Tag Archives: IT

Balancing Complexity and Continuous Improvements – A Case Study from the Automotive Industry

By The Open Group


The automotive industry is currently facing massive challenges. For the past 30-40 years, automakers have faced stiff competition in the marketplace, as well as constant pressure to make more innovative and efficient vehicles while reducing the costs to manufacture them.

At the same time, current technological advances are making the industry—and the technology inside automobiles—increasingly complex. Digitalization is also affecting not only how automobiles work but is forcing changes in the manufacturing process and in how automakers run their businesses. With technology now touching nearly every part of the business and how it functions, the IT landscape for automakers is becoming a web of interconnected systems running both inside and outside of the business.

In addition, with computing systems becoming a more integral part of the systems that run vehicles, the lines between traditional IT functions and IT within cars themselves are beginning to blur. With trends such as Big Data and analytics, the Internet of Things and The Open Group Open Platform 3.0™ making cars, manufacturers, dealers and owners increasingly interconnected, automotive company IT departments are being forced to get involved in areas of the business, such as product development and maintenance, in ways they’ve never been before.

Between economic forces and technological change, automakers, like many businesses today, are facing massive upheaval and the need for major transformation in order to deal with levels of business complexity they’ve never seen before.


These challenges are very real for the automotive company in this case study. In addition to general economic and technological change, the company has gone through a number of transitions that have created additional infrastructure issues for the company. Over the past two decades, the company was bought then sold and bought again, bringing in two new owners and technological systems. Between the company’s original legacy IT systems and the systems brought in by its subsequent owners, the company’s IT landscape had become extremely complicated. In addition, the company is in the process of extending its footprint in the burgeoning Chinese market, a step that requires the company to invest in additional infrastructure in order to take advantage of China’s growing economic wealth to speed sales.

Between the company’s existing systems, the need to grow into emerging markets and increased digitalization across the company and its products, the company was in need of new approach to its overall architecture.


Although the company started early on to utilize IT to make the information flows across the company value chain as effective as possible, the existing IT environment had grown organically as the company had changed owners. In order to prepare themselves for an increasingly digital business environment, the company needed to address the increasing complexity of its systems without adding more complexity and while designing systems that could scale and run for the long haul.

Previously, the company had begun to consider using an Enterprise Architecture approach to address its growing complexity. Although the company had a number of solutions architects on staff, they soon realized that they needed a more holistic approach that could address the entire enterprise, not just the individual solutions that made up that IT landscape.

In an industry where time to market is of outmost importance there will always be challenges in balancing short-term solutions with strategic investments. As such, the company initially decided to invest in an Enterprise Architecture capability with the objective of addressing internal complexities to better understand and eventually deal with them. Because TOGAF®, an Open Group standard was seen as the de-facto industry standard for Enterprise Architecture it was the natural choice for the company to create its architecture framework. The majority of the Enterprise and solution Architects at the company were then trained and certified in TOGAF 9. Subsequently, TOGAF was adopted by the architecture community in the IT organization.

Within the IT department, TOGAF provided an ontology for discussing IT issues, and it also provided a foundation for the Enterprise Architecture repository. However, it was seen within the organization primarily as an IT architecture concern, not a framework for transformational change. The EA team decided that in order to really benefit from TOGAF and address the complexity challenges throughout the enterprise, they would need to prove that TOGAF could be used to add value throughout the entire organization and influence how changes were delivered to the IT landscape, as well as prove the value of a structured approach to addressing internal issues.

In order to prove that TOGAF could help with its overall transformation, the team decided to put together a couple of pilot projects within different business areas to showcase the benefits of using a structured approach to change. Due to a need to fix how the company sourced product components, the team decided to first pilot a TOGAF-based approach for its procurement process, since it was widely viewed as one of the most complex areas of the business.

A New Procurement Platform

The initial pilot project was aimed at modernizing the company’s procurement landscape. Although procurement is normally a fairly straightforward process, in the automotive business the intricacies and variations within the product structure, combined with a desire to control logistic costs and material flows, represented a major challenge for the company. In short, to save costs, the company only wanted to buy things they would actually use in the vehicle manufacturing process—no more, no less.

Over the years the IT supporting the company’s procurement process had become very fragmented due to investments in various point solutions and different partnerships that had been established over time. In addition, some parts of the system had been closed down, all of which made the information flow, including all the systems integrations that had occurred along the way, very difficult to map. There were also several significant gaps in the IT support of the procurement process that severely limited the transparency and integrity of the process.


Using TOGAF as an architecture framework and method in conjunction with ArchiMate®, an Open Group standard, for modelling notations and Sparx Enterprise Architect (EA) as a modelling tool, the team set out to establish a roadmap for implementing a new procurement platform. The TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM) was used to establish the architecture vision, and the architecture development phases were completed outlining a target architecture and a subsequent roadmap. No major adaptions were made to the ADM but the sourcing process for the platform was run in parallel to putting together the ADM, requiring an iterative approach to be used

As part of the roadmap, the following ArchiMate views were developed:

  • Motivation views
  • Information structure views
  • Baseline and target business process views
  • Baseline and target business function views
  • Baseline and target application function views
  • Baseline and target application landscape views
  • Baseline and target application usage views
  • Baseline and target infrastructure landscape views
  • Baseline and target infrastructure usage views

Each view was created using Sparx EA configured to facilitate the ADM process and acting as the architecture repository.

The TOGAF ADM provided a structured approach for developing a roadmap whose results could be traced back to the original vision. Having a well-defined methodology with clear deliverables and an artifacts meta-model made the work focused, and both TOGAF and ArchiMate were relatively easy to get buy in for.

The challenges for the project were mainly in one area—aligning the architecture development with the IT solution sourcing process. Because the company wanted to identify sourcing solutions early to assess costs and initiate negotiation, that emphasis pushed the project into identifying solutions building blocks very early on. In most cases, the output from the ADM process could directly be used as input for sourcing commercial of solutions; however, in this case, sourcing soon took precedence over the architecture development process. Usually moving through the ADM phases A to E can be done within a couple of months but evaluating solutions and securing funding within this company proved to be much more difficult and time consuming.


With a new procurement process roadmap in hand, the company has now begun to use the ADM to engage with and get Requests for Information (RFIs) from new suppliers. In addition, using TOGAF and ArchiMate to map the company’s procurement process and design an infrastructure roadmap helped to demystify what had been seen as an extremely complex procurement process. The project allowed the IT team to identify where the real complexities were in the process, many of which are at the component level rather than within the system itself. In addition, the company has been able to identify the areas that they need to prioritize as they begin their implementation process.


Initially TOGAF was seen as a silver bullet within the organization. However, companies must realize that the TOGAF methodology represents best practices, and there is still a need within any organization to have skilled, knowledgeable Enterprise Architects available and with the mandate to do the work.

As part of the project, the following benefits were provided by TOGAF:

  • Provided structure to the analysis
  • Ensured a holistic perspective for all domains
  • Kept the team focused on the outcome, definition, roadmap, etc.
  • Provided a good view into current and future data for the roadmap
  • Provided proven credibility for the analysis

ArchiMate added additional support by providing well-defined viewpoints, and Sparx EA is a cost effective modelling tool and repository that can easily be deployed to all stakeholder in an initiative.

