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

By Dana Gardner, Interarbor Solutions

Listen to the recorded podcast here

Hello, and welcome to a special BriefingsDirect Thought Leadership

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

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

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

Welcome back, Allen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New weapons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simple analogy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Board-level issue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Already a need

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good folks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Speaking the Language of Business with TOGAF®

By Glenn Evans, Senior Consultant at Enterprise Architects

TOGAF-A-personal-journey

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

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

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

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

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

To me TOGAF®:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Open Group Philadelphia – Day Three Highlights

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

We are winding down Day 3 and gearing up for the next two days of training and workshops.  Today’s subject areas included TOGAF®, ArchiMate®, Risk Management, Innovation Management, Open Platform 3.0™ and Future Trends.

The objective of the Future Trends session was to discuss “emerging business and technical trends that will shape enterprise IT”, according to Dave Lounsbury, Chief Technical Officer of The Open Group.

This track also featured a presentation by Dr. William Lafontaine, VP High Performance Computing, Analytics & Cognitive Markets, IBM Research, who gave an overview of the “Global Technology Outlook 2013”.  He stated the Mega Trends are:  Growing Scale/Lower Barrier of Entry; Increasing Complexity/Yet More Consumable; Fast Pace; Contextual Overload.  Mike Walker, Strategies & Enterprise Architecture Advisor for HP, noted the key disrupters that will affect our future are the business of IT, technology itself, expectation of consumers and globalization.

The session concluded with an in-depth Q&A with Bill, Dave, Mike (as shown below) and Allen Brown, CEO of The Open Group.Philly Day 3

Other sessions included presentations by TJ Virdi (Senior Enterprise Architect, Boeing) on Innovation Management, Jack Jones (President, CXOWARE, Inc.) on Risk Management and Stephen Bennett (Executive Principal, Oracle) on Big Data.

A special thanks goes to our many sponsors during this dynamic conference: Windstream, Architecting the Enterprise, Metaplexity, BIZZdesign, Corso, Avolution, CXOWARE, Penn State – Online Program in Enterprise Architecture, and Association of Enterprise Architects.

Stay tuned for post-conference proceedings to be posted soon!  See you at our conference in London, October 21-24.

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Filed under ArchiMate®, Conference, Cybersecurity, Data management, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Open Platform 3.0, RISK Management, Security Architecture, Standards, TOGAF®

The Open Group Philadelphia – Day Two Highlights

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

philly 2.jpgDay 2 at The Open Group conference in the City of Brotherly Love, as Philadelphia is also known, was another busy and remarkable day.

The plenary started with a fascinating presentation, “Managing the Health of the Nation” by David Nash, MD, MBA, Dean of Jefferson School of Population Health.  Healthcare is the number one industry in the city of Philadelphia, with the highest number of patients in beds in the top 10 US cities. The key theme of his thought-provoking speech was “boundaryless information sharing” (sound familiar?), which will enable a healthcare system that is “safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, equitable, efficient”.

Following Dr. Nash’s presentation was the Healthcare Transformation Panel moderated by Allen Brown, CEO of The Open Group.  Participants were:  Gina Uppal (Fulbright-Killam Fellow, American University Program), Mike Lambert (Open Group Fellow, Architecting the Enterprise), Rosemary Kennedy (Associate Professor, Thomas Jefferson University), Blaine Warkentine, MD, MPH and Fran Charney (Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority). The group brought different sets of experiences within the healthcare system and provided reaction to Dr. Nash’s speech.  All agree on the need for fundamental change and that technology will be key.

The conference featured a spotlight on The Open Group’s newest forum, Open Platform 3.0™ by Dr. Chris Harding, Director of Interoperability.  Open Platform 3.0 was formed to advance The Open Group vision of Boundaryless Information Flow™ to help enterprises in the use of Cloud, Social, Mobile Computing and Big Data.  For more info; http://www.opengroup.org/getinvolved/forums/platform3.0

The Open Group flourishes because of people interaction and collaboration.  The accolades continued with several members being recognized for their outstanding contributions to The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF) and the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Cloud Computing Work Groups.  To learn more about our Forums and Work Groups and how to get involved, please visit http://www.opengroup.org/getinvolved

Presentations and workshops were also held in the Healthcare, Finance and Government vertical industries. Presenters included Larry Schmidt (Chief Technologist, HP), Rajamanicka Ponmudi (IT Architect, IBM) and Robert Weisman (CEO, Build the Vision, Inc.).

