Tag Archives: standards

The Open Group Reaches 500th Membership Milestone

By The Open Group

To reach the number 500 in anything is a significant achievement. In business, the top companies in the world vie to be part of the Fortune 500 or the S&P 500. In automobile racing, top annual competitions for racers—the Indy 500 and Daytona 500—require participants to drive 500 laps around a racetrack. Even American baseball has its own 500 Homerun Club, which includes legendary hitters such as Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron who achieved more than 500 homeruns in a lifetime.

We’re pleased to announce that The Open Group has also joined the ranks of those that can mark a milestone of 500. We welcome Universidad Continental to The Open Group, which has the distinction of being our 500th membership. Universidad Continental, in Peru, is the first university member of The Open Group in South America.

Although The Open Group was formed over 20 years ago, our organization has experienced significant uptick during the past few years. In a global economy where businesses have become ever-more dependent on technology, there is more need for technology standards today than ever before. With technologies such as Big Data, the Cloud and the Internet of Things, our mission of Boundaryless Information Flow™ to break down silos among and within organizations has never been more important. Companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of how open standards can help them transform their business and achieve their goals—this milestone and our recent help prove that.

Over these past 20 years, The Open Group has seen many other significant milestones—the 40th anniversary of the Single UNIX® specification, the rapid growth of certification programs such TOGAF® 9,, which has reached over 47,000 certifications worldwide, and the ArchiMate® Certification for People program, which has more than 2,500 individual certifications. (UNIX®, TOGAF® and ArchiMate® are standards of The Open Group.) But to reach our 500th membership of The Open Group as an organization is particularly memorable. It shows that our approach of developing consensus-driven requirements and policies and sharing best practices is resonating in a time where rapid change is the only norm when it comes to technology. And in times of uncertainty like these, open standards are one way that companies can gain stability while maintaining the flexibility and agility they need to keep moving forward and to advance with the industry.

As a consortia, The Open Group would be nothing without its members—the vendors, customers, systems and solutions suppliers, integrators, consultants, government, academia and researchers that span the entire IT community. The collaborative work the membership continues to do through the Forums and Work Groups to bring standards and certifications to both the global IT community and vertical industries is helping to shape the future of enterprise integration. As we continue to create standards that touch every part of the industry—from Enterprise Architecture to Security, IT management, Open Platform 3.0™, the supply chain, IT4IT™, Healthcare and embedded systems—we look forward to the continued support of our members and to future member milestones.


Filed under 500th membership, Boundaryless Information Flow™, Information Technology, Standards, The Open Group

Steve Nunn Takes Up the Reigns as New President and CEO of The Open Group

By The Open Group

The Open Group is delighted to announce that Steve Nunn has formally taken over as President and CEO following Allen Brown stepping down from that role at the end of October 2015.

After conducting a process to choose Allen Brown’s successor earlier this year, The Open Group Governing Board selected Steve for the role.  Steve has a distinguished career to date, previously the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of The Open Group and CEO of the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA).

Steve joined The Open Group in 1993, spending the majority of his time as COO and General Counsel.  Steve was also appointed CEO of the AEA from 2010 until 2015.  He is a lawyer by training and has an L.L.B. (Honors) in Law with French and retains a current legal practicing certificate.  Having spent most of his life in the UK, Steve has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2007.

Outside of work, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, walking, playing golf, 80s music, and is a lifelong West Ham United fan.

“It’s an amazing time at The Open Group.  Having recently attained over 500 memberships from organizations throughout the globe, The Open Group continues to move forward with tremendous momentum and opportunities to shape the standards that can help solve our members’ business problems.  I am honored to be helping to lead that process,” Steve Nunn commented.  “Allen has developed and grown the organization beyond all recognition in his time as CEO and I wish him the very best in his upcoming endeavors.”

Allen Brown, outgoing President and CEO of The Open Group added, “I ask that you join me in congratulating Steve Nunn as he steps into his new role as President and CEO.  Having worked with Steve closely for many years building a great organization, I know he has all the capabilities to lead The Open Group to further growth and achievements.”