However, within this particular organization, there were a number of challenges that need to be overcome, many of which can hinder the adoption of TOGAF. These challenges included:

  • Competing processes, methodologies and capabilities
  • Strong focus on solution design rather than architecture
  • Strong focus on project delivery tradition rather than managing programs and outcomes
  • Governance for solutions rather than architecture

Adopting Archimate proved to be more straightforward internally at this organization because it could be used to address immediate modelling needs but without requiring a coordinated approach around methodology and governance.

In cases such as this, it is probably best to sell the TOGAF and ArchiMate methodologies into the business organization as common sense solutions rather than as specific technology architecture methodologies. Although they may be presented as such to the EA community within the organization, it makes the decision process simpler not to oversell the technical solution, as it were, to the business, instead selling them the business benefits of the process.


Currently the company is beginning to move through the implementation phase of their roadmap. In addition, individuals throughout the organization have begun to regularly use ArchiMate as a tool for modeling different business areas within the organization. In addition the tools and concepts of TOGAF have been put into use successfully in several initiatives. The timeframe however for formally implementing a more comprehensive Enterprise Architecture Framework throughout other parts of the organization has been slowed down due to the company’s current focus on the release of new models. This is cyclical within the company and once the immediate focus on product delivery weakens, the need for consolidation and simplification will become a priority once again.

As with most companies, the key to a implementing a successful Enterprise Architecture capability within this company will come down to establishing a more effective partnership between the IT organization and the business organizations that IT is supporting. As such, for projects such as this, early engagement is key, and the IT organization must position itself not only as a delivery organization but a business partner that provides investment advice and helps minimize business risk through improved processes and technology based business transformation (as is prescribed by methodologies such as TOGAF and ArchiMate). This requires a unified view of the company mission and its business objectives and associated approaches from IT. Project managers, business analysts and Enterprise Architects must have a common view as to how to approach engagements for them to succeed. Without buy-in throughout the organization, the tools will only be useful techniques used by individuals and their real potential may not be realized.

Leave a comment

Filed under ArchiMate®, big data, digital technologies, EA, IoT, Open Platform 3.0, The Open Group, TOGAF

The Open Group Baltimore 2015 Highlights

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

The Open Group Baltimore 2015, Enabling Boundaryless Information Flow™, July 20-23, was held at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor. Over 300 attendees from 16 countries, including China, Japan, Netherlands and Brazil, attended this agenda-packed event.

The event kicked off on July 20th with a warm Open Group welcome by Allen Brown, President and CEO of The Open Group. The first plenary speaker was Bruce McConnell, Senior VP, East West Institute, whose presentation “Global Cooperation in Cyberspace”, gave a behind-the-scenes look at global cybersecurity issues. Bruce focused on US – China cyber cooperation, major threats and what the US is doing about them.

Allen then welcomed Christopher Davis, Professor of Information Systems, University of South Florida, to The Open Group Governing Board as an Elected Customer Member Representative. Chris also serves as Chair of The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum.

The plenary continued with a joint presentation “Can Cyber Insurance Be Linked to Assurance” by Larry Clinton, President & CEO, Internet Security Alliance and Dan Reddy, Adjunct Faculty, Quinsigamond Community College MA. The speakers emphasized that cybersecurity is not a simply an IT issue. They stated there are currently 15 billion mobile devices and there will be 50 billion within 5 years. Organizations and governments need to prepare for new vulnerabilities and the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT).

The plenary culminated with a panel “US Government Initiatives for Securing the Global Supply Chain”. Panelists were Donald Davidson, Chief, Lifecycle Risk Management, DoD CIO for Cybersecurity, Angela Smith, Senior Technical Advisor, General Services Administration (GSA) and Matthew Scholl, Deputy Division Chief, NIST. The panel was moderated by Dave Lounsbury, CTO and VP, Services, The Open Group. They discussed the importance and benefits of ensuring product integrity of hardware, software and services being incorporated into government enterprise capabilities and critical infrastructure. Government and industry must look at supply chain, processes, best practices, standards and people.

All sessions concluded with Q&A moderated by Allen Brown and Jim Hietala, VP, Business Development and Security, The Open Group.

Afternoon tracks (11 presentations) consisted of various topics including Information & Data Architecture and EA & Business Transformation. The Risk, Dependability and Trusted Technology theme also continued. Jack Daniel, Strategist, Tenable Network Security shared “The Evolution of Vulnerability Management”. Michele Goetz, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, presented “Harness the Composable Data Layer to Survive the Digital Tsunami”. This session was aimed at helping data professionals understand how Composable Data Layers set digital and the Internet of Things up for success.

The evening featured a Partner Pavilion and Networking Reception. The Open Group Forums and Partners hosted short presentations and demonstrations while guests also enjoyed the reception. Areas focused on were Enterprise Architecture, Healthcare, Security, Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™), IT4IT™ and Open Platform™.

Exhibitors in attendance were Esteral Technologies, Wind River, RTI and SimVentions.

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing CommunicationsPartner Pavilion – The Open Group Open Platform 3.0™

On July 21, Allen Brown began the plenary with the great news that Huawei has become a Platinum Member of The Open Group. Huawei joins our other Platinum Members Capgemini, HP, IBM, Philips and Oracle.

By Loren K Baynes, Director, Global Marketing CommunicationsAllen Brown, Trevor Cheung, Chris Forde

Trevor Cheung, VP Strategy & Architecture Practice, Huawei Global Services, will be joining The Open Group Governing Board. Trevor posed the question, “what can we do to combine The Open Group and IT aspects to make a customer experience transformation?” His presentation entitled “The Value of Industry Standardization in Promoting ICT Innovation”, addressed the “ROADS Experience”. ROADS is an acronym for Real Time, On-Demand, All Online, DIY, Social, which need to be defined across all industries. Trevor also discussed bridging the gap; the importance of combining Customer Experience (customer needs, strategy, business needs) and Enterprise Architecture (business outcome, strategies, systems, processes innovation). EA plays a key role in the digital transformation.

Allen then presented The Open Group Forum updates. He shared roadmaps which include schedules of snapshots, reviews, standards, and publications/white papers.

Allen also provided a sneak peek of results from our recent survey on TOGAF®, an Open Group standard. TOGAF® 9 is currently available in 15 different languages.

Next speaker was Jason Uppal, Chief Architecture and CEO, iCareQuality, on “Enterprise Architecture Practice Beyond Models”. Jason emphasized the goal is “Zero Patient Harm” and stressed the importance of Open CA Certification. He also stated that there are many roles of Enterprise Architects and they are always changing.

Joanne MacGregor, IT Trainer and Psychologist, Real IRM Solutions, gave a very interesting presentation entitled “You can Lead a Horse to Water… Managing the Human Aspects of Change in EA Implementations”. Joanne discussed managing, implementing, maintaining change and shared an in-depth analysis of the psychology of change.

“Outcome Driven Government and the Movement Towards Agility in Architecture” was presented by David Chesebrough, President, Association for Enterprise Information (AFEI). “IT Transformation reshapes business models, lean startups, web business challenges and even traditional organizations”, stated David.

Questions from attendees were addressed after each session.

In parallel with the plenary was the Healthcare Interoperability Day. Speakers from a wide range of Healthcare industry organizations, such as ONC, AMIA and Healthway shared their views and vision on how IT can improve the quality and efficiency of the Healthcare enterprise.