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Filed under ArchiMate®, Business Architecture, Cloud/SOA, Conference, Cybersecurity, Data management, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Healthcare, O-TTF, Open Platform 3.0, Security Architecture, Standards, TOGAF®

The Open Group Philadelphia – Day One Highlights

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

PhillyOn Monday, July 15th, we kicked off our conference in Philadelphia. As Allen Brown, CEO of The Open Group, commented in his opening remarks, Philadelphia is the birthplace of American democracy.  This is the first time The Open Group has hosted a conference in this historical city.

Today’s plenary sessions featured keynote speakers covering topics ranging from an announcement of a new Open Group standard, appointment of a new Fellow, Enterprise Architecture and Transformation, Big Data and spotlights on The Open Group forums, Real-time Embedded Systems and Open Trusted Technology, as well as a new initiative on Healthcare.

Allen Brown noted that The Open Group has 432 member organizations with headquarters in 32 countries and over 40,000 individual members in 126 countries.

The Open Group Vision is Boundaryless Information Flow™ achieved through global interoperability in a secure, reliable and timely manner.  But as stated by Allen, “Boundaryless does not mean there are no boundaries.  It means that boundaries are permeable to enable business”

Allen also presented an overview of the new “Dependability Through Assuredness™ Standard.  The Open Group Real-time Embedded Systems Forum is the home of this standard. More news to come!

Allen introduced Dr. Mario Tokoro, (CEO of Sony Computer Systems Laboratories) who began this project in 2006. Dr. Tokoro stated, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for understanding the need for this standard.”

Eric Sweden, MSIH MBA, Program Director, Enterprise Architecture & Governance\National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO) offered a presentation entitled “State of the States – NASCIO on Enterprise Architecture: An Emphasis on Cross-Jurisdictional Collaboration across States”.  Eric noted “Enterprise Architecture is a blueprint for better government.” Furthermore, “Cybersecurity is a top priority for government”.

Dr. Michael Cavaretta, Technical Lead and Data Scientist with Ford Motor Company discussed “The Impact of Big Data on the Enterprise”.  The five keys, according to Dr. Cavaretta, are “perform, analyze, assess, track and monitor”.  Please see the following transcript from a Big Data analytics podcast, hosted by The Open Group, Dr. Cavaretta participated in earlier this year. http://blog.opengroup.org/2013/01/28/the-open-group-conference-plenary-speaker-sees-big-data-analytics-as-a-way-to-bolster-quality-manufacturing-and-business-processes/

The final presentation during Monday morning’s plenary was “Enabling Transformation Through Architecture” by Lori Summers (Director of Technology) and Amit Mayabhate (Business Architect Manager) with Fannie Mae Multifamily.

Lori stated that their organization had adopted Business Architecture and today they have an integrated team who will complete the transformation, realize value delivery and achieve their goals.

Amit noted “Traceability from the business to architecture principles was key to our design.”

In addition to the many interesting and engaging presentations, several awards were presented.  Joe Bergmann, Director, Real-time and Embedded Systems Forum, The Open Group, was appointed Fellow by Allen Brown in recognition of Joe’s major achievements over the past 20+ years with The Open Group.

Other special recognition recipients include members from Oracle, IBM, HP and Red Hat.

In addition to the plenary session, we hosted meetings on Finance, Government and Healthcare industry verticals. Today is only Day One of The Open Group conference in Philadelphia. Please stay tuned for more exciting conference highlights over the next couple days.

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Filed under ArchiMate®, Business Architecture, Conference, Cybersecurity, Data management, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Healthcare, O-TTF, Security Architecture, Standards, TOGAF®

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

By Dana Gardner, Interarbor Solutions

Listen to the recorded podcast here

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

Gardner

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

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

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

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

Jason Uppal: Thank you, Dana.

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

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

Larry Schmidt: Thank you.

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

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

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

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

Fertile ground

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At what price?

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

Uppal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ongoing work

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

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

Hietala

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Real-time model

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Healthcare framework

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All “experts”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect with provider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Single view

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uppal: Thank you, Dana.

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

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

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

Hietala: Thank you, Dana.

