Tag Archives: business

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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The Open Group Conference in Sydney Plenary Sessions Preview

By The Open Group Conference Team

Taking place April 15-18, 2013, The Open Group Conference in Sydney will bring together industry experts to discuss the evolving role of Enterprise Architecture and how it transforms the enterprise. As the conference quickly approaches, let’s take a deeper look into the plenary sessions that kick-off day one and two. And if you haven’t already, register for The Open Group Conference in Sydney today!

Enterprise Transformation and the Role of Open Standards

By Allen Brown, President & CEO, The Open Group

Enterprise transformation seems to be gathering momentum within the Enterprise Architecture community.  The term, enterprise transformation, suggests the process of fundamentally changing an enterprise.  Sometimes the transformation is dramatic but for most of us it is a steady process. Allen will kick off the conference by discussing how to set expectations, the planning process for enterprise transformation and the role of standards, and provide an overview of ongoing projects by The Open Group’s members.

TOGAF® as a Powerful Took to Kick Start Business Transformation

By Peter Haviland, Chief Business Architect, and Martin Keywood, Partner, Ernst & Young

Business transformation is a tricky beast. It requires many people to work together toward a singular vision, and even more people to be aligned to an often multi-year execution program throughout which personal and organizational priorities will change. As a firm with considerable Business Architecture and transformation experience, Ernst & Young (EY) deploys multi-disciplinary teams of functional and technical experts and uses a number of approaches, anchored on TOGAF framework, to address these issues. This is necessary to get a handle on the complexity inherent to today’s business environment so that stakeholders are aligned and remain actively engaged, past investments in both processes and systems can be maximized, and transformation programs are set up for success and can be driven with sustained momentum.

In this session Peter and Martin will take us through EY’s Transformation Design approach – an approach that, within 12 weeks, can define a transformation vision, get executives on board, create a high level multi-domain architecture, broadly outline transformation alternatives and finally provide initial estimates of the necessary work packages to achieve transformation. They will also share case studies and metrics from the approach of financial services, oil and gas and professional services sectors. The session should interest executives looking to increase buy-in amongst their peers or professionals charged with stakeholder engagement and alignment. It will also show how to use the TOGAF framework within this situation.

Building a More Cohesive Organization Using Business Architecture

 By Craig Martin, COO & Chief Architect, Enterprise Architects

In shifting the focus away from Enterprise Architecture being seen purely as an IT discipline, organizations are beginning to formalize the development of Business Architecture practices and outcomes. The Open Group has made the differentiation between business, IT and enterprise architects through various working groups and certification tracks. However, industry at present is grappling to try to understand where the discipline of Business Architecture resides in the business and what value it can provide separate of the traditional project based business analysis focus.

Craig will provide an overview of some of the critical questions being asked by businesses and how these are addressed through Business Architecture. Using both method as well as case study examples, he will show an approach to building more cohesion across the business landscape. Craig will focus on the use of business motivation models, strategic scenario planning and capability based planning techniques to provide input into the strategic planning process.

Other plenary speakers include:

  • Capability Based Strategic Planning in Transforming a Mining Environment by David David, EA Manager, Rio Tinto
  • Development of the National Broadband Network IT Architecture – A Greenfield Telco Transformation by Roger Venning, Chief IT Architect, NBN Co. Ltd
  • Business Architecture in Finance Panel moderated by Chris Forde, VP Enterprise Architecture, The Open Group

More details about the conference can be found here: http://www.opengroup.org/sydney2013

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Gaining Greater Cohesion: Bringing Business Analysis and Business Architecture into Focus

By Craig Martin, Enterprise Architects

Having delivered many talks on Business Architecture over the years, I’m often struck by the common vision driving many members in the audience – a vision of building cohesion in a business, achieving the right balance between competing forces and bringing the business strategy and operations into harmony.  However, as with many ambitious visions, the challenge in this case is immense.  As I will explain, many of the people who envision this future state of nirvana are, in practice, inadvertently preventing it from happening.

Standards Silos
There are a host of standards and disciplines that are brought into play by enterprises to improve business performance and capabilities. For example standards such as PRINCE2, BABOK, BIZBOK, TOGAF, COBIT, ITIL and PMBOK are designed to ensure reliability of team output and approach across various business activities. However, in many instances these standards, operating together, present important gaps and overlaps. One wonders whose job it is to integrate and unify these standards. Whose job is it to understand the business requirements, business processes, drivers, capabilities and so on?

Apples to Apples?
As these standards evolve they often introduce new jargon to support their view of the world. Have you ever had to ask your business to explain what they do on a single page? The diversity of the views and models can be quite astonishing:

  • The target operating model
  • The business model
  • The process model
  • The capability model
  • The value chain model
  • The functional model
  • The business services model
  • The component business model
  • The business reference model
  • Business anchor model

The list goes on and on…

Each has a purpose and brings value in isolation. However, in the common scenario where they are developed using differing tools, methods, frameworks and techniques, the result is usually greater fragmentation, not more cohesion – and consequently we can end up with some very confused and exacerbated business stakeholders who care less about what standard we use and more about finding clarity to just get the job done.

