Tag Archives: business

Strategic Alignment Survey

These days organizations operate in a dynamic and fast changing environment which makes formulating a consistent strategy a challenging task and executing that strategy even more difficult. More than half of organizations surveyed in previous economic studies indicated that they have not been successful at executing strategic initiatives. Moreover, a majority of organizations face problems when executing their strategic vision.

In an environment where competition and globalization of markets is intensifying, managing and surviving change becomes increasingly important. A business strategy determines the decisions and course of action that businesses take to achieve competitive advantage and is therefore crucial to survive change. Nonetheless, several economic studies indicated that many organizations fail to implement strategic alternatives. Therefore, it is important to know more about the reasons underlying the difficulties of organizations to reach strategic alignment.

Strategic alignment
Organizations develop and implement strategies to achieve (strategic) goals. The development of a strategy is about formulating what should be changed to evolve from the current situation to the desired future state. Strategy implementation is about translating the strategic plans into clear actions to execute the strategy. Strategic alignment is the ability to create a fit or synergy between the position of the organization within the environment (business) and the design of the appropriate business processes, resources and capabilities (IT) to support the execution. Strategic alignment cannot be reached when strategy development is considered to be a separate process from strategy implementation. Strategy development and strategy implementation are intertwined processes which both need to be successful for superior firm performance.

Strategy1

The way how organizations move from strategy development to strategy implementation is influenced by many factors. Consequently, strategic alignment is influenced by several factors which all contribute to the successful development and implementation of a strategy. We distinguish three categories in which several factors are combined that influence strategic alignment. How organizations manage the factors within these three categories determine whether they are able to reach strategic alignment or not. These three categories are:

  • Culture and shared beliefs: the collective thoughts and actions of employees towards the strategic orientation of the organization determine whether strategy implementation will be successful or not. Consequently, all the employees must be clear on the what, why, when and how of the strategy. According to previous studies the inability of management to overcome resistance to change is an important obstacle to strategy execution.
  • Organizational capabilities: capabilities, resources, systems and processes should be aligned with the strategy to be able to execute the strategy properly. An organization needs to consider their existing and needed capabilities and resources during strategy development and implementation. Strategic change gets obstructed when long-term strategic goals are not translated to short-term objectives or actions.
  • Communication: creating understanding throughout the organization about the strategy, like why it is developed and how it is implemented, is essential for developing and implementing a strategy. There should be a clear definition of purpose, values and behaviors to guide the implementation process. A poor or vague strategy makes it nearly impossible to successfully execute a strategy which makes it a killer of strategy implementation.strategy2

Strategic Alignment Survey

In order to gain a better understanding of the strategic alignment efforts of individual organizations, BiZZdesign has created a Strategic Alignment survey. We want to understand more about the way in which organizations move from strategy development to strategy implementation. The information gathered from this survey contributes to the work done on improving strategic alignment within organizations. We would like to learn from your organization’s experiences regarding strategy development and implementation and its efforts towards strategic alignment. For this reason we kindly ask you to fill in the survey: http://alignment-eng.enquete.com/.

BiZZdesign (along with our partners The Open Group, NAF and the University of Twente) would be grateful if you could complete this Strategic Alignment survey to help us get a better understanding of the strategic alignment efforts of organizations.

The survey will be available on-line until the end of June 2014. All results will be analysed and reported in an anonymous way.

The results of this survey will then be published in a White Paper by The Open Group. If you leave us your contact email, then you will also receive the e-book ‘Strategizer – The Method’, in which initial results on strategic alignment are documented, and you have a chance to win a book voucher worth €200.

We really appreciate your time and effort. Thank you in advance.

franken_henryHenry Franken M.Sc. Ph.D, is CEO of BiZZdesign and chair of The ArchiMate Forum at The Open Group. Henry is a speaker at many conferences. Henry has co-authored several international journal and conference publications and Open Group whitepapers.

At BiZZdesign, Henry is also responsible for research and innovation. Alignment with and contribution to open standards are key. BiZZdesign has contributed to and edited the ArchiMate 2 specification. BiZZdesign is involved in the workgroup working towards the next version of TOGAF® and its further hand-in-pocket alignment with ArchiMate®.

BiZZdesign offers native tooling, certification training and consultancy for TOGAF® and ArchiMate®, both standards of The Open Group. BiZZdesign offers complete and integrated solutions (tools, methods, consultancy and training) to design and improve organizations. Business models, enterprise architecture, business requirements management and process business analysis and management are important ingredients in the solutions.

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The Open Group TweetJam on Digital-Disruption – by Tom Graves

On 2 October 2013, the Open Group ran one of its occasional ‘TweetJam’ Twitter-discussions – also known as an #ogChat. This time it was on digital disruption - disruption to existing business-models, typically (but, as we will see, not only) by changes in technology.

I think I captured almost all of the one-hour conversation – all tweets tagged with the #ogChat hashtag – but I may well have missed a few here and there. I’ve also attempted to bring the cross-chat (@soandso references) into correct sense-order, but I’ll admit I’m likely to have made more errors there. Each text-line is essentially as published on Twitter, minus the RT @ prefix and the identifying #ogChat tag.

The legal bit: Copyright of each statement is as per Twitter’s published policy: I make no claim whatsoever to any of the tweets here other than my own (i.e. tetradian). The material is re-published here under ‘fair-use’ rules for copyright, as a public service to the enterprise-architecture community.

The TweetJam was split into seven sections, each guided by a question previously summarised on the Open Group website – see Open Group, ‘Leading Business Disruption Strategy with Enterprise Architecture‘. I’ve also added a few extra comments of my own after each section.

Introductions

(The TweetJam started with a request for each person to introduce themselves, which also serves as a useful cross-reference between name and Twitter-ID. Not every who joined in the TweetJam did this, but most did so – enough to help make sense of the conversation, anyway.)

  • theopengroup: Please introduce yourself and get ready for question 1, identified by “Q1″ …and so on. You may respond with “A1″ and so on using #ogChat // And do tweet your agreement/disagreement with other participants’ views using #ogChat, we’re interested to hear from all sides #EntArch
  • enterprisearchs: Hi all, from Hugh Evans, Enterprise Architects (@enterprisearchs), CEO and Founder
  • tetradian: Tom Graves (tetradian)
  • eatraining: Craig Martin
  • TheWombatWho: Andrew Gallagher – Change Strategy / Business Architect
  • chrisjharding: Hi from Chris Harding, The Open Group Forum Director for Open Platform 3.0
  • dianedanamac: Good day! Social Media Manager, Membership & Events at @theopengroup   I’m your contact if you have questions on The Open Group.
  • InfoRacer: Chris Bradley
  • David_A_OHara: Hi all, Dave O’Hara here, enteprise/biz architect
  • TalmanAJ: Aarne Talman – IT Startegy/EA consultant at Accenture
  • zslayton: Good morning.  Zach Slayton here from Collaborative Consulting @consultcollab
  • efeatherston: Good morning. Ed Featherston, Enterprise Arch from Collaborative Consulting
  • filiphdr: Filip Hendrickx, business architect @AE_NV
  • Frustin_Jetwell: Hello, I’m late, Justin Fretwell here, technical enterprise architecture

Question 1: What is ‘disruption’?