Before the plenary ended, Allen made another announcement. Allen is stepping down in April 2016 as President and CEO after more than 20 years with The Open Group, including the last 17 as CEO. After conducting a process to choose his successor, The Open Group Governing Board has selected Steve Nunn as his replacement who will assume the role with effect from November of this year. Steve is the current COO of The Open Group and CEO of the Association of Enterprise Architects. Please see press release here.By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications

Steve Nunn, Allen Brown

Afternoon track topics were comprised of EA Practice & Professional Development and Open Platform 3.0™.

After a very informative and productive day of sessions, workshops and presentations, event guests were treated to a dinner aboard the USS Constellation just a few minutes walk from the hotel. The USS Constellation constructed in 1854, is a sloop-of-war, the second US Navy ship to carry the name and is designated a National Historic Landmark.

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing CommunicationsUSS Constellation

On Wednesday, July 22, tracks continued: TOGAF® 9 Case Studies and Standard, EA & Capability Training, Knowledge Architecture and IT4IT™ – Managing the Business of IT.

Thursday consisted of members-only meetings which are closed sessions.

A special “thank you” goes to our sponsors and exhibitors: Avolution, SNA Technologies, BiZZdesign, Van Haren Publishing, AFEI and AEA.

Check out all the Twitter conversation about the event – @theopengroup #ogBWI

Event proceedings for all members and event attendees can be found here.

Hope to see you at The Open Group Edinburgh 2015 October 19-22! Please register here.

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing CommunicationsLoren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, joined The Open Group in 2013 and spearheads corporate marketing initiatives, primarily the website, blog, media relations and social media. Loren has over 20 years experience in brand marketing and public relations and, prior to The Open Group, was with The Walt Disney Company for over 10 years. Loren holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University. She is based in the US.

Comments Off on The Open Group Baltimore 2015 Highlights

Filed under Accreditations, Boundaryless Information Flow™, Cybersecurity, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Healthcare, Internet of Things, Interoperability, Open CA, Open Platform 3.0, Security, Security Architecture, The Open Group Baltimore 2015, TOGAF®

A Tale of Two IT Departments, or How Governance is Essential in the Hybrid Cloud and Bimodal IT Era

Transcript of an Open Group discussion/podcast on the role of Cloud Governance and Enterprise Architecture and how they work together in the era of increasingly fragmented IT.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Get the mobile app for iOS or Android. Sponsor: The Open Group

Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to a special Thought Leadership Panel Discussion, coming to you in conjunction with The Open Group’s upcoming conference on July 20, 2015 in Baltimore.

I’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and I’ll be your host and moderator as we examine the role that Cloud Governance and Enterprise Architecture play in an era of increasingly fragmented IT.

Not only are IT organizations dealing with so-called shadow IT and myriad proof-of-concept affairs, there is now a strong rationale for fostering what Gartner calls Bimodal IT. There’s a strong case to be made for exploiting the strengths of several different flavors of IT, except that — at the same time — businesses are asking IT in total to be faster, better, and cheaper.

The topic before us today is how to allow for the benefits of Bimodal IT or even Multimodal IT, but without IT fragmentation leading to a fractured and even broken business.

Here to update us on the work of The Open Group Cloud Governance initiatives and working groups and to further explore the ways that companies can better manage and thrive with hybrid IT are our guests. We’re here today with Dr. Chris Harding, Director for Interoperability and Cloud Computing Forum Director at The Open Group. Welcome, Chris.

Dr. Chris Harding: Thank you, Dana. It’s great to be here.

Gardner: We’re also here with David Janson, Executive IT Architect and Business Solutions Professional with the IBM Industry Solutions Team for Central and Eastern Europe and a leading contributor to The Open Group Cloud Governance Project. Welcome, David.

David Janson: Thank you. Glad to be here.

Gardner: Lastly, we here with Nadhan, HP Distinguished Technologist and Cloud Advisor and Co-Chairman of The Open Group Cloud Governance Project. Welcome, Nadhan.

Nadhan: Thank you, Dana. It’s a pleasure to be here.

IT trends

Gardner: Before we get into an update on The Open Group Cloud Governance Initiatives, in many ways over the past decades IT has always been somewhat fragmented. Very few companies have been able to keep all their IT oars rowing in the same direction, if you will. But today things seem to be changing so rapidly that we seem to acknowledge that some degree of disparate IT methods are necessary. We might even think of old IT and new IT, and this may even be desirable.

But what are the trends that are driving this need for a Multimodal IT? What’s accelerating the need for different types of IT, and how can we think about retaining a common governance, and even a frameworks-driven enterprise architecture umbrella, over these IT elements?

Nadhan: Basically, the change that we’re going through is really driven by the business. Business today has much more rapid access to the services that IT has traditionally provided. Business has a need to react to its own customers in a much more agile manner than they were traditionally used to.

We now have to react to demands where we’re talking days and weeks instead of months and years. Businesses today have a choice. Business units are no longer dependent on the traditional IT to avail themselves of the services provided. Instead, they can go out and use the services that are available external to the enterprise.

To a great extent, the advent of social media has also resulted in direct customer feedback on the sentiment from the external customer that businesses need to react to. That is actually changing the timelines. It is requiring IT to be delivered at the pace of business. And the very definition of IT is undergoing a change, where we need to have the right paradigm, the right technology, and the right solution for the right business function and therefore the right application.

Since the choices have increased with the new style of IT, the manner in which you pair them up, the solutions with the problems, also has significantly changed. With more choices, come more such pairs on which solution is right for which problem. That’s really what has caused the change that we’re going through.

A change of this magnitude requires governance that goes across building up on the traditional governance that was always in play, requiring elements like cloud to have governance that is more specific to solutions that are in the cloud across the whole lifecycle of cloud solutions deployment.

Gardner: David, do you agree that this seems to be a natural evolution, based on business requirements, that we basically spin out different types of IT within the same organization to address some of these issues around agility? Or is this perhaps a bad thing, something that’s unnatural and should be avoided?

Janson: In many ways, this follows a repeating pattern we’ve seen with other kinds of transformations in business and IT. Not to diminish the specifics about what we’re looking at today, but I think there are some repeating patterns here.

There are new disruptive events that compete with the status quo. Those things that have been optimized, proven, and settled into sort of a consistent groove can compete with each other. Excitement about the new value that can be produced by new approaches generates momentum, and so far this actually sounds like a healthy state of vitality.

Good governance

However, one of the challenges is that the excitement potentially can lead to overlooking other important factors, and that’s where I think good governance practices can help.

For example, governance helps remind people about important durable principles that should be guiding their decisions, important considerations that we don’t want to forget or under-appreciate as we roll through stages of change and transformation.

At the same time, governance practices need to evolve so that it can adapt to new things that fit into the governance framework. What are those things and how do we govern those? So governance needs to evolve at the same time.

There is a pattern here with some specific things that are new today, but there is a repeating pattern as well, something we can learn from.

Gardner: Chris Harding, is there a built-in capability with cloud governance that anticipates some of these issues around different styles or flavors or even velocity of IT innovation that can then allow for that innovation and experimentation, but then keep it all under the same umbrella with a common management and visibility?

Harding: There are a number of forces at play here, and there are three separate trends that we’ve seen, or at least that I have observed, in discussions with members within The Open Group that relate to this.

The first is one that Nadhan mentioned, the possibility of outsourcing IT. I remember a member’s meeting a few years ago, when one of our members who worked for a company that was starting a cloud brokerage activity happened to mention that two major clients were going to do away with their IT departments completely and just go for cloud brokerage. You could see the jaws drop around the table, particularly with the representatives who were from company corporate IT departments.