The Convergence of Business Architecture and Business Analysis
Ask a room filled with business analysts and business architects how their jobs differ and relate, and I guarantee that would receive a multitude of alternative and sometimes conflicting perspectives.

Both of these disciplines try to develop standardised methods and frameworks for the description of the building blocks of an organization. They also seek to standardise the means by which to string them together to create better outcomes.

In other words, they are the disciplines that seek to create balance between two important business goals:

  • To produce consistent, predictable outcomes
  • To produce outcomes that meet desired objectives

In his book, “The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage,” Roger Martin describes the relationships and trade-offs between analytical thinking and intuitive thinking in business. He refers to the “knowledge funnel,” which charts the movement of business focus from solving business mysteries using heuristics to creating algorithms that increase reliability, reducing business complexity and costs and improving business performance.

The disciplines of Business Architecture and business analysis are both currently seeking to address this challenge. Martin refers to this as ”design thinking.”

Thinking Types v2

Vision Vs. Reality For Business Analysts and Business Architects

When examining the competency models for business analysis and Business Architecture, the desire is to position these two disciplines right across the spectrum of reliability and validity.

The reality is that both the business architect and the business analyst spend a large portion of their time in the reliability space, and I believe I’ve found the reason why.

Both the BABOK and the BIZBOK provide a body of knowledge focused predominantly around the reliability space. In other words, they look at how we define the building blocks of an organization, and less so at how we invent better building blocks within the organization.

Integrating the Disciplines

While we still have some way to go to integrate, the Business Architecture and business analysis disciplines are currently bringing great value to business through greater reliability and repeatability.

However, there is a significant opportunity to enable the intuitive thinkers to look at the bigger picture and identify opportunities to innovate their business models, their go-to-market, their product and service offerings and their operations.

Perhaps we might consider introducing a new function to bridge and unify the disciplines?

This newly created function might integrate a number of incumbent roles and functions and cover:

  • A holistic structural view covering the business model and the high-level relationships and interactions between all business systems
  • A market model view in which the focus is on understanding the market dynamics, segments and customer need
  • A products and services model view focusing on customer experience, value proposition, product and service mix and customer value
  • An operating model view – this is the current focus area of the business architect and business analyst. You need these building blocks defined in a reliable, repeatable and manageable structure. This enables agility within the organization and will support the assembly and mixing of building blocks to improve customer experience and value

At the end of the day, what matters most is not business analysis or Business Architecture themselves, but how the business will bridge the reliability and validity spectrum to reliably produce desired business outcomes.

I will discuss this topic in more detail at The Open Group Conference in Sydney, April 15-18, which will be the first Open Group event to be held in Australia.

Craig-MARTIN-ea-updated-3Craig Martin is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Architect at Enterprise Architects, which is a specialist Enterprise Architecture firm operating in the U.S., UK, Asia and Australia. He is presenting the Business Architecture plenary at the upcoming Open Group conference in Sydney. 

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Questions for the Upcoming Business Architecture Tweet Jam – March 19

By Patty Donovan, The Open Group

Earlier this week, we announced our upcoming tweet jam on Tuesday, March 19 at 2:00 p.m. PT/9:00 p.m. GMT/ Wednesday, March 20 at 8:00 a.m. EDT (Sydney Australia), which will examine the way in which Business Architecture is impacting enterprises and businesses of all sizes.

The discussion will be moderated by The Open Group (@theopengroup), and we welcome both members of The Open Group and interested participants alike to join the session.

The discussion will be guided by these six questions:

  1. How do you define Business Architecture?
  2. What is the role of the business architect? What real world business problems does Business Architecture solve?
  3. How is the role of the business architect changing? What are the drivers of this change?
  4. How does Business Architecture differ from Enterprise Architecture?
  5. How can business architects and enterprise architects work together?
  6. What’s in store for Business Architecture in the future?

To join the discussion, please follow the #ogChat hashtag during the allotted discussion time. Other hashtags we recommend you use during the event include:

  • Enterprise Architecture : #EntArch
  • Business Architecture: #BizArch
  • The Open Group Architecture Forum : #ogArch

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 Rod McLeod (rmcleod at bateman-group 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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Business Architecture Tweet Jam – March 19

By Patty Donovan, The Open Group

On Tuesday, March 19 at 2:00 p.m. PT/9:00 p.m. BST/Wednesday, March 20 at 8:00 a.m. EDT (Sydney, Australia), The Open Group will host a tweet jam examining the topic of Business Architecture.

Today, Business Architecture is shaping and fostering enterprise transformation initiatives and continuous improvement throughout companies of all sizes. In The Open Group’s 2013 Predictions, Steve Philp, marketing Director for Open CA and Open CITS at The Open Group predicted that Business Architecture would continue to grow in prominence and visibility among executives. According to Steve’s prediction, “there are a number of key technology areas for 2013 where business architects will be called upon to engage with the business such as Cloud Computing, Big Data and social networking.” Steve also predicted that “the need to have competent Business Architects is a high priority in both the developed and emerging markets and the demand for Business Architects currently exceeds the supply.” Steve’s sentiments mirror an industry-wide perspective: It’s certain that Business Architecture will impact enterprises, but to what extent?

