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What the C-Suite Needs to Prepare for in the Era of BYO Technology

By Allen Brown, President and CEO, The Open Group

IT today is increasingly being driven by end-users. This phenomenon, known as the “consumerization of IT,” is a result of how pervasive technology has become in daily life. Years ago, IT was the primarily the realm of technologists and engineers. Most people, whether in business settings or at home, did not have the technical know-how to source their own applications, write code for a web page or even set up their own workstation.

Today’s technologies are more user-friendly than ever and they’ve become ubiquitous. The introduction of smartphones and tablets has ushered in the era of “BYO” with consumers now bringing the technologies they like and are most comfortable working with into the workplace, all with the expectation that IT will support them. The days where IT decided what technologies would be used within an organization are no more.

At the same time, IT has lost another level of influence due to Cloud computing and Big Data. Again, the “consumers” of IT within the enterprise—line of business managers, developers, marketers, etc.—are driving these changes. Just as users want the agility offered by the devices they know and love, they also want to be able to buy and use the technologies they need to do their job and do it on the fly rather than wait for an IT department to go through a months’ (or years’) long process of requisitions and approvals. And it’s not just developers or IT staff that are sourcing their own applications—marketers are buying applications with their credit cards, and desktop users are sharing documents and spreadsheets via web-based office solutions.

When you can easily buy the processing capacity you need when you need it with your credit card or use applications online for free, why wait for approval?

The convergence of this next era of computing – we call it Open Platform 3.0™ – is creating a Balkanization of the traditional IT department. IT is no longer the control center for technology resources. As we’ve been witnessing over the past few years and as industry pundits have been prognosticating, IT is changing to become more of a service-based command central than a control center from which IT decisions are made.

These changes are happening within enterprises everywhere. The tides of change being brought about by Open Platform 3.0 cannot be held back. As I mentioned in my recent blog on Future Shock and the need for agile organizations, adaptation will be key for companies’ survival as constant change and immediacy become the “new normal” for how they operate.

These changes will, in fact, be positive for most organizations. As technologies converge and users drive the breakdown of traditional departmental silos and stovepipes, organizations will become more interoperable. More than ever, new computing models are driving the industry toward The Open Group’s vision of Boundaryless Information Flow™ within organizations. But the changes resulting from consumer-led IT are not just the problem of the IT department. They are on track to usher in a whole host of organizational changes that all executives must not only be aware of, but must also prepare and plan for.

One of the core of issues around consumerized IT that must be considered is the control of resources. Resource planning in terms of enabling business processes through technology must now be the concern of every person within the C-Suite from the CEO to the CIO and even the CMO.

Take, for example, the financial controls that must be considered in a BYO world. This issue, in particular, hits two very distinct centers of operations most closely—the offices of both the CIO and the CFO.

In the traditional IT paradigm, technology has been a cost center for most businesses with CFOs usually having the final say in what technologies can be bought and used based on budget. There have been very specific controls placed on purchases, each leaving an audit trail that the finance department could easily track and handle. With the Open Platform 3.0 paradigm, those controls go straight out the window. When someone in marketing buys and uses an application on their own without the CIO approving its use or the CFO having an paper trail for the purchase, accounting and financial or technology auditing can become a potential corporate nightmare.

Alternatively, when users share information over the Web using online documents, the CIO, CTO or CSO may have no idea what information is going in and out of the organization or how secure it is. But sharing information through web-based documents—or a CRM system—might be the best way for the CMO to work with vendors or customers or keep track of them. The CMO may also need to begin tracking IT purchases within their own department.

The audit trail that must be considered in this new computing era can extend in many directions. IT may need an accounting of technical and personal assets. Legal may need information for e-Discovery purposes—how does one account for information stored on tablets or smartphones brought from home or work-related emails from sent from personal accounts? The CSO may require risk assessments to be performed on all devices or may need to determine how far an organization’s “perimeter” extends for security purposes. The trail is potentially as large as the organization itself and its entire extended network of employees, vendors, customers, etc.

What can organizations do to help mitigate the potential chaos of a consumer-led IT revolution?

Adapt. Be flexible and nimble. Plan ahead. Strategize. Start talking about what these changes will mean for your organization—and do it sooner rather than later. Work together. Help create standards that can help organizations maintain flexible but open parameters (and perimeters) for sourcing and sharing resources.

Executive teams, in particular, will need to know more about the functions of other departments than ever before. IT departments—including CTOs and EAs—will need to know more about other business functions—such as finance—if they are to become IT service centers. CFOs will need to know more about technology, security, marketing and strategic planning. CMOs and CIOs will need to understand regulatory guidelines not only around securing information but around risk and data privacy.

Putting enterprise and business architectures and industry standards in place can go a long way toward helping to create structures that maintain a healthy balance between providing the flexibility needed for Open Platform 3.0 and BYO while allowing enough organizational control to prevent chaos. With open architectures and standards, organizations will better be able to decide where controls are needed and when and how information should be shared among departments. Interoperability and Boundaryless Information Flow—where and when they’re needed—will be key components of these architectures.

The convergence being brought about Open Platform 3.0 is not just about technology. It’s about the convergence of many things—IT, people, operations, processes, information. It will require significant cultural changes for most organizations and within different departments and organizational functions that are not used to sharing, processing and analyzing information beyond the silos that have been built up around them.

In this new computing model, Enterprise Architectures, interoperability and standards can and must play a central role in guiding the C-Suite through this time of rapid change so that users have the tools they need to be able to innovate, executives have the information they need to steer the proverbial ship and organizations don’t get left behind.

brown-smallAllen Brown is the President and CEO of The Open GroupFor more than ten years, he has been responsible for driving the organization’s strategic plan and day-to-day operations; he was also instrumental in the creation of the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA). Allen is based in the U.K.

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Filed under Business Architecture, Cloud/SOA, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Standards, Uncategorized

One Year Later: A Q&A Interview with Chris Harding and Dave Lounsbury about Open Platform 3.0™

By The Open Group

The Open Group launched its Open Platform 3.0™ Forum nearly one year ago at the 2013 Sydney conference. Open Platform 3.0 refers to the convergence of new and emerging technology trends such as Mobile, Social, Big Data, Cloud and the Internet of Things, as well as the new business models and system designs these trends are pushing organizations toward due to the consumerization of IT and evolving user behaviors. The Forum was created to help organizations address the architectural and structural considerations that businesses must consider to take advantage of and benefit from this evolutionary shift in how technology is used.

We sat down with The Open Group CTO Dave Lounsbury and Open Platform 3.0 Director Dr. Chris Harding at the recent San Francisco conference to catch up on the Forum’s activities and progress since launch and what they’ll be working on during 2014.

The Open Group’s Forum, Open Platform 3.0, was launched almost a year ago in April of 2013. What has the Forum been working on over the past year?

Chris Harding (CH): We launched at the Sydney conference in April of last year. What we’ve done since then first of all was to look at the requirements for the platform, and we did this using the proven TOGAF® technique of the Business Scenario. So over the course of last summer, the summer of 2013, we developed a Business Scenario capturing the requirements for Open Platform 3.0 and that was published just before The Open Group conference in October. Following that conference, the main activity that we’ve been doing is in fact furthering the requirements space. We’ve been developing analysis of use cases, so currently we have 22 different use cases that members of the forum have put together which are illustrating the use of the convergent technologies and most importantly the use of them in combination with each other.

What we’re doing here in this meeting in San Francisco is to obtain from that basis of requirements and use cases an understanding of what the platform fundamentally should be because it is our intention to produce a Snapshot definition of the platform by the end of March. So in the first year of the Forum, we hope that we will finish that year by producing a Snapshot definition of Open Platform 3.0.

Dave Lounsbury (DL): First, the roots of the Open Platform go deeper. Previous to that we had a number of works groups in the areas of Cloud, SOA and some other ones in terms of Semantic Interoperability. All of those were early pieces, and what we saw at the beginning of 2013 was a coalescing of that into this concept that businesses were looking for a new platform for their operations that combined aspects of Social, Mobile, Cloud computing, Big Data and the analytics that go along with it. We saw that emerging in the marketplace, and we formed the Forum to develop that direction. The Open Group always takes an end-to-end view of any problem – we like to look at the whole ecosystem. We want to make sure that the technical standards aren’t just point targets and actually address a business need.

Some of the work groups within The Open Group, such as Quantum Lifecycle Management (QLM) and Semantic Interoperability, have been brought under the umbrella of Open Platform 3.0, most notably the Cloud Work Group. How will the work of these groups continue under Platform 3.0?

CH: Some of the work already going on in The Open Group was directly or indirectly relevant to Open Platform 3.0. And that first and most importantly was the work of the Cloud Work Group, Cloud being one of the convergent technologies, and the Cloud Work Group became a part of Platform 3.0. Two other activities also became a part of Open Platform 3.0, one was of these was the Semantic Interoperability Work Group, and that is because we recognized that Semantic Interoperability has to be an important part of how these technologies work with each other. Though it may not be that we have a full definition of that in the first version of the standard – it’s a notoriously difficult area – but over the course of time, we hope to incorporate a Semantic Interoperability component in the Platform definition and that may well build on the work that we’ve been doing with the Universal Data Element Framework, the UDEF project, which is currently undergoing a major restructuring. The key thing from the Open Platform 3.0 perspective is how the semantic convention relates to the convergence of the technologies in the platform.

In terms of QLM, that became part become of Open Platform 3.0 because one of the key convergent technologies is the Internet of Things, and QLM overlaps significantly with that. QLM is not about the Internet of Things, as such, but it does have a strong component of understanding the way networked sensors and controls work, so that’s become an important contribution to the new Forum.

DL: Like in any platform there’s going to be multiple components. In Open Platform 3.0, one of the big drivers for this change is Big Data. Big Data is very trendy, right? But where does Big Data come from? Well, it comes from increased connectivity, increased use of mobile devices, increased use of sensors –  the ‘Internet of Things.’ All of these things are generating data about usage patterns, where people are, what they’re doing, what that they‘re buying, what they’re interested in and what their likes and dislikes are, creating a massive flood of data. Now the question becomes ‘how do you compute on that data?’ You need to handle that massively scalable stream of data. You need massively scalable computing  underneath it, you need the ability to move large amounts of information from one place to another. When you think about the analysis of data like that, you have algorithms that do a lot of data access and they’ll have big spikes of computation, as they create some model of it. If you’re going to look at 10 zillion records, you don’t want to buy enough computers so you can always look at 10 zillion records, you want to be able to turn that on, do your analysis and turn it back off.  That’s, of course, why Cloud is a critical component of Open Platform 3.0.

Open Platform 3.0 encompasses a lot of different technologies as well as how they are converging. How do you piece apart everything that Platform 3.0 entails to begin to formulate a standard for it?

CH: I mentioned that we developed 22 use cases. The way that we’re addressing this is to look at use cases and the business and technical ecosystems that those use cases exemplify and to abstract from that some fundamental architectural patterns. These we believe will be the basis for the initial definition of the platform.