Of course, cloud brokers haven’t taken over from corporate IT, but there has been that trend towards things moving out of the enterprise to bring in IT services from elsewhere.

That’s all very well to do that, but from a governance perspective, you may have an easy life if you outsource all of your IT to a broker somewhere, but if you fail to comply with regulations, the broker won’t go to jail; you will go to jail.

So you need to make sure that you retain control at the governance level over what is happening from the point of view of compliance. You probably also want to make sure that your architecture principles are followed and retain governance control to enable that to happen. That’s the first trend and the governance implication of it.

In response to that, a second trend that we see is that IT departments have reacted often by becoming quite like brokers themselves — providing services, maybe providing hybrid cloud services or private cloud services within the enterprise, or maybe sourcing cloud services from outside. So that’s a way that IT has moved in the past and maybe still is moving.

Third trend

The third trend that we’re seeing in some cases is that multi-discipline teams within line of business divisions, including both business people and technical people, address the business problems. This is the way that some companies are addressing the need to be on top of the technology in order to innovate at a business level. That is an interesting and, I think, a very healthy development.

So maybe, yes, we are seeing a bimodal splitting in IT between the traditional IT and the more flexible and agile IT, but maybe you could say that that second part belongs really in the line of business departments, rather than in the IT departments. That’s at least how I see it.

Nadhan: I’d like to build on a point that David made earlier about repeating patterns. I can relate to that very well within The Open Group, speaking about the Cloud Governance Project. Truth be told, as we continue to evolve the content in cloud governance, some of the seeding content actually came from the SOA Governance Project that The Open Group worked on a few years back. So the point David made about the repeating patterns resonates very well with that particular case in mind.

Gardner: So we’ve been through this before. When there is change and disruption, sometimes it’s required for a new version of methodologies and best practices to emerge, perhaps even associated with specific technologies. Then, over time, we see that folded back in to IT in general, or maybe it’s pushed back out into the business, as Chris alluded to.

My question, though, is how we make sure that these don’t become disruptive and negative influences over time. Maybe governance and enterprise architecture principles can prevent that. So is there something about the cloud governance, which I think really anticipates a hybrid model, particularly a cloud hybrid model, that would be germane and appropriate for a hybrid IT environment?

David Janson, is there a cloud governance benefit in managing hybrid IT?

Janson: There most definitely is. I tend to think that hybrid IT is probably where we’re headed. I don’t think this is avoidable. My editorial comment upon that is that’s an unavoidable direction we’re going in. Part of the reason I say that is I think there’s a repeating pattern here of new approaches, new ways of doing things, coming into the picture.

And then some balancing acts goes on, where people look at more traditional ways versus the new approaches people are talking about, and eventually they look at the strengths and weaknesses of both.

There’s going to be some disruption, but that’s not necessarily bad. That’s how we drive change and transformation. What we’re really talking about is making sure the amount of disruption is not so counterproductive that it actually moves things backward instead of forward.

I don’t mind a little bit of disruption. The governance processes that we’re talking about, good governance practices, have an overall life cycle that things move through. If there is a way to apply governance, as you work through that life cycle, at each point, you’re looking at the particular decision points and actions that are going to happen, and make sure that those decisions and actions are well-informed.

We sometimes say that governance helps us do the right things right. So governance helps people know what the right things are, and then the right way to do those things..

Bimodal IT

Also, we can measure how well people are actually adapting to those “right things” to do. What’s “right” can vary over time, because we have disruptive change. Things like we are talking about with Bimodal IT is one example.

Within a narrower time frame in the process lifecycle,, there are points that evolve across that time frame that have particular decisions and actions. Governance makes sure that people are well informed as they’re rolling through that about important things they shouldn’t forget. It’s very easy to forget key things and optimize for only one factor, and governance helps people remember that.

Also, just check to see whether we’re getting the benefits that people expected out of it. Coming back around and looking afterward to see if we accomplish what we thought we would or did we get off in the wrong direction. So it’s a bit like a steering mechanism or a feedback mechanism, in it that helps keep the car on the road, rather than going off in the soft shoulder. Did we overlook something important? Governance is key to making this all successful.

Gardner: Let’s return to The Open Group’s upcoming conference on July 20 in Baltimore and also learn a bit more about what the Cloud Governance Project has been up to. I think that will help us better understand how cloud governance relates to these hybrid IT issues that we’ve been discussing.

Nadhan, you are the co-chairman of the Cloud Governance Project. Tell us about what to expect in Baltimore with the concepts of Boundaryless Information Flow™, and then also perhaps an update on what the Cloud Governance Project has been up to.

Nadhan: Absolutely, Dana. When the Cloud Governance Project started, the first question we challenged ourselves with was, what is it and why do we need it, especially given that SOA governance, architecture governance, IT governance, enterprise governance, in general are all out there with frameworks? We actually detailed out the landscape with different standards and then identified the niche or the domain that cloud governance addresses.

After that, we went through and identified the top five principles that matter for cloud governance to be done right. Some of the obvious ones being that cloud is a business decision, and the governance exercise should keep in mind whether it is the right business decision to go to the cloud rather than just jumping on the bandwagon. Those are just some examples of the foundational principles that drive how cloud governance must be established and exercised.

Subsequent to that, we have a lifecycle for cloud governance defined and then we have gone through the process of detailing it out by identifying and decoupling the governance process and the process that is actually governed.

So there is this concept of process pairs that we have going, where we’ve identified key processes, key process pairs, whether it be the planning, the architecture, reusing cloud service, subscribing to it, unsubscribing, retiring, and so on. These are some of the defining milestones in the life cycle.

We’ve actually put together a template for identifying and detailing these process pairs, and the template has an outline of the process that is being governed, the key phases that the governance goes through, the desirable business outcomes that we would expect because of the cloud governance, as well as the associated metrics and the key roles.

Real-life solution

The Cloud Governance Framework is actually detailing each one. Where we are right now is looking at a real-life solution. The hypothetical could be an actual business scenario, but the idea is to help the reader digest the concepts outlined in the context of a scenario where such governance is exercised. That’s where we are on the Cloud Governance Project.

Let me take the opportunity to invite everyone to be part of the project to continue it by subscribing to the right mailing list for cloud governance within The Open Group.

Gardner: Thank you. Chris Harding, just for the benefit of our readers and listeners who might not be that familiar with The Open Group, perhaps you could give us a very quick overview of The Open Group — its mission, its charter, what we could expect at the Baltimore conference, and why people should get involved, either directly by attending, or following it on social media or the other avenues that The Open Group provides on its website?

Harding: Thank you, Dana. The Open Group is a vendor-neutral consortium whose vision is Boundaryless Information Flow. That is to say the idea that information should be available to people within an enterprise, or indeed within an ecosystem of enterprises, as and when needed, not locked away into silos.

We hold main conferences, quarterly conferences, four times a year and also regional conferences in various parts of the world in between those, and we discuss a variety of topics.

In fact, the main topics for the conference that we will be holding in July in Baltimore are enterprise architecture and risk and security. Architecture and security are two of the key things for which The Open Group is known, Enterprise Architecture, particularly with its TOGAF® Framework, is perhaps what The Open Group is best known for.

We’ve been active in a number of other areas, and risk and security is one. We also have started a new vertical activity on healthcare, and there will be a track on that at the Baltimore conference.