This tweet jam, sponsored by The Open Group, will take a step back and allow participants to discuss what the nascent topic of Business Architecture actually means. How is Business Architecture defined? What is the role of the business architect and how does Business Architecture relate to Enterprise Architecture?

Please join us for our upcoming Business Architecture tweet jam where leading experts will discuss this evolving topic.

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 Business 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: “Q1 Business Architecture has different meanings to different people within my organization #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 Rod McLeod (rmcleod at bateman-group 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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“New Now” Planning

By Stuart Boardman, KPN

In my last post I introduced the idea of “the new now,” which I borrowed from Jack Martin Leith. I suggested that the planning of large transformation projects needs to focus more on the first step than on the end goal, because that first step, once taken, will be the “new now” – the reality with which the organization will have to work. There were some interesting comments that have helped me further develop my ideas. I also got pointed, via Twitter to this interesting and completely independent piece that comes to very similar conclusions.

I promised to try to explain how this might work in practice, so it here goes…

As I see it, we would start our transformation program by looking at both the first step and the long term vision more or less in parallel.

In order to establish what that first step should be, we need to ask what we want the “new now” to look like. If we could have a “new now” – right now – what would that be? In other words, what is it that we can’t do at the moment that we believe we really need to be able to do? This is a question that should be asked as broadly as possible across the organization. There are three reasons for that:

  1. We’ll probably come across a variety of opinions and we’ll need to know why they vary and why people think they are important, if we are to define something feasible and useful. It’s also possible that out of this mixture of views something altogether different may emerge.
  2. Changes in the relatively near future will tend to be changes to operational practices and those are best determined and managed by the part of the organization that performs them (see Stafford Beer’s Viable Systems Model and associated work by Patrick Hoverstadt and others).
  3. Everyone’s going to experience the “new now” (that’s why we call it the “new now”), so it would be good not to just drop it on them as if this were a new form of big bang. By involving them now, they’ll have known what’s coming and be more likely to accept it than if they were just “informed.” And at least we’ll know how people will react if the “new now” doesn’t meet their particular wishes.

This process addresses, I hope, both Ron van den Burg’s comment about different people having different “horizons” and an interesting observation made by Mark Skilton at The Open Group Conference in Newport Beach that at any one time an organization may have a large number of “strategies” in play.

The longer term perspective is about vision and strategy. What is the vision of the enterprise and what does it want to become? What are the strategies to achieve that? That’s something typically determined at the highest levels of an organization, even though one might hope these days that the whole organization would be able to contribute. For the moment, we’ll regard it as a board decision.

Maybe the board is perfectly happy and doesn’t need to change the vision or strategy. In that case we’re not talking about transformation, so let’s assume they do see a need to change something. A strategic change doesn’t necessarily have to affect the entire organization. It may be that the way a particular aspect of the enterprise’s mission is performed needs to be changed. Nonetheless if it’s at a strategic level it’s going to involve a transformation.

Now we can lay the “new now” and the long term vision next to each other and see how well they fit. Is the first step indeed a step towards the vision? If not we need to understand why. Traditionally we would tend to say the first step must then be wrong. That’s a possibility but it’s equally possible that the long-term view is simply too long-term and is missing key facts about the organization. The fact alone that the two don’t fit may indicate a disconnect within the organization and require a different change altogether. So simply by performing this action, we are addressing one of the risks to a transformation project. If we had simply defined the first step based on the long term vision, we’d probably have missed it. If, however, the fit is indeed good, then we know we have organizational buy-in for the transformation.

Once we have broad alignment, we need to re-examine the first step for feasibility. It mustn’t be more ambitious than we can deliver within a reasonable time and budget. Nothing new there. What is different is that while we require the first step to be aware of the long term vision, we don’t expect it to put a platform in place for everything the future may bring. That’s exactly what it shouldn’t do, because the only thing we know for certain is that we need to be adaptable to change

What about the second step? We’ve delivered the first step. We’re at the “new now.” How does that feel? Where would we like to be now? This essentially an iteration over the process we used for the first step. There’s a strong chance that we’ll get a different result than we would have had, if we’d planned this second step back at the beginning. After all, we have a new “now,” so our starting state is something that we couldn’t experience back then. We also need to revisit the vision/strategy aspect. The world (the Environment in VSM terms) will not have stood still in the meantime. One would hope that our vision wasn’t so fragile that it would change drastically but at the very least we need to re-validate it.

So now we can compare the new next step and the (revised) vision, just as we did with our first step. And then we move on.

So what this process comes down to is essentially a series of movements to a “new now.” After each movement we have a new reality. So yes, we’re still planning. We’re just not making hard plans for fuzzy objectives. Our planning process is as flexible as our results need to be. Of course that doesn’t mean we can’t start thinking about step two before we actually arrive at step one but these plans only become concrete when we know what the “new now” feels like and therefore exactly what the following “new now” should be.

In their comments on the previous blog both Matt Kern and Peter Bakker made the reasonable points that without a plan, you’re probably not going to get funding. The other side of the coin is that these days (and actually for a few years now) it’s increasingly difficult to get funding for multi-year transformation processes, exactly because the return on investment takes too long – and is too uncertain. That’s exactly what I’m trying to address. The fundamental concept of “new now” planning is that something of agreed value is delivered within an acceptable timescale. Isn’t that more likely to get funding?