DL: That gets back to this question about how were starting up. Again it’s The Open Group’s mantra that we look at a business problem as an end-to-end problem. So what you’ll see in Open Platform 3.0, is that we’ve done the Business Scenario to figure out what’s the business motivator, what do business people need to get this done, and we’re fleshing that out with these details in these detailed use cases.

One of the things that we’re very careful about in The Open Group is that we don’t replicate what’s going on in other standards bodies. If you look at what’s going on in Cloud, and what continues to go on in Cloud under the Open Platform 3.0, banner, we really focused in on what do business people really need in the cloud guides – those are how business people really use it.  We’ve stayed away for a long time from the bits and bytes – we’re now doing a Cloud Reference Architecture – but we’ve also created the Cloud Ecosystem Reference Model, which was just published. That Cloud Ecosystem Reference Model, if you read through it, isn’t about how bits flow around, it’s about how partners interact with each other – what to look for in your Cloud partner, who are the players? When you go to use Cloud in your business, what players do you have to engage with? What are the roles that you have to engage with them on? So again it’s really that business level of guidance that The Open Group is really good at, and we do liaison with other organizations in order to get technical stuff if we need it – or if not, we’ll create it ourselves because we’ve got very competent technical people – but again, it’s that balanced business approach that distinguishes The Open Group way.

Many industry pundits have said that Open Platform 3.0 is ultimately about a shift toward user-driven IT. How does that change the standards making process when most standards are ultimately put in place by technologists not necessarily end-users?

CH:  It’s an interesting question. I mentioned the Business Scenario that we developed over the summer – one of the key things that came out of that was that there is this shift towards a more direct use of the technologies by business users.  And that is partly because it’s becoming more possible. Cloud is one of the key factors that has shortened the cycle of procuring and putting IT in place to support business use, and made it more possible to manage IT directly. At the same time [users are] becoming impatient with delay and wanting to gain the benefits of technology directly and not at arms length through the IT department. We’re seeing in connection with these phenomena such as the business technologist, the technical specialist who works with or is employed by the business department rather than within a separate IT department, and one of whose key strengths is an understanding of the business.  So that is certainly an important dimension that we’re seeing and one of the requirements for the Platform is that it should be usable in an environment where business is using IT more directly.

But that wasn’t the question you asked. The question was, ‘isn’t it a problem that the standards are defined by technologists?’ We don’t believe it’s a problem provided that the technologists do have an understanding of the business environment. That was why in the Business Scenario activity that we conducted, one of the key inputs was a roundtable workshop with CIO level people, and that is where a lot of our perspective on why things are changing comes from. Open Platform 3.0 certainly does have dimension of fundamental architecture patterns and part of that is business architecture patterns but it also has a technical dimension, and obviously you do really need the technical people to explore that dimension though they do always need to keep in mind the technology is there to serve the business.

DL: If you actually look at trends in the marketplace about how IT is done, and in fact if you look at the last blog post that Allen [Brown] did about agile, the whole thrust of agile methodologies and its successor DevOps is to really get the implementers right next to the business people and have a very tight arrangement in order to get fast iteration and really have the implementer do what the business person needs. I actually view consumerization not as some outside threat but actually a logical extension of that trend. What’s happening in my opinion is that people who are not technologists, who are not part of the IT department, are getting comfortable using and managing their own technology. And so they’re making decisions that used to be made by the IT department years ago – or what used to be the IT department. First there was the big mainframe, and you handed in your cards at a window and you got your printout in your little cubby hole. Then the IT department bought your PC, and now we bring our own devices. There’s nothing wrong with that, that’s people getting comfortable with technology and making decisions. I think that’s one of the reasons we have need for an Open Platform 3.0 approach – to develop business guidance and eventually technical standards on how we keep up with that trend. Because it’s a very natural trend – people want to control the resources they need to get their job done, and if those resources are technical resources, and they’re comfortable doing that, great!

Convergence and Open Platform 3.0 seem to take us closer and closer to The Open Group’s vision of Boundaryless Information Flow™.  Is Open Platform 3.0 the fulfillment of that vision?

DL: I think I’d be crazy to say that it’s the endpoint of that vision. I think being able to move large amounts of data and make decisions on it is a significant step forward in Boundaryless Information Flow, but this is a two-edged sword. I talked about all that data being generated by mobile devices and sensors and retail networks and social networks and things like that. That data is growing exponentially.  The number of people who can make decisions on that data are growing at best linearly and not very quickly. So if there’s all this data out there and nobody to look at it, we need to ask if we have we lowered the boundary for communications or have we actually raised it by creating a pile of data that no one can climb? That’s why I think a next step is, in fact, more machine-assisted analytics and predictive analytics and machine learning that will help humans digest and understand that data. That will be, I think, yet another step toward Boundaryless Information Flow. Moving bits around does not equate to information flow – its only information when it moves from data to being information in a human’s brain. Until we lower that barrier as well, we’re not there. And even beyond that, there’s still lots of things that can be done, in terms of breaking down human language barriers and things like that or social networks in more intuitive ways. I think there’s a long way to go. I think this is a really important step forward, but fulfillment is too strong a word.

CH:  Not in itself, I don’t believe. It is a major contribution towards the vision of Boundaryless Information Flow but it is not the complete fulfillment of that vision. Since we’ve formulated the problem statement of Boundaryless Information Flow there have been a number of developments that have impacted on it and maybe helped to bring it closer. So you might think of SOA as an important enabling technology for Boundaryless Information Flow, replacing the information silos with interacting services. Now we’re seeing Open Platform 3.0, which is certainly going to have a service-oriented flavor, shall we say, although it probably will not look exactly like traditional SOA. The Boundaryless Information Flow requirement was a very far-reaching problem statement. The Interoperable Business Scenario was where it was first set out and since then we’ve been gradually making process toward it. Open Platform 3.0 will bring it closer, but I’m sure there will be other things still needed to make it happen. 

One of the key things for Boundaryless Information Flow is Enterprise Architecture. So within a particular enterprise, the business and IT needs to be architected to enable Boundaryless Information Flow, and TOGAF is the method that is defined and maintained by The Open Group for how enterprises define enterprise architectures. Open Platform 3.0 will complement that by providing a ‘this is what an architecture looks like that enables the business to take advantage of this new converging technologies.’ But there will still be a need for the Enterprise Architect to put that together with the other particular factors involved in an enterprise to create an architecture for Boundaryless Information Flow within that enterprise.

When can we expect the first standard from Open Platform 3.0?

DL: Well, we published the Cloud Ecosystem Reference Guide, and again the understanding of how business partners relate in the Cloud world is a key component of Open Platform 3.0. The Forum has a roadmap, and will start publishing the case studies still in process.

The message I would say is there’s already early value in the Cloud Ecosystem Reference Model, which is a logical continuation of cloud work that had already gone on in the Work Group, but is now part of the Forum as part of Open Platform 3.0.

CH: That’s always a tricky question however I can tell you what is planned. The intention, as I said, was to produce a Snapshot definition by the end of March and, given we are a quarter of the way through the meeting at this conference, which is the key meeting that will define the basis for that, the progress has been good so far, so I’m optimistic. A Snapshot is not a Standard. A Snapshot is a statement of ‘this is what we are thinking and might be what it will look like,’ but it’s not guaranteed in any way that the Standard will follow the Snapshot. We are intending to produce the first Standard definition of the platform in about a year’s time after the Snapshot.  That will give the opportunity for people not only within The Open Group but outside The Open Group to give us input and further understanding of the way people intend to use the platform as feedback on the snapshot, which should be the basis for the first published standard.

For more on the Open Platform 3.0 Forum, please visit: http://www3.opengroup.org/subjectareas/platform3.0.

If you have any questions about Open Platform 3.0 or if you would like to join the new Forum, please contact Chris Harding (c.harding@opengroup.org) for queries regarding the Forum or Chris Parnell (c.parnell@opengroup.org) for queries regarding membership.

Chris HardingDr. Chris Harding is Director for Interoperability and SOA at The Open Group. He has been with The Open Group for more than ten years, and is currently responsible for managing and supporting its work on interoperability, including SOA and interoperability aspects of Cloud Computing, and the Open Platform 3.0 Forum. He is a member of the BCS, the IEEE and the AEA, and is a certified TOGAF® practitioner.

Dave LounsburyDave is Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and Vice President, Services for The Open Group. As CTO, he ensures that The Open Group’s people and IT resources are effectively used to implement the organization’s strategy and mission.  As VP of Services, Dave leads the delivery of The Open Group’s proven collaboration processes for collaboration and certification both within the organization and in support of third-party consortia. Dave holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and is holder of three U.S. patents.

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Filed under Cloud, Cloud/SOA, Conference, Open Platform 3.0, Standards, TOGAF®

The Open Group San Francisco 2014 – Day Two Highlights

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications

Day two, February 4th, of The Open Group San Francisco conference kicked off with a welcome and opening remarks from Steve Nunn, COO of The Open Group and CEO of the Association of Enterprise Architects.

Nunn introduced Allen Brown, President and CEO of The Open Group, who provided highlights from The Open Group’s last quarter.  As of Q4 2013, The Open Group had 45,000 individual members in 134 countries hailing from 449 member companies in 38 countries worldwide. Ten new member companies have already joined The Open Group in 2014, and 24 members joined in the last quarter of 2013, with the first member company joining from Vietnam. In addition, 6,500 individuals attended events sponsored by The Open Group in Q4 2013 worldwide.

Updates on The Open Group’s ongoing work were provided including updates on the FACE™ Consortium, DirectNet® Waveform Standard, Architecture Forum, Archimate® Forum, Open Platform 3.0™ Forum and Security Forum.

Of note was the ongoing development of TOGAF® and introduction of a three-volume work including individual volumes outlining the TOGAF framework, guidance and tools and techniques for the standard, as well as collaborative work that allows the Archimate modeling language to be used for risk management in enterprise architectures.

In addition, Open Platform 3.0 Forum has already put together 22 business use cases outlining ROI and business value for various uses related to technology convergence. The Cloud Work Group’s Cloud Reference Architecture has also been submitted to ISO for international standards certification, and the Security Forum has introduced certification programs for OpenFAIR risk management certification for individuals.

The morning plenary centered on The Open Group’s Dependability through Assuredness™ (O-DA) Framework, which was released last August.

Speaking first about the framework was Dr. Mario Tokoro, Founder and Executive Advisor for Sony Computer Science Laboratories. Dr. Tokoro gave an overview of the Dependable Embedded OS project (DEOS), a large national project in Japan originally intended to strengthen the country’s embedded systems. After considerable research, the project leaders discovered they needed to consider whether large, open systems could be dependable when it came to business continuity, accountability and ensuring consistency throughout the systems’ lifecycle. Because the boundaries of large open systems are ever-changing, the project leaders knew they must put together dependability requirements that could accommodate constant change, allow for continuous service and provide continuous accountability for the systems based on consensus. As a result, they put together a framework to address both the change accommodation cycle and failure response cycles for large systems – this framework was donated to The Open Group’s Real-Time Embedded Systems Forum and released as the O-DA standard.