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

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

NASCIO Defines State of Enterprise Architecture at The Open Group Conference in Philadelphia

By E.G. Nadhan, HP

I have attended and blogged about many Open Group conferences. The keynotes at these conferences like other conferences provide valuable insight into the key messages and the underlying theme for the conference – which is Enterprise Architecture and Enterprise Transformation for The Open Group Conference in Philadelphia. Therefore, it is no surprise that Eric Sweden, Program Director, Enterprise Architecture & Governance, NASCIO will be delivering one of the keynotes on “State of the States: NASCIO on Enterprise Architecture”. Sweden asserts “Enterprise Architecture” provides an operating discipline for creating, operating, continual re-evaluation and transformation of an “Enterprise.” Not only do I agree with this assertion, but I would add that the proper creation, operation and continuous evaluation of the “Enterprise” systemically drives its transformation. Let’s see how.

Creation. This phase involves the definition of the Enterprise Architecture (EA) in the first place. Most often, this involves the definition of an architecture that factors in what is in place today while taking into account the future direction. TOGAF® (The Open Group Architecture Framework) provides a framework for developing this architecture from a business, application, data, infrastructure and technology standpoint; in alignment with the overall Architecture Vision with associated architectural governance.

Operation. EA is not a done deal once it has been defined. It is vital that the EA defined is sustained on a consistent basis with the advent of new projects, new initiatives, new technologies, and new paradigms. As the abstract states, EA is a comprehensive business discipline that drives business and IT investments. In addition to driving investments, the operation phase also includes making the requisite changes to the EA as a result of these investments.

Continuous Evaluation. We live in a landscape of continuous change with innovative solutions and technologies constantly emerging. Moreover, the business objectives of the enterprise are constantly impacted by market dynamics, mergers and acquisitions. Therefore, the EA defined and in operation must be continuously evaluated against the architectural principles, while exercising architectural governance across the enterprise.

Transformation. EA is an operating discipline for the transformation of an enterprise. Enterprise Transformation is not a destination — it is a journey that needs to be managed — as characterized by Twentieth Century Fox CIO, John Herbert. To Forrester Analyst Phil Murphy, Transformation is like the Little Engine That Could — focusing on the business functions that matter. (Big Data – highlighted in another keynote at this conference by Michael Cavaretta — is a paradigm gaining a lot of ground for enterprises to stay competitive in the future.)

Global organizations are enterprises of enterprises, undergoing transformation faced with the challenges of systemic architectural governance. NASCIO has valuable insight into the challenges faced by the 50 “enterprises” represented by each of the United States. Challenges that contrast the need for healthy co-existence of these states with the desire to retain a degree of autonomy. Therefore, I look forward to this keynote to see how EA done right can drive the transformation of the Enterprise.

By the way, remember when Enterprise Architecture was done wrong close to the venue of another Open Group conference?

How does Enterprise Architecture drive the transformation of your enterprise? Please let me know.

A version of this blog post originally appeared on the HP Journey through Enterprise IT Services Blog.

HP Distinguished Technologist and Cloud Advisor, E.G.Nadhan has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry across the complete spectrum of selling, delivering and managing enterprise level solutions for HP customers. He is the founding co-chair for The Open Group SOCCI project and is also the founding co-chair for the Open Group Cloud Computing Governance project. 

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Filed under Business Architecture, Cloud, Cloud/SOA, Conference, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, TOGAF®

Enterprise Architecture in China: Who uses this stuff?

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

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

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

“We know EA is good!”

“What is EA?”

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

And

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

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

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

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

China

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

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

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

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

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

wang wei.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Driving Boundaryless Information Flow in Healthcare

By E.G. Nadhan, HP

I look forward with great interest to the upcoming Open Group conference on EA & Enterprise Transformation in Finance, Government & Healthcare in Philadelphia in July 2013. In particular, I am interested in the sessions planned on topics related to the Healthcare Industry. This industry is riddled with several challenges of uncontrolled medical costs, legislative pressures, increased plan participation, and improved longevity of individuals. Come to think of it, these challenges are not that different from those faced when defining a comprehensive enterprise architecture. Therefore, can the fundamental principles of Enterprise Architecture be applied towards the resolution of these challenges in the Healthcare industry? The Open Group certainly thinks so.