Once again, I’d be delighted to see people’s reaction to these ideas. I’m 100 percent certain they can be improved.

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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The Death of Planning

By Stuart Boardman, KPN

If I were to announce that planning large scale transformation projects was a waste of time, you’d probably think I’d taken leave of my senses. And yet, somehow this thought has been nagging at me for some time now. Bear with me.

It’s not so long ago that we still had debates about whether complex projects should be delivered as a “big bang” or in phases. These days the big bang has pretty much been forgotten. Why is that? I think the main reason is the level of risk involved with running a long process and dropping it into the operational environment just like that. This applies to any significant change, whether related to a business model and processes or IT architecture or physical building developments. Even if it all works properly, the level of sudden organizational change involved may stop it in its tracks.

So it has become normal to plan the change as a series of phases. We develop a roadmap to get us from here (as-is) to the end goal (to-be). And this is where I begin to identify the problem.

A few months ago I spent an enjoyable and thought provoking day with Jack Martin Leith (@jackmartinleith). Jack is a master in demystifying clichés but when he announced his irritation with “change is a journey,” I could only respond, “but Jack, it is.” What Jack made me see is that, whilst the original usage was a useful insight, it’s become a cliché which is commonly completely misused. It results in some pretty frustrating journeys! To understand that let’s take the analogy literally. Suppose your objective is to travel to San Diego but there are no direct flights from where you live. If the first step on your journey is a 4 hour layover at JFK, that’s at best a waste of your time and energy. There’s no value in this step. A day in Manhattan might be a different story. We can (and do) deal with this kind of thing for journeys of a day or so but imagine a journey that takes three or more years and all you see on the way is the inside of airports.

My experience has been that the same problem too often manifests itself in transformation programs. The first step may be logical from an implementation perspective, but it delivers no discernible value (tangible or intangible). It’s simply a validation that something has been done, as if, in our travel analogy, we were celebrating travelling the first 1000 kilometers, even if that put us somewhere over the middle of Lake Erie.

What would be better? An obvious conclusion that many have drawn is that we need to ensure every step delivers business value but that’s easier said than done.

Why is it so hard? The next thing Jack said helped me understand why. His point is that when you’ve taken the first step on your journey, it’s not just some intermediate station. It’s the “new now.” The new reality. The new as-is. And if the new reality is hanging around in some grotty airport trying to do your job via a Wi-Fi connection of dubious security and spending too much money on coffee and cookies…….you get the picture.

The problem with identifying that business value is that we’re not focusing on the new now but on something much more long-term. We’re trying to interpolate the near term business value out of the long term goal, which wasn’t defined based on near term needs.

What makes this all the more urgent is the increasing rate and unpredictability of change – in all aspects of doing business. This has led us to shorter planning horizons and an increasing tendency to regard that “to be” as nothing more than a general sense of direction. We’re thinking, “If we could deliver the whole thing really, really quickly on the basis of what we know we’d like to be able to do now, if it were possible, then it would look like this” – but knowing all the time that by the time we get anywhere near that end goal, it will have changed. It’s pretty obvious then that a first step, whose justification is entirely based on that imagined end goal, can easily be of extremely limited value.

So why not put more focus on the first step? That’s going to be the “new now.” How about making that our real target? Something that the enterprise sees as real value and that is actually feasible in a reasonable time scale (whatever that is). Instead of scoping that step as an intermediate (and rather immature) layover, why not put all our efforts into making it something really good? And when we get there and people know how the new now looks and feels, we can all think afresh about where to go next. After all, a journey is not simply defined by its destination but by how you get there and what you see and do on the way. If the actual journey itself is valuable, we may not want to get to the end of it.

Now that doesn’t mean we have to forget all about where we might want to be in three or even five years — not at all. The long term view is still important in helping us to make smart decisions about shorter term changes. It helps us allow for future change, even if only because it lets us see how much might change. And that helps us make sound decisions. But we should accept that our three or five year horizon needs to be continually open to revision – not on some artificial yearly cycle but every time there’s a “new now.” And this needs to include the times where the new now is not something we planned but is an emergent development from within or outside of the enterprise or is due to a major regulatory or market change.

So, if the focus is all on the first step and if our innovation cycle is getting steadily shorter, what’s the value of planning anything? Relax, I’m not about to fire the entire planning profession. If you don’t plan how you’re going to do something, what your dependencies are, how to react to the unexpected, etc., you’re unlikely to achieve your goal at all. Arguably that’s just project planning.

What about program planning? Well, if the program is so exposed to change maybe our concept of program planning needs to change. Instead of the plan being a thing fixed in stone that dictates everything, it could become a process in which the whole enterprise participates – itself open to emergence. The more I think about it, the more appealing that idea seems.

In my next post, I’ll go into more detail about how this might work, in particular from the perspective of Enterprise Architecture. I’ll also look more at how “the new planning” relates to innovation, emergence and social business and at the conflicts and synergies between these concerns. In the meantime, feel free to throw stones and see where the story doesn’t hold up.

