by Andy Mulholland, Former Global CTO, Capgemini
The Open Platform 3.0™ initiative, launched by The Open Group, provides a forum in which organizations, including standards bodies, as much as users and product vendors, can coordinate their approach to new business models and new practices for use of IT, can define or identify common vendor-neutral standards, and can foster the adoption of those standards in a cohesive and aligned manner to ensure a integrated commercial viable set of solutions.
The goal is to enable effective business architectures, that support a new generation of interoperable business solutions, quickly, and at low cost using new technologies and provisioning methods, but with integration to existing IT environments.
Acting on behalf of its core franchise base of CIOs, and in association with the US and European CIO associations, Open Platform 3.0 will act as a rallying point for all involved in the development of technology solutions that new innovative business models and practices require.
There is a distinctive sea change in the way that organizations are adopting and using a range of new technologies, mostly relating to a front office revolution in how business is performed with their customers, suppliers and even within their markets. More than ever The Open Group mission of Boundaryless Information Flow™ through the mutual development of technology standards and methods is relevant to this change.
The competitive benefits are driving rapid Business adoption but mostly through a series of business management owned and driven pilots, usually with no long term thought as to scale, compliance, security, even data integrity. Rightly the CIO is concerned as to these issues, but too often in the absence of experience in this new environment and the ability to offer constructive approaches these concerns are viewed as unacceptable barriers.
This situation is further enflamed by the sheer variety of products and different groups, both technological and business, to try to develop workable standards for particular elements. Currently there is little, if any, overall coordination and alignment between all of these individually valuable elements towards a true ‘system’ approach with understandable methods to deliver the comprehensive enterprise approach in a manner that will truly serve the full business purposes.
The business imperatives supported by the teaching of Business Schools are focused on time as a key issue and advocate small fast projects built on externally provisioned, paid for against use, cloud services. These are elements of the sea change that have to be accepted, and indeed will grow as society overall expects to do business and obtain their own requirements in the same way.
Much of these changes are outside the knowledge, experience of often power of current IT departments, yet they rightly understand that to continue in their essential role of maintaining the core internal operations and commercial stability this change must introduce a new generation of deployment, integration, and management methods. The risk is to continue the polarization that has already started to develop between the internal IT operations based on Client-Server Enterprise Applications versus the external operations of sales and marketing using Browser-Cloud based Apps and Services.
At best this will result in an increasingly decentralized and difficult to manage business, at worst Audit and Compliance management will report this business as being in breach of financial and commercial rules. This is being recognized by organizations introducing a new type of role supported by Business Schools and Universities termed a Business Architect. Their role in the application of new technology is to determine how to orchestrate complex business processes through Big Data and Big Process from the ‘Services’ available to users. This is in many ways a direct equivalent, though with different skills, to an Enterprise Architect in conventional IT who will focus on the data integrity from designing Applications and their integration.
The Open Group’s massive experience in the development of TOGAF®, together with its wide spread global acceptability, lead to a deep understanding of the problem, the issues, and how to develop a solution both for Business Architecture, as well as for its integration with Enterprise Architecture.
The Open Group believes that it is uniquely positioned to play this role due to its extensive experience in the development of standards on behalf of user enterprises to enable Boundaryless Information Flow including its globally recognized Enterprise Architecture standard TOGAF. Moreover it believes from feedback received from many directions this move will be welcomed by many of those involved in the various aspects of this exciting period of change.
Andy joined Capgemini in 1996, bringing with him thirteen years of experience from previous senior IT roles across all major industry sectors.
In his former role as Global Chief Technology Officer, Andy was a member of the Capgemini Group management board and advised on all aspects of technology-driven market changes, as well as serving on the technology advisory boards of several organizations and enterprises.
A popular speaker with many appearances at major events all around the World, and frequently quoted by the press, in 2009 Andy was voted one of the top 25 most influential CTOs in the world by InfoWorld USA, and in 2010 his CTOblog was voted best Blog for Business Managers and CIOs for the third third year running by Computing Weekly UK. Andy retired in June 2012, but still maintains an active association with the Capgemini Group and his activities across the Industry lead to his achieving 29th place in 2012 in the prestigious USA ExecRank ratings category ‘Top CTOs’.