  • theopengroup: Let’s kick things off: Q1 What is #Disruption? #EntArch
  • TheWombatWho: A1 Disruption is normality
  • enterprisearchs: A1 Disruptors offer a new #BizModel that defines a different frontier of value
  • enterprisearchs: A1 Disruptors often introduce new technologies or processes that set them apart
  • chrisjharding: A1 Could be many things. Cloud, mobile, social, and other new technologies are disrupting the relation between business and IT
  • tetradian: A1: anything that changes business-as-usual (scale from trivial to world-shaking)
  • enterprisearchs: A1 Disruptors offer equal or better performance at prices incumbents can’t match
  • TheWombatWho: A1 agree with @tetradian but add that it is normal state of things.
  • David_A_OHara: A1,  not just tech-led disruption, but consumers actively driving innovation by finding new ways to use tech in work & social lives
  • zslayton: A1:  Disruptors are anything that breaks a norm or widely-held paradigm
  • enterprisearchs: A1 #Disruption begins when the entrant catches up to incumbents
  • InfoRacer: A1 Disruption is inevitable & BAU for many organisations these day
  • chrisjharding: @TheWombatWho Yes we live in disruptive (and interesting) times.
  • enterprisearchs: A1 Thanks to disruptive forces business models now have a much shorter shelf-life
  • DadaBeatnik: A1: To disrupt doesn’t mean more of the same. Example – iPhone was a true disrupter – no more Blackberry!
  • TalmanAJ: A1: Business disruptors offer new business model(s).
  • eatraining: A1 Innovation that creates a new value network or reorganized value system
  • TheWombatWho: A1 Disruptors can be global mega trends but can be localised.  Localised can provide ‘canary down the mine’ opportunity
  • TalmanAJ: A1: IT disruptors fundamentally change the way IT supports business models or change the business model
  • tetradian: .@TheWombatWho: A1 “…but add that [disruption] is normal state of things” – problem is that many folks don’t recognise that! :-)
  • chrisjharding: @David_A_OHara and disrupting traditional organization because they want to use it hands on, not through IT department
  • efeatherston: @chrisjharding good point on the bypassing IT, thats the #mobile disruption in full force
  • DadaBeatnik: Re: “disruption” read http://t.co/y0HrM3fcKH
  • eatraining: A1 Digital allows a far more effective entrepreneur and innovator environment, putting disruptive pressures on incumbents

Note an important point that’s perhaps easily missed (as some responders in fact do): that ‘disruption’ may include technology, or may be driven by technology – but that’s not always the case at all. Consider, for example, the huge disruption – on a literally global scale – caused by financial deregulation in the US in the 1980s and beyond: changes in law, not technology.

And, yes, as several people commented above, significant disruptions are becoming more common and more intense – a trend that most of us in EA would probably accept is only accelerating. As some might suggest, “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet…”: certainly the old stable-seeming business-models and seeming-guaranteed ‘sustainable competitive-advantage’ and the like would seem to be like pleasant fantasies from a fast-fading past…

Question 2: What is ‘digital disruption’?

  • theopengroup: Q2 Some interesting views on disruption, but what then, is #DigitalDisruption?
  • efeatherston: A2: disruption that is focused/based on technology issue, changes in technology, how things are done
  • enterprisearchs: A2 Disruptive business models that leverage digital capabilities to create, distribute or market their offerings
  • enterprisearchs: A2 Commonly applies #Cloud, #Mobile, #Social and or #BigData capabilities
  • efeatherston: A2: yes, #SMAC is the latest #digitaldisruption
  • TheWombatWho: A2 key with digital is not the medium it is the shift of power & control to the end user.  Digital enables it but its power shift
  • tetradian: A2: ‘digital’ used to mean technology, also to mean e.g. social/mobile (i.e. not solely technology) or more open business generally
  • enterprisearchs: A2 Many incumbents defend #digitaldisruption by moving to customer centric #BizModel
  • chrisjharding: A2 Disruption caused by digital technology – the main source of enterprise disruption today
  • enterprisearchs: A2 #digitaldisruption is seeing a convergence of business, technology and marketing disciplines
  • eatraining: A1&A2 Disruption not always digital but is it always technological? JEEP disruption on modern warfare
  • zslayton: @TheWombatWho Agreed…excellent point.  Shift towards user is key for #SMAC especially
  • Technodad: @TalmanAJ Agree – but digital disruption also invalidates existing business models.
  • enterprisearchs: A2 #Cloud enables ubiquitous access and effortless scalability
  • enterprisearchs: A2 #Mobile offers access anywhere, anytime and opens up previously untapped socioeconomic segments
  • enterprisearchs: A2 #Social accelerates viral uptake of demand and opinion, creating brand opportunities and threats
  • chrisjharding: @efeatherston They do what works for the business
  • TheWombatWho: A2 @enterprisearchs is it really marketing?  That discipline is going through fundamental change – hardly recognisable old vs new
  • David_A_OHara: @eatraining  real disruption now social rather than purely technical but enabled by seamless integration of tech in daily life
  • zslayton: @enterprisearchs #cloud = effortless scalability…a bit of an over-simplification but I do get your point.
  • efeatherston: @chrisjharding agree completely, just changes the paradigm for IT who are struggling to adapt
  • enterprisearchs: A2 #BigData enables ultra-personalisation of customer experience and powerful market insights
  • InfoRacer: A2 Digital Disruption also means avoiding blind alleys & the “me too” chase after some trends.  Eg #BigData isn’t necessarily…
  • TheWombatWho: @enterprisearchs its where work of Marshall McLuhan is worth a revisit.
  • chrisjharding: @David_A_OHara @eatraining social disruption caused by tech-based social media
  • DadaBeatnik: Some of these answers sound like they come from one of those buzzword phrase generators!
  • InfoRacer: @DadaBeatnik Like Predictive big cloud master data governance ;-) Surely the next big thang!
  • David_A_OHara: @enterprisearchs easier to deploy mobile internet vs fixed in growing economies: demand from developing world is uncharted territory
  • eatraining: A2 Digital reduces barriers to entry and blurs category boundaries
  • efeatherston: @David_A_OHara @eatraining #socialmedia definitely having impact, how people interact with tech in personal now fully into business
  • zslayton: @David_A_OHara @enterprisearchs Business models in developing world also uncharted.  New opportunities and challenges
  • David_A_OHara: @chrisjharding @eatraining yup, we have lived through a rapid (tech-enabled) social revolution almost without realising!
  • TheWombatWho: A2 its not the ‘technology’ it’s what ‘they do with it’ that changes everything.  Old IT paradigms are yet to adapt to this
  • Technodad: @David_A_OHara Agree – Near-ubiquitous global-scale communication channels changes balance between customer and enterprise.
  • chrisjharding: @David_A_OHara @eatraining yes – and it’s not finished yet!
  • InfoRacer: @TheWombatWho Right, it’s not just the technology.  #BigData 3 Vs but without 4th V (value) then big data = little information
  • David_A_OHara: @TheWombatWho Bang on!  so there’s the real challenge for EA, right? Changing the traditional IT mindset…?
  • afigueiredo: A2 Development that transforms lives, businesses, causing impact to global economy