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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Different Words Meant Different Things, Part 3

By Leonard Fehskens, The Open Group

In the second part of this series, I examined the effect of our definition of enterprise on how we think about EA.

To close, I’ll consider the implications of a more inclusive concept of enterprise on the future of Enterprise Architecture.

The current cohort of EAs who have grown accustomed to a misnamed and narrowly focused discipline will eventually retire.  They will be replaced, over time, by EAs who learn the discipline in academic programs rather than by making it up on the job.  They will chuckle in amusement at a “body of knowledge” that is like that of medicine before germ theory, geology before plate tectonics, or astronomy before heliocentrism.  These programs are being created now, and academics are not interested in teaching a discipline with an irrational and inconsistent vocabulary.  They don’t want to have to explain to their students that it is for “historical reasons” that “enterprise means the IT part of a business.”

The focus of an academic program on Enterprise Architecture will necessarily reflect the prevailing concept of enterprise.  The commonly used model of Enterprise Architecture being about people, process and technology provides a useful context for considering this influence.

An IT-centric concept of Enterprise Architecture, like the one currently espoused by most of the community, will emphasize the role of information technology in supporting the needs of the business.  It will include just enough about business and people to enable practitioners to address the goal of “aligning IT with the business.”

A concept of Enterprise Architecture based on the idea of enterprise as business will emphasize business, especially business processes, as they are the primary locus of technological support.  It will include just enough about information technology and people to enable practitioners to address the goal of making IT a strategic asset for businesses.

A concept of Enterprise Architecture based on the idea of enterprise as human endeavor will emphasize the role of people, and be built around the sociology and psychology of individuals, groups and organizations, especially leadership and management as means to achieving organizational goals.  It will devote some attention to business as a particular kind of enterprise, but will look at other forms of enterprise and their unique concerns as well.  Finally, it will consider technology in its most general sense as the means of instantiating the infrastructure necessary to realize an enterprise.  There will be a lot of harumphing about how the conventional wisdom is correct by definition because it is what is practiced by the majority of practitioners, but there is a noisy and insistent contingent that will continue to point out that the world is not flat and the sun does not go around the earth.  Only time will tell, but however you measure it, over 90% of most organizations is “not-IT”, and the IT-centric perspective is simply so imbalanced that it can’t ultimately prevail.

Adopting a broader concept of enterprise consistent with its meaning in common English usage does not in any way invalidate any of the current applications or interpretations of Enterprise Architecture.  It simply allows the application of architectural thinking to other kinds of purposeful human activity besides commercial business organizations to be subsumed under the rubric “Enterprise Architecture”.  All entities that are enterprises by these more restrictive definitions clearly fit unchanged into this more inclusive definition of enterprise.

 Len Fehskens is Vice President of Skills and Capabilities at The Open GroupHe is responsible for The Open Group’s activities relating to the professionalization of the discipline of enterprise architecture. Prior to joining The Open Group, Len led the Worldwide Architecture Profession Office for HP Services at Hewlett-Packard. He majored in Computer Science at MIT, and has over 40 years of experience in the IT business as both an individual contributor and a manager, within both product engineering and services business units. Len has worked for Digital Equipment Corporation, Data General Corporation, Prime Computer, Compaq and Hewlett Packard.  He is the lead inventor on six software patents on the object oriented management of distributed systems.

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Different Words Mean Different Things, Part 2

By Leonard Fehskens, The Open Group

In the first part of this series, I proposed distinct meanings of enterprise, business, organization and corporation.

As I noted earlier, you don’t have to agree with the distinctions I am making here.  But words are a finite, “nonrenewable” resource – if you treat these four words as interchangeable synonyms, you will not be able to make these distinctions without finding other words to make them for you.  In particular, you will not be able to distinguish an endeavor from the means of realizing it (similar to confusing an architecture and a blueprint).  You will not be able to distinguish one particular kind of endeavor (for example, a commercial endeavor) from other kinds of endeavors.  You will not be able to distinguish one particular kind of organization from other kinds of organizations.

Treating these four words as synonyms makes these words unavailable to describe larger and more inclusive domains for the application of architectural thinking.  What’s more, it does so needlessly.  This discipline doesn’t need synonyms any more than an organization needs multiple different systems that do the same thing.  Synonyms are redundancies that reduce the expressive power of the language we use to talk about what we do.  We need to be able to make distinctions between things that are important to distinguish from one another, and there are only so many words available to us to do so.

I acknowledge that for most of the community of practicing business and enterprise architects, most if not all of their practice occurs in the context of business-as-commercial-entities.  It is therefore not surprising that many people in the Business and Enterprise Architecture communities would not believe these distinctions are worth making, and be perfectly happy to (if not insistent that we) treat these words as synonyms.  But we have to be careful to avoid the example of the six blind men and the elephant, and being able to explain a predisposition to make these words synonymous doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

There’s even a contingent that insists that enterprise doesn’t just mean a commercial business organization, that it means a specific kind of commercial business organization, one that exceeds some critical threshold with respect to its scale, complexity, sophistication, ambition or consequence.  This is a bit like insisting that the implied “building” in “(building) architecture” means “commercial building”, or more specifically, “skyscraper.”