Enterprise Architecture is a discipline, methodology, and practice for translating business vision and strategy into the fundamental structures and dynamics of an enterprise at various levels of abstraction. As defined by TOGAF®, enterprise architecture needs to be developed through multiple phases. These include Business Architecture, Applications, Information, and Technology Architecture. All this must be in alignment with the overall vision. The TOGAF Architecture Development Method enables a systematic approach to addressing these challenges while simplifying the problem domain.

This approach to the development of Enterprise Architecture can be applied towards the complex problem domain that manifests itself in Healthcare. Thus, it is no surprise that The Open Group is sponsoring the Population Health Working Group, which has a vision to enable “boundary-less information flow” between the stakeholders that participate in healthcare delivery. Checkout the presentation delivered by Larry Schmidt, Chief Technologist, Health and Life Sciences Industries, HP, US at the Open Group conference in Philadelphia.

As a Platinum member of The Open Group, HP has co-chaired the release of multiple standards, including the first technical cloud standard. The Open Group is also leading the definition of the Cloud Governance Framework. Having co-chaired these projects, I look forward to the launch of the Population Health Working Group with great interest.

Given the role of information in today’s landscape, “boundary-less information flow” between the stakeholders that participate in healthcare delivery is vital. At the same time, how about injecting a healthy dose of innovation given that enterprise Architects are best positioned for innovation – a post triggered by Forrester Analyst Brian Hopkins’s thoughts on this topic. The Open Group — with its multifaceted representation from a wide array of enterprises — provides incredible opportunities for innovation in the context of the complex landscape of the healthcare industry. Take a look at the steps taken by HP Labs to innovate and improve patient care one day at a time.

I would strongly encourage you to attend Schmidt’s session, as well as the Healthcare Transformation Panel moderated by Open Group CEO, Allen Brown at this conference.

How about you? What are some of the challenges that you are facing within the Healthcare industry today? Have you applied Enterprise Architecture development methods to problem domains in other industries? Please let me know.

Connect with Nadhan on: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Journey Blog.

A version of this blog post originally appeared on the HP Enterprise Services Blog.

HP Distinguished Technologist and Cloud Advisor, E.G.Nadhan has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry across the complete spectrum of selling, delivering and managing enterprise level solutions for HP customers. He is the founding co-chair for The Open Group SOCCI project and is also the founding co-chair for the Open Group Cloud Computing Governance project. 

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Filed under Business Architecture, Cloud, Cloud/SOA, Conference, Enterprise Architecture, Healthcare, TOGAF®

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

Healthcare Transformation – Let’s be Provocative

by Jason Uppal, Chief Architect, QRS

Recently, I attended a one-day healthcare transformation event in Toronto. The master of ceremony, a renowned doctor, asked the speakers to be provocative in how to tackle the issues in healthcare and healthcare delivery in a specific way. After about 8 speakers – I must admit I did not hear anything that social media will classify as “remarkable” either in terms of problem definition or the solution direction – all speeches emphasized the importance of better healthcare. I watched one video, Jess’s Story, and I am convinced without discussion that we need a better way to deliver care.

I am an Engineer and not a Medical Doctor. In my profession, we spend 90% of our effort defining the problem and 10% solving it with known solution patterns. In this blog, I would like to define the healthcare delivery problem and offer a potential solution direction.

 First the Basic Facts

Table 1: Healthcare Spending and Quality

Country 1980 [$] 2007 [$] 2010 [$] 2012 [$] Healthcare Quality Ranking
US 1106 6102 8233 8946 6
Canada 3165 4445 5
Germany 3005 4338 1

Note: $ represent per capita spend per year, sources of information are public; references can be made available if required. Healthcare Quality Ranking – lower the number the better

Firstly, the obvious fact is that the US spends more on healthcare per capita and gets less for it.  These facts as well as many other studies lead to the same conclusion.

Problem Definition, Option 1 – Straight-forward reduction of healthcare costs: US healthcare roughly represents 18% of the US GDP. Reduction in spending will result in shrinking the GDP, unless politicians spend the saved money somewhere else. This is not a good option as we all know the impact of austerity measures without altering the underlying process. Or even closer to home, the impact of the recent sequesters on air traffic in major us airports has resulted in terrible delays and has significantly inconvenienced the traveling public.  We learned during the 1980s when “reengineering” was a sexy terms that when we reduced labour by 30%, we simply hoped the remaining souls would figure out how to do work with less.  We all knew what that approach did, fat paycheques for the CEO and senior management and entire industries got wiped out.