Dr. Tokoro’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion on the O-DA standard. Moderated by Dave Lounsbury, VP and CTO of The Open Group, the panel included Dr. Tokoro; Jack Fujieda, Founder and CEO ReGIS, Inc.; T.J. Virdi, Senior Enterprise IT Architect at Boeing; and Bill Brierly, Partner and Senior Consultant, Conexiam. The panel discussed the importance of openness for systems, iterating the conference theme of boundaries and the realities of having standards that can ensure openness and dependability at the same time. They also discussed how the O-DA standard provides end-to-end requirements for system architectures that also account for accommodating changes within the system and accountability for it.

Lounsbury concluded the track by iterating that assuring systems’ dependability is not only fundamental to The Open Group mission of Boundaryless Information Flow™ and interoperability but also in preventing large system failures.

Tuesday’s late morning sessions were split into two tracks, with one track continuing the Dependability through Assuredness theme hosted by Joe Bergmann, Forum Chair of The Open Group’s Real-Time and Embedded Systems Forum. In this track, Fujieda and Brierly furthered the discussion of O-DA outlining the philosophy and vision of the standard, as well as providing a roadmap for the standard.

In the morning Business Innovation & Transformation track, Alan Hakimi, Consulting Executive, Microsoft presented “Zen and the Art of Enterprise Architecture: The Dynamics of Transformation in a Complex World.” Hakimi emphasized that transformation needs to focus on a holistic view of an organization’s ecosystem and motivations, economics, culture and existing systems to help foster real change. Based on Buddhist philosophy, he presented an eightfold path to transformation that can allow enterprise architects to approach transformation and discuss it with other architects and business constituents in a way that is meaningful to them and allows for complexity and balance.

This was followed by “Building the Knowledge-Based Enterprise,” a session given by Bob Weisman, Head Management Consultant for Build the Vision.

Tuesday’s afternoon sessions centered on a number of topics including Business Innovation and Transformation, Risk Management, Archimate, TOGAF tutorials and case studies and Professional Development.

In the Archimate track, Vadim Polyakov of Inovalon, Inc., presented “Implementing an EA Practice in an Agile Enterprise” a case study centered on how his company integrated its enterprise architecture with the principles of agile development and how they customized the Archimate framework as part of the process.

The Risk Management track featured William Estrem, President, Metaplexity Associates, and Jim May of Windsor Software discussing how the Open FAIR Standard can be used in conjunction with TOGAF 9.1 to enhance risk management in organizations in their session, “Integrating Open FAIR Risk Analysis into the Enterprise Architecture Capability.” Jack Jones, President of CXOWARE, also discussed the best ways for “Communicating the Value Proposition” for cohesive enterprise architectures to business managers using risk management scenarios.

The plenary sessions and many of the track sessions from today’s tracks can be viewed on The Open Group’s Livestream channel at http://new.livestream.com/opengroup.

The day culminated with dinner and a Lion Dance performance in honor of Chinese New Year performed by Leung’s White Crane Lion & Dragon Dance School of San Francisco.

We would like to express our gratitude for the support by our following sponsors:  BIZZDesign, Corso, Good e-Learning, I-Server and Metaplexity Associates.

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O-DA standard panel discussion with Dave Lounsbury, Bill Brierly, Dr. Mario Tokoro, Jack Fujieda and TJ Virdi

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Filed under Conference, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Standards, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

The Open Group San Francisco 2014 – Day One Highlights

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications

The Open Group’s San Francisco conference, held at the Marriott Union Square, began today highlighting the theme of how the industry is moving Toward Boundaryless Information Flow™.”

The morning plenary began with a welcome from The Open Group President and CEO Allen Brown.  He began the day’s sessions by discussing the conference theme, reminding the audience that The Open Group’s vision of Boundaryless Information Flow began in 2002 as a means to breakdown the silos within organizations and provide better communications within, throughout and beyond organizational walls.

Heather Kreger, Distinguished Engineer and CTO of International Standards at IBM, presented the first session of the day, “Open Technologies Fuel the Business and IT Renaissance.” Kreger discussed how converging technologies such as social and mobile, Big Data, the Internet of Things, analytics, etc.—all powered by the cloud and open architectures—are forcing a renaissance within both IT and companies. Fueling this renaissance is a combination of open standards and open source technologies, which can be used to build out the platforms needed to support these technologies at the speed that is enabling innovation. To adapt to these new circumstances, architects should broaden their skillsets so they have deeper skills and competencies in multiple disciplines, technologies and cultures in order to better navigate this world of open source based development platforms.

The second keynote of the morning, “Enabling the Opportunity to Achieve Boundaryless Information Flow™,” was presented by Larry Schmidt, HP Fellow at Hewlett-Packard, and Eric Stephens, Enterprise Architect, Oracle. Schmidt and Stephens addressed how to cultivate a culture within healthcare ecosystems to enable better information flow. Because healthcare ecosystems are now primarily digital (including not just individuals but technology architectures and the Internet of Things), boundaryless communication is imperative so that individuals can become the managers of their health and the healthcare ecosystem can be better defined. This in turn will help in creating standards that help solve the architectural problems currently hindering the information flow within current healthcare systems, driving better costs and better outcomes.

Following the first two morning keynotes Schmidt provided a brief overview of The Open Group’s new Healthcare Forum. The forum plans to leverage existing Open Group best practices such as harmonization, existing standards (such as TOGAF®) and work with other forums and vertical to create new standards to address the problems facing the healthcare industry today.

Mike Walker, Enterprise Architect at Hewlett-Packard, and Mark Dorfmueller, Associate Director Global Business Services for Procter & Gamble, presented the morning’s final keynote entitled “Business Architecture: The Key to Enterprise Transformation.” According to Walker, business architecture is beginning to change how enterprise architecture is done within organizations. In order to do so, Walker believes that business architects must be able to understand business processes, communicate ideas and engage with others (including other architects) within the business and offer services in order to implement and deliver successful programs. Dorfmueller illustrated business architecture in action by presenting how Procter & Gamble uses their business architecture to change how business is done within the company based on three primary principles—being relevant, practical and making their work consumable for those within the company that implement the architectures.

The morning plenary sessions culminated with a panel discussion on “Future Technology and Enterprise Transformation,” led by Dave Lounsbury, VP and CTO of The Open Group. The panel, which included all of the morning’s speakers, took a high-level view of how emerging technologies are eroding traditional boundaries within organizations. Things within IT that have been specialized in the past are now becoming commoditized to the point where they are now offering new opportunities for companies. This is due to how commonplace they’ve become and because we’re becoming smarter in how we use and get value out of our technologies, as well as the rapid pace of technology innovation we’re experiencing today.

Finally, wrapping up the morning was the Open Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF), a forum of The Open Group, with forum director Sally Long presenting an overview of a new Open Trusted Technology Provider™ Standard (O-TTPS) Accreditation Program which launched today.  The program is the first such accreditation to provide third-party certification for companies guaranteeing their supply chains are free from maliciously tainted or counterfeit products and conformant to the Open Trusted Technology Provider™ Standard (O-TTPS). IBM is the first company to earn the accreditation and there are at least two other companies that are currently going through the accreditation process.

Monday’s afternoon sessions were split between two tracks, Enterprise Architecture (EA) and Enterprise Transformation and Open Platform 3.0.

In the EA & Enterprise Transformation track, Purna Roy and John Raspen, both Directors of Consulting at Cognizant Technology Solutions, discussed the need to take a broad view and consider factors beyond just IT architectures in their session, “Enterprise Transformation: More than an Architectural Transformation.”  In contrast, Kirk DeCosta, Solution Architect at PNC Financial Services, argued that existing architectures can indeed serve as the foundation for transformation in “The Case for Current State – A Contrarian Viewpoint.”

The Open Platform 3.0 track addressed issues around the convergence of technologies based on cloud platforms, including the impact of Big Data as an enabler of information architectures by Helen Sun, Enterprise Architect at Oracle, and predictive analytics. Dipanjan Sengupta, Principal Architect at Cognizant Technology Solutions, discussed why integration platforms are critical for managing distribution application portfolios in “The Need for a High Performance Integration Platform in the Cloud Era.”

Today’s plenary sessions and many of the track sessions can be viewed on The Open Group’s Livestream channel at http://new.livestream.com/opengroup.

The day ended with an opportunity for everyone to share cocktails and conversation at a networking reception held at the hotel.

photo

Andras Szakal, VP & CTO, IBM U.S. Federal and Chair of the OTTF, presented with a plaque in honor of IBM’s contribution to the O-TTPS Accreditation Program, along with the esteemed panel who were key to the success of the launch.

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Part 3 of 3: Building an Enterprise Architecture Value Proposition Using TOGAF® 9.1. and ArchiMate® 2.0

By Serge Thorn, Architecting the Enterprise

This is the third and final post in a three-part series by Serge Thorn. For more in this series, please see Part One and Part Two.

Value Management uses a combination of concepts and methods to create sustainable value for both organizations and their stakeholders. Some tools and techniques are specific to Value Management and others are generic tools that many organizations and individuals use. There exist many Value Management techniques such as cost-benefits analysis, SWOT analysis, value analysis, Pareto analysis, objectives hierarchy, function analysis system technique (FAST), and more…

The one I suggest to illustrate is close to the objectives hierarchy technique, which is a diagrammatic process for identifying objectives in a hierarchical manner and often used in conjunction with business functions. Close, because I will use a combination of the TOGAF® 9.1 metamodel with the ArchiMate® 2.0 Business Layer, Application Layer and Motivation Extensions Metamodels, consider core entities such as value, business goals, objectives, business processes and functions, business and application services, application functions and components. This approach was inspired by the presentation by Michael van den Dungen and Arjan Visser at The Open Group Conference in Amsterdam 2010, and here I’m also adding some ArchiMate 2.0 concepts.

First, the entities from the TOGAF 9.1 metamodel:

Then I will consider the entities from ArchiMate 2.0. Some may be identical to TOGAF 9.1. In the Business Layer, one key concept will obviously be the value. In this case I will consider the product (“A coherent collection of services, accompanied by a contract/set of agreements, which is offered as a whole to (internal or external) customers” according to ArchiMate 2.0), as the Enterprise Architecture program. In addition to that, I would refer to business services, functions, and processes.

In the Motivation Extension Metamodel, the goals. The objective entity in TOGAF 9.1 can also be represented using the concept of “goal.”

And in the Application Layer Metamodel, application services, functions, and components.

It is important to mention that when we deliver a value proposition, we must demonstrate to the business where the benefits will be with concrete examples. For example: the business sees Operational Excellence and Customer Intimacy as key drivers, and soon you will realize that BPM suites or CRM could support the business goals. These are the reasons why we consider the Application Layer Metamodel.

We could then use a combination of the ArchiMate 2.0 viewpoints such as: Stakeholder Viewpoint, Goal Realization Viewpoint, Motivation Viewpoint, or some other viewpoints to demonstrate the value of Enterprise Architecture for a specific business transformation program (or any other strategic initiative).

To be mentioned that the concept of benefit does not exist in any of the metamodels.