The problem with this concept of enterprise arises when one tries to specify the objective criteria by which one distinguishes a mere business from the bigger, more complex, more sophisticated, more ambitious or more consequential business that deserves to be called an enterprise.  It is certainly the case that the larger, more complex, more sophisticated, more ambitious and more consequential a commercial business organization is, the more likely architectural thinking will be necessary and beneficial.  But this observation about Enterprise Architecture does not mean that we ought to define enterprise to mean a large, complex, sophisticated, ambitious and consequential commercial business organization.

Why have so many naval vessels been named Enterprise?  Why was the Starship Enterprise from the Star Trek franchise so named, and why was this thought to be an appropriate name for the first space shuttle?  It was not because these vessels embodied some idea of a commercial business organization or because the word connoted a big, complex, sophisticated, ambitious or consequential business.  And surely if the latter had been the reason, there would be many lesser vessels named simply “Business”?

There are two significant consequences to basing Enterprise Architecture (EA) on a concept of enterprise that is limited to a particular kind of organization.  The first has to do with the applicability of the discipline, and the second has to do with how we educate enterprise architects.

If we restrict the definition of enterprise to a specific kind of purposeful activity, whether the criteria we use for this restriction are subjective or objective, we must either argue that architectural thinking is inapplicable to those purposeful activities that do not satisfy these restrictions, or we have to find a word to denote the larger class of purposeful activities to which architectural thinking applies, a class that includes both the restricted concept of enterprise and all other activities to which architectural thinking applies.

If enterprise means the same thing as commercial business organization, what do we call an entity that is not a commercial business organization (e.g., a church, a hospital, a government, or an army)?  Does Enterprise Architecture not apply to such endeavors because they are not created primarily to conduct business transactions?  What do we call organizations that are not businesses?  If we want to talk about an organization that is a business, why can’t we just use the compound “business organization”, which not only does not erase the distinction, it makes clear the relationship between the two?  Similarly, if we want to talk about an enterprise that is a business, as an enterprise, why can’t we just use the compound “business enterprise”?

Similarly, what should we call the architectural discipline that applies to human enterprise in general, and of which any more narrowly defined concept of Enterprise Architecture is necessarily a specialization?

Expanding definitions

The recent surge of interest in “Business Architecture” is, in my opinion, reflective of both the realization by the community that the historically IT-centric focus of Enterprise Architecture is unnecessarily circumscribed, and the lack of a systematic and internally consistent concept of Enterprise Architecture shared throughout that community.

There is a growing faction within the EA community that argues that most of Enterprise Architecture as practiced is actually enterprise IT architecture (EITA), and calling this practice EA is a misuse of the term.  Despite this, the widespread adoption of the egregiously oversimplified model of an enterprise as comprising “the business” and IT, and thus, Enterprise Architecture as comprising “Business Architecture” and “IT Architecture”, has led to the emergence of “Business Architecture” as a distinct if ill-defined concept.

It seems to me that many people consider Enterprise Architecture to be so hopelessly tainted by its historic IT-centricity that they view the best course to be allowing Enterprise Architecture to continue to be misused to mean EITA, and letting Business Architecture take its place as what EA “should have meant.”  I note in passing that there are some people who insist that EA “has always meant,” or at least “originally” meant, the architecture of the enterprise as a whole, but was hijacked by the IT community, though no one has been able to provide other than thirty year old recollections to support this assertion.

As I noted at the outset, I think Enterprise Architecture should encompass the application of architectural thinking to human endeavors of all kinds, not just those that are primarily business in nature, including, for example, governmental, military, religious, academic, or medical enterprises.  Yes, these endeavors all have some business aspects, but they are not what we normally call businesses, and calling the discipline “Business Architecture” almost unavoidably encourages us to overlook the architectural needs of such non-business-centric endeavors and focus instead on the needs of one specific kind of endeavor.

We have the words to name these things properly. We simply have to start doing so.

In part 3 of this series, I’ll consider the implications of a more inclusive concept of enterprise on the future of Enterprise Architecture.

 Len Fehskens is Vice President of Skills and Capabilities at The Open GroupHe is responsible for The Open Group’s activities relating to the professionalization of the discipline of enterprise architecture. Prior to joining The Open Group, Len led the Worldwide Architecture Profession Office for HP Services at Hewlett-Packard. He majored in Computer Science at MIT, and has over 40 years of experience in the IT business as both an individual contributor and a manager, within both product engineering and services business units. Len has worked for Digital Equipment Corporation, Data General Corporation, Prime Computer, Compaq and Hewlett Packard.  He is the lead inventor on six software patents on the object oriented management of distributed systems.

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Different Words Mean Different Things, Part 1

By Leonard Fehskens, The Open Group

Over on the LinkedIn Enterprise Architecture Network discussion group there is a thread on the relationship between Enterprise Architecture (EA) and Business Architecture that as of late November 2012 had run to over 4100 comments.

Some of the sprawl of this thread is due to the usual lack of discipline in staying on topic.  Some of it is due to the rehashing of well-worn themes as newcomers arrive.  It seems clear to me though, that even when long time contributors try to move the subject forward, a lot of the back and forth that fails to converge is a consequence of the community’s lack of an appropriate and widely shared vocabulary.