Problem Definition, Option 2 – Reduce healthcare costs and issue health  dividends: Let’s target to reduce the base healthcare spending to $4000 per person per year. This will bring spending to the 1980 level with inflation factored. The remaining funds, $4946 per capita ($8946 –$ 4000), be given as a health dividend to the population and providers. This will go to both the population as a tax credit and to providers as an incentive to keep those that they care for healthy. This will not reduce health care spending, have no impact on the GDP, but will certainly improve the health of our biggest producers and consumers in the economy.

There is proof that this model could work to reduce overall cost and improve population health if both the population and providers are incented appropriately. Recently, I had an argument with my General Practitioner’s (GP) secretary who wanted me to come to the office three times for the following:

1)     to receive the results of my blood test,

2)     to have an annual physical check-up,

3)     to remove  couple of annoying skin tags.

Each procedure was no more than 2 to 7 minutes long, they insisted that it have to be three separate appointments. A total of 10 minutes of consult for three procedures with my GP would have cost me an additional 7 hours in my productivity loss (2.0 hours to drive, 0.5 hour wait and 1.0 hour productivity loss due to distractions of the appointments). A reason for this behaviour is that the way physicians are incented; they are able to bill the system more based on the number of visits alone. Not based on what is good for both the patient and provider.

Therefore, I will define the problem this way: reduce the cost of base care to $4000 per capita and incent both the population and provider to stay and keep their customers healthy. Let the innovation begin. There is no shortage of very smart architects, engineers  and very motivated providers who want to live to their oath of “do no harm”.

Call to Action:

  • To help develop next generation healthcare delivery organization – we need the help of healthcare Zuckerbergs, Steve Jobs, Pierre Omidyar, Jeffrey P. Bezos; people who can think outside the box and bypass the current entitled establishment for the better.
  • We are taking first step to define an alternative architecture – join us in Philadelphia on July 16th for a one-day active workshop.
  • Website: http://www.opengroup.org/philadelphia2013
  • Program Outline: http://www.opengroup.org/events/timetable/1548
    • Tuesday: Healthcare Transformation
    • Keynote Speaker: Dr David Nash, Dean of Population Health Jefferson University
    • Reactors Panel: Hear from other experts on what is possible
    • Workshops
      • Be part of organized workshops and learn from your fellow providers and enterprise architects on how to transform healthcare for the next generation
      • This is your trip to the Gemba

uppalJason Uppal, P.Eng. is the Chief Architect at QRS and was the first Master IT Architect certified by The Open Group, by direct review, in October 2005. He is now a Distinguished Chief Architect in the Open CA program. He holds an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, graduate degree in Economics and a post graduate diploma in Computer Science. Jason’s commitment to Enterprise Architecture Life Cycle (EALC) has led him to focus on training (TOGAF®), education (UOIT) and mentoring services to his clients as well as being the responsible individual for both Architecture and Portfolio & Project Management for a number of major projects.

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Filed under Enterprise Architecture, Healthcare, Open CA

What is Business Architecture? Part 2

By Allen Brown, President and CEO, The Open Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and education backgrounds are similarly varied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Allen Brown

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

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

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

By Bala Prasad Peddigari, Tata Consultancy Services Limited

openca

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Open Group Sydney – My Conference Highlights

By Mac Lemon, MD Australia at Enterprise Architects

Sydney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Corso Introduces Roadmapping Support for TOGAF® 9 in its Strategic Planning Platform

By Martin Owen, CEO, Corso

Last week, we announced new roadmapping support for TOGAF® in IBM Rational System Architect®, a leading Enterprise Architecture and modeling software.

The new TOGAF extension supports the modeling, migration and implementation of an Enterprise Architecture within Corso’s Strategic Planning Platform, which integrates Enterprise Architecture, IT planning and strategic planning into a single, comprehensive solution. The new TOGAF extension provides capabilities in managing current and future state architectures, work packages and timelines/lifecycles /heatmaps—key areas for successful roadmapping and transition planning.

Corso now offers roadmapping solutions for both ArchiMate® 2.0 and TOGAF as part of its Strategic Planning Platform. Both solutions are available as SaaS option, on-premise or standard perpetual license solution. A roadmapping datasheet and white paper are available.