I have added the concept as an extension to ArchiMate in the following diagram which is the mapping of the value to a program related to the “improvement of customers’ relationships.” I also have intentionally limited the number of concepts or entities, such as processes, application services or measures.

Using these ArchiMate 2.0 modelling techniques can demonstrate to your stakeholders the value proposition for a business program, supported by an Enterprise Architecture initiative.

As a real example, if the expected key business benefit is operational excellence through process controls, which would represent a goal, you could present such a high level diagram to explain why application components like a BPM Suite could help (detecting fraud and errors, embedding preventive controls, continuously auditing and monitoring processes, and more).

There is definitely not a single way of demonstrating the value of Enterprise Architecture and you probably will have to adapt the process and the way you will present that value to all companies you will be working with. Without a doubt Enterprise Architecture contributes to the success of an organization and brings numerous benefits, but very often it needs to be able to demonstrate that value. Using some techniques as described previously will help to justify such an initiative.

The next steps will be the development of measures, metrics and KPIs to continuously monitor that value proposition.

Serge Thorn is CIO of Architecting the Enterprise.  He has worked in the IT Industry for over 25 years, in a variety of roles, which include; Development and Systems Design, Project Management, Business Analysis, IT Operations, IT Management, IT Strategy, Research and Innovation, IT Governance, Architecture and Service Management (ITIL). He is the Chairman of the itSMF (IT Service Management forum) Swiss chapter and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Part 2 of 3: Building an Enterprise Architecture Value Proposition Using TOGAF® 9.1. and ArchiMate® 2.0

By Serge Thorn, Architecting the Enterprise

This is the second post in a three-part series by Serge Thorn.

Continuing from Part One of this series, here are more examples of what an enterprise cannot achieve without Enterprise Architecture:

Reduce IT costs by consolidating, standardizing, rationalizing and integrating corporate information systems

Cost avoidance can be achieved by identifying overlapping functional scope of two or more proposed projects in an organization or the potential cost savings of IT support by standardizing on one solution.

Consolidation can happen at various levels for architectures — for shared enterprise services, applications and information, for technologies and even data centers.

This could involve consolidating the number of database servers, application or web servers and storage devices, consolidating redundant security platforms, or adopting virtualization, grid computing and related consolidation initiatives. Consolidation may be a by-product of another technology transformation or it may be the driver of these transformations.

Whatever motivates the change, the key is to be in alignment, once again, with the overall business strategy. Enterprise architects understand where the business is going, so they can pick the appropriate consolidation strategy. Rationalization, standardization and consolidation processes helps organizations understand their current enterprise maturity level and move forward on the appropriate roadmap.

More spending on innovation

Enterprise Architecture should serve as a driver of innovation. Innovation is highly important when developing a target Enterprise Architecture and in realizing the organization’s strategic goals and objectives. For example, it may help to connect the dots between business requirements and the new approaches SOA and cloud services can deliver.

Enabling strategic business goals via better operational excellence

Building Enterprise Architecture defines the structure and operation of an organization. The intent of Enterprise Architecture is to determine how an organization can most effectively achieve its current and future objectives. It must be designed to support an organization’s specific business strategies.

Jeanne W. Ross, Peter Weill, David C. Robertson in “Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business” wrote “Companies with more-mature architectures reported greater success in achieving strategic goals” (p. 89). “This included better operational excellence, more customer intimacy, and greater product leadership” (p. 100).

Customer intimacy

Enterprises that are customer focused and aim to provide solutions for their customers should design their business model, IT systems and operational activities to support this strategy at the process level. This involves the selection of one or few high-value customer niches, followed by an obsessive effort at getting to know these customers in detail.

Greater product leadership

This approach enabled by Enterprise Architecture is dedicated to providing the best possible products from the perspective of the features and benefits offered to the customer. It is the basic philosophy about products that push performance boundaries. Products or services delivered by the business will be refined by leveraging IT to do the end customer’s job better. This will be accomplished by the delivery of new business capabilities (e.g. on-line websites, BI, etc.).

Comply with regulatory requirements

Enterprise Architecture helps companies to know and represent their processes and systems and how they correlate. This is fundamental for risk management and managing regulation requirements, such as those derived from Sarbanes-Oxley, COSO, HIPAA, etc.

This list could be continued as there are many other reasons why Enterprise Architecture brings benefits to organizations. Once your benefits have been documented you could also consider some value management techniques. TOGAF® 9.1 refers in the Architecture Vision phase to a target value proposition for a specific project.  In the next blog, we’ll address the issue of applying the value proposition to the Enterprise Architecture initiative as a whole.

The third and final part of this blog series will discuss value management. 

Serge Thorn is CIO of Architecting the Enterprise.  He has worked in the IT Industry for over 25 years, in a variety of roles, which include; Development and Systems Design, Project Management, Business Analysis, IT Operations, IT Management, IT Strategy, Research and Innovation, IT Governance, Architecture and Service Management (ITIL). He is the Chairman of the itSMF (IT Service Management forum) Swiss chapter and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Part 1 of 3: Building an Enterprise Architecture Value Proposition Using TOGAF® 9.1. and ArchiMate® 2.0

By Serge Thorn, Architecting the Enterprise

This is the first post in a three-part series by Serge Thorn. 

When introducing Enterprise Architecture as a program or initiative, it is regularly done from an IT perspective rarely considering what the costs will be and if there will be any return on investment. This presents a particular challenge to Enterprise Architecture.

Generally speaking, IT departments have all sorts of criteria to justify projects and measure their performance. They use measurements, metrics and KPIs. Going to the solution level, they commonly use indicators such as percentage uptime for systems from the system management team, error rates for applications from the development support team or number of calls resolved on the first call from the service desk, etc. These KPIs usually are defined at an early stage and very often delivered in dashboards from various support applications.

On the other hand, it is much more difficult to define and implement a quantifiable measure for Enterprise Architecture. Many activities introduced with appropriate governance will enhance the quality of the delivered products and services, but it still will be a challenge to attribute results to the quality of Enterprise Architecture efforts.

This being said, Enterprise Architects should be able to define and justify the benefits of their activities to their stakeholders, and to help executives understand how Enterprise Architecture will contribute to the primary value-adding objectives and processes, before starting the voyage. The more it is described and understood, the more the Enterprise Architecture team will gain support from the management. There are plenty of contributions that Enterprise Architecture brings and they will have to be documented and presented at an early stage.

There won’t be just one single answer to demonstrate the value of an Enterprise Architecture but there seems to be a common pattern when considering feedback from various companies I have worked with.

Without Enterprise Architecture you can probably NOT fully achieve:

IT alignment with the business goals

As an example among others, the problem with most IT plans is that they do not indicate what the business value is and what strategic or tactical business benefit the organization is planning to achieve. The simple matter is that any IT plan needs also to have a business metric, not only an IT metric of delivery. Another aspect is the ability to create and share a common vision of the future shared by the business and IT communities.

Integration

With the rapid pace of change in business environment, the need to transform organizations into agile enterprises that can respond quickly to change has never been greater. Methodologies and computer technologies are needed to enable rapid business and system change. The solution also lies in enterprise integration (both business and technology integration).

For business integration, we use Enterprise Architecture methodologies and frameworks to integrate functions, processes, data, locations, people, events and business plans throughout an organization. Specifically, the unification and integration of business processes and data across the enterprise and potential linkage with external partners become more and more important.

To also have technology integration, we may use enterprise portals, enterprise application integration (EAI/ESB), web services, service-oriented architecture (SOA), business process management (BPM) and try to lower the number of interfaces.

Change management

In recent years the scope of Enterprise Architecture has expanded beyond the IT domain and enterprise architects are increasingly taking on broader roles relating to organizational strategy and change management. Frameworks such as TOGAF® 9.1 include processes and tools for managing both the business/people and the technology sides of an organization. Enterprise Architecture supports the creation of changes related to the various architecture domains, evaluating the impact on the enterprise, taking into account risk management, financial aspects (cost/benefit analysis), and most importantly ensuring alignment with business goals and objectives. Enterprise Architecture value is essentially tied to its ability to help companies to deal with complexity and changes.

Reduced time to market and increased IT responsiveness

Enterprise Architecture should reduce systems development, applications generation and modernization timeframes for legacy systems. It should also decrease resource requirements. All of this can be accomplished by re-using standards or existing components, such as the architecture and solution building blocks in TOGAF 9.1. Delivery time and design/development costs can also be decreased by the reuse of reference models. All that information should be managed in an Enterprise Architecture repository.

Better access to information across applications and improved interoperability

Data and information architectures manage the organization assets of information, optimally and efficiently. This supports the quality, accuracy and timely availability of data for executive and strategic business decision-making, across applications.

Readily available descriptive representations and documentation of the enterprise

Architecture is also a set of descriptive representations (i.e. “models”) that are relevant for describing an enterprise such that it can be produced to management’s requirements and maintained over the period of its useful life. Using an architecture repository, developing a variety of artifacts and modelling some of the key elements of the enterprise, will contribute to build this documentation.

The second part of the series will include more examples of what an enterprise cannot achieve without Enterprise Architecture. 

Serge Thorn is CIO of Architecting the Enterprise.  He has worked in the IT Industry for over 25 years, in a variety of roles, which include; Development and Systems Design, Project Management, Business Analysis, IT Operations, IT Management, IT Strategy, Research and Innovation, IT Governance, Architecture and Service Management (ITIL). He is the Chairman of the itSMF (IT Service Management forum) Swiss chapter and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Cloud Interoperability and Portability Project Findings to be Showcased in San Francisco

By Mark Skilton, Capgemini

Over the past year, The Open Group has been conducting a project to assess the current state of interoperability and portability in Cloud Computing. The findings from this work will be presented at The Open Group San Francisco Conference on Wednesday, February 1 by Mark Skilton (Capgemini) Kapil Bakshi (Cisco) and Chris Harding (The Open Group) – co-chairs and members of the project team.

The work has surveyed the current range of international standards development impacting interoperability. The project then developed a set of proposed architectural reference models targeting data, application, platform, infrastructure and environment portability and interoperability for Cloud ecosystems and connectivity to non-Cloud environments.

The Open Group plans to showcase the current findings and proposed areas of development within The Open Group using the organization’s own international architecture standards models and is also exploring the possibility of promoting work in this area  with other leading standards bodies as well.

If you’re interested in learning more about this project and if you’re at the San Francisco Conference, please come to the session, “The Benefits, Challenges and Survey of Cloud Computing Interoperability and Portability” on Wednesday, February 1 at 4:00 p.m.

Mark Skilton is Global Director for Capgemini, Strategy CTO Group, Global Infrastructure Services. His role includes strategy development, competitive technology planning including Cloud Computing and on-demand services, global delivery readiness and creation of Centers of Excellence. He is currently author of the Capgemini University Cloud Computing Course and is responsible for Group Interoperability strategy.

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SF Conference to Explore Architecture Trends

By The Open Group Conference Team

In addition to exploring the theme of “Enterprise Transformation,” speakers at The Open Group San Francisco conference in January will explore a number of other trends related to enterprise architecture and the profession, including trends in service oriented architectures and business architecture. 