To me there are two quite different things going on, but which are often blurred together:

– ‘digital-disruption proper’ – disruptions within which existing and/or new digital-based technologies are explicitly the core drivers

– ‘disruption-with-digital’: ‘digital’ as a catch-all for sociotechnical changes in which digital-based technologies are, at most, an important yet never the sole enabler – in other words, where the social side of ‘sociotechnical’ is more central than the technology itself

In my experience and understanding, most of so-called ‘digital disruption’ is more correctly in the latter category, not the former. Hence, for example, my comment about the [UK] Government Digital Service: it’s actually far more about changes in the nature of government-services itself – in effect, a much more ‘customer-centric’ view of service – rather than a focus on ‘going digital’ for digital’s sake. This is not to say that the technology doesn’t matter – for example, I do understand and agree with Andrew McAfee’s complaint about critiques of his ‘Enterprise 2.0′ concept, that “it’s not not about the technology” – but again, it’s more sociotechnical, not merely technical as such, and that distinction is often extremely important.

Interestingly, most of the examples cited above as ‘digital-disruptions – the often-overhyped ‘cloud’ and ‘big-data’ and suchlike – are ultimately more sociotechnical issues than technical. By contrast, most of the themes I’d see as ‘digital-disruption proper’ – for example, the rapidly-expanding developments around ‘smart-materials’, ‘smart-cities’ and ‘the internet of things’ - don’t get a mention here at all. Odd…

 Question 3: What are good examples of disruptive business-models?

  • theopengroup: Q3 Bearing these points in mind, what are good examples of disruptive #Bizmodels? #EntArch
  • enterprisearchs: A3 @Airbnb: Disrupting the hotel industry with a #Cloud & #Social based model to open up lodging capacity for people seeking accom
  • enterprisearchs: A3 @Uber: leveraging #Cloud and #Mobile to release existing capacity in the personal transport industry http://t.co/31Xmj7LwQ6
  • enterprisearchs: A3 @99designs: Rethinking how we access good design through #Social, #Cloud and competitive #crowdsourcing
  • enterprisearchs: A3 @Groupon: re-architecting retail to provide #Social buying power, reducing cost per unit and increasing vendor volumes
  • eatraining: @zslayton Reverse innovation in developing countries producing disruption in developed nations
  • chrisjharding: A3: marketing using social media
  • TheWombatWho: @InfoRacer and combined with behavioural sciences & predictive analytics
  • efeatherston: A3: Netflix is a disruptive business model, they threw the whole cable/broadcast/rental industry on its ears
  • enterprisearchs: A3 @iTunesMusic: creating a #Cloud based platform to lock in customers and deliver #Digital content
  • eatraining: Reverse Innovation in Tech Startups: The Story of Capillary Technologies – @HarvardBiz http://t.co/Ud7UN7ZxzQ
  • TheWombatWho: @David_A_OHara not just mindset but also disciplines around portfolio & programme planning, aspects of project mgmt etc
  • enterprisearchs: A3 @facebook: Using #Social #Cloud #Mobile and #BigData to get you & 1 billion other people to generate their product: your updates
  • David_A_OHara: @enterprisearchs @Groupon Here’s retail disruption: why cant I just walk into store, scan stuff on my phone and walk out with it?
  • zslayton: @efeatherston Absolutely.  Discussed this in a recent blog posts:  http://t.co/zWzzAN4Fsn
  • Technodad: @David_A_OHara @TheWombatWho Don’t assume enterprises lead or control change. Many examples imposed externally, e.g. Music industry
  • eatraining: @efeatherston Agree – @netflix: Shifting the #ValueProposition to low-cost on demand video content from the #Cloud
  • tetradian: A3 (also A2): UK Government Digital Service (GDS) – is ‘digital’, but change of business-service/paradigm is even more important
  • mjcavaretta: Value from #BigData primarily from…  RT @TheWombatWho: @InfoRacer behavioural sciences & #predictive #analytics
  • zslayton: @Technodad @David_A_OHara @TheWombatWho Spot on.  External event triggers change.  Org treats as opportunity/threat. IT must adapt
  • InfoRacer: A3 Expedia, Travelocity etc … where are High st travel agents now?
  • enterprisearchs: A3 ING Direct: delivering a simple #ValueProposition of no-frills and trusted high returns for depositors
  • Technodad: @enterprisearchs Disagree. ITunes was the enterprise consolidation -original disruption was peer-to-peer delivery of ripped music.
  • chrisjharding: @David_A_OHara @enterprisearchs @Groupon or plan a mixed bus/train journey on my ‘phone and download tickets to it?
  • eatraining: A3 DELL – game changing cost structures
  • TheWombatWho: @tetradian Great example.  UK Gov digital is fascinating.  Take that approach & apply it to competitive commercial enviro.
  • eatraining: A3 MOOC Platforms disrupting education? Scalability disruption
  • eatraining: A3 Nespresso – getting us to pay 8 times more for a cup of coffee.
  • tetradian: A3: many non-IT-oriented technologies – nanotechnology, micro-satellites, materials-science (water-filtration etc)
  • filiphdr: @chrisjharding @David_A_OHara @enterprisearchs @Groupon bus/train combo: yes – download tickets: no
  • zslayton: @Technodad @enterprisearchs Maybe.  But now with Google, spotify etc, a new model has emerged.

Some good examples, but I’ll admit that I find it disappointing that almost all of them focus primarily on shunting data around in the ‘social/local/mobile’ space – yes, all of them valid, but a very narrow subset of the actual ‘digital-disruption’ that’s going on these days. (Near the end, there is a good example of the broader view: “Nespresso – getting us to pay 8 times more for a cup of coffee”.)

As enterprise-architects and business-architects, we really do need to break out of the seemingly-reflex assumptions of IT-centrism, and learn instead to look at the contexts from a much broader perspective. For example, a common illustration I use is that the key competition for Netflix is not some other streaming-video provider, but booksellers, bars and restaurants – other types of services entirely, but that compete for the same social/time-slots in potential-customers’ lives.

Question 4: What is the role of enterprise-architecture in driving and responding to disruption?