There will be tracks on other topics too, including four sessions on Open Platform 3.0™. Open Platform 3.0 is The Open Group initiative to address how enterprises can gain value from new technologies, including cloud computing, social computing, mobile computing, big data analysis, and the Internet of Things.

We’ll have a number of presentations related to that. These will include, in fact, a perspective on cloud governance, although that will not necessarily reflect what is happening in the Cloud Governance Project. Until an Open Group standard is published, there is no official Open Group position on the topic, and members will present their views at conferences. So we’re including a presentation on that.

Lifecycle governance

There is also a presentation on another interesting governance topic, which is on Information Lifecycle Governance. We have a panel session on the business context for Open Platform 3.0 and a number of other presentations on particular topics, for example, relating to the new technologies that Open Platform 3.0 will help enterprises to use.

There’s always a lot going on at Open Group conferences, and that’s a brief flavor of what will happen at this one.

Gardner: Thank you. And I’d just add that there is more available at The Open Group website, opengroup.org.

Going to one thing you mentioned about a standard and publishing that standard — and I’ll throw this out to any of our guests today — is there a roadmap that we could look to in order to anticipate the next steps or milestones in the Cloud Governance Project? When would such a standard emerge and when might we expect it?

Nadhan: As I said earlier, the next step is to identify the business scenario and apply it. I’m expecting, with the right level of participation, that it will take another quarter, after which it would go through the internal review with The Open Group and the company reviews for the publication of the standard. Assuming we have that in another quarter, Chris, could you please weigh in on what it usually takes, on average, for those reviews before it gets published.

Harding: You could add on another quarter. It shouldn’t actually take that long, but we do have a thorough review process. All members of The Open Group are invited to participate. The document is posted for comment for, I would think, four weeks, after which we review the comments and decide what actually needs to be taken.

Certainly, it could take only two months to complete the overall publication of the standard from the draft being completed, but it’s safer to say about a quarter.

Gardner: So a real important working document could be available in the second half of 2015. Let’s now go back to why a cloud governance document and approach is important when we consider the implications of Bimodal or Multimodal IT.

One of things that Gartner says is that Bimodal IT projects require new project management styles. They didn’t say project management products. They didn’t say, downloads or services from a cloud provider. We’re talking about styles.

So it seems to me that, in order to prevent the good aspects of Bimodal IT to be overridden by negative impacts of chaos and the lack of coordination that we’re talking about, not about a product or a download, we’re talking about something that a working group and a standards approach like the Cloud Governance Project can accommodate.

David, why is it that you can’t buy this in a box or download it as a product? What is it that we need to look at in terms of governance across Bimodal IT and why is that appropriate for a style? Maybe the IT people need to think differently about accomplishing this through technology alone?

First question

Janson: When I think of anything like a tool or a piece of software, the first question I tend to have is what is that helping me do, because the tool itself generally is not the be-all and end-all of this. What process is this going to help me carry out?

So, before I would think about tools, I want to step back and think about what are the changes to project-related processes that new approaches require. Then secondly, think about how can tools help me speed up, automate, or make those a little bit more reliable?

It’s an easy thing to think about a tool that may have some process-related aspects embedded in it as sort of some kind of a magic wand that’s going to automatically make everything work well, but it’s the processes that the tool could enable that are really the important decision. Then, the tools simply help to carry that out more effectively, more reliably, and more consistently.

We’ve always seen an evolution about the processes we use in developing solutions, as well as tools. Technology requires tools to adapt. As to the processes we use, as they get more agile, we want to be more incremental, and see rapid turnarounds in how we’re developing things. Tools need to evolve with that.

But I’d really start out from a governance standpoint, thinking about challenging the idea that if we’re going to make a change, how do we know that it’s really an appropriate one and asking some questions about how we differentiate this change from just reinventing the wheel. Is this an innovation that really makes a difference and isn’t just change for the sake of change?

Governance helps people challenge their thinking and make sure that it’s actually a worthwhile step to take to make those adaptations in project-related processes.

Once you’ve settled on some decisions about evolving those processes, then we’ll start looking for tools that help you automate, accelerate, and make consistent and more reliable what those processes are.

I tend to start with the process and think of the technology second, rather than the other way around. Where governance can help to remind people of principles we want to think about. Are you putting the cart before the horse? It helps people challenge their thinking a little bit to be sure they’re really going in the right direction.

Gardner: Of course, a lot of what you just mentioned pertains to enterprise architecture generally as well.

Nadhan, when we think about Bimodal or Multimodal IT, this to me is going to be very variable from company to company, given their legacy, given their existing style, the rate of adoption of cloud or other software as a service (SaaS), agile, or DevOps types of methods. So this isn’t something that’s going to be a cookie-cutter. It really needs to be looked at company by company and timeline by timeline.

Is this a vehicle for professional services, for management consulting more than IT and product? What is n the relationship between cloud governance, Bimodal IT, and professional services?

Delineating systems

Nadhan: It’s a great question Dana. Let me characterize Bimodal IT slightly differently, before answering the question. Another way to look at Bimodal IT, where we are today, is delineating systems of record and systems of engagement.

In traditional IT, typically, we’re looking at the systems of record, and systems of engagement with the social media and so on are in the live interaction. Those define the continuously evolving, growing-by-the-second systems of engagement, which results in the need for big data, security, and definitely the cloud and so on.

The coexistence of both of these paradigms requires the right move to the cloud for the right reason. So even though they are the systems of record, some, if not most, do need to get transformed to the cloud, but that doesn’t mean all systems of engagement eventually get transformed to the cloud.

There are good reasons why you may actually want to leave certain systems of engagement the way they are. The art really is in combining the historical data that the systems of record have with the continual influx of data that we get through the live channels of social media, and then, using the right level of predictive analytics to get information.

I said a lot in there just to characterize the Bimodal IT slightly differently, making the point that what really is at play, Dana, is a new style of thinking. It’s a new style of addressing the problems that have been around for a while.

But a new way to address the same problems, new solutions, a new way of coming up with the solution models would address the business problems at hand. That requires an external perspective. That requires service providers, consulting professionals, who have worked with multiple customers, perhaps other customers in the same industry, and other industries with a healthy dose of innovation.

That’s where this is a new opportunity for professional services to work with the CxOs, the enterprise architects, the CIOs to exercise the right business decision with the rights level of governance.

Because of the challenges with the coexistence of both systems of record and systems of engagement and harvesting the right information to make the right business decision, there is a significant opportunity for consulting services to be provided to enterprises today.

Drilling down

Gardner: Before we close off I wanted to just drill down on one thing, Nadhan, that you brought up, which is that ability to measure and know and then analyze and compare.

One of the things that we’ve seen with IT developing over the past several years as well is that the big data capabilities have been applied to all the information coming out of IT systems so that we can develop a steady state and understand those systems of record, how they are performing, and compare and contrast in ways that we couldn’t have before.

So on our last topic for today, David Janson, how important is it for that measuring capability in a governance context, and for organizations that want to pursue Bimodal IT, but keep it governed and keep it from spinning out of control? What should they be thinking about putting in place, the proper big data and analytics and measurement and visibility apparatus and capabilities?

Janson: That’s a really good question. One aspect of this is that, when I talk with people about the ideas around governance, it’s not unusual that the first idea that people have about what governance is is about the compliance or the policing aspect that governance can play. That sounds like that’s interference, sand in the gears, but it really should be the other way around.