By The Open GroupSteve Nunn and Allen Brown

Join the conversation @theopengroup


Filed under Allen Brown, Boundaryless Information Flow™, IT, President and CEO, Standards, Steve Nunn, The Open Group

IT4IT™ Reference Architecture Version 2.0, an Open Group Standard

By The Open Group

1 Title/Current Version

IT4IT™ Reference Architecture Version 2.0, an Open Group Standard

2 The Basics

The Open Group IT4IT Reference Architecture standard comprises a reference architecture and a value chain-based operating model for managing the business of IT.

The IT Value Chain

The IT Value Chain has four value streams supported by a reference architecture to drive efficiency and agility. The four value streams are:

  • Strategy to Portfolio
  • Request to Fulfill
  • Requirement to Deploy
  • Detect to Correct

Each IT Value Stream is centered on a key aspect of the service model, the essential data objects (information model), and functional components (functional model) that support it. Together, the four value streams play a vital role in helping IT control the service model as it advances through its lifecycle.

The IT4IT Reference Architecture

  • Provides prescriptive guidance on the specification of and interaction with a consistent service model backbone (common data model/context)
  • Supports real-world use-cases driven by the Digital Economy (e.g., Cloud-sourcing, Agile, DevOps, and service brokering)
  • Embraces and complements existing process frameworks and methodologies (e.g., ITIL®, CoBIT®, SAFe, and TOGAF®) by taking a data-focused implementation model perspective, essentially specifying an information model across the entire value chain

3 Summary

The IT4IT Reference Architecture standard consists of the value chain and a three-layer reference architecture. Level 1 is shown below.

By The Open GroupThe IT4IT Reference Architecture provides prescriptive, holistic guidance for the implementation of IT management capabilities for today’s digital enterprise. It is positioned as a peer to comparable reference architectures such as NRF/ARTS, TMF Framework (aka eTOM), ACORD, BIAN, and other such guidance.

Together, the four value streams play a vital role in helping IT control the service model as it advances through its lifecycle:

By The Open GroupThe Strategy to Portfolio (S2P) Value Stream:

  • Provides the strategy to balance and broker your portfolio
  • Provides a unified viewpoint across PMO, enterprise 
architecture, and service portfolio
  • Improves data quality for decision-making
  • Provides KPIs and roadmaps to improve business communication

The Requirement to Deploy (R2D) Value Stream:

  • Provides a framework for creating, modifying, or sourcing a service
  • Supports agile and traditional development methodologies
  • Enables visibility of the quality, utility, schedule, and cost of 
the services you deliver
  • Defines continuous integration and deployment control points

The Request to Fulfill (R2F) Value Stream:

  • Helps your IT organization transition to a service broker model
  • Presents a single catalog with items from multiple supplier 
  • Efficiently manages subscriptions and total cost of service
  • Manages and measures fulfillments across multiple suppliers

The Detect to Correct (D2C) Value Stream:

  • Brings together IT service operations to enhance results and efficiency
  • Enables end-to-end visibility using a shared configuration model
  • Identifies issues before they affect users
  • Reduces the mean time to repair

4 Target Audience

The target audience for the standard consists of:

  • IT executives
  • IT process analysts
  • Architects tasked with “business of IT” questions
  • Development and operations managers
  • Consultants and trainers active in the IT industry

5 Scope

The Open Group IT4IT standard is focused on defining, sourcing, consuming, and managing IT services by looking holistically at the entire IT Value Chain. While existing frameworks and standards have placed their main emphasis on process, this standard is process-agnostic, focused instead on the data needed to manage a service through its lifecycle. It then describes the functional components (software) that are required to produce and consume the data. Once integrated together, a system of record fabric for IT management is created that ensures full visibility and traceability of the service from cradle to grave.

IT4IT is neutral with respect to development and delivery models. It is intended to support Agile as well as waterfall approaches, and lean Kanban process approaches as well as fully elaborated IT service management process models.

The IT4IT Reference Architecture relates to TOGAF®, ArchiMate®, and ITIL® as shown below:

By The Open Group6 Relevant Website

For further details on the IT4IT Reference Architecture standard, visit www.opengroup.org/IT4IT.

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Mac OS X El Capitan Achieves UNIX® Certification

By The Open Group

The Open Group, an international vendor- and technology-neutral consortium, has announced that Apple, Inc. has achieved UNIX® certification for its latest operating system – Mac OS X version 10.11 known as “El Capitan.”