The debate about the role of EA in the development of high-level business strategy is a long running one. EA clearly contributes to business strategy, but does it formulate, plan or execute on business strategy?  If the scope of EA is limited to EA alone, it could have a diminutive role in business strategy and Enterprise Transformation going forward.

EA professionals will have the opportunity to discuss and debate these questions and hear from peers about their practical experiences, including the following tracks:

  • Establishing Value Driven EA as the Enterprise Embarks on Transformation (EA & Enterprise Transformation Track)  - Madhav Naidu, Lead Enterprise Architedt, Ciena Corp., US; and Mark Temple, Chief Architect, Ciena Corp.
  • Building an Enterprise Architecture Practice Foundation for Enterprise Transformation Execution  (EA & Business Innovation Track) – Frank Chen, Senior Manager & Principal Enterprise Architect, Cognizant, US
  • Death of IT: Rise of the Machines (Business Innovation & Technological Disruption: The Challenges to EA Track) –  Mans Bhuller, Senior Director, Oracle Corporation, US
  • Business Architecture Profession and Case Studies  (Business Architecture Track) – Mieke Mahakena, Capgemini,; and Peter Haviland, Chief Architect/Head of Business Architecture, Ernst & Young
  • Constructing the Architecture of an Agile Enterprise Using the MSBI Method (Agile Enterprise Architecture Track) – Nick Malike, Senior Principal Enterprise Architect, Microsoft Corporation, US
  • There’s a SEA Change in Your Future: How Sustainable EA Enables Business Success in Times of Disruptive Change (Sustainable EA Track)  – Leo Laverdure & Alex Conn, Managing Partners, SBSA Partners LLC, US
  • The Realization of SOA’s Using the SOA Reference Architecture  (Tutorials) – Nikhil Kumar, President, Applied Technology Solutions, US
  • SOA Governance: Thinking Beyond Services (SOA Track) – Jed Maczuba, Senior Manager, Accenture, US

In addition, a number of conference tracks will explore issues and trends related to the enterprise architecture profession and role of enterprise architects within organizations.  Tracks addressing professional concerns include:

  • EA: Professionalization or Marketing Needed? (Professional Development Track)  - Peter Kuppen, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting, BV, Netherlands
  • Implementing Capabilities With an Architecture Practice (Setting up a Successful EA Practice Track)  – Mike Jacobs, Director and Principal Architect, OmptumInsight; and Joseph May, Director, Architecture Center of Excellence, OmptumInsight
  • Gaining and Retaining Stakeholder Buy-In: The Key to a Successful EA Practice Practice (Setting up a Successful EA Practice Track)   – Russ Gibfried, Enterprise Architect, CareFusion Corporation, US
  • The Virtual Enterprise Architecture Team (Nature & Role of the Enterprise Architecture) – Nicholas Hill, Principal Enterprise Architect, Consulting Services, FSI, Infosys; and Musharal Mughal, Director of EA, Manulife Financials, Canada

 Our Tutorials track will also provide practical guidance for attendees interested in learning more about how to implement architectures within organizations.  Topics will include tutorials on subjects such as TOGAF®, Archimate®, Service Oriented Architectures,  and architecture methods and techniques.

For more information on EA conference tracks, please visit the conference program on our website.

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Filed under Cloud/SOA, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Semantic Interoperability, Service Oriented Architecture

Security and Cloud Computing Themes to be explored at The Open Group San Francisco Conference

By The Open Group Conference Team

Cybersecurity and Cloud Computing are two of the most pressing trends facing enterprises today. The Open Group Conference San Francisco will feature tracks on both trends where attendees can learn about the latest developments in both disciplines as well as hear practical advice for implementing both secure architectures and for moving enterprises into the Cloud.  Below are some of the highlights and featured speakers from both tracks.

Security

The San Francisco conference will provide an opportunity for practitioners to explore the theme of “hacktivism,” the use and abuse of IT to drive social change, and its potential impact on business strategy and Enterprise Transformation.  Traditionally, IT security has focused on protecting the IT infrastructure and the integrity of the data held within.  However, in a rapidly changing world where hacktivism is an enterprise’s biggest threat, how can enterprise IT security respond?

Featured speakers and panels include:

  • Steve Whitlock, Chief Security Strategist, Boeing, “Information Security in the Internet Age”
  • Jim Hietala, Vice President, Security, The Open Group, “The Open Group Security Survey Results”
  • Dave Hornford, Conexiam, and Chair, The Open Group Architecture Forum, “Overview of TOGAF® and SABSA® Integration White Paper”
  • Panel – “The Global Supply Chain: Presentation and Discussion on the Challenges of Protecting Products Against Counterfeit and Tampering”

Cloud Computing

According to Gartner, Cloud Computing is now entering the “trough of disillusionment” on its hype cycle. It is critical that organizations better understand the practical business, operational and regulatory issues associated with the implementation of Cloud Computing in order to truly maximize its potential benefits.

Featured speakers and panels include:

  • David JW Gilmour, Metaplexity Associates, “Architecting for Information Security in a Cloud Environment”
  • Chris Lockhart, Senior Enterprise Architect, UnitedHeal, “Un-Architecture: How a Fortune 25 Company Solved the Greatest IT Problem”
  • Penelope Gordon, Cloud and Business Architect, 1Plug Corporation, “Measuring the Business Performance of Cloud Products”
  • Jitendra Maan, Tata Consultancy, “Mobile Intelligence with Cloud Strategy”
  • Panel – “The Benefits, Challenges and Survey of Cloud Computing Interoperability and Portability”
    • Mark Skilton, Capgemini; Kapil Bakshi, Cisco; Jeffrey Raugh, Hewlett-Packard

Please join us in San Francisco for these speaking tracks, as well as those on our featured them of Enterprise Transformation and the role of enterprise architecture. For more information, please go to the conference homepage: http://www3.opengroup.org/sanfrancisco2012

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2012 Open Group Predictions, Vol. 2

By The Open Group

Continuing on the theme of predictions, here are a few more, which focus on enterprise architecture, business architecture, general IT and Open Group events in 2012.

Enterprise Architecture – The Industry

By Leonard Fehskens, VP of Skills and Capabilities

Looking back at 2011 and looking forward to 2012, I see growing stress within the EA community as both the demands being placed on it and the diversity of opinions within it increase. While this stress is not likely to fracture the community, it is going to make it much more difficult for both enterprise architects and the communities they serve to make sense of EA in general, and its value proposition in particular.

As I predicted around this time last year, the conventional wisdom about EA continues to spin its wheels.  At the same time, there has been a bit more progress at the leading edge than I had expected or hoped for. The net effect is that the gap between the conventional wisdom and the leading edge has widened. I expect this to continue through the next year as progress at the leading edge is something like the snowball rolling downhill, and newcomers to the discipline will pronounce that it’s obvious the Earth is both flat and the center of the universe.

What I had not expected is the vigor with which the loosely defined concept of business architecture has been adopted as the answer to the vexing challenge of “business/IT alignment.” The big idea seems to be that the enterprise comprises “the business” and IT, and enterprise architecture comprises business architecture and IT architecture. We already know how to do the IT part, so if we can just figure out the business part, we’ll finally have EA down to a science. What’s troubling is how much of the EA community does not see this as an inherently IT-centric perspective that will not win over the “business community.” The key to a truly enterprise-centric concept of EA lies inside that black box labeled “the business” – a black box that accounts for 95% or more of the enterprise.

As if to compensate for this entrenched IT-centric perspective, the EA community has lately adopted the mantra of “enterprise transformation”, a dangerous strategy that risks promising even more when far too many EA efforts have been unable to deliver on the promises they have already made.

At the same time, there is a growing interest in professionalizing the discipline, exemplified by the membership of the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA) passing 20,000, TOGAF® 9 certifications passing 10,000, and the formation of the Federation of Enterprise Architecture Professional Organizations (FEAPO). The challenge that we face in 2012 and beyond is bringing order to the increasing chaos that characterizes the EA space. The biggest question looming seems to be whether this should be driven by IT. If so, will we be honest about this IT focus and will the potential for EA to become a truly enterprise-wide capability be realized?

Enterprise Architecture – The Profession

By Steve Nunn, COO of The Open Group and CEO of the Association of Enterprise Architects

It’s an exciting time for enterprise architecture, both as an industry and as a profession. There are an abundance of trends in EA, but I wanted to focus on three that have emerged and will continue to evolve in 2012 and beyond.

  • A Defined Career Path for Enterprise Architects: Today, there is no clear career path for the enterprise architect. I’ve heard this from college students, IT and business professionals and current EAs. Up until now, the skills necessary to succeed and the roles within an organization that an EA can and should fill have not been defined. It’s imperative that we determine the skill sets EAs need and the path for EAs to acquire these skills in a linear progression throughout their career. Expect this topic to become top priority in 2012.
  • Continued EA Certification Adoption: Certification will continue to grow as EAs seek ways to differentiate themselves within the industry and to employers. Certifications and memberships through professional bodies such as the Association of Enterprise Architects will offer value to members and employers alike by identifying competent and capable architects. This growth will also be supported by EA certification adoption in emerging markets like India and China, as those countries continue to explore ways to build value and quality for current and perspective clients, and to establish more international credibility.
  • Greater Involvement from the Business: As IT investments become business driven, business executives controlling corporate strategy will need to become more involved in EA and eventually drive the process. Business executive involvement will be especially helpful when outsourcing IT processes, such as Cloud Computing. Expect to see greater interest from executives and business schools that will implement coursework and training to reflect this shift, as well as increased discussion on the value of business architecture.

Business Architecture – Part 2

By Kevin Daley, IBM and Vice-Chair of The Open Group Business Forum

Several key technologies have reached a tipping point in 2011 that will move them out of the investigation and validation by enterprise architects and into the domain of strategy and realization for business architects. Five areas where business architects will be called upon for participation and effort in 2012 are related to:

  • Cloud: This increasingly adopted and disruptive technology will help increase the speed of development and change. The business architect will be called upon to ensure the strategic relevancy of transformation in a repeatable fashion as cycle times and rollouts happen faster.
  • Social Networking / Mobile Computing: Prevalent consumer usage, global user adoption and improvements in hardware and security make this a trend that cannot be ignored. The business architect will help develop new strategies as organizations strive for new markets and broader demographic reach.
  • Internet of Things: This concept from 2000 is reaching critical mass as more and more devices become communicative. The business architect will be called on to facilitate the conversation and design efforts between operational efforts and technologies managing the flood of new and usable information.
  • Big Data and Business Intelligence: Massive amounts of previously untapped data are being exposed, analyzed and made insightful and useful. The business architect will be utilized to help contain the complexity of business possibilities while identifying tactical areas where the new insights can be integrated into existing technologies to optimize automation and business process domains.
  • ERP Resurgence and Smarter Software: Software purchasing looks to continue its 2011 trend towards broader, more intuitive and feature-rich software and applications.  The business architect will be called upon to identify and help drive getting the maximum amount of operational value and output from these platforms to both preserve and extend organizational differentiation.