A governance framework should actually make it very clear how people should be doing things, what’s expected as the result at the end, and how things are checked and measured across time at early stages and later stages, so that people are very clear about how things are carried out and what they are expected to do. So, if someone does use a governance-compliance process to see if things are working right, there is no surprise, there is no slowdown. They actually know how to quickly move through that.

Good governance has communicated that well enough, so that people should actually move faster rather than slower. In other words, there should be no surprises.

Measuring things is very important, because if you haven’t established the objectives that you’re after and some metrics to help you determine whether you’re meeting those, then it’s kind of an empty suit, so to speak, with governance. You express some ideas that you want to achieve, but you have no way of knowing or answering the question of how we know if this is doing what we want to do. Metrics are very important around this.

We capture metrics within processes. Then, for the end result, is it actually producing the effects people want? That’s pretty important.

One of the things that we have built into the Cloud Governance Framework is some idea about what are the outcomes and the metrics that each of these process pairs should have in mind. It helps to answer the question, how do we know? How do we know if something is doing what we expect? That’s very, very essential.

Gardner: I am afraid we’ll have to leave it there. We’ve been examining the role of cloud governance and enterprise architecture and how they work together in the era of increasingly fragmented IT. And we’ve seen how The Open Group Cloud Governance Initiatives and Working Groups can help allow for the benefits of Bimodal IT, but without necessarily IT fragmentation leading to a fractured or broken business process around technology and innovation.

This special Thought Leadership Panel Discussion comes to you in conjunction with The Open Group’s upcoming conference on July 20, 2015 in Baltimore. And it’s not too late to register on The Open Group’s website or to follow the proceedings online and via social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

So, thank you to our guests today. We’ve been joined by Dr. Chris Harding, Director for Interoperability and Cloud Computing Forum Director at The Open Group; David Janson, Executive IT Architect and Business Solutions Professional with the IBM Industry Solutions Team for Central and Eastern Europe and a leading contributor to The Open Group Cloud Governance Project, and Nadhan, HP Distinguished Technologist and Cloud Advisor and Co-Chairman of The Open Group Cloud Governance Project.

And a big thank you, too, to our audience for joining this special Open Group-sponsored discussion. This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host and moderator for this thought leadership panel discussion series. Thanks again for listening, and do come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Get the mobile app for iOS or Android.

Sponsor: The Open Group

Transcript of an Open Group discussion/podcast on the role of Cloud Governance and Enterprise Architecture and how they work together in the era of increasingly fragmented IT. Copyright The Open Group and Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2015. All rights reserved.

Join the conversation! @theopengroup #ogchat #ogBWI

You may also be interested in:

Comments Off on A Tale of Two IT Departments, or How Governance is Essential in the Hybrid Cloud and Bimodal IT Era

Filed under Accreditations, Boundaryless Information Flow™, Cloud, Cloud Governance, Interoperability, IoT, The Open Group Baltimore 2015

A World Without IT4IT: Why It’s Time to Run IT Like a Business

By Dave Lounsbury, CTO, The Open Group

IT departments today are under enormous pressure. In the digital world, businesses have become dependent on IT to help them remain competitive. However, traditional IT departments have their roots in skills such as development or operations and have not been set up to handle a business and technology environment that is trying to rapidly adapt to a constantly changing marketplace. As a result, many IT departments today may be headed for a crisis.

At one time, IT departments led technology adoption in support of business. Once a new technology was created—departmental servers, for instance—it took a relatively long time before businesses took advantage of it and even longer before they became dependent on the technology. But once a business did adopt the technology, it became subject to business rules—expectations and parameters for reliability, maintenance and upgrades that kept the technology up to date and allowed the business it supported to keep up with the market.

As IT became more entrenched in organizations throughout the 1980s and 1990s, IT systems increased in size and scope as technology companies fought to keep pace with market forces. In large enterprises, in particular, IT’s function became to maintain large infrastructures, requiring small armies of IT workers to sustain them.

A number of forces have combined to change all that. Today, most businesses do their business operations digitally—what Constellation Research analyst Andy Mulholland calls “Front Office Digital Business.” Technology-as-a-service models have changed how the technologies and applications are delivered and supported, with support and upgrades coming from outsourced vendors, not in-house staff. With Cloud models, an IT department may not even be necessary. Entrepreneurs can spin up a company with a swipe of a credit card and have all the technology they need at their fingertips, hosted remotely in the Cloud.

The Gulf between IT and Business

Although the gap between IT and business is closing, the gulf in how IT is run still remains. In structure, most IT departments today remain close to their technology roots. This is, in part, because IT departments are still run by technologists and engineers whose primary skills lie in the challenge (and excitement) of creating new technologies. Not every skilled engineer makes a good businessperson, but in most organizations, people who are good at their jobs often get promoted into management whether or not they are ready to manage. The Peter Principle is a problem that hinders many organizations, not just IT departments.

What has happened is that IT departments have not traditionally been run as if they were a business. Good business models for how IT should be run have been piecemeal or slow to develop—despite IT’s role in how the rest of the business is run. Although some standards have been developed as guides for how different parts of IT should be run (COBIT for governance, ITIL for service management, TOGAF®, an Open Group standard, for architecture), no overarching standard has been developed that encompasses how to holistically manage all of IT, from systems administration to development to management through governance and, of course, staffing. For all its advances, IT has yet to become a well-oiled business machine.

The business—and technological—climate today is not the same as it was when companies took three years to do a software upgrade. Everything in today’s climate happens nearly instantaneously. “Convergence” technologies like Cloud Computing, Big Data, social media, mobile and the Internet of Things are changing the nature of IT. New technical skills and methodologies are emerging every day, as well. Although languages such as Java or C may remain the top programming languages, new languages like Pig or Hive are emerging everyday, as are new approaches to development, such as Scrum, Agile or DevOps.

The Consequences of IT Business as Usual

With these various forces facing IT, departments will either need to change and adopt a model where IT is managed more effectively or departments may face some impending chaos that ends up hindering their organizations.

Without an effective management model for IT, companies won’t be able to mobilize quickly for a digital age. Even something as simple as an inability to utilize data could result in problems such as investing in a product prototype that customers aren’t interested in. Those are mistakes most companies can’t afford to make these days.

Having an umbrella view of what all of IT does also allows the department to make better decisions. With technology and development trends changing so quickly, how do you know what will fit your organization’s business goals? You want to take advantage of the trends or technologies that make sense for the company and leave behind those that don’t.

For example, in DevOps, one of the core concepts is to bring the development phase into closer alignment with releasing and operating the software. You need to know your business’s operating model to determine whether this approach will actually work or not. Having a sense of that also allows IT to make decisions about whether it’s wise to invest in training or hiring staff skilled in those methods or buying new technologies that will allow you to adopt the model.

Not having that management view can leave companies subject to the whims of technological evolution and also to current IT fads. If you don’t know what’s valuable to your business, you run the risk of chasing every new fad that comes along. There’s nothing worse—as the IT guy—than being the person who comes to the management meeting each month saying you’re trying yet another new approach to solve a problem that never seems to get solved. Business people won’t respond to that and will wonder if you know what you’re doing. IT needs to be decisive and choose wisely.

These issues not only affect the IT department but to trickle up to business operations. Ineffective IT shops will not know when to invest in the correct technologies, and they may miss out on working with new technologies that could benefit the business. Without a framework to plan how technology fits into the business, you could end up in the position of having great IT bows and arrows but when you walk out into the competitive world, you get machine-gunned.