El Capitan was announced on September 29, 2015 following it being registered as conforming to The Open Group UNIX® 03 standard on the September 7, 2015.

The UNIX® trademark is owned and managed by The Open Group, with the trademark licensed exclusively to identify operating systems that have passed the tests identifying that they conform to The Single UNIX Specification, a standard of The Open Group. UNIX certified operating systems are trusted for mission critical applications because they are powerful and robust, they have a small footprint and are inherently more secure and more stable than the alternatives.

Mac OS X is the most widely used UNIX desktop operating system. Apple’s installed base is now over 80 million users. It’s commitment to the UNIX standard as a platform enables wide portability of applications between compliant and compatible operating systems.

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The Open Group ArchiMate® Model Exchange File Format and Archi 3.3

By Phil Beauvoir

Some of you might have noticed that Archi 3.3 has been released. This latest version of Archi includes a new plug-in which supports The Open Group ArchiMate Model Exchange File Format standard. This represents the fruits of some years and months’ labour! I’ve been collaborating with The Open Group, and representatives from associated parties and tool vendors, for some time now to produce a file format that can be used to exchange single ArchiMate models between conforming toolsets. Finally, version 1.0 of the standard has been released!

The file format uses XML, which is backed by a validating XSD Schema. Why is this? Wouldn’t XMI be better? Well, yes it would if we had a MOF representation of the ArchiMate standard. Currently, one doesn’t exist. Also, it’s very hard to agree exactly what should be formally represented in a persistence format, as against what can be usefully represented and exchanged using a persistence format. For example, ArchiMate symbols use colour to denote the different layers, and custom colour schemes can be employed to convey meaning. Clearly, this is not something that can be enforced in a specification. Probably the only things that can be enforced are the ArchiMate concepts and relations themselves. Views, viewpoints, and visual arrangements of those concepts and relations are, arguably, optional. A valid ArchiMate model could simply consist of a set of concepts and relations. However, this is probably not very useful in the real world, and so the exchange format seeks to provide a file format for describing and exchanging the most used aspects of ArchiMate models, optional aspects as well as mandatory aspects.

So, simply put, the aim of The Open Group ArchiMate Model Exchange File Format is to provide a pragmatic and useful mechanism for exchanging ArchiMate models and visual representations between compliant toolsets. It does not seek to create a definitive representation of an ArchiMate model. For that to happen, I believe many things would have to be formally declared in the ArchiMate specification. For this reason, many of the components in the exchange format are optional. For example, the ArchiMate 2.1 specification describes the use of attributes as a means to extend the language and provide additional properties to the concepts and relations. The specification does not rigidly mandate their use. However, many toolsets do support and encourage the use of attributes to create model profiles, for example. To support this, the exchange format provides a properties mechanism, consisting of typed key/value pairs. This allows implementers to (optionally) represent additional information for all of the concepts, relations and views.

Even though I have emphasised that the main use for the exchange format is exchange (the name is a bit of a giveaway here ;-)), another advantage of using XML/XSD for the file format is that it is possible to use XSLT to transform the XML ArchiMate model instances into HTML documents, reports, as input for a database, and so on. I would say that the potential for exploiting ArchiMate data in this way is huge.

The exchange format could also help with learning the ArchiMate language and Enterprise Architecture – imagine a repository of ArchiMate models (tagged with Dublin Core metadata to facilitate search and description) that could be used as a resource pool of model patterns and examples for those new to the language. One thing that I personally would like to see is an extensive pool of example models and model snippets as examples of good modelling practice. And using the exchange format, these models and snippets can be loaded into any supporting toolset.

Here are my five “winning features” for the ArchiMate exchange file format:

  • Transparent
  • Simple
  • Well understood format
  • Pragmatic
  • Open

I’m sure that The Open Group ArchiMate Model Exchange File Format will contribute to, and encourage the use of the ArchiMate modelling language, and perhaps reassure users that their valuable data is not locked into any one vendor’s proprietary tool format. I personally think that this is a great initiative and that we have achieved a great result. Of course, nothing is perfect and the exchange format is still at version 1.0, so user feedback is welcome. With greater uptake the format can be improved, and we may see it being exploited in ways that we have not yet thought of!

(For more information about the exchange format, see here.)

About The Open Group ArchiMate® Model Exchange File Format:

The Open Group ArchiMate® Model Exchange File Format Standard defines a file format that can be used to exchange data between systems that wish to import, and export ArchiMate models. ArchiMate Exchange Files enable exporting content from one ArchiMate modelling tool or repository and importing it into another while retaining information describing the model in the file and how it is structured, such as a list of model elements and relationships. The standard focuses on the packaging and transport of ArchiMate models.

The standard is available for free download from:


An online resource site is available at http://www.opengroup.org/xsd/archimate.

By Phil BeauvoirPhil Beauvoir has been developing, writing, and speaking about software tools and development for over 25 years. He was Senior Researcher and Developer at Bangor University, and, later, the Institute for Educational Cybernetics at Bolton University, both in the UK. During this time he co-developed a peer-to-peer learning management and groupware system, a suite of software tools for authoring and delivery of standards-compliant learning objects and meta-data, and tooling to create IMS Learning Design compliant units of learning.  In 2010, working with the Institute for Educational Cybernetics, Phil created the open source ArchiMate Modelling Tool, Archi. Since 2013 he has been curating the development of Archi independently. Phil holds a degree in Medieval English and Anglo-Saxon Literature.

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The Open Trusted Technology Provider™ Standard (O-TTPS) Approved as ISO/IEC International Standard

The Open Trusted Technology Provider™ Standard (O-TTPS), a Standard from The Open Group for Product Integrity and Supply Chain Security, Approved as ISO/IEC International Standard

Doing More to Secure IT Products and their Global Supply Chains

By Sally Long, The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum Director

As the Director of The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum, I am thrilled to share the news that The Open Trusted Technology Provider™ Standard – Mitigating Maliciously Tainted and Counterfeit Products (O-TTPS) v 1.1 is approved as an ISO/IEC International Standard (ISO/IEC 20243:2015).

It is one of the first standards aimed at assuring both the integrity of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) information and communication technology (ICT) products and the security of their supply chains.

The standard defines a set of best practices for COTS ICT providers to use to mitigate the risk of maliciously tainted and counterfeit components from being incorporated into each phase of a product’s lifecycle. This encompasses design, sourcing, build, fulfilment, distribution, sustainment, and disposal. The best practices apply to in-house development, outsourced development and manufacturing, and to global supply chains.

The ISO/IEC standard will be published in the coming weeks. In advance of the ISO/IEC 20243 publication, The Open Group edition of the standard, technically identical to the ISO/IEC approved edition, is freely available here.

The standardization effort is the result of a collaboration in The Open Group Trusted Technology Provider Forum (OTTF), between government, third party evaluators and some of industry’s most mature and respected providers who came together as members and, over a period of five years, shared and built on their practices for integrity and security, including those used in-house and those used with their own supply chains. From these, they created a set of best practices that were standardized through The Open Group consensus review process as the O-TTPS. That was then submitted to the ISO/IEC JTC1 process for Publicly Available Specifications (PAS), where it was recently approved.

The Open Group has also developed an O-TTPS Accreditation Program to recognize Open Trusted Technology Providers who conform to the standard and adhere to best practices across their entire enterprise, within a specific product line or business unit, or within an individual product. Accreditation is applicable to all ICT providers in the chain: OEMS, integrators, hardware and software component suppliers, value-add distributors, and resellers.

While The Open Group assumes the role of the Accreditation Authority over the entire program, it also uses third-party assessors to assess conformance to the O-TTPS requirements. The Accreditation Program and the Assessment Procedures are publicly available here. The Open Group is also considering submitting the O-TTPS Assessment Procedures to the ISO/IEC JTC1 PAS process.

This international approval comes none-too-soon, given the global threat landscape continues to change dramatically, and cyber attacks – which have long targeted governments and big business – are growing in sophistication and prominence. We saw this most clearly with the Sony hack late last year. Despite successes using more longstanding hacking methods, maliciously intentioned cyber criminals are looking at new ways to cause damage and are increasingly looking at the technology supply chain as a potentially profitable avenue. In such a transitional environment, it is worth reviewing again why IT products and their supply chains are so vulnerable and what can be done to secure them in the face of numerous challenges.

Risk lies in complexity

Information Technology supply chains depend upon complex and interrelated networks of component suppliers across a wide range of global partners. Suppliers deliver parts to OEMS, or component integrators who build products from them, and in turn offer products to customers directly or to system integrators who integrate them with products from multiple providers at a customer site. This complexity leaves ample opportunity for malicious components to enter the supply chain and leave vulnerabilities that can potentially be exploited.

As a result, organizations now need assurances that they are buying from trusted technology providers who follow best practices every step of the way. This means that they not only follow secure development and engineering practices in-house while developing their own software and hardware pieces, but also that they are following best practices to secure their supply chains. Modern cyber criminals go through strenuous efforts to identify any sort of vulnerability that can be exploited for malicious gain and the supply chain is no different.

Untracked malicious behavior and counterfeit components

Tainted products introduced into the supply chain pose significant risk to organizations because altered products introduce the possibility of untracked malicious behavior. A compromised electrical component or piece of software that lies dormant and undetected within an organization could cause tremendous damage if activated externally. Customers, including governments are moving away from building their own high assurance and customized systems and moving toward the use of commercial off the shelf (COTS) information and communication technology (ICT), typically because they are better, cheaper and more reliable. But a maliciously tainted COTS ICT product, once connected or incorporated, poses a significant security threat. For example, it could allow unauthorized access to sensitive corporate data including intellectual property, or allow hackers to take control of the organization’s network. Perhaps the most concerning element of the whole scenario is the amount of damage that such destructive hardware or software could inflict on safety or mission critical systems.

Like maliciously tainted components, counterfeit products can also cause significant damage to customers and providers resulting in failed or inferior products, revenue and brand equity loss, and disclosure of intellectual property. Although fakes have plagued manufacturers and suppliers for many years, globalization has greatly increased the number of out-sourced components and the number of links in every supply chain, and with that comes increased risk of tainted or counterfeit parts making it into operational environments. Consider the consequences if a faulty component was to fail in a government, financial or safety critical system or if it was also maliciously tainted for the sole purpose of causing widespread catastrophic damage.

Global solution for a global problem – the relevance of international standards

One of the emerging challenges is the rise of local demands on IT providers related to cybersecurity and IT supply chains. Despite technology supply chains being global in nature, more and more local solutions are cropping up to address some of the issues mentioned earlier, resulting in multiple countries with different policies that included disparate and variable requirements related to cybersecurity and their supply chains. Some are competing local standards, but many are local solutions generated by governmental policies that dictate which country to buy from and which not to. The supply chain has become a nationally charged issue that requires the creation of a level playing field regardless of where your company is based. Competition should be based on the quality, integrity and security of your products and processes and not where the products were developed, manufactured, or assembled.

Having transparent criteria through global international standards like our recently approved O-TTPS standard (ISO/IEC 20243) and objective assessments like the O-TTPS Accreditation Program that help assure conformance to those standards is critical to both raise the bar on global suppliers and to provide equal opportunity (vendor-neutral and country-nuetral) for all constituents in the chain to reach that bar – regardless of locale.

The approval by ISO/IEC of this universal product integrity and supply chain security standard is an important next step in the continued battle to secure ICT products and protect the environments in which they operate. Suppliers should explore what they need to do to conform to the standard and buyers should consider encouraging conformance by requesting conformance to it in their RFPs. By adhering to relevant international standards and demonstrating conformance we will have a powerful tool for technology providers and component suppliers around the world to utilize in combating current and future cyber attacks on our critical infrastructure, our governments, our business enterprises and even on the COTS ICT that we have in our homes. This is truly a universal problem that we can begin to solve through adoption and adherence to international standards.

By Sally Long, OTTF DirectorSally Long is the Director of The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF). She has managed customer supplier forums and collaborative development projects for over twenty years. She was the release engineering section manager for all multi-vendor collaborative technology development projects at The Open Software Foundation (OSF) in Cambridge Massachusetts. Following the merger of the OSF and X/Open under The Open Group, she served as director for multiple forums in The Open Group. Sally has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Contact:  s.long@opengroup.org; @sallyannlong

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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®