The State of IT

By Dave Lounsbury, CTO

What will have a profound effect on the IT industry throughout 2012 are the twin horses of mobility and consumerization, both of which are galloping at full tilt within the IT industry right now. Key to these trends are the increased use of personal devices, as well as favorite consumer Cloud services and social networks, which drive a rapidly growing comfort among end users with both data and computational power being everywhere. This comfort brings a level of expectations to end users who will increasingly want to control how they access and use their data, and with what devices. The expectation of control and access will be increasingly brought from home to the workplace.

This has profound implications for core IT organizations. There will be less reliance on core IT services, and with that an increased expectation of “I’ll buy the services, you show me know to knit them in” as the prevalent user approach to IT – thus requiring increased attention to use of standards conformance. IT departments will change from being the only service providers within organizations to being a guiding force when it comes to core business processes, with IT budgets being impacted. I see a rapid tipping point in this direction in 2012.

What does this mean for corporate data? The matters of scale that have been a part of IT—the overarching need for good architecture, security, standards and governance—will now apply to a wide range of users and their devices and services. Security issues will loom larger. Data, apps and hardware are coming from everywhere, and companies will need to develop criteria for knowing whether systems are robust, secure and trustworthy. Governments worldwide will take a close look at this in 2012, but industry must take the lead to keep up with the pace of technology evolution, such as The Open Group and its members have done with the OTTF standard.

Open Group Events in 2012

By Patty Donovan, VP of Membership and Events

In 2012, we will continue to connect with members globally through all mediums available to us – our quarterly conferences, virtual and regional events and social media. Through coordination with our local partners in Brazil, China, France, Japan, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, we’ve been able to increase our global footprint and connect members and non-members who may not have been able to attend the quarterly conferences with the issues facing today’s IT professionals. These events in conjunction with our efforts in social media has led to a rise in member participation and helped further develop The Open Group community, and we hope to have continued growth in the coming year and beyond.

We’re always open to new suggestions, so if you have a creative idea on how to connect members, please let me know! Also, please be sure to attend the upcoming Open Group Conference in San Francisco, which is taking place on January 30 through February 3. The conference will address enterprise transformation as well as other key issues in 2012 and beyond.

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Save the Date—The Open Group Conference San Francisco!

By Patty Donovan, The Open Group

It’s that time again to start thinking ahead to The Open Group’s first conference of 2012 to be held in San Francisco, January 30 – February 3, 2012. Not only do we have a great venue for the event, the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins (home of the famous “Top of the Mark” sky lounge—with amazing views of all of San Francisco!), but we have stellar line up for our winter conference centered on the theme of Enterprise Transformation.

Enterprise Transformation is a theme that is increasingly being used by organizations of all types to represent the change processes they implement in response to internal and external business drivers. Enterprise Architecture (EA) can be a means to Enterprise Transformation, but most enterprises today because EA is still largely limited to the IT department and transformation must go beyond the IT department to be successful. The San Francisco conference will focus on the role that both IT and EA can play within the Enterprise Transformation process, including the following:

  • The differences between EA and Enterprise Transformation and how they relate  to one another
  • The use of EA to facilitate Enterprise Transformation
  • How EA can be used to create a foundation for Enterprise Transformation that the Board and business-line managers can understand and use to their advantage
  • How EA facilitates transformation within IT, and how does such transformation support the transformation of the enterprise as a whole
  • How EA can help the enterprise successfully adapt to “disruptive technologies” such as Cloud Computing and ubiquitous mobile access

In addition, we will be featuring a line-up of keynotes by some of the top industry leaders to discuss Enterprise Transformation, as well as themes around our regular tracks of Enterprise Architecture and Professional Certification, Cloud Computing and Cybersecurity. Keynoting at the conference will be:

  • Joseph Menn, author and cybersecurity correspondent for the Financial Times (Keynote: What You’re Up Against: Mobsters, Nation-States and Blurry Lines)
  • Celso Guiotoko, Corporate Vice President and CIO, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Keynote: How Enterprise Architecture is helping NISSAN IT Transformation)
  • Jeanne W. Ross, Director & Principal Research Scientist, MIT Center for Information Systems Research (Keynote: The Enterprise Architect: Architecting Business Success)
  • Lauren C. States, Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Cloud Computing and Growth Initiatives, IBM Corp. (Keynote: Making Business Drive IT Transformation Through Enterprise Architecture)
  • Andy Mulholland, Chief Global Technical Officer, Capgemini (Keynote: The Transformed Enterprise)
  • William Rouse, Executive Director, Tennenbaum Institute at Georgia Institute of Technology (Keynote: Enterprise Transformation: An Architecture-Based Approach)

For more on the conference tracks or to register, please visit our conference registration page. And stay tuned throughout the next month for more sneak peeks leading up to The Open Group Conference San Francisco!

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2012 Open Group Predictions, Vol. 1

By The Open Group

Foreword

By Allen Brown, CEO

2011 was a big year for The Open Group, thanks to the efforts of our members and our staff – you all deserve a very big thank you. There have been so many big achievements, that to list them all here would mean we would never get to our predictions. Significantly though, The Open Group continues to grow and this year the number of enterprise members passed the 400 mark which means that around 30,000 people are involved, some more so than others, from all over the world.

Making predictions is always risky but we thought it might be fun anyway. Here are three trends that will wield great influence on IT in 2012 and beyond:

  • This year we experienced the consumerization of IT accelerating the pace of change for the enterprise at an astonishing rate as business users embraced new technologies that transformed their organizations. As this trend continues in 2012, the enterprise architect will play a critical role in supporting this change and enabling the business to realize their goals.
  • Enterprise architecture will continue its maturity in becoming a recognized profession. As the profession matures, employers of enterprise architects and other IT professionals, for that matter, will increasingly look for industry recognized certifications.
  • As globalization continues, security and compliance will be increasing issues for companies delivering products or services and there will be a growing spotlight on what might be inside IT products. Vendors will be expected to warrant that the products they purchase and integrate into their own products come from a trusted source and that their own processes can be trusted in order not to introduce potential threats to their customers. At the same time, customers will be increasingly sensitive to the security and dependability of their IT assets. To address this situation, security will continue to be designed in from the outset and be tightly coupled with enterprise architecture.

In addition to my predictions, Other Open Group staff members also wanted to share their predictions for 2012 with you:

Security

By Jim Hietala, VP of Security

Cloud security in 2012 becomes all about point solutions to address specific security pain points. Customers are realizing that to achieve an acceptable level of security, whether for IaaS, SaaS, or PaaS, they need to apply controls in addition to the native platform controls from the Cloud service provider. In 2012, this will manifest as early Cloud security technologies target specific and narrow security functionality gaps. Specific areas where we see this playing out include data encryption, data loss prevention, identity and access management, and others.

Cloud

By Chris Harding, Director of Interoperability

There is a major trend towards shared computing resources that are “on the Cloud” – accessed by increasingly powerful and mobile personal computing devices but decoupled from the users.

This may bring some much-needed economic growth in 2012, but history shows that real growth can only come from markets based on standards. Cloud portability and interoperability standards will enable development of re-usable components as commodity items, but the need for them is not yet appreciated. And, even if the vendors wanted these standards for Cloud Computing, they do not yet have the experience to create good ones.  But, by the end of the year, we should understand Cloud Computing better and will perhaps have made a start on the standardization that will lead to growth in the years ahead.

Here are some more Cloud predictions from my colleagues in The Open Group Cloud Work Group: http://blog.opengroup.org/2011/12/19/cloud-computing-predictions-for-2012/

Business Architecture

By Steve Philp, Professional Certification

There are a number of areas for 2012 where Business Architects will be called upon to engage in transforming the business and applying technologies such as Cloud Computing, social networking and big data. Therefore, the need to have competent Business Architects is greater than ever. This year organizations have been recruiting and developing Business Architects and the profession as a whole is now starting to take shape. But how do you establish who is a practicing Business Architect?

In response to requests from our membership, next year The Open Group will incorporate a Business Architecture stream into The Open Group Certified Architect (Open CA) program. There has already been significant interest in this stream from both organizations and practitioners alike. This is because Open CA is a skills and experience based program that recognizes, at different levels, those individuals who are performing in a Business Architecture role. I believe this initiative will further help to develop the profession over the next few years and especially in 2012.

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Cloud Computing predictions for 2012

By The Open Group Cloud Work Group Members 

With 2012 fast approaching, Cloud Computing will remain a hot topic for IT professionals everywhere. The Open Group Cloud Work Group worked on various initiatives in 2011, including the Cloud Computing Survey, which explored the business impact and primary drivers for Cloud within organizations, and the release of Cloud Computing for Business, a guide that examines how enterprises can derive the greatest business benefits from Cloud Computing from a business process standpoint.

As this year comes to an end, here are a few predictions from various Cloud Work Group members.

Non-IT executives will increasingly use the term “Cloud” in regular business conversations

By Penelope Gordon, 1 Plug

In 2012, the number of non-IT business executives seeking ways to leverage Cloud will increase, and consequently references to Cloud Computing will increasingly appear in general business publications.

This increase in Cloud references will in part be due to the availability of consumer-oriented Cloud services such as email and photo sharing. For example, the October 2011 edition of the Christian Science Monitor included an article titled “Five things you need to know about ‘the cloud’” by Chris Gaylord that discussed Cloud services in the same vein as mobile phone capabilities. Another factor behind the increase (unintentionally) highlighted in this article is the overuse – and consequent dilution – of the term “Cloud” – Web services and applications running on Cloud infrastructure are not necessarily themselves Cloud services.

The most important factor behind the increase will be due to the relevance of Cloud – especially the SaaS, BPaaS, and cloud-enabled BPO variants – to these executives. In contrast to SOA, Cloud Computing buying decisions related to business process enablement can be very granular and incremental and can thus be made independently of the IT Department – not that I advocate bypassing IT input. Good governance ensures both macro-level optimization and interoperability.

New business models in monetizing your Information-as–a-Service

By Mark Skilton, Capgemini

Personal data is rapidly become less restricted to individual control and management as we see exponential growth in the use of digital media and social networking to exchange ideas, conduct business and enable whole markets, products and services to be accessible. This has significant ramifications not only for individuals and organizations to maintain security and protection over what is public and private; it also represents a huge opportunity to understand both small and big data and the “interstitial connecting glue” – the metadata within and at the edge of Clouds that are like digital smoke trails of online community activities and behaviors.

At the heart of this is the “value of information” to organizations that can extract and understand how to maximize this information and, in turn, monetize it. This can be as simple as profiling customers who “like” products and services to creating secure backup Cloud services to retrieve in times of need and support of emergency services. The point is that new metadata combinations are possible through the aggregation of data inside and outside of organizations to create new value.

There are many new opportunities to create new business models that recognize this new wave of Information-as- a-Service (IaaS) as the Cloud moves further into new value model territories.