The other side is cost and efficiency—if the entire IT shop isn’t running smoothly throughout then you end up spending too much money on problems, which in turn takes money away from other parts of the business that can keep the organization competitive. Failing to manage IT can lead to competitive loss across numerous areas within a business.

A New Business Model

To help prevent the consequences that may result if IT isn’t run more like a business, industry leaders such as Accenture; Achmea; AT&T; HP IT; ING Bank; Munich RE; PwC; Royal Dutch Shell; and University of South Florida, recently formed a consortium to address how to better run the business of IT. With billions of dollars invested in IT each year, these companies realized their investments must be made wisely and show governable results in order succeed.

The result of their efforts is The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum, which released a Snapshot of its proposed Reference Architecture for running IT more like a business this past November. The Reference Architecture is meant to serve as an operating model for IT, providing the “missing link” that previous IT-function specific models have failed to address. The model allows IT to achieve the same level of business, discipline, predictability and efficiency as other business functions.

The Snapshot includes a four-phase Value Chain for IT that provides both an operating model for an IT business and outlines how value can be added at every stage of the IT process. In addition to providing suggested best practices for delivery, the Snapshot includes technical models for the IT tools that organizations can use, whether for systems monitoring, release monitoring or IT point solutions. Providing guidance around IT tools will allow these tools to become more interoperable so that they can exchange information at the right place at the right time. In addition, it will allow for better control of information flow between various parts of the business through the IT shop, thus saving IT departments the time and hassle of aggregating tools or cobbling together their own tools and solutions. Staffing guidance models are also included in the Reference Architecture.

Why IT4IT now? Digitalization cannot be held back, particularly in an era of Cloud, Big Data and an impending Internet of Things. An IT4IT Reference Architecture provides more than just best practices for IT—it puts IT in the context of a business model that allows IT to be a contributing part of an enterprise, providing a roadmap for digital businesses to compete and thrive for years to come.

Join the conversation! @theopengroup #ogchat

By The Open GroupDavid 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, David 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.

David holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and is holder of three U.S. patents.


Filed under Cloud, digital technologies, Enterprise Transformation, Internet of Things, IT, IT4IT, TOGAF, TOGAF®

Open FAIR Certification for People Program

By Jim Hietala, VP Security, and Andrew Josey, Director of Standards, The Open Group

In this, the final installment of this Open FAIR blog series, we will look at the Open FAIR Certification for People program.

In early 2012, The Open Group Security Forum began exploring the idea of creating a certification program for Risk Analysts. Discussions with large enterprises regarding their risk analysis programs led us to the conclusion that there was a need for a professional certification program for Risk Analysts. In addition, Risk Analyst professionals and Open FAIR practitioners expressed interest in a certification program. Security and risk training organizations also expressed interest in providing training courses based upon the Open FAIR standards and Body of Knowledge.

The Open FAIR People Certification Program was designed to meet the requirements of employers and risk professionals. The certification program is a knowledge-based certification, testing candidates knowledge of the two standards, O-RA, and O-RT. Candidates are free to acquire their knowledge through self-study, or to take a course from an accredited training organization. The program currently has a single level (Foundation), with a more advanced certification level (Certified) planned for 2015.

Several resources are available from The Open Group to assist Risk Analysts preparing to sit for the exam, including the following:

  • Open FAIR Pocket Guide
  • Open FAIR Study Guide
  • Risk Taxonomy (O-RT), Version 2.0 (C13K, October 2013) defines a taxonomy for the factors that drive information security risk – Factor Analysis of Information Risk (FAIR).
  • Risk Analysis (O-RA) (C13G, October 2013) describes process aspects associated with performing effective risk analysis.

All of these can be downloaded from The Open Group publications catalog at http://www.opengroup.org/bookstore/catalog.

For training organizations, The Open Group accredits organizations wishing to offer training courses on Open FAIR. Testing of candidates is offered through Prometric test centers worldwide.

For more information on Open FAIR certification or accreditation, please contact us at: openfair-cert-auth@opengroup.org

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


By Andrew JoseyAndrew Josey is Director of Standards within The Open Group. He is currently managing the standards process for The Open Group, and has recently led the standards development projects for TOGAF® 9.1, ArchiMate® 2.0, IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (POSIX), and the core specifications of the Single UNIX® Specification, Version 4. Previously, he has led the development and operation of many of The Open Group certification development projects, including industry-wide certification programs for the UNIX system, the Linux Standard Base, TOGAF, and IEEE POSIX. He is a member of the IEEE, USENIX, UKUUG, and the Association of Enterprise Architects.




Comments Off on Open FAIR Certification for People Program

Filed under Accreditations, Certifications, Cybersecurity, Enterprise Architecture, Information security, Open FAIR Certification, Professional Development, RISK Management, Security, Uncategorized

The Business of Managing IT: The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum

By The Open Group

At The Open Group London 2014 event in October, the launch of The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum was announced. The goal of the new Forum is to create a Reference Architecture and standard that will allow IT departments to take a more holistic approach to managing the business of IT with continuous insight and control, enabling Boundaryless Information Flow™ across the IT Value Chain.

We recently spoke to Forum member Charlie Betz, Founder, Digital Management Academy, LLC, about the new Forum, its origins and why it’s time for IT to be managed as if it were a business in itself.

As IT has become more central to organizations, its role has changed drastically from the days when companies had one large mainframe or just a few PCs. For many organizations today, particularly large enterprises, IT is becoming a business within the business.

The problem with most IT departments, though, is that IT has never really been run as if it was a business.

In order for IT to better cope with rapid technological change and become more efficient at transitioning to the service-based model that most businesses today require, IT departments need guidance as to how the business of IT can be run. What’s at stake are things such as how to better manage IT at scale, how to understand IT as a value chain in its own right and how organizations can get better visibility into the vast amount of economic activity that’s currently characterized in organizations through technology.

The Open Group’s latest Forum aims to do just that.

The Case for IT Management

In the age of digital transformation, IT has become an integral part of how business is done. So says Charlie Betz, one of the founding members of the IT4IT Forum. From the software in your car to the supply chain that brings you your bananas, IT has become an irreplaceable component of how things work.

Quoting industry luminary Marc Andreessen, Betz says “software is eating the world.” Similarly, Betz says, IT management is actually beginning to eat management, too. Although this might seem laughable, we have become increasingly dependent on computing systems in our everyday lives. With that dependence comes significant concerns about the complexity of those systems and the potential they carry for chaotic behaviors. Therefore, he says, as technology becomes pervasive, how IT is managed will increasingly dictate how businesses are managed.

“If IT is increasing in its proportion of all product management, and all markets are increasingly dependent on managing IT, then understanding pure IT management becomes critically important not just for IT but for all business management,” Betz says.

According to Betz, the conversation about running the business of IT has been going on in the industry for a number of years under the guise of ideas such as “enterprise resource planning for IT” and the like. Ultimately, though, Betz says managing IT comes down to determining what IT’s value chain is and how to deliver on it.

By The Open GroupBetz compares modern IT departments to atoms, cells and bits where atoms represent hardware, including servers, data centers and networks; cells represent people; and bits are represented by software. In this analogy, these three things comprise the fundamental resources that an IT department manages. When reduced to economic terms, Betz says, what is currently lacking in most IT departments is a sense of how much things are worth, what the total costs are for acquisition and maintenance for capabilities and the supply and demand dynamics for IT services.