Roadmapping is critical for building change-tolerant Enterprise Architectures that accurately describe and manage strategic business transformations. Our new solution gives Enterprise Architects the tools within TOGAF to more quickly map out a transition plan with deliverables for the organization. By tying plans to the business strategy, the architects can drive a faster development and implementation lifecycle.

Our new TOGAF solution offers these key capabilities:

  • Automatic generation of timeline diagrams with milestones and dimensions.
  • Work package definitions and resources so users can group and track specific actions.
  • Heat maps that display a visual map of the state of the business and IT infrastructure and highlight cost overruns.
  • Improved gap analysis through enhanced support for plateaus and gaps.
  • Roadmap reports that enable users to see the current and future states of the architecture and work packages.
  • Integration with IBM Rational Focal Point® so that work packages and milestones can be used in portfolio management and prioritization initiatives.
  • Lifecycle support for standard states such as application portfolio management.

Corso’s Strategic Planning Platform is a comprehensive solution that integrates Enterprise Architecture, IT and strategic planning into a fully charged change process that uses cloud technology to elevate decision-making to a strategic level. This approach unites business and architecture views into one central platform and leverages existing tools and the Web to share information and decision-making across various teams within the organization. For more information about Corso and its roadmapping solutions, visit http://www.corso.co.uk.

owen_martin

Martin Owen, CEO, Corso has spent over 20 years in Enterprise Architecture and is a co-author of the original Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) standard. Martin has run teams driving the product directions, strategies and roadmaps for the Enterprise Architecture tools at IBM.

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Filed under ArchiMate®, Enterprise Architecture, TOGAF®

Flexibility, Agility and Open Standards

By Jose M. Sanchez Knaack, IBM

Flexibility and agility are terms used almost interchangeably these days as attributes of IT architectures designed to cope with rapidly changing business requirements. Did you ever wonder if they are actually the same? Don’t you have the feeling that these terms remain abstract and without a concrete link to the design of an IT architecture?

This post searches to provide clear definitions for both flexibility and agility, and explain how both relate to the design of IT architectures that exploit open standards. A ‘real-life’ example will help to understand these concepts and render them relevant to the Enterprise Architect’s daily job.

First, here is some context on why flexibility and agility are increasingly important for businesses. Today, the average smart phone has more computing power than the original Apollo mission to the moon. We live in times of exponential change; the new technological revolution seems to be always around the corner and is safe to state that the trend will continue as nicely visualized in this infographic by TIME Magazine.

The average lifetime of a company in the S&P 500 has fallen by 80 percent since 1937. In other words, companies need to adapt fast to capitalize on business opportunities created by new technologies at the price of loosing their leadership position.

Thus, flexibility and agility have become ever present business goals that need to be supported by the underlying IT architecture. But, what is the precise meaning of these two terms? The online Merriam-Webster dictionary offers the following definitions:

Flexible: characterized by a ready capability to adapt to new, different, or changing requirements.

Agile: marked by ready ability to move with quick easy grace.

To understand how these terms relate to IT architecture, let us explore an example based on an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) scenario.

An ESB can be seen as the foundation for a flexible IT architecture allowing companies to integrate applications (processes) written in different programming languages and running on different platforms within and outside the corporate firewall.

ESB products are normally equipped with a set of pre-built adapters that allow integrating 70-80 percent of applications ‘out-of-the-box’, without additional programming efforts. For the remaining 20-30 percent of integration requirements, it is possible to develop custom adapters so that any application can be integrated with any other if required.

In other words, an ESB covers requirements regarding integration flexibility, that is, it can cope with changing requirements in terms of integrating additional applications via adapters, ‘out-of-the-box’ or custom built. How does this integration flexibility correlate to integration agility?

Let’s think of a scenario where the IT team has been requested to integrate an old manufacturing application with a new business partner. The integration needs to be ready within one month; otherwise the targeted business opportunity will not apply anymore.

The picture below shows the underlying IT architecture for this integration scenario.

jose diagram

Although the ESB is able to integrate the old manufacturing application, it requires an adapter to be custom developed since the application does not support any of the communication protocols covered by the pre-built adapters. To custom develop, test and deploy an adapter in a corporate environment is likely going to take longer that a month and the business opportunity will be lost because the IT architecture was not agile enough.

This is the subtle difference between flexible and agile.