Small and large enterprise experiences when it comes to Cloud

By Pam Isom, IBM

The Cloud Business Use Case (CBUC) team is in the process of developing and publishing a paper that is focused on the subject of Cloud for Small-Medium-Enterprises (SME’s). The CBUC team is the same team that contributed to the book Cloud Computing for Business with a concerted focus on Cloud business benefits, use cases, and justification. When it comes to small and large enterprise comparisons of Cloud adoption, some initial observations are that the increased agility associated with Cloud helps smaller organizations with rapid time-to-market and, as a result, attracts new customers in a timely fashion. This faster time-to-market not only helps SME’s gain new customers who otherwise would have gone to competitors, but prevents those competitors from becoming stronger – enhancing the SME’s competitive edge. Larger enterprises might be more willing to have a dedicated IT organization that is backed with support staff and they are more likely to establish full-fledged data center facilities to operate as a Cloud service provider in both a public and private capacity, whereas SME’s have lower IT budgets and tend to focus on keeping their IT footprint small, seeking out IT services from a variety of Cloud service providers.

A recent study conducted by Microsoft surveyed more than 3000 small businesses across 16 countries with the objective of understanding whether they have an appetite for adopting Cloud Computing. One of the findings was that within three years, “43 percent of workloads will become paid cloud services.” This is one of many statistics that stress the significance of Cloud on small businesses in this example and the predictions for larger enterprise as Cloud providers and consumers are just as profound.

Penelope Gordon specializes in adoption strategies for emerging technologies, and portfolio management of early stage innovation. While with IBM, she led innovation, strategy, and product development efforts for all of IBM’s product and service divisions; and helped to design, implement, and manage one of the world’s first public clouds.

Mark Skilton is Global Director for Capgemini, Strategy CTO Group, Global Infrastructure Services. His role includes strategy development, competitive technology planning including Cloud Computing and on-demand services, global delivery readiness and creation of Centers of Excellence. He is currently author of the Capgemini University Cloud Computing Course and is responsible for Group Interoperability strategy.

Pamela K. Isom is the Chief Architect for complex cloud integration and application innovation services such as serious games. She joined IBM in June 2000 and currently leads efforts that drive Smarter Planet efficiencies throughout client enterprises using, and often times enhancing, its’ Enterprise Architecture (EA). Pamela is a Distinguished Chief/Lead IT Architect with The Open Group where she leads the Cloud Business Use Cases Work Group.

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The Open Group Surpasses 400 Member Milestone

By Allen Brown, The Open Group

I’m pleased to announce The Open Group has recently surpassed the 400 member mark. Reaching this milestone is a true testament to the commitment our members and staff have made to promoting open standards over the past 25 years.

The Open Group’s strategy has been shaped by IT users through the development of open, vendor-neutral standards and certifications. Today’s milestone validates that this strategy is continuing to resonate, particularly with global organizations that demand greater interoperability, trusted ways to architect their information systems and qualified IT people to lead the effort.

Our members continue to collaborate on developing long term, globally accepted solutions surrounding the most critical IT issues facing business today. Some of the work areas include Enterprise Architecture, Cloud Computing, real-time and embedded systems, operating platform, semantic interoperability and cyber-security to name a few. The members’ leadership around these issues is increasingly global through a larger roster of regional events and local offices now based in China, France, Japan, South Africa, South America, Sweden, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and US. As a result, we now have more than 30,000 individual members participating from 400 global organizations in more than 85 countries worldwide.

This is a great milestone to end the year on, and we’re looking forward to celebrating more occasions like it resulting from the members’ hard work and contributions in 2012.

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The future – ecosystems and standards

By Mark Skilton, Capgemini

This article is a continuation of a series on standards by Mark Stilton. Read his previous posts on “Why standards in information technology are critical and “Innovation in the Cloud needs open standards.”

The evolution of standards has become a big domain issue. The world has moved from the individual languages of resources and transactions into architectural standards that seek to describe how different sets of resources, interfaces and interactions can be designed to work together. But this concept has now gone further in networked societies.

In this new “universe” of online and physical services, new channels, portals, devices and services are emerging that create new integration and compositions of services. New business models are emerging as a result, which are impacting existing markets and incumbents as well as creating new rules and standards.  Old standards and policies such as digital privacy and cross-border intellectual property are being challenged by these new realities. Ignoring these is not an option, as companies and whole countries are realizing the need to keep up-to-date and aware of these developments that impact their own locations and economies.

This means the barriers and accelerators to individual markets and new markets are evolving and in constant dynamic change. Standards and interoperability are at the center of these issues and affect the very levers of change in markets.

Cloud Computing is one such phenomenon rewriting the rules on information exchange and business models for provisioning and delivery of products and services. The impact of Cloud Computing on competitive advantage is significant in the way it has lowered barriers to access of markets and collaboration. It has increased speed of provisioning and potential for market growth and expansion through the distributed power of the Internet. The connectivity and extensions of business models brought about by these trends is changing previously held beliefs and competitive advantages of ownership and relationships.

The following diagram was presented at The Open Group Conference, Amsterdam in the fall  of 2010.

The Internet of Things (IOT) is an example of this trend that is seen in the area of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags of materials and products for automatic tracking. But this is just one example of interoperability emerging across industries. Large-scale telecommunications networks now have the ability to reach and integrate large areas of the marketplace through fixed and now wireless mobile communications networks.

This vision can create new possibilities beyond just tagging and integration of supply chains; it hints towards a possibility of social networks, business networks and value chains being able to create new experiences and services through interconnectedness.

Mark Skilton, Director, Capgemini, is the Co-Chair of The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group. He has been involved in advising clients and developing of strategic portfolio services in Cloud Computing and business transformation. His recent contributions include the publication of Return on Investment models on Cloud Computing widely syndicated that achieved 50,000 hits on CIO.com and in the British Computer Society 2010 Annual Review. His current activities include development of a new Cloud Computing Model standards and best practices on the subject of Cloud Computing impact on Outsourcing and Off-shoring models and contributed to the second edition of the Handbook of Global Outsourcing and Off-shoring published through his involvement with Warwick Business School UK Specialist Masters Degree Program in Information Systems Management.

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FACE™: Exchanging proprietary avionics solutions for a standardized computing environment

By Judy Cerenzia, The Open Group

It’s hard to believe that only eight months ago we kicked off The Open Group Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™) Consortium, a collaborative group of avionics industry and U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force contributors who are working to develop standards for a common operating environment to support portable capability applications across Department of Defense (DoD) avionics systems. Our goal is to create an avionics software environment on installed computing hardware of war-fighting platforms that enables FACE™ applications to be deployed on different platforms without impact to the FACE™ applications. This approach to portable applications and interoperability will reduce development and integration costs and reduce time to field new avionics capabilities.

The  FACE™ Technical Working Group is rapidly developing Version 1 of our technical standard, scheduled to be released later this year. The FACE™ Consortium strategy is changing the way government and industry do business by breaking down barriers to portability – exchanging proprietary solutions for a common and standardized computing environment and components. To enable this climate change, the Consortium’s Business Working Group is developing a Business Model Guide, defining stakeholders and their roles within a new business model, developing business scenarios and defining how stakeholders will impact or be impacted by business drivers in each, and investigating how contract terms, software licensing agreements, and IP rights may need to change to support procuring common components with standardized interfaces vs. a proprietary black-box solution from a prime contractor.  They’re also using TOGAF™ checklists from Phases A and B of the ADM process to ensure they’ve addressed all required business issues for the avionics enterprise.

We’ve grown from 74 individuals representing 14 organizations in June 2010 to over 200 participants from 20 government and industry partners to date. We’ve scheduled face-to-face meetings every 6 weeks, rotating among member locations to host the events and averaged over 70 attendees at each. Our next consortium meeting will be in the DC area March 2-3, 2011, hosted by the Office of Naval Research. I’m looking forward to seeing FACE™ colleagues, facilitating their working meeting, and forging ahead toward our mission to develop, evolve and publish a realistic open FACE™ architecture, standards and business model, and robust industry conformance program that will be supported and adopted by FACE™ customers, vendors, and integrators.

Judy Cerenzia is a Director of Collaboration Services for The Open Group, currently providing project management and facilitation support to the Future Airborn Capabilities Environment (FACE™) Consortium.  She has 10+ years experience leading cross-functional and cross-organizational development teams to reach consensus, using proven business processes and best practices to achieve strategic and technical goals.

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The golden thread of interoperability

By Dr. Chris Harding, The Open Group

There are so many things going on at every Conference by The Open Group that it is impossible to keep track of all of them, and this week’s Conference in San Diego, California, is no exception. The main themes are Cybersecurity, Enterprise Architecture, SOA and Cloud Computing. Additional topics range from Real-Time and Embedded Systems to Quantum Lifecycle Management. But there are a number of common threads running through all of those themes, relating to value delivered to IT customers through open systems. One of those threads is Interoperability.

Interoperability Panel Session

The interoperability thread showed strongly in several sessions on the opening day of the conference, Monday Feb. 7, starting with a panel session on Interoperability Challenges for 2011 that I was fortunate to have been invited to moderate.

The panelists were Arnold van Overeem of Capgemini, chair of the Architecture Forum’s Interoperability project, Ron Schuldt, the founder of UDEF-IT and chair of the Semantic Interoperability Work Group’s UDEF project, TJ Virdi of Boeing, co-chair of The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group, and Bob Weisman of Build-the-Vision, chair of The Open Group Architecture Forum’s Information Architecture project. The audience was drawn from many companies, both members and non-members of The Open Group, and made a strong contribution to the debate.

What is interoperability? The panel described several essential characteristics:

  • Systems with different owners and governance models work together;
  • They exchange and understand data automatically;
  • They form an information-sharing environment in which business information is available in the right context, to the right person, and at the right time; and
  • This environment enables processes, as well as information, to be shared.

Interoperability is not just about the IT systems. It is also about the ecosystem of user organizations, and their cultural and legislative context.

Semantics is an important component of interoperability. It is estimated that 65% of data warehouse projects fail because of their inability to cope with a huge number of data elements, differently defined.

There is a constant battle for interoperability. Systems that lock customers in by refusing to interoperate with those of other vendors can deliver strong commercial profit. This strategy is locally optimal but globally disastrous; it gives benefits to both vendors and customers in the short term, but leads in the longer term to small markets and siloed systems.  The front line is shifting constantly. There are occasional resounding victories – as with the introduction of the Internet – but the normal state is trench warfare with small and painful gains and losses.

Blame for lack of interoperability is often put on the vendors, but this is not really fair. Vendors must work within what is commercially possible. Customer organizations can help the growth of interoperability by applying pressure and insisting on support for standards. This is in their interests; integration required by lack of interoperability is currently estimated to account for over 25% of IT spend.

SOA has proved a positive force for interoperability. By embracing SOA, a customer organization can define its data model and service interfaces, and tender for competing solutions that conform to its interfaces and meet its requirements. Services can be shared processing units forming part of the ecosystem environment.

The latest IT phenomenon is Cloud Computing. This is in some ways reinforcing SOA as an interoperability enabler. Shared services can be available on the Cloud, and the ease of provisioning services in a Cloud environment speeds up the competitive tendering process.