In particular, there are four words that many in the Enterprise and Business Architecture communities seem to use interchangeably – enterprise, business, organization and corporation.

Before I tackle this subject, there is some context I should provide.

First, people who know me consider me to be obsessive about the precise use of language, and they’re right.  I think of Enterprise Architecture as more a craft than a science, and as such, the language we use to express it is ordinary language (as opposed to, for example, mathematics).  To me it follows that it is especially important that we use that language carefully.

Second, I’m coming at this from the perspective of creating a profession and its supporting ecosystem.  I believe a profession should be broadly applicable, with specializations within the profession addressing more narrowly focused concerns.

Finally, though much of the discussion about Enterprise Architecture is in English, I acknowledge that for a large fraction of the community English is a second (or third) language.  So, while this post is specifically about English usage, I suspect much of it applies as well to other languages, and I don’t want to imply that the conventions of English usage are the only ones worthy of consideration.

That’s enough by way of preamble.

The EA community may not have agreed upon definitions of many of the words it uses, but as these words are drawn from the vernacular, the rest of the world does.  This conventional usage makes clear distinctions between enterprise, business, organization and corporation.

While it is true that these words all have some sense in which they are roughly synonymous, they have primary definitions that distinguish them from one another.  I think we ought to observe these distinctions because they are useful, especially in that they allow us to sensibly relate the concepts they represent to one another, and they do not needlessly foreclose the broader application of these concepts.

First, I’m going to propose definitions for these words to be used in the context of Enterprise Architecture.  Then I’m going to look at what these definitions imply about the relationships between the things these words denote, and how the current usage obscures or denies these relationships.

It’s very possible, if not likely, that you will not agree with these definitions.  I’ll deal with that later.

Enterprise

The Oxford English Dictionary (Compact Edition, 1971) defines “enterprise” as:

Derived from the French entreprendre, “to take in hand, undertake”.

    1. A design of which the execution is attempted; a piece of work taken in hand, an undertaking; chiefly, and now exclusively, a bold, arduous, or momentous undertaking.
      • b. engagement in such undertaking
    2. Disposition or readiness to engage in undertakings of difficulty, risk, or danger; daring spirit.
    3. The action of taking in hand; management, superintendence. Obsolete.

So, enterprise means “undertaking” or “endeavor,” especially one that is relatively ambitious.  Implicit in this concept of enterprise is the intentional action of one of more people.  It is intentional in the sense that the action is intended to achieve some outcome.  The role of people is important; we do not generally consider machines, regardless of their purpose, to exhibit “enterprise” in this sense.  For me, the essential properties of an enterprise are people and their activity in pursuit of explicit intent.

This is a deliberately, very broadly inclusive concept of enterprise.  All of the following are, in my opinion, enterprises:

  • A child’s lemonade stand
  • A club
  • A professional society
  • A committee or working group
  • A town, state or country government
  • An international/multinational coalition
  • A military unit
  • A department or ministry of defense
  • A for-profit, non-profit or not-for-profit corporation
  • A partnership
  • A consortium
  • A church
  • A university or college
  • A hospital

Business

English speakers commonly use the word “business” to mean three things, and are usually able to infer the intended meaning from context.  These three common meanings of business are:

Business-as-commerce: The exchange of goods and services for some form of compensation for the costs and risks of doing so.

Business-as-commercial-entity: An entity whose primary activity is the conduct of some form of business-as-commerce.  In colloquial terms, the primary purpose of such an entity is to “make money”, and if it does not “make money” it will “go out of business.”

Business-as-primary-concern: The primary concern or activity of some entity.

These three different commonly understood meanings of business make it possible for someone to say something like:

“The business of my business is business.”

I.e., “The business-as-primary-concern of my business-as-commercial-entity is business-as-commerce.”

Organization

An “organization” is a structured (i.e., “organized”) group of people and resources, usually acting in concert to achieve some shared purpose.

Corporation

Finally, a “corporation” is an organization structured and operated in a particular way so as to satisfy certain legal constraints and thus benefit from the legal consequences of that conformance.  Strictly speaking, a corporation is a legal entity that has an organization associated with it.  In the case of a “shell” or “dummy” corporation, the associated organization’s people and resources may be minimal.

Observations

Based on these definitions, one can make some observations.

An organization is typically the means by which an enterprise is realized.  Small scale enterprises may be realized by a single individual, which is a trivial case of an organization.

Not all organizations are business-as-commercial-entities.  Organizations that are not businesses will almost certainly conduct some business-as-commerce as an adjunct activity in support of their primary intent.

Not all enterprises have as their intent some form of business-as-commerce. An organization that realizes such an enterprise will not be a business-as-commercial-entity.  While all business-as-commercial-entities realize an enterprise, not all enterprises are realized by business-as-commercial-entities.

Not all organizations are corporations.

Not all business-as-commercial-entities are corporations.

These relationships are depicted below.

 Len diagram

This is a three-part series that discusses how our vocabulary affects the way we conceptualize Enterprise Architecture, Business Architecture and their relationship.  Part 2 will examine the effect of our definition of enterprise on how we think about EA. 