  • enterprisearchs: A4 #EntArch will identify which capabilities will be needed, and when, to enable disruptive strategies
  • efeatherston: A4: #entArch is key to surviving tech disruption, need the high level view/impact on the business
  • chrisjharding: A4: #EntArch must be business-led, not technology-led
  • InfoRacer: A4 #EntArch can play an orchestration, impact analysis and sanity check role
  • efeatherston: Agree 100%, its all about the impact to the business RT @chrisjharding: A4: #EntArch must be business-led, not technology-led
  • enterprisearchs: A4 #EntArch will lead enterprise response to #disruption by plotting the execution path to winning strategies http://t.co/FdgqXOVKug
  • chrisjharding: A4: and #Entarch must be able to focus on business differentiation not common technology
  • enterprisearchs: A4 #EntArch will lead enterprise response to #disruption by plotting the execution path to winning strategies http://t.co/FdgqXOVKug
  • afigueiredo: A4 #entarch should be flexible to accommodate/support #disruption caused by new advances and changes
  • TheWombatWho: A4 help clarify & stick to intent of business.  It is key in choosing the critical capabilities vs non essential capabilities
  • enterprisearchs: A4 #EntArch will provide the strategic insights to identify what business changes are viable
  • chrisjharding: @InfoRacer or enable business users to orchestrate – give them the tools
  • enterprisearchs: A4 #EntArch will provide the strategic infrastructure to bring cohesion to business change
  • TalmanAJ: A4: identify existing and needed business and IT capabilities and ensure agility to respond to disruption #entarch
  • efeatherston: a4: #entarch needs to work with business to determine how to leverage/use/survive  #disruption to help the business processes
  • David_A_OHara: @enterprisearchs so you need very business-savvy and creative EAs (no longer a tech discipline but sustainable biz innovation role?)
  • InfoRacer: RT @enterprisearchs: A4 #EntArch will provide the strategic insights to identify what business changes are viable
  • TheWombatWho: A4 have to travel light so linking intent to critical capability is essential if Biz is to remain flexible & adaptable
  • zslayton: A4 #EntArch must steer the IT ship to adapt in the new world.  steady hand on the tiller!
  • TheWombatWho: A4 have to travel light so linking intent to critical capability is essential if Biz is to remain flexible & adaptable
  • TheWombatWho: @enterprisearchs agree
  • chrisjharding: @David_A_OHara @enterprisearchs Yup!
  • efeatherston: @David_A_OHara @enterprisearchs Agree, EA’S need both business and tech, act as the bridge for the business to help them respond
  • enterprisearchs: A4 #EntArch will assist in managing lifecycles at the #BizModel, market model, product & service and operating model levels
  • zslayton: @chrisjharding Absolutely.  Focus on commoditized tech will lead to lagging IT.  Focus on differentiators is key.
  • eatraining: A4 Business design and architecture will facilitate a more structured approach to business prototyping
  • tetradian: A4: identifying/describing the overall shared-enterprise space (tech + human); also lean-startup style ‘jobs to be done’ etc
  • Technodad: @TheWombatWho yes, but a tough job- how would #entarch have advised Tower Records in face of digital music disruption, loss of ROE?
  • David_A_OHara: @Technodad @TheWombatWho good challenge: same question can be posed re: Game and HMV in the UK…
  • eatraining: A4 Business model prototyping is the conversation we have with our ideas – @tomwujec
  • tetradian: @eatraining re business-prototyping – yes, strong agree
  • tetradian: A4 for ‘digital disruption’, crucial that #entarch covers a much broader space than just IT – pref. out to entire shared-enterprise
  • enterprisearchs: @tetradian agree – the boundaries of the enterprise are defined by the value discipline orientation, not by the balance sheet

In contradiction to what I said just above, that too-common predominance of IT-centrism in current EA is not so much in evidence here. It’s a pleasant contrast, but it doesn’t last…

Question 5: Why is enterprise-architecture well placed to respond to disruption?

  • theopengroup: Q5 And on a similar note, what is the role of #EntArch in driving and responding to #disruption?
  • enterprisearchs: A5 #EntArch has a unique appreciation of existing and required business capabilities to execute strategy
  • enterprisearchs: A5 Speed to change is now a competitive advantage. #EntArch can map the shortest path to deliver business outcomes
  • filiphdr: A5 Keep short term decisions in line w/ long term vision
  • enterprisearchs: A5 #EntArch provides the tools to better manage investment lifecycles, helping to time capability deployment and divestment
  • InfoRacer: A5 Advising, giving informed analysis, recommendations & impact so the Business officers can make decision with their eyes open!
  • enterprisearchs: A5 #EntArch is the only discipline that stitches strategic and business management disciplines together in a coherent manner
  • enterprisearchs: A5 Speed of response requires a clear mandate and execution plan. #EntArch will deliver this
  • zslayton: @enterprisearchs Agreed.  Toss in leadership and we may have something!
  • TheWombatWho: @Technodad key is “why was tower special?”  Advice, passion & knowledge…..still relevant?  Not the music – was the knowledge.
  • efeatherston: @enterprisearchs well said #entarch
  • enterprisearchs: A5 #EntArch provides vital information about which capabilities currently exist and which need to be acquired or built
  • chrisjharding: A5: Set principles and standards to give consistent use of disruptive technologies in enterprise
  • eatraining: @Technodad @TheWombatWho A few cycles of business model prototyping might have revealed a an opportunity to respond better
  • zslayton: @Technodad @TheWombatWho Netflix again a good example.  Cannibalized their soon to be dying biz to innovate in new biz.
  • TalmanAJ: A5: #entarch should be the tool to drive/respond to disruptions in a controlled manner
  • enterprisearchs: A5 #ArchitectureThinking provides a robust approach to optimise change initiatives and accelerate delivery
  • David_A_OHara: @Technodad @TheWombatWho consider future of games consoles i.e. there will be NO consoles: smart TV will access all digital content
  • TheWombatWho: @David_A_OHara @Technodad HMV interesting – wasn’t  retail store a response to original disruption?
  • chrisjharding: A5: and ensure solutions comply with legal constraints and enterprise obligations
  • zslayton: @David_A_OHara @Technodad @TheWombatWho SmartTV is just a big ole, vertical tablet. #mobile
  • TheWombatWho: @zslayton @David_A_OHara @Technodad and value opportunity is how to keep finger prints off the screen!!!!
  • TheWombatWho: @David_A_OHara @Technodad so accessing content is not where value is?  Where is the value in that arena?
  • enterprisearchs: A5 #EntArch offers insight into which technology capabilities can be strategically applied
  • eatraining: A5 #EntArch can offer an extended value proposition not just into capability mixes but product and market mixes as well
  • TheWombatWho: @enterprisearchs @Technodad yes, yes, yes and yes.  I agree
  • Technodad: @zslayton Exactly. Decision to dump physical & go all-in on digital delivery & content was key. Wonder if #entarch led change?
  • David_A_OHara: @TheWombatWho @Technodad not much if U R console manuf!  Content IS the value, right? Smart TV democratises access to content
  • mjcavaretta: Value from #BigData primarily from…  RT @TheWombatWho: @InfoRacer behavioural sciences & #predictive #analytics
  • TheWombatWho: @enterprisearchs @Technodad getting Biz to talk through canvas & over-laying their discussions with IT choices is essential
  • zslayton: @Technodad I’m guessing product but #entarch had to rapidly adapt IT enviro to enable the product e.g. respond to the disruption
  • efeatherston: @zslayton @Technodad  Netflix seems to thrive on disruption, look at their testing model, chaos monkey , hope #entarch is involved

In a sense, the same as for Question 4: the too-usual IT-centrism is not so much in apparent evidence. Yet actually it is: I don’t think there’s a single example that moves more than half a step outside of some form of IT. Where are the references to EA for smart-materials, smart-sensors, nanotechnologies, changes in law, custom, even religion? – they’re conspicuous only by their absence. Again, we need to stop using IT as ‘the centre of everything’, because it really isn’t in the real-world: instead, we need to rethink our entire approach to architecture, shifting towards a more realistic awareness that “everything and nothing is ‘the centre’ of the architecture, all at the same time”.