But there is one significant area in which Cloud computing gives cause for concern: lack of interoperability between virtualization products. Virtualization is a core enabling technology for Cloud Computing, and virtualization products form the basis for most private Cloud solutions. These products are generally vendor-specific and without interoperable interfaces, so that it is difficult for a customer organization to combine different virtualization products in a private Cloud, and easy for it to become locked in to a single vendor.

There is a need for an overall interoperability framework within which standards can be positioned, to help customers express their interoperability requirements effectively. This framework should address cultural and legal aspects, and architectural maturity, as well as purely technical aspects. Semantics will be a crucial element.

Such a framework could assist the development of interoperable ecosystems, involving multiple organizations. But it will also help the development of architectures for interoperability within individual organizations – and this is perhaps of more immediate concern.

The Open Group can play an important role in the development of this framework, and in establishing it with customers and vendors.

SOA/TOGAF Practical Guide

SOA is an interoperability enabler, but establishing SOA within an enterprise is not easy to do. There are many stakeholders involved, with particular concerns to be addressed. This presents a significant task for enterprise architects.

TOGAF® has long been established as a pragmatic framework that helps enterprise architects deliver better solutions. The Open Group is developing a practical guide to using TOGAF® for SOA, as a joint project of its SOA Work Group and The Open Group Architecture Forum.

This work is now nearing completion. Ed Harrington of Architecting-the-Enterprise had overcome the considerable difficulty of assembling and adding to the material created by the project to form a solid draft. This was discussed in detail by a small group, with some participants joining by teleconference. As well as Ed, this group included Mats Gejnevall of Capgemini and Steve Bennett of Oracle, and it was led by project co-chairs Dave Hornford of Integritas and Awel Dico of the Bank of Montreal.

The discussion resolved all the issues, enabling the preparation of a draft for review by The Open Group, and we can expect to see this valuable guide published at the conclusion of the review process.

UDEF Deployment Workshop

The importance of semantics for interoperability was an important theme of the interoperability panel discussion. The Open Group is working on a specific standard that is potentially a key enabler for semantic interoperability: the Universal Data Element Framework (UDEF).

It had been decided at the previous conference, in Amsterdam, that the next stage of UDEF development should be a deployment workshop. This was discussed by a small group, under the leadership of UDEF project chair Ron Schuldt, again with some participation by teleconference.

The group included Arnold van Overeem of Capgemini, Jayson Durham of the US Navy, and Brand Niemann of the Semantic Community. Jayson is a key player in the Enterprise Lexicon Services (ELS) initiative, which aims to provide critical information interoperability capabilities through common lexicon and vocabulary services. Brand is a major enthusiast for semantic interoperability with connections to many US semantic initiatives, and currently to the Air Force OneSource project in particular, which is evolving a data analysis tool used internally by the USAF Global Cyberspace Integration Center (GCIC) Vocabulary Services Team, and made available to general data management community.  The participation of Jayson and Brand provided an important connection between the UDEF and other semantic projects.

As a result of the discussions, Ron will draft an interoperability scenario that can be the basis of a practical workshop session at the next conference, which is in London.

Complex Cloud Environments

Cloud Computing is the latest hot technology, and its adoption is having some interesting interoperability implications, as came out clearly in the Interoperability panel session. In many cases, an enterprise will use, not a single Cloud, but multiple services in multiple Clouds. These services must interoperate to deliver value to the enterprise. The Complex Cloud Environments conference stream included two very interesting presentations on this.

The first, by Mark Skilton and Vladimir Baranek of Capgemini, explained how new notations for Cloud can help explain and create better understanding and adoption of new Cloud-enabled services and the impact of social and business networks. As Cloud environments become increasingly complex, the need to explain them clearly grows. Consumers and vendors of Cloud services must be able to communicate. Stakeholders in consumer organizations must be able to discuss their concerns about the Cloud environment. The work presented by Mark and Vladimir grew from discussions in a CloudCamp that was held at a previous Conference by The Open Group. We hope that it can now be developed by The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group to become a powerful and sophisticated language to address this communication need.

The second presentation, from Soobaek Jang of IBM, addressed the issue of managing and coordinating across a large number of instances in a Cloud Computing environment. He explained an architecture for “Multi-Node Management Services” that acts as a framework for auto-scaling in a SaaS lifecycle, putting structure around self-service activity, and providing a simple and powerful web service orientation that allows providers to manage and orchestrate deployments in logical groups.

SOA Conference Stream

The principal presentation in this stream picked up on one of the key points from the Interoperability panel session in a very interesting way. It showed how a formal ontology can be a practical basis for common operation of SOA repositories. Semantic interoperability is at the cutting edge of interoperability, and is more often the subject of talk than of action. The presentation included a demonstration, and it was great to see the ideas put to real use.

The presentation was given jointly by Heather Kreger, SOA Work Group Co-chair, and Vince Brunssen, Co-chair of SOA Repository Artifact Model and Protocol (S-RAMP) at OASIS. Both presenters are from IBM. S-Ramp is an emerging standard from OASIS that enables interoperability between tools and repositories for SOA. It uses the formal SOA Ontology that was developed by The Open Group, with extensions to enable a common service model as well as an interoperability protocol.

This presentation illustrated how S-RAMP and the SOA Ontology work in concert with The Open Group SOA Governance Framework to enable governance across vendors. It contained a demonstration that included defining new service models with the S-RAMP extensions in one SOA repository and communicating with another repository to augment its service model.

To conclude the session, I gave a brief presentation on SOA in the Cloud – the Next Challenge for Enterprise Architects. This discussed how the SOA architectural style is widely accepted as the style for enterprise architecture, and how Cloud Computing is a technical possibility that can be used in enterprise architecture. Architectures using Cloud computing should be service-oriented, but this poses some key questions for the architect. Architecture governance must change in the context of Cloud-based ecosystems. It may take some effort to keep to the principles of the SOA style – but it will be important to do this. And the organization of the infrastructure – which may migrate from the enterprise to the Cloud – will present an interesting challenge.

Enabling Semantic Interoperability Through Next Generation UDEF

The day was rounded off by an evening meeting, held jointly with the local chapter of the IEEE, on semantic interoperability. The meeting featured a presentation by Ron Schuldt, UDEF Project Chair, on the history, current state, and future goals of the UDEF.

The importance of semantics as a component of interoperability was clear in the morning’s panel discussion. In this evening session, Ron explained how the UDEF can enable semantic interoperability, and described the plans of the UDEF Project Team to expand the framework to meet the evolving needs of enterprises today and in the future.

This meeting was arranged through the good offices of Jayson Durham, and it was great that local IEEE members could join conference participants for an excellent session.

Cloud is a topic of discussion at The Open Group Conference, San Diego, which is currently underway.

Dr Chris Harding is Director for Interoperability and SOA at The Open Group. He has been with The Open Group for more than ten years, and is currently responsible for managing and supporting its work on interoperability, including SOA and interoperability aspects of Cloud Computing. Before joining The Open Group, he was a consultant, and a designer and development manager of communications software. With a PhD in mathematical logic, he welcomes the current upsurge of interest in semantic technology, and the opportunity to apply logical theory to practical use. He has presented at Open Group and other conferences on a range of topics, and contributes articles to on-line journals. He is a member of the BCS, the IEEE, and the AOGEA, and is a certified TOGAF practitioner.

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Open Group conference next week focuses on role and impact of enterprise architecture amid shifting sands for IT and business

by Dana Gardner, Interarbor Solutions

Republished from his blog, BriefingsDirect, originally published Feb. 2, 2011

Next week’s The Open Group Conference in San Diego comes at an important time in the evolution of IT and business. And it’s not too late to attend the conference, especially if you’re looking for an escape from the snow and ice.

From Feb. 7 through 9 at the Marriott San Diego Mission Valley, the 2011 conference is organized around three key themes: architecting cyber securityenterprise architecture (EA) and business transformation, and the business and financial impact of cloud computingCloudCamp San Diego will be held in conjunction with the conference on Wednesday, Feb. 9. [Disclosure: The Open Group is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Registration is open to both members and non-members of The Open Group. For more information, or to register for the conference in San Diego please visit:http://www.opengroup.org/sandiego2011/register.htm. Registration is free for members of the press and industry analysts.

The Open Group is a vendor- and technology-neutral consortium, whose vision ofBoundaryless Information Flow™ will enable access to integrated information within and between enterprises based on open standards and global interoperability.

I’ve found these conferences over the past five years an invaluable venue for meeting and collaborating with CIOs, enterprise architects, standards stewards and thought leaders on enterprise issues. It’s one of the few times when the mix of technology, governance and business interests mingle well for mutual benefit.

The Security Practitioners Conference, being held on Feb. 7, provides guidelines on how to build trusted solutions; take into account government and legal considerations; and connects architecture and information security management. Confirmed speakers include James Stikeleather, chief innovation officer, Dell Services; Bruce McConnell, cybersecurity counselor, National Protection and Programs Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and Ben Calloni, Lockheed Martin Fellow, Software Security, Lockheed Martin Corp.

Change management processes requiring an advanced, dynamic and resilient EA structure will be discussed in detail during The Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference on Feb. 8. The Cloud Computing track, on Feb. 9, includes sessions on the business and financial impact of cloud computing; cloud security; and how to architect for the cloud — with confirmed speakers Steve Else, CEO, EA Principals; Pete Joodi, distinguished engineer, IBM; and Paul Simmonds, security consultant, the Jericho Forum.

General conference keynote presentation speakers include Dawn Meyerriecks, assistant director of National Intelligence for Acquisition, Technology and Facilities, Office of the Director of National Intelligence; David Mihelcic, CTO, the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency; and Jeff Scott, senior analyst, Forrester Research.

I’ll be moderating an on-stage panel on Wednesday on the considerations that must be made when choosing a cloud solution — custom or “shrink-wrapped” — and whether different forms of cloud computing are appropriate for different industry sectors. The tension between plain cloud offerings and enterprise demands for customization is bound to build, and we’ll work to find a better path to resolution.

I’ll also be hosting and producing a set of BriefingsDirect podcasts at the conference, on such topics as the future of EA groups, EA maturity and future roles, security risk management, and on the new Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF) established in December. Look for those podcasts, blog summaries and transcripts here over the next few days and weeks.

For the first time, The Open Group Photo Contest will encourage the members and attendees to socialize, collaborate and share during Open Group conferences, as well as document and share their favorite experiences. Categories include best photo on the conference floor, best photo of San Diego, and best photo of the conference outing (dinner aboard the USS Midway in San Diego Harbor). The winner of each category will receive a $125 Amazon gift card. The winners will be announced on Monday, Feb. 14 via social media communities.

It’s not too late to join in, or to plan to look for the events and presentations online. Registration is open to both members and non-members of The Open Group. For more information, or to register for the conference in San Diego please visit:http://www.opengroup.org/sandiego2011/register.htm. Registration is free for members of the press and industry analysts.

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Dana Gardner is the Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, which identifies and interprets the trends in Services-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and enterprise software infrastructure markets. Interarbor Solutions creates in-depth Web content and distributes it via BriefingsDirectblogs, podcasts and video-podcasts to support conversational education about SOA, software infrastructure, Enterprise 2.0, and application development and deployment strategies.

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