 Len Fehskens is Vice President of Skills and Capabilities at The Open GroupHe is responsible for The Open Group’s activities relating to the professionalization of the discipline of enterprise architecture. Prior to joining The Open Group, Len led the Worldwide Architecture Profession Office for HP Services at Hewlett-Packard. He majored in Computer Science at MIT, and has over 40 years of experience in the IT business as both an individual contributor and a manager, within both product engineering and services business units. Len has worked for Digital Equipment Corporation, Data General Corporation, Prime Computer, Compaq and Hewlett Packard.  He is the lead inventor on six software patents on the object oriented management of distributed systems.

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Filed under Business Architecture, Enterprise Architecture

Data Protection Today and What’s Needed Tomorrow

By Ian Dobson and Jim Hietala, The Open Group

Technology today allows thieves to copy sensitive data, leaving the original in place and thus avoiding detection. One needn’t look far in today’s headlines to understand why protection of data is critical going forward. As this recent article from Bloomberg points out, penetrations of corporate IT systems with the aim to extract sensitive information, IP and other corporate data are rampant.  Despite the existence of data breach and data privacy laws in the U.S., EU and elsewhere, this issue is still not well publicized. The article cites specific intrusions at large consumer products companies, the EU, itself, law firms and a nuclear power plant.

Published in October 2012, the Jericho Forum® Data Protection white paper reviews the state of data protection today and where it should be heading to meet tomorrow’s business needs. The Open Group’s Jericho Forum contends that future data protection solutions must aim to provide stronger, more flexible protection mechanisms around the data itself.

The white paper argues that some of the current issues with data protection are:

  • It is too global and remote to be effective
  • Protection is neither granular nor interoperable enough
  • It’s not integrated with Centralized Authorization Services
  • Weak security services are relied on for enforcement

Refreshingly, it explains not only why, but also how. The white paper reviews the key issues surrounding data protection today; describes properties that data protection mechanisms should include to meet current and future requirements; considers why current technologies don’t deliver what is required; and proposes a set of data protection principles to guide the design of effective solutions.

It goes on to describe how data protection has evolved to where it’s at today, and outlines a series of target stages for progressively moving the industry forward to deliver stronger more flexible protection solutions that business managers are already demanding their IT systems managers provide.  Businesses require these solutions to ensure appropriate data protection levels are wrapped around the rapidly increasing volumes of confidential information that is shared with their business partners, suppliers, customers and outworkers/contractors on a daily basis.

Having mapped out an evolutionary path for what we need to achieve to move data protection forward in the direction our industry needs, we’re now planning optimum approaches for how to achieve each successive stage of protection. The Jericho Forum welcomes folks who want to join us in this important journey.

 

Ian Dobson is the director of the Security Forum and the Jericho Forum for The Open Group, coordinating and facilitating the members to achieve their goals in our challenging information security world.  In the Security Forum, his focus is on supporting development of open standards and guides on security architectures and management of risk and security, while in the Jericho Forum he works with members to anticipate the requirements for the security solutions we will need in future.

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

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Optimizing ISO/IEC 27001 Using O-ISM3

By Jim Hietala, The Open Group and Vicente Aceituno, Sistemas Informáticos Abiertos

The Open Group has just published a guide titled “Optimizing ISO/IEC 27001 using O-ISM3” that will be of interest to organizations using ISO27001/27002 as their Information Security Management System (ISMS).

By way of background, The Open Group published our Open Information Security Management Maturity Model last year, O-ISM3. O-ISM3 brings continuous improvement to information security management, and it provides a framework for security decision-making that is top down in nature, where security controls, security objectives and spending decisions are driven by (and aligned with) business objectives.

We have for some time now heard from information security managers that they would like a resource aimed at showing how the O-ISM3 standard could be used to manage information security alongside ISO27001/27002. This new guide provides specific guidance on this topic.

We view this as an important resource, for the following reasons:

  • O-ISM3 complements ISO27001/2 by adding the “how” dimension to information security management
  • O-ISM3 uses a process-oriented approach, defining inputs and outputs, and allowing for evaluation by process-specific metrics
  • O-ISM3 provides a framework for continuous improvement of information security processes

This resource:

  • Maps O-ISM3 and ISO27001 security objectives
  • Maps ISO27001/27002 controls and documents to O-ISM3 security processes, documents, and outputs
  • Provides a critical linkage between the controls-based approach found in ISO27001 to the process-based approach found in O-ISM3

If you have interest in information security management, we encourage you to have a look at Optimizing ISO/IEC 27001 using O-ISM3. The guide may be downloaded (at no cost, minimal registration required) here.

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

Vicente Aceituno, CISA, has 20 years experience in the field of IT and Information Security. During his career in Spain and the UK, he has worked for companies like Coopers & Lybrand, BBC News, Everis, and SIA Group. He is the main author of the Information Security Management Method ISM3, author of the information security book “Seguridad de la Información,” Director of the ISM3 Consortium (www.ism3.com) and President of the Spanish chapter of the ISSA.

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Filed under Cybersecurity, Information security, Security Architecture