Question 6: Who are the key stakeholders enterprise-architecture needs to engage when developing a disruption strategy?

  • theopengroup: Q6 So who are the key stakeholders #EntArch needs to engage when developing a #Disruption strategy?
  • filiphdr: A6 Customers
  • enterprisearchs: A6 #Disruption is the concern of the entire executive team and the board of directors – this is where #EntArch should be aiming
  • TalmanAJ: A6: Business leaders first, IT leaders second
  • chrisjharding: A6: CIOs
  • InfoRacer: A6 Customers, Shareholders, Investors, Partners
  • enterprisearchs: A6 Clearly the CEO is the key stakeholder for #EntArch to reach when contemplating new #BizModels
  • eatraining: A6 Welcome the arrival of the CDO. The chief digital officer. Is this the new sponsor for EA?
  • efeatherston: A6: As has been said, the C-level (not just CIO), as the focus must always be the business drivers, and what impact that has
  • zslayton: @Technodad emphasizing partnership and alignment between Tech #entarch and Biz entarch.
  • eatraining: A6 The Customer!!??
  • Technodad: @mjcavaretta Do you think replacement of knowledge workers by machine learning is next big disruption?
  • InfoRacer: @eatraining Hmm Chief Data Officer, because lets be honest the CIO mostly isn’t a Chief INFORMATION Officer anymore
  • TheWombatWho: A6 starts with biz, increasingly should include customers & suppliers & then IT
  • tetradian: A6: _all_ stakeholder-groups – that’s the whole point! (don’t centre it around any single stakeholder – all are ‘equal citizens’)
  • TheWombatWho: @tetradian A6 agree with Tom.  My bent is Biz 1st but you mine intel from all – whenever opportunity arrives.  Continual engagement

I’ll say straight off that I was shocked at most of the above: a sad mixture of IT-centrism and/or organisation-centrism, with only occasional indications – such as can be seen in Craig Martin’s plea of “The Customer!!??” – of much of a wider awareness. What we perhaps need to hammer home to the entire EA/BA ‘trade’ is that whilst we create an architecture for an organisation, it must be about the ‘enterprise’ or ecosystem within which that organisation operates. Crucial to this is the awareness that the enterprise is much larger than the organisation, and hence we’d usually be wise to start ‘outside-in‘ or even ‘outside-out’, rather than the literally self-centric ‘inside-in’ or ‘inside-out’.

Question 7: What current gaps in enterprise-architecture must be filled to effectively lead disruption strategy?

  • theopengroup: Q7, last one guys! What current gaps in #EntArch must be filled to effectively lead #Disruption strategy?
  • enterprisearchs: #EntArch should engage the biz to look at what sustaining & disruptive innovations are viable with the existing enterprise platform
  • zslayton: @efeatherston @Technodad Proactive disruption!  Technical tools to enable and anticipate change.  Great example.
  • enterprisearchs: A7 #EntArch needs to move beyond an IT mandate
  • enterprisearchs: A7 #EntArch needs to be recognised as a key guide in strategic business planning
  • InfoRacer: A7 Engage with biz.  Get away from tech.  Treat Information as real asset, get CDO role
  • eatraining: A7 The #EntArch mandate needs to move out of the IT space
  • chrisjharding: A7: #EntArch needs a new platform to deploy disruptive technologies – Open Platform 3.0
  • zslayton: A7 #entarch involvement during the idea stage of biz, not just the implementation.  True knight at the round table.
  • TheWombatWho: @enterprisearchs @Technodad its one of my best friends.  Evan the discipline of thought process sans formality of canvas
  • enterprisearchs: A7 #EntArchs need to improve their business engagement skills and vocabulary
  • zslayton: @eatraining Agreed!  Balance Biz #entarch with Tech #entarch.
  • efeatherston: A7: #entarch MUST be part of the business planning process, they are the connecting tissue between business drivers and IT
  • David_A_OHara: @theopengroup creative business modelling inc. hypothetical models, not simple IT response to mid term view based on today’s probs
  • TalmanAJ: A7: #entArch needs to move from its IT and technical focus to more business strategy focus
  • eatraining: @efeatherston Agreed
  • efeatherston: A7: #entarch  needs to get business to understand, they are not just the tech guys
  • eatraining: A7 There is room to expand into the products and services space as well as market model space
  • InfoRacer: A7 Common vocabulary eg by exploiting Conceptual model; Information is the lingua franca
  • enterprisearchs: A7 #EntArchs need to be more business-outcome oriented
  • chrisjharding: A7: Open Platform 3.0 #ogP3 will let architects worry about the business, not the technology
  • enterprisearchs: A7 #EntArchs need to be recruited from business domains and taught robust architecture practises
  • Technodad: A7 #EntArch can’t lose role of tracking/anticipating tech change, or business will be blindsided by next disruption.
  • filiphdr: @efeatherston Very true, and that’s a skills & communication challenge
  • eatraining: A7 Architects must focus more on becoming super mixers than on architecture utility development
  • enterprisearchs: A7 #EntArchs need to be experts in the application of #Cloud, #Mobile, #Social, #BigData and #Digital strategy
  • zslayton: @enterprisearchs Agreed.  We tend to have to push process more than models.  That is often the “ah ha”.  #entarch
  • eatraining: A7 Architecture must focus on actual change in helping design solutions that shift and change behavior as well
  • tetradian: A7: kill off the obsession with IT!!! :-) #entarch needs to cover the whole scope, not the trivial subset that is ‘digital’ alone…
  • enterprisearchs: @tetradian Disagree – Digital is a huge accelerant to #Disruption and #EntArchs in the near term need to have a v strong grip
  • tetradian: RT @enterprisearchs: A7 #EntArch needs to move beyond an IT mandate -> yes yes yes!!!
  • TalmanAJ: @tetradian Yes. Technology is just one aspect of the enterprise. Processes, strategies and people etc. are too.
  • scmunk: @tetradian this shows non-IT importance of #EntArch, also a pipeline for changes http://t.co/O4Cm4D5G7q
  • enterprisearchs: A7 #EntArchs need to be able to clearly articulate business context and motivation http://t.co/Sf4Ci8Ob7P
  • eatraining: @TheWombatWho Roadmap and plans implemented don’t show the true value because stakeholders shift back to old behavior habits.
  • TheWombatWho: A7 need to be evangelist for the ‘value’ in the Biz model not the hierarchy or structure or status quo
  • TheWombatWho: @eatraining agree.  Roadmap is point in time.  Need to establish principles, & links across value chain rather than structural links
  • DadaBeatnik: Never did understand the obsession with IT in #Entarch. Why is this? Not all biz IT-centric. Because of tools/language?
  • TheWombatWho: @DadaBeatnik accident of history?
  • TalmanAJ: @DadaBeatnik Could be historical. Origins of EA are in IT, EA function usually is in IT and EA people usually have IT background.