For example, in traditional IT management, workloads are defined by projects, tickets and also a middle ground characterized by work that is smaller than a project and larger than a ticket, Betz says. Often IT departments lack an understanding of how the three relate to each other and how they affect resources—particularly in the form of people—which becomes problematic because there is no holistic view of what the department is doing. Without that aggregate view, management is not only difficult but nearly impossible.

Betz says that to get a grasp on the whole, IT needs to take a cue from the lean management movement and first understand where the work originates and what it’s nature is so activities and processes don’t continue to proliferate without being managed.

Betz believes part of the reason IT has not better managed itself to date is because the level of complexity within IT has grown so quickly. He likens it to the frog in the boiling water metaphor—if the heat is turned up incrementally, the frog doesn’t know what’s hit him until it’s too late.

“Back when you had one computer it just wasn’t a concern,” he said. “You had very few systems that you were automating. It’s not that way nowadays. You have thousands of them. The application portfolio in major enterprises—depending on how you count applications, which is not an easy question in and of itself—the range is between 5000-10,000 applications. One hundred thousand servers is not unheard of. These are massive numbers, and the complexity is unimaginable. The potential for emergent chaotic behavior is unprecedented in human technological development.”

Betz believes the reason there is a perception that IT is poorly managed is also because it’s at the cutting-edge of every management question in business today. And because no one has ever dealt with systems and issues this complex before, it’s difficult to get a handle on them. Which is why the time for creating a framework for how IT can be managed has come.


The IT4IT Forum grew out of a joint initiative that was originally undertaken by Royal Dutch Shell and HP. Begun as a high-level user group within HP, companies such as Accenture, Achmea, Munich RE and PwC have also been integral in pulling together the initial work that has been provided to The Open Group to create the Forum. As the group began to develop a framework, it was clear that what they were developing needed to become an open standard, Betz says, so the group turned to The Open Group.

“It was pretty clear that The Open Group was the best fit for this,” he says. “There was clearly recognition and understanding on the part of The Open Group senior staff that this was a huge opportunity. They were very positive about it from the get-go.”

Currently in development, the IT4IT standard will provide guidance and specifications for how IT departments can provide consistent end-to-end service across the IT Value Chain and lifecycle. The IT Value Chain is meant to provide a model for managing the IT services life cycle and for how those service can be brokered with enterprises. By providing the IT similar level functionality as other critical business functions (such as finance or HR), IT is enabled to achieve better levels of predictability and efficiency.

By The Open Group

Betz says developing a Reference Architecture for IT4IT will be helpful for IT departments because it will provide a tested model for departments to begin the process of better management. And having that model be created by a vendor-neutral consortium helps provide credibility for users because no one company is profiting from it.

“It’s the community telling itself a story of what it wants to be,” he said.

The Reference Architecture will not only include prescriptive methods for how to design, procure and implement the functionality necessary to better manage IT departments but will also include real-world use cases related to current industry trends such as Cloud-sourcing, Agile, Dev-Ops and service brokering. As an open standard, it will also be designed to work with existing industry standards that IT departments may already be using including ITIL®, CoBIT®, SAFe® and TOGAF®, an Open Group standard.

With almost 200 pages of material already developed toward a standard, Betz says the Forum released its initial Snapshot for the standard available in late November. From there the Forum will need to decide which sections should be included as normative parts for the standard. The hope is to have the first version of the IT4IT Reference Architecture standard available next summer, Betz says.

For more on The Open Group IT4IT Forum or to become a member, please visit http://www.opengroup.org/IT4IT.


Comments Off on The Business of Managing IT: The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum

Filed under architecture, IT, IT4IT, Standards, Uncategorized, Value Chain

The Open Group London 2014 – Day Two Highlights

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

Despite gusts of 70mph hitting the capital on Day Two of this year’s London event, attendees were not disheartened as October 21 kicked off with an introduction from The Open Group President and CEO Allen Brown. He provided a recap of The Open Group’s achievements over the last quarter including successful events in Bratislava, Slovakia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Allen also cited some impressive membership figures, with The Open Group now boasting 468 member organizations across 39 countries with the latest member coming from Nigeria.

Dave Lounsbury, VP and CTO at The Open Group then introduced the panel debate of the day on The Open Group Open Platform 3.0™ and Enterprise Architecture, with participants Ron Tolido, SVP and CTO, Applications Continental Europe, Capgemini; Andras Szakal, VP and CTO, IBM U.S. Federal IMT; and TJ Virdi, Senior Enterprise IT Architect, The Boeing Company.

After a discussion around the definition of Open Platform 3.0, the participants debated the potential impact of the Platform on Enterprise Architecture. Tolido noted that there has been an explosion of solutions, typically with a much shorter life cycle. While we’re not going to be able to solve every single problem with Open Platform 3.0, we can work towards that end goal by documenting its requirements and collecting suitable case studies.

Discussions then moved towards the theme of machine-to-machine (M2M) learning, a key part of the Open Platform 3.0 revolution. TJ Virdi cited figures from Gartner that by the year 2017, machines will soon be learning more than processing, an especially interesting notion when it comes to the manufacturing industry according to Szakal. There are three different areas whereby manufacturing is affected by M2M: New business opportunities, business optimization and operational optimization. With the products themselves now effectively becoming platforms and tools for communication, they become intelligent things and attract others in turn.

PanelRon Tolido, Andras Szakal, TJ Virdi, Dave Lounsbury

Henry Franken, CEO at BizzDesign, went on to lead the morning session on the Pitfalls of Strategic Alignment, announcing the results of an expansive survey into the development and implementation of a strategy. Key findings from the survey include:

  • SWOT Analysis and Business Cases are the most often used strategy techniques to support the strategy process – many others, including the Confrontation Matrix as an example, are now rarely used
  • Organizations continue to struggle with the strategy process, and most do not see strategy development and strategy implementation intertwined as a single strategy process
  • 64% indicated that stakeholders had conflicting priorities regarding reaching strategic goals which can make it very difficult for a strategy to gain momentum
  • The majority of respondents believed the main constraint to strategic alignment to be the unknown impact of the strategy on the employees, followed by the majority of the organization not understanding the strategy

The wide-ranging afternoon tracks kicked off with sessions on Risk, Enterprise in the Cloud and Archimate®, an Open Group standard. Key speakers included Ryan Jones at Blackthorn Technologies, Marc Walker at British Telecom, James Osborn, KPMG, Anitha Parameswaran, Unilever and Ryan Betts, VoltDB.

To take another look at the day’s plenary or track sessions, please visit The Open Group on livestream.com.

The day ended in style with an evening reception of Victorian architecture at the Victoria & Albert Museum, along with a private viewing of the newly opened John Constable exhibition.

IMG_3976Victoria & Albert Museum

A special mention must go to Terry Blevins who, after years of hard work and commitment to The Open Group, was made a Fellow at this year’s event. Many congratulations to Terry – and here’s to another successful day tomorrow.

Join the conversation! #ogchat #ogLON

Loren K. BaynesLoren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, joined The Open Group in 2013 and spearheads corporate marketing initiatives, primarily the website, blog and media relations. Loren has over 20 years experience in brand marketing and public relations and, prior to The Open Group, was with The Walt Disney Company for over 10 years. Loren holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University. She is based in the US.

Comments Off on The Open Group London 2014 – Day Two Highlights

Filed under ArchiMate®, Boundaryless Information Flow™, Business Architecture, Cloud, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Internet of Things, Open Platform 3.0, Professional Development, Uncategorized