Notice that if the manufacturing application had been able to communicate via open standards, the corresponding pre-built adapter would have significantly shortened the time required to integrate this application. Applications that do not support open standards still exist in corporate IT landscapes, like the above scenario illustrates. Thus, the importance of incorporating open standards when road mapping your IT architecture.

The key takeaway is that your architecture principles need to favor information technology built on open standards, and for that, you can leverage The Open Group Architecture Principle 20 on Interoperability.

Name Interoperability
Statement Software and hardware should conform to defined standards that promote interoperability for data, applications, and technology.

In summary, the accelerating pace of change requires corporate IT architectures to support the business goals of flexibility and agility. Establishing architecture principles that favor open standards as part of your architecture governance framework is one proven approach (although not the only one) to road map your IT architecture in the pursuit of resiliency.

linkedin - CopyJose M. Sanchez Knaack is Senior Manager with IBM Global Business Services in Switzerland. Mr. Sanchez Knaack professional background covers business aligned IT architecture strategy and complex system integration at global technology enabled transformation initiatives.

 

 

 

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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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Thinking About Big Data

By Dave Lounsbury, The Open Group

“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

- Albert Einstein

The growing consumerization of technology and convergence of technologies such as the “Internet of Things”, social networks and mobile devices are causing big changes for enterprises and the marketplace. They are also generating massive amounts of data related to behavior, environment, location, buying patterns and more.

Having massive amounts of data readily available is invaluable. More data means greater insight, which leads to more informed decision-making. So far, we are keeping ahead of this data by smarter analytics and improving the way we handle this data. The question is, how long can we keep up? The rate of data production is increasing; as an example, an IDC report[1] predicts that the production of data will increase 50X in the coming decade. To magnify this problem, there’s an accompanying explosion of data about the data – cataloging information, metadata, and the results of analytics are all data in themselves. At the same time, data scientists and engineers who can deal with such data are already a scarce commodity, and the number of such people is expected to grow only by 1.5X in the same period.

It isn’t hard to draw the curve. Turning data into actionable insight is going to be a challenge – data flow is accelerating at a faster rate than the available humans can absorb, and our databases and data analytic systems can only help so much.

Markets never leave gaps like this unfilled, and because of this we should expect to see a fundamental shift in the IT tools we use to deal with the growing tide of data. In order to solve the challenges of managing data with the volume, variety and velocities we expect, we will need to teach machines to do more of the analysis for us and help to make the best use of scarce human talents.

The Study of Machine Learning

Machine Learning, sometimes called “cognitive computing”[2] or “intelligent computing”, looks at the study of building computers with the capability to learn and perform tasks based on experience. Experience in this context includes looking at vast data sets, using multiple “senses” or types of media, recognizing patterns from past history or precedent, and extrapolating this information to reason about the problem at hand. An example of machine learning that is currently underway in the healthcare sector is medical decision aids that learn to predict therapies or to help with patient management, based on correlating a vast body of medical and drug experience data with the information about the patients under treatment

A well-known example of this is Watson, a machine learning system IBM unveiled a few years ago. While Watson is best known for winning Jeopardy, that was just the beginning. IBM has since built six Watsons to assist with their primary objective: to help health care professionals find answers to complex medical questions and help with patient management[3]. The sophistication of Watson is the reaction of all this data action that is going on. Watson of course isn’t the only example in this field, with others ranging from Apple’s Siri intelligent voice-operated assistant to DARPA’s SyNAPSE program[4].

Evolution of the Technological Landscape

As the consumerization of technology continues to grow and converge, our way of constructing business models and systems need to evolve as well. We need to let data drive the business process, and incorporate intelligent machines like Watson into our infrastructure to help us turn data into actionable results.

There is an opportunity for information technology and companies to help drive this forward. However, in order for us to properly teach computers how to learn, we first need to understand the environments in which they will be asked to learn in – Cloud, Big Data, etc. Ultimately, though, any full consideration of these problems will require a look at how machine learning can help us make decisions – machine learning systems may be the real platform in these areas.

The Open Group is already laying the foundation to help organizations take advantage of these convergent technologies with its new forum, Platform 3.0. The forum brings together a community of industry thought leaders to analyze the use of Cloud, Social, Mobile computing and Big Data, and describe the business benefits that enterprises can gain from them. We’ll also be looking at trends like these at our Philadelphia conference this summer.  Please join us in the discussion.


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Filed under Cloud, Cloud/SOA, Data management, Enterprise Architecture

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