At least here we did see more awareness of the need to break out of the IT-centric box: it’s just that so many of the responses to the previous questions indicated that much of EA is still very much stuck there. Oh well. But, yeah, good signs that some moves are solidly underway now, at least.

One point I do need to pick up on from the tweets above. Yes, I’ll admit I somewhat dropped back to my usual rant – “kill off the obsession with IT!!! :-) ” – but please, please note that I do still very much include all forms of IT within the enterprise-architecture. I’m not objecting to IT at all: all that I’m saying is that we should not reflexively elevate IT above everything else. In other words, we need to start from an awareness – a strictly conventional, mainstream systemic-awareness – that in a viable ‘architecture of the enterprise, everything in that ‘ecosystem-as-system’ is necessary to that system, and hence necessarily an ‘equal citizen’ with everything else. Hence I do understand where Hugh Evans (@enterprisearchs) is coming from, in his riposte of “Disagree – Digital is a huge accelerant to #Disruption and #EntArchs in the near term need to have a v strong grip”: in a sense, he’s absolutely right. But the danger – and I’m sorry, but it is a huge danger – is that there’s still such as strong pull towards IT-centrism in current EA that we do need to be explicit in mitigating against it at just every step of the way. Yes, “digital is a huge accelerant to disruption”, and yes, we do need to be aware of the potential affordances offered by each new technology, yet we must always to start from the overall potential-disruption opportunity/risk first – and not from the technology.

Wrap-up

(This consisted of various people saying ‘thank you’, and ‘goodbye’, which is nice and socially-important and suchlike, yet not particularly central to the content of the TweetJam itself: I’ve dropped them from the record here, but you can chase them up on Twitter if you really need them. However, there were a couple of tweets pointing to further resources that might be helpful to some folks, so I’ll finish here with those.)

  • enterprisearchs: Look out for our upcoming webinar: http://t.co/lWvJ630BVJ ‘Leading Business Disruption Strategy with #EntArch’ Oct 10
  • dianedanamac: Thanks for joining! Continue the conversation at #ogLON, The Open Group London event Oct. 21-24

That’s it. Hope that’s been useful, anyways: over to you?

GravesTom_sq Tom Graves has been an independent consultant for more than three decades, in business transformation, enterprise architecture and knowledge management. His clients in Europe, Australasia and the Americas cover a broad range of industries including banking, utilities, manufacturing, logistics, engineering, media, telecoms, research, defence and government. He has a special interest in architecture for non-IT-centric enterprises, and integration between IT-based and non-IT-based services.

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Leading Business Disruption Strategy with Enterprise Architecture

By Patty Donovan, The Open Group

On Wednesday, October 2nd, The Open Group and Enterprise Architects will host a tweet jam which discusses how organisations can lead business disruption with Enterprise Architecture (EA). Today, businesses are being forced to come to terms with their vulnerabilities and opportunities when it comes to disruptive innovation. Enterprise Architecture, by leveraging its emergent business architecture capabilities and its traditional technology and innovation focus, has the opportunity to fill a key void, aiding businesses to win in this new world.

In the recently published Hype Cycle for Enterprise Architecture 2013 Gartner places disruptive forces at the center of the emerging EA mandate:

“Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a discipline for proactively and holistically leading enterprise responses to disruptive forces by identifying and analyzing the execution of change toward desired business vision and outcomes.”

“EA practitioners have the opportunity to take a quantum leap toward not only becoming integral to the business, but also leading business change.”

Source: Hype Cycle for Enterprise Architecture 2013, Gartner 2013

Please join us on Wednesday, October 2nd at 12noon BST for our upcoming “Leading Disruption Strategy with EA” tweet jam where leading experts will discuss this evolving topic.

We welcome Open Group members and interested participants from all backgrounds to join the session and interact with our panel thought leaders, led by Hugh Evans, CEO of Enterprise Architects (@enterprisearchs). To access the discussion, please follow the #ogChat hashtag during the allotted discussion time.

Planned questions include:

  • Q1 What is #Disruption?
  • Q2 What is #Digitaldisruption?
  • Q3 What are good examples of disruptive #Bizmodels?
  • Q4 What is the role of #EntArch in driving and responding to #disruption?
  • Q5 Why is #EntArch well placed to respond to #Disruption?
  • Q6 Who are the key stakeholders #EntArch needs to engage when developing a #Disruption strategy?
  • Q7 What current gaps in #EntArch must be filled to effectively lead #Disruption strategy?

Additional appropriate hashtags:

  • #EntArch – Enterprise Architecture
  • #BizArch – Business Architecture
  • #Disruption – Disruption
  • #DigitalDisruption – Digital Disruption
  • #Bizmodels – Business Models
  • #ogArch – The Open Group Architecture Forum

And for those of you who are unfamiliar with tweet jams, here is some background information:

What Is a Tweet Jam?

A tweet jam is a one hour “discussion” hosted on Twitter. The purpose of this tweet jam is to share knowledge and answer questions on leading business disruption strategy with enterprise architecture. Each tweet jam is led by a moderator and a dedicated group of experts to keep the discussion flowing. The public (or anyone using Twitter interested in the topic) is encouraged to join the discussion.

Participation Guidance

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

  • Have your first #ogChat tweet be a self-introduction: name, affiliation, occupation.
  • Start all other tweets with the question number you’re responding to and the #ogChat hashtag.
    • Sample: “Big Data presents a large business opportunity, but it is not yet being managed effectively internally – who owns the big data function? #ogchat”
    • Please refrain from product or service promotions. The goal of a tweet jam is to encourage an exchange of knowledge and stimulate discussion.
    • While this is a professional get-together, we don’t have to be stiff! Informality will not be an issue!
    • A tweet jam is akin to a public forum, panel discussion or Town Hall meeting – let’s be focused and thoughtful.

If you have any questions prior to the event or would like to join as a participant, please direct them to Rob Checkal (rob.checkal at hotwirepr.com). We anticipate a lively chat and hope you will be able to join!

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

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Filed under Business Architecture, Enterprise Architecture, Future Technologies, Open Platform 3.0, Platform 3.0, Tweet Jam

IT Technology Trends – a Risky Business?

By Patty Donovan, The Open Group

On Wednesday, September 25, The Open Group will host a tweet jam looking at a multitude of emerging/converging technology trends and the risks they present to organizations who have already adopted or are looking to adopt them. Most of the technology concepts we’re talking about – Cloud, Big Data, BYOD/BYOS, the Internet of Things etc – are not new, but organizations are at differing stages of implementation and do not yet fully understand the longer term impact of adoption.

This tweet jam will allow us to explore some of these technologies in more detail and look at how organizations may better prepare against potential risks – whether this is in regards to security, access management, policies, privacy or ROI. As discussed in our previous Open Platform 3.0™ tweet jam, new technology trends present many opportunities but can also present business challenges if not managed effectively.

Please join us on Wednesday, September 25 at 9:00 a.m. PT/12:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. BST for a tweet jam that will discuss and debate the issues around technology risks. A number of key areas will be addressed during the discussion including: Big Data, Cloud, Consumerization of IT, the Internet of Things and mobile and social computing with a focus on understanding the key risk priority areas organizations face and ways to mitigate them.

We welcome Open Group members and interested participants from all backgrounds to join the session and interact with our panel thought leaders led by David Lounsbury, CTO and Jim Hietala, VP of Security, from The Open Group. To access the discussion, please follow the #ogChat hashtag during the allotted discussion time.

  • Do you feel prepared for the emergence/convergence of IT trends? – Cloud, Big Data, BYOD/BYOS, Internet of things
  • Where do you see risks in these technologies? – Cloud, Big Data, BYOD/BYOS, Internet of things
  • How does your organization monitor for, measure and manage risks from these technologies?
  • Which policies are best at dealing with security risks from technologies? Which are less effective?
  • Many new technologies move data out of the enterprise to user devices or cloud services. Can we manage these new risks? How?
  • What role do standards, best practices and regulations play in keeping up with risks from these & future technologies?
  • Aside from risks caused by individual trends, what is the impact of multiple technology trends converging (Platform 3.0)?

And for those of you who are unfamiliar with tweet jams, here is some background information:

What Is a Tweet Jam?

A tweet jam is a one hour “discussion” hosted on Twitter. The purpose of this tweet jam is to share knowledge and answer questions on emerging/converging technology trends and the risks they present. Each tweet jam is led by a moderator and a dedicated group of experts to keep the discussion flowing. The public (or anyone using Twitter interested in the topic) is encouraged to join the discussion.

Participation Guidance

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

  • Have your first #ogChat tweet be a self-introduction: name, affiliation, occupation.
  • Start all other tweets with the question number you’re responding to and the #ogChat hashtag.
    • Sample: “Big Data presents a large business opportunity, but it is not yet being managed effectively internally – who owns the big data function? #ogchat”
    • Please refrain from product or service promotions. The goal of a tweet jam is to encourage an exchange of knowledge and stimulate discussion.
    • While this is a professional get-together, we don’t have to be stiff! Informality will not be an issue!
    • A tweet jam is akin to a public forum, panel discussion or Town Hall meeting – let’s be focused and thoughtful.

If you have any questions prior to the event or would like to join as a participant, please direct them to Rob Checkal (rob.checkal at hotwirepr.com). We anticipate a lively chat and hope you will be able to join!

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

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Filed under Cloud, Cloud/SOA, Data management, Future Technologies, Open Platform 3.0, Platform 3.0, Tweet Jam

Questions for the Upcoming Platform 3.0™ Tweet Jam

By Patty Donovan, The Open Group

Last week, we announced our upcoming tweet jam on Thursday, June 6 at 9:00 a.m. PT/12:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. BST, which will examine how convergent technologies such as Big Data, Social, Mobile and The Internet of Things are impacting today’s business operations. We will also discuss the opportunities available to those organizations who keep pace with this rapid pace of change and how they might take steps to get there.

The discussion will be moderated by Dana Gardner (@Dana_Gardner), ZDNet – Briefings Direct, and we welcome both members of The Open Group and interested participants alike to join the session.

The discussion will be guided by these five questions:

- Does your organization see a convergence of emerging technologies such as social networking, mobile, cloud and the internet of things?

- How has this convergence affected your business?

- Are these changes causing you to change your IT platform; if so how?

- How is the data created by this convergence affecting business models or how you make business decisions?

- What new IT capabilities are needed to support new business models and decision making?

To join the discussion, please follow the #ogp3 and #ogChat hashtag during the allotted discussion time.

For more information about the tweet jam, guidelines and general background information, please visit our previous blog post.

If you have any questions prior to the event or would like to join as a participant, please direct them to Rob Checkal (rob.checkal at hotwirepr dot com) or leave a comment below. We anticipate a lively chat and hope you will be able to join us!

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

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Filed under Cloud, Cloud/SOA, Data management, Platform 3.0, Tweet Jam

Why should your business care about Platform 3.0™? A Tweet Jam

By Patty Donovan, The Open Group

On Thursday, June 6, The Open Group will host a tweet jam examining Platform 3.0™ and why businesses require it to remain relevant in today’s fast paced internet enabled business environment. Over recent years a number of convergent technologies have emerged which have the potential to disrupt the way we engage with each other in both our personal business lives. Many of us are familiar with the buzz words including Mobile, Social, Big Data, Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things, Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Cosumerization of IT (CoIT) – but what do they mean for our current operating business environments and what should businesses be doing to ensure that they keep pace?

Gartner was the first to recognize this convergence of trends representing a number of architectural shifts which it called a ‘Nexus of Forces’. This Nexus was presented as both an opportunity in terms of innovation of new IT products and services and a threat for those who do not keep pace with evolution, rendering current Business Architectures obsolete.

Rather than tackle this challenge solo, The Open Group is working with a number of IT experts, analysts and thought leaders to better understand the opportunities available to businesses and the steps they need to take to get them there.

Please join us on Thursday, June 6 at 9:00 a.m. PT/12:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. BST for a tweet jam, moderated by Dana Gardner (@Dana_Gardner), ZDNet – Briefings Direct, that will discuss and debate the issues around Platform 3.0™. Key areas that will be addressed during the discussion include: the specific technical trends (Big Data, Cloud, Consumerization of IT, etc.), and ways businesses can use them – and are already using them – to increase their business opportunity. We welcome Open Group members and interested participants from all backgrounds to join the session and interact with our panel thought leaders led by David Lounsbury, CTO and Chris Harding, Director of Interoperability from The Open Group. To access the discussion, please follow the #ogp3 and #ogChat hashtag during the allotted discussion time.

- Does your organization see a convergence of emerging technologies such as social networking, mobile, cloud and the internet of things?

- How has this convergence affected your business?

- Are these changes causing you to change your IT platform; if so how?

- How is the data created by this convergence affecting business models or how you make business decisions?

- What new IT capabilities are needed to support new business models and decision making?

And for those of you who are unfamiliar with tweet jams, here is some background information:

What Is a Tweet Jam?

A tweet jam is a one hour “discussion” hosted on Twitter. The purpose of the tweet jam is to share knowledge and answer questions on Platform 3.0™. Each tweet jam is led by a moderator and a dedicated group of experts to keep the discussion flowing. The public (or anyone using Twitter interested in the topic) is encouraged to join the discussion.

Participation Guidance

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

  • Have your first #ogChat or #ogp3 tweet be a self-introduction: name, affiliation, occupation.
  • Start all other tweets with the question number you’re responding to and the #ogChat or #ogp3 hashtag.
    • Sample: “There are already a number of organizations taking advantage of Platform 3.0 technology trends #ogp3”
    • Please refrain from product or service promotions. The goal of a tweet jam is to encourage an exchange of knowledge and stimulate discussion.
    • While this is a professional get-together, we don’t have to be stiff! Informality will not be an issue!
    • A tweet jam is akin to a public forum, panel discussion or Town Hall meeting – let’s be focused and thoughtful.

If you have any questions prior to the event or would like to join as a participant, please direct them to Rob Checkal (rob.checkal at hotwirepr dot com). We anticipate a lively chat and hope you will be able to join!

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

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Filed under Cloud, Cloud/SOA, Data management, Platform 3.0, Tweet Jam

The Interconnectedness of All Things

By Stuart Boardman, KPN

My admiration for Douglas Adams only seems to increase with the years.

Adams, in his quiet way, conveyed quite a few useful insights into both human behavior and how the world (and the universe) works – or seems to work – or seems at times not to work. One of his little masterpieces was “the interconnectedness of all things,” which was the insight that inspired the work of Dirk Gently, owner and sole operative of the Holistic Detective Agency. This wasn’t some piece of cosmic mysticism, but essentially a rather practical insistence on looking at the pieces of the puzzle as an interconnected whole, even when one doesn’t yet know what the completed puzzle will look like. Here’s how Dirk expressed it:

“I’m very glad you asked me that, Mrs. Rawlinson. The term `holistic’ refers to my conviction that what we are concerned with here is the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. I do not concern myself with such petty things as fingerprint powder, telltale pieces of pocket fluff and inane footprints. I see the solution to each problem as being detectable in the pattern and web of the whole. The connections between causes and effects are often much more subtle and complex than we with our rough and ready understanding of the physical world might naturally suppose, Mrs. Rawlinson.

Let me give you an example. If you go to an acupuncturist with toothache, he sticks a needle instead into your thigh. Do you know why he does that, Mrs. Rawlinson?

No, neither do I, Mrs. Rawlinson, but we intend to find out. A pleasure talking to you, Mrs. Rawlinson. Goodbye.”

Cloud, SOA, Enterprise Mobility, Social Media/Enterprise/Business, The Internet of Things, Big Data (you name it) – each in its own way is part of an overall tendency. The general trend is for enterprises to become increasingly involved in increasingly broad ecosystems. As a trend, it predates that list of Internet phenomena but it’s clear that they are dramatically accelerating the pace. Not only do they individually contribute to that trend but collectively they add another factor of both complexity and urgency to the picture. They are interconnected by cause and effect and by usage. Unfortunately that interconnectedness doesn’t (yet) involve very much interoperability.

Readers of this blog will know that The Open Group is starting a new initiative, Platform 3.0  which will be looking at these technologies as a whole and at how they might be considered to collectively represent some new kind of virtual computing platform. There’s an ongoing discussion of what the scope of such an initiative should be, to what extent it should concentrate on the technologies, to what extent on purely business aspects and to what extent we should concentrate on the whole, as opposed to the sum of the parts. One can also see this as one overarching phenomenon in which making a distinction between business and technology may not actually be meaningful.

Although no one (as far as I know) denies that each of these has its own specifics and deserves individual examination, people are starting to understand that we need to go with Dirk Gently and look at the “pattern and web of the whole”.

Open Group members and conference presenters have been pointing this out for a couple of years now but, like it or not, it often takes an analyst firm like Gartner to notice it for everyone else to start taking it seriously. What these organizations like to do is to pin labels on things. Give it a name, and you can kid yourself you know what it is. That fact in and of itself makes it easier for people - especially those who don’t like dealing with stuff you actually have to think about. It’s an example of the 42 problem I wrote about elsewhere.

Gartner frequently talks about the “Nexus of Forces.” Those of you who are not Trekkies may not understand why I fall over laughing at that one. For your benefit, the Nexus was this sort of cloud thing, which if you were able to jump into it, enabled you to live out your most treasured but unrealistic dreams. And in the Star Trek movie this was a big problem, because out there in the real world everything was going seriously pear shaped.

In my view, it’s crucial to tackle the general tendency. Organizations and in particular commercial organizations become part of what Jack Martin Leith calls a “Business Ecosystem”(jump to slide 11 in the link for the definition). If one goes back, say, ten years (maybe less), this tendency already manifested itself on the business side through the “outsourcing” of significant parts of the organization’s business processes to other organizations – partners. The result wasn’t simply a value chain but a value network, sometimes known as Extended Enterprise. Ten years later we see that Cloud can have the same effect on how even the processes retained within the organization are carried out. Social and mobile take this further and also take it out into the wider enterprise and out into that business ecosystem. Cloud, social and mobile involve technological interconnectedness. Social and mobile also involve business interconnectedness (one could argue that Cloud does too and I wouldn’t feel the need to disagree). The business of an enterprise becomes increasingly bound up with the business of other enterprises and as a result can be affected by changes and developments well outside its own range of control.

We know that the effects of these various technologies are interconnected at multiple levels, so it becomes increasingly important to understand how they will work together – or fail to work together. Or to put it more constructively, we need strategies and standards to ensure that they do work together to the extent that we can control them. We also need to understand what all the things are that we can’t control but might just jump out and bite us. There are already enough anti-patterns for the use of social media. Add to that the multi-channel implications of mobility, stir in a dose of Cloud and a bunch of machines exchanging messages without being able to ask each other, “excuse me, what did you mean by that?” It’s easy to see how things might go pear shaped while we’re having fun in the Nexus.

Does this lead to an unmanageable scope for Platform 3.0? I don’t think so. We’ll probably have to prioritize the work. Everyone has their own knowledge, experience and interests, so we may well do things of different granularity in parallel. That all needs to be discussed. But from my perspective, one of the first priorities will be to understand that interconnectedness, so we can work out where the needle needs to go to get rid of the pain.

Stuart Boardman is a Senior Business Consultant with KPN where he co-leads the Enterprise Architecture practice as well as the Cloud Computing solutions group. He is co-lead of The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group’s Security for the Cloud and SOA project and a founding member of both The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group and The Open Group SOA Work Group. Stuart is the author of publications by the Information Security Platform (PvIB) in The Netherlands and of his previous employer, CGI. He is a frequent speaker at conferences on the topics of Cloud, SOA, and Identity. 

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