling.

Martin is also active with industry standards bodies and was the driver behind the first business process-modelling notation (BPMN) standard.

Martin has led the ArchiMate® and UML mapping initiatives at The Open Group and is part of the capability based planning standards team.

Martin is responsible for strategy, products and direction at Corso.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized