Tag Archives: TOGAF

What I learnt at The Open Group Bangalore Conference last weekend

By Sreekanth Iyer, Executive IT Architect, IBM

It was quite a lot of learning on a Saturday attending The Open Group conference at Bangalore. Actually it was a two day program this year. I could not make it on Friday because of other work commitments. I heard from the people who attended that it was a great session on Friday. At least I knew about a fellow IBMer Jithesh Kozhipurath’s presentation on Friday. I’d the chance to look at that excellent material on applying TOGAF® practices for integrated IT Operations Enterprise Architecture which was his experience sharing of the lab infra optimization work that he was leading.

I started bit late on Saturday, thinking it was happening at the Leela Palace which was near to my home (Ah.. that was in 2008) Realized late that it was at the Philips Innovation Campus at Manyata. But managed to reach just on time before the start of the sessions.

The day started with an Architecture as a Service discussion. The presentation was short but there were lot of interesting questions and interactions post the session.  I was curious know more about the “self-service” aspect on that topic.

Then we had Jason Uppal of ClinicialMessage Inc. on stage (see picture below) , who gave a wonderful presentation on the human touch to the architecture and how to leverage EA to make disruptive changes without disrupting the working systems.

Jason bangaloreLots of take-aways from the session. Importantly the typical reasons why certain Architectures can fail… caused many a times we have a solution already in our mind and we are trying to fit that into the requirement. And most of these times if we look at the Requirements artifact we will be see that the problems are not rightly captured. Couldn’t agree more with the good practices that he discussed.

Starting with  “Identifying the Problem Right” – I thought that is definitely the first and important step in Architecture.  Then Jason talked about significance of communicating and engaging people and stakeholders in the architecture — point that he drove home with a good example from the health care industry. He talked about the criticality of communicating and engaging the stakeholders — engagement of course improves quality. Building the right levers in the architecture and solving the whole problem were some of the other key points that I noted down. More importantly the key message was as Architects, we have to go beyond drawing the lines and boxes to deliver the change, may be look to deliver things that can create an impact in 30 days balancing the short term and long term goals.

I got the stage for couple of minutes to update on the AEA Bangalore Chapter activities. My request to the attendees was to leverage the chapter for their own professional development – using that as a platform to share expertise, get answers to queries, connect with other professionals of similar interest and build the network. Hopefully will see more participation in the Bangalore chapter events this year.

On the security track, had multiple interesting sessions. Began with Jim Hietala of The Open Group discussing the Risk Management Framework. I’ve been attending a course on the subject. But this one provided a lot of insight on the taxonomy (O-RT) and the analysis part – more of taking a quantitative approach than a qualitative approach. Though the example was based on risks with regard to laptop thefts, there is no reason we can’t apply the principles to real issues like quantifying the threats for moving workloads to cloud. (that’s another to-do added to my list).

Then it was my session on the Best practices for moving workloads to cloud for Indian Banks. Talked about the progress so far with the whitepaper. The attendees were limited as there was Jason’s EA workshop happening in parallel. But those who attended were really interested in the subject. We did have a good discussion on the benefits, challenges and regulations with regard to the Indian Banking workloads and their movement to cloud.  We discussed few interesting case studies. There are areas that need more content and I’ve requested the people who attended the session to participate in the workgroup. We are looking at getting a first draft done in the next 30 days.

Finally, also sat in the presentation by Ajit A. Matthew on the security implementation at Intel. Everywhere the message is clear. You need to implement context based security and security intelligence to enable the new age innovation but at the same time protect your core assets.

It was a Saturday well spent. Added had some opportunities to connect with few new folks and understand their security challenges with cloud.  Looking to keep the dialog going and have an AEA Bangalore chapter event sometime during Q1. In that direction, I took the first step to write this up and share with my network.

Event Details:
The Open Group Bangalore, India
January 24-25, 2014

Sreekanth IyerSreekanth Iyer is an Executive IT Architect in IBM Security Systems CTO office and works on developing IBM’s Cloud Security Technical Strategy. He is an Open Group Certified Distinguished Architect and is a core member of the Bangalore Chapter of the Association of Enterprise Architects. He has over 18 years’ industry experience and has led several client solutions across multiple industries. His key areas of work include Information Security, Cloud Computing, SOA, Event Processing, and Business Process management. He has authored several technical articles, blogs and is a core contributor to multiple Open Group as well as IBM publications. He works out of the IBM India Software Lab Bangalore and you can follow him on Twitter @sreek.

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Filed under Conference, Enterprise Architecture, Healthcare, TOGAF®

The Open Group London – Day Two Highlights

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications

We eagerly jumped into the second day of our Business Transformation conference in London on Tuesday October 22nd!  The setting is the magnificent Central Hall Westminster.

Steve Nunn, COO of The Open Group and CEO of Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA), started off the morning introducing our plenary based on Healthcare Transformation.  Steve noted that the numbers in healthcare spend are huge and bringing Enterprise Architecture (EA) to healthcare will help with efficiencies.

The well-renowned Dr. Peter Sudbury, Healthcare Specialist with HP Enterprise Services, discussed the healthcare crisis (dollars, demand, demographics), the new healthcare paradigm, barriers to change and innovation. Dr. Sudbury also commented on the real drivers of healthcare costs: healthcare inflation is higher intrinsically; innovation increases cost; productivity improvements lag other industries.

IMG_sudburyDr. Peter Sudbury

Dr. Sudbury, Larry Schmidt (Chief Technologist, HP) and Roar Engen (Head of Enterprise Architecture, Helse Sør-Øst RHF, Norway) participated in the Healthcare Transformation Panel, moderated by Steve Nunn.  The group discussed opportunities for improvement by applying EA in healthcare.  They mentioned that physicians, hospitals, drug manufacturers, nutritionists, etc. should all be working together and using Boundaryless Information Flow™ to ensure data is smoothly shared across all entities.  It was also stated that TOGAF® is beneficial for efficiencies.

Following the panel, Dr. Mario Tokoro (Founder & Executive Advisor of Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc. Japanese Science & Technology Agency, DEOS Project Leader) reviewed the Dependability through Assuredness™ standard, a standard of The Open Group.

The conference also offered many sessions in Finance/Commerce, Government and Tutorials/Workshops.

Margaret Ford, Consult Hyperion, UK and Henk Jonkers of BIZZdesign, Netherlands discussed “From Enterprise Architecture to Cyber Security Risk Assessment”.  The key takeaways were: complex cyber security risks require systematic, model-based risk assessment; attack navigators can provide this by linking ArchiMate® to the Risk Taxonomy.

“Applying Service-Oriented Architecture within a Business Technology Environment in the Finance Sector” was presented by Gerard Peters, Managing Consultant, Capgemini, The Netherlands. This case study is part of a white paper on Service-Oriented Architecture for Business Technology (SOA4BT).

You can view all of the plenary and many of the track presentations at livestream.com.  And for those who attended, full conference proceedings will be available.

The night culminated with a spectacular experience on the London Eye, the largest Ferris wheel in Europe located on the River Thames.

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Filed under ArchiMate®, Cloud/SOA, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Healthcare, Professional Development, Service Oriented Architecture, TOGAF®

The Open Group London 2013 – Day One Highlights

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications

On Monday October 21st, The Open Group kicked off the first day of our Business Transformation conference in London!  Over 275 guests attended many engaging presentations by subject matter experts in finance, healthcare and government.  Attendees from around the globe represented 28 countries including those from as far away as Columbia, Philippines, Australia, Japan and South Africa.

Allen Brown, President and CEO of The Open Group, welcomed the prestigious group.  Allen announced that The Open Group has 67 new member organizations so far this year!

The plenary launched with “Just Exactly What is Going On in Business and Technology?” by Andy Mulholland, Former Global CTO of Capgemini, who was named one of the top 25 influential CTOs by InfoWorld.  Andy’s key topics regarding digital disruption included real drivers of change, some big and fundamental implications, business model innovation, TOGAF® and the Open Platform 3.0™ initiative.

Next up was Judith Jones, CEO, Architecting the Enterprise Ltd., with a presentation entitled “One World EA Framework for Governments – The Way Forward”.  Judith shared findings from the World Economic Forum, posing the question “what keeps 1000 global leaders awake at night”? Many stats were presented with over 50 global risks – economical, societal, environmental, geopolitical and technological.

Jim Hietala, VP, Security of The Open Group announced the launch of the Open FAIR Certification for People Program.  The new program brings a much-needed certification to the market which focuses on risk analysis. Key partners include CXOWARE, Architecting the Enterprise, SNA Technologies and The Unit bv.

Richard Shreeve, Consultancy Director, IPL and Angela Parratt, Head of Transformation and joint CIO, Bath and North East Somerset Council presented “Using EA to Inform Business Transformation”.  Their case study addressed the challenges of modeling complexity in diverse organizations and the EA-led approach to driving out cost and complexity while maintaining the quality of service delivery.

Allen Brown announced that the Jericho Forum® leaders together with The Open Group management have concluded that the Jericho Forum has achieved its original mission – to establish “de-perimeterization” that touches all areas of modern business.  In declaring this mission achieved, we are now in the happy position to celebrate a decade of success and move to ensuring that the legacy of the Jericho Forum is both maintained within The Open Group and continues to be built upon.  (See photo below.)

Following the plenary, the sessions were divided into tracks – Finance/Commerce, Healthcare and Tutorials/Workshops.

During the Healthcare track, one of the presenters, Larry Schmidt, Chief Technologist with HP, discussed “Challenges and Opportunities for Big Data in Healthcare”. Larry elaborated on the 4 Vs of Big Data – value, velocity, variety and voracity.

Among the many presenters in the Finance/Commerce track, Omkhar Arasaratnam, Chief Security Architect, TD Bank Group, Canada, featured “Enterprise Architecture – We Do That?: How (not) to do Enterprise Architecture at a Bank”.  Omkhar provided insight as to how he took traditional, top down, center-based architectural methodologies and applied it to a highly federated environment.

Tutorials/workshops consisted of EA Practice and Architecture Methods and Techniques.

You can view all of the plenary and many of the track presentations at livestream.com.  For those who attended, please stay tuned for the full conference proceedings.

The evening concluded with a networking reception at the beautiful and historic and Central Hall Westminster.  What an interesting, insightful, collaborative day it was!

IMG_1311

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Filed under Business Architecture, Certifications, Cloud, Cloud/SOA, Conference, Cybersecurity, Information security, Open Platform 3.0, Professional Development, RISK Management, Security Architecture, Standards, TOGAF®

New Brunswick Leverages TOGAF®

The OCIO of GNB Announces an Ambitious EA Roadmap using TOGAF® and Capability-Based Thinking

On Wednesday September 25th, the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) for the Government of New Brunswick (GNB) held an Enterprise Architecture (EA) Symposium for the vendor community at the Delta Fredericton. This event drew well over a hundred plus attendees from the vendor community across the province, the Atlantic area and parts of Canada.

During this event, Christian Couturier, GNB CIO, announced an EA roadmap across the domains of Information, Application, Technology and Security; areas of mandate for the OCIO. He presented a vision for transformation at GNB that would make its departments more efficient and effective by standardizing their practice and services around TOGAF® and capability-based thinking. Christian also shed valuable insights into how the vendor community can engage with GNB and support the OCIO for their EA vision and roadmap.

TOGAF® and capability-based thinking were prominent themes throughout the symposium and were alluded to and shown throughout the presentation by Christian and his extended EA team. The OCIO has also created a strong governance structure that positions itself as an influential stakeholder in provisioning solutions across its domains. In the near term, vendors will need to show how their solutions not only meet functional requirements but demonstrate improvement in capability performance explicitly. This will help GNB to improve the definition and management of contracts with third party vendors.

Each Architecture Domain Chief presented the roadmap for their area in breakout sessions and answered questions from vendors. These sessions offered further insight into the EA roadmap and impact on particular areas within GNB such as current efforts being made in Service Oriented Architecture.

Here is a summary of the benefits Christian Couturier strived to achieve:

  • Improve transparency and accountability of investment in information technology across government departments
  • Rationalize portfolios of technologies and applications across GNB departments
  • Improve GNB’s ability to respond to citizen needs faster and more cost effectively
  • Develop internal resource competencies for achieving self-sufficiency

QRS has been working with the OCIO and GNB departments since March 2013 to enhance their TOGAF and capability-based thinking competencies. QRS will continue to work with the OCIO and GNB and look forward to their successes as both a corporate citizen and individual residents that benefit from its services.

Originally posted on the QRS blog. See http://www.qrs3e.com/gnb_ocio_togaf/

Christian CouturierChristian Couturier is Chief Information Officer of the Government of New Brunswick (GNB) which leads, enables and oversees the Information Management and Information Communication Technology (IM&ICT) investments for the enterprise.  Christian’s leadership has been recognized by several awards including Canada’s “Top 40 Under 40.” His research team’s success continues to be celebrated through many international, national and local awards including the 2007 Canadian Information Productivity Awards (CIPA) Gold Award of Excellence for innovation in the Health Care Sector.

LinkedIn Profile <http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/christian-couturier/46/b55/713/>

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Filed under Enterprise Architecture, Service Oriented Architecture, Standards, TOGAF®

Redefining traceability in Enterprise Architecture and implementing the concept with TOGAF 9.1 and/or ArchiMate 2.0

By Serge Thorn, Architecting the Enterprise

One of the responsibilities of an Enterprise Architect is to provide complete traceability from requirements analysis and design artefacts, through to implementation and deployment.

Along the years, I have found out that the term traceability is not always really considered in the same way by different Enterprise Architects.

Let’s start with a definition of traceability. Traceable is an adjective; capable of being traced. Trying to find a definition even from a dictionary is a challenge and the most relevant one I found on Wikipedia which may be used as a reference could be “The formal definition of traceability is the ability to chronologically interrelate uniquely identifiable entities in a way that is verifiable.”

In Enterprise Architecture, traceability may mean different things to different people.

Some people refer to

  • Enterprise traceability which proves alignment to business goals
  • End-to-end traceability to business requirements and processes
  • A traceability matrix, the mapping of systems back to capabilities or of system functions back to operational activities
  • Requirements traceability which  assists  in quality  solutions that meets the business needs
  • Traceability between requirements and TOGAF artifacts
  • Traceability across artifacts
  • Traceability of services to business processes and architecture
  • Traceability from application to business function to data entity
  • Traceability between a technical component and a business goal
  • Traceability of security-related architecture decisions
  • Traceability of IT costs
  • Traceability to tests scripts
  • Traceability between  artifacts from business and IT strategy to solution development and delivery
  • Traceability from the initial design phase through to deployment
  • And probably more

The TOGAF 9.1 specification rarely refers to traceability and the only sections where the concept is used are in the various architecture domains where we should document a requirements traceability report or traceability from application to business function to data entity.

The most relevant section is probably where in the classes of architecture engagement it says:

“Using the traceability between IT and business inherent in enterprise architecture, it is possible to evaluate the IT portfolio against operational performance data and business needs (e.g., cost, functionality, availability, responsiveness) to determine areas where misalignment is occurring and change needs to take place.”

And how do we define and document Traceability from an end user or stakeholder perspective? The best approach would probably to use a tool which would render a view like in this diagram:

serge1In this diagram, we show the relationships between the components from the four architecture domains. Changing one of the components would allow doing an impact analysis.

Components may have different meanings as illustrated in the next diagram:

serge2Using the TOGAF 9.1 framework, we would use concepts of the Metamodel. The core metamodel entities show the purpose of each entity and the key relationships that support architectural traceability as stipulated in the section 34.2.1 Core Content Metamodel Concepts.

So now, how do we build that traceability? This is going to happen along the various ADM cycles that an enterprise will support. It is going to be quite a long process depending on the complexity, the size and the various locations where the business operates.

There may be five different ways to build that traceability:

  • Manually using an office product
  • With an enterprise architecture tool not linked to the TOGAF 9.1 framework
  • With an enterprise architecture tool using the TOGAF 9.1 artifacts
  • With an enterprise architecture tool using ArchiMate 2.0
  • Replicating the content of an Enterprise Repository such as a CMDB in an Architecture repository

1. Manually using an office product

You will probably document your architecture with the use of word processing, spread sheets and diagramming tools and store these documents in a file structure on a file server, ideally using some form of content management system.

Individually these tools are great but collectively they fall short in forming a cohesive picture of the requirements and constraints of a system or an enterprise. The links between these deliverables soon becomes non manageable and in the long term impact analysis of any change will become quite impossible. Information will be hard to find and to trace from requirements all the way back to the business goal that drives it. This is particularly difficult to achieve when requirements are stored in spread sheets and use cases and business goals are contained in separate documents. Other issues such as maintenance and consistency would have to be considered.

serge3

2. With an enterprise architecture tool not linked to the TOGAF 9.1 framework

Many enterprise architecture tools or suites provide different techniques to support traceability but do not really describe how things work and focus mainly on describing requirements traceability.  In the following example, we use a traceability matrix between user requirements and functional specifications, use cases, components, software artifacts, test cases, business processes, design specifications and more.

Mapping the requirements to use cases and other information can be very labor-intensive.

serge4

Some tools also allow for the creation of relationships between the various layers using grids or allowing the user to create the relationships by dragging lines between elements.

Below is an example of what traceability would look like in an enterprise architecture tool after some time.  That enterprise architecture ensures appropriate traceability from business architecture to the other allied architectures.

serge5

3. With an enterprise architecture tool using the TOGAF 9.1 artifacts

The TOGAF 9.1 core metamodel provides a minimum set of architectural content to support traceability across artifacts. Usually we use catalogs, matrices and diagrams to build traceability independently of dragging lines between elements (except possibly for the diagrams). Using catalogs and matrices are activities which may be assigned to various stakeholders in the organisation and theoretically can sometimes hide the complexity associated with an enterprise architecture tool.

serge6Using artifacts creates traceability. As an example coming from the specification; “A Business Footprint diagram provides a clear traceability between a technical component and the business goal that it satisfies, while also demonstrating ownership of the services identified”. There are other artifacts which also describe other traceability: Data Migration Diagram and Networked Computing/Hardware Diagram.

4. With an enterprise architecture tool using ArchiMate 2.0

Another possibility could be the use of the ArchiMate standard from The Open Group. Some of the that traceability could  also be achievable in some way using BPMN and UML for specific domains such as process details in Business Architecture or building the bridge between Enterprise Architecture and Software architecture.

With ArchiMate 2.0 we can define the end to end traceability and produce several viewpoints such as the Layered Viewpoint which shows several layers and aspects of an enterprise architecture in a single diagram. Elements are modelled in five different layers when displaying the enterprise architecture; these are then linked with each other using relationships. We differentiate between the following layers and extensions:

  • Business layer
  • Application layer
  • Technology layer
  • Motivation extension
  • Implementation and migration extension

The example from the specification below documents the various architecture layers.

serge7
As you will notice, this ArchiMate 2.0 viewpoint looks quite similar to the TOGAF 9.1 Business Footprint Diagram which provides a clear traceability between a technical component and the business goal that it satisfies, while also demonstrating ownership of the services identified.

Another example could be the description of the traceability among business goals, technical capabilities, business benefits and metrics.  The key point about the motivation extension is to work with the requirement object.

Using the motivation viewpoint from the specification as a reference (motivation extension), you could define business benefits / expectations within the business goal object, and then define sub-goals as KPIs to measure the benefits of the plan and list all of the identified requirements of the project / program.  Finally, you could link these requirements with either application or infrastructure service object representing software or technical capabilities. (Partial example below).

serge8
One of the common questions I have recently received from various enterprise architects is “Now that I know TOGAF and ArchiMate… how should I model my enterprise? Should I use the TOGAF 9.1 artifacts to create that traceability? Should I use ArchiMate 2.0? Should I use both? Should I forget the artifacts…”. These are good questions and I’m afraid that there is not a single answer.

What I know is that if I select an enterprise architecture tool supporting both TOGAF 9.1 and ArchiMate 2.0, I would like to be able to be able to have a full synchronization. If I model a few ArchiMate models I would like my TOGAF 9.1 artifacts to be created at the same time (catalogs and matrices) and if I create artifacts from the taxonomy, I would like my ArchiMate models also to be created.

Unfortunately I do not know the current level of tools maturity and whether tools vendors provide that synchronization. This would obviously require some investigation and should be one of the key criteria if you were currently looking for a product supporting both standards.

5. Replicating the content of an Enterprise Repository such as a CMDB in an Architecture repository

This other possibility requires that you have an up to date Configuration Management Database and that you developed an interface with your Architecture Repository, your enterprise architecture tool. If you are able to replicate the relationships between the infrastructure components and applications (CIs) into your enterprise architecture tool that would partially create your traceability.

If I summarise the various choices to build that enterprise architecture traceability, I potentially have three main possibilities:

serge9
Achieving traceability within an Enterprise Architecture is key because the architecture needs to be understood by all participants and not just by technical people.  It helps to incorporate the enterprise architecture efforts into the rest of the organization and it takes it to the board room (or at least the CIO’s office) where it belongs.

  • Describe your traceability from your Enterprise Architecture to the system development and project documentation.
  • Review that traceability periodically, making sure that it is up to date, and produce analytics out of it.

If a development team is looking for a tool that can help them document, and provide end to end traceability throughout the life cycle EA is the way to go, make sure you use the right standard and platform. Finally, communicate and present to your stakeholders the results of your effort.

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

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Filed under ArchiMate®, Enterprise Architecture, Standards, TOGAF, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

TOGAF® 9 Certification Reaches 25,000 Milestone

By Andrew Josey, The Open Group

Last Wednesday represented a significant milestone for The Open Group’s TOGAF® 9 certification program. In case you hadn’t already seen it on our homepage, Twitter, or LinkedIn,  the number of TOGAF® 9 certified individuals has now surpassed the 25,000 mark, an increase of nearly 8,500 new certifications in the equivalent twelve month period!

For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the name, TOGAF®, an Open Group Standard, is a proven enterprise architecture methodology and framework used by the world’s leading organizations to improve business efficiency.

Certification is available to individuals who wish to demonstrate they have attained the required knowledge and understanding of the current standard, and reaching the 25,000 mark is of course an incredible milestone for TOGAF®.

However, Wednesday’s milestone isn’t the only positive reflection of TOGAF adoption in recent times. Just weeks ago, the latest Foote report placed TOGAF® skills and Open CA certification (an Open Group Certification) top of the 340 highest paying non-certified and 289 highest paying certified IT skills, respectively.

The report, based on US and Canadian data, stated that: “vendor independent organizations such as The Open Group have far fewer resources for promoting their programs but what they do have are superb architecture certifications that employers need and highly value and we see their certifications holding their value if not gaining ground.”

There is no doubt that the success of both can be partially attributed to a huge surge in the popularity of open standards over the last few years – including TOGAF® and Open CA.

The economic downturn has its role to play here of course. Since the financial crisis began, open standards have helped by providing a framework that allows Enterprise Architects to save their companies money, maintain and increase profitability and drive business efficiencies. And, on a professional level, certification has helped Enterprise Architects to differentiate themselves, delivering better job security and employment prospects through testing times.

However, with the worst of the financial crisis hopefully behind us, the rate of certifications shows little signs of slowing. The below graph outlines the rise in the number of TOGAF® 9 certifications since March 2009:

TOGAF certs v2
As you can see from the graph, there are two levels defined for TOGAF 9 “people certification”, and these are known as TOGAF 9 Foundation and TOGAF 9 Certified, respectively.

To provide you with a brief background on these, certification to TOGAF 9 Foundation demonstrates that the candidate has gained knowledge of the terminology, structure, and basic concepts of TOGAF 9, and also understands the core principles of enterprise architecture and the TOGAF standard. Certification to TOGAF 9 Certified provides validation that in addition to the knowledge and comprehension of TOGAF 9 Foundation, the candidate is able to analyze and apply this knowledge.

However, while there are now fifty TOGAF 9 training partners across the globe and fifty-eight accredited TOGAF 9 courses to choose from, more and more of these certifications are self taught. At the last count we had sold over 7700 electronic self study packs for TOGAF 9 certification, making it the number one best-seller in our electronic commerce store. These have proved particularly popular in smaller global markets where face-to-face training courses may be less accessible or costly.

Of course, as we celebrate a great milestone in its evolution, credit must go out to the many people who have helped develop and continue to help develop the TOGAF® standard, in particular the members of The Open Group Architecture Forum. Today’s milestone is not only a testament to the value placed in trusted, globally accepted standards supported through certification, but to their endeavours.

It was not so long ago we announced on this very blog that TOGAF® had become a globally recognized, registered brand trademark. Now, just a few months later, we celebrate another significant milestone in the evolution of TOGAF®. Long may this evolution (and the milestones) continue!

More information on TOGAF 9 Certification, including the directory of Certified professionals and the official accredited training course calendar, can be obtained from The Open Group website here: http://www.opengroup.org/togaf9/cert/

See our TOGAF 9 infographic for the latest statistics:

TOGAFInfograph-full-450

Andrew 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.

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Filed under Certifications, Enterprise Architecture, TOGAF, TOGAF®

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

By Dana Gardner, Interarbor Solutions

Listen to the recorded podcast here

Hello, and welcome to a special BriefingsDirect Thought Leadership

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

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

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

Welcome back, Allen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New weapons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simple analogy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Board-level issue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Already a need

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good folks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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