The Open Group Denver 2019 – Event Highlights

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

The Open Group hosted its latest event in the beautiful Mile High City of Denver, Colorado, at the Four Seasons Hotel, July 22 – July 25, welcoming approximately 300 attendees from 14 countries including Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Netherlands, India, UAE, and Denmark. The event’s theme, ‘Agile Architecture’, explored the intersection of Agile methodologies and Enterprise Architecture.

Steve Nunn, President and CEO, The Open Group, launched the conference by welcoming attendees and introducing Carl Kinson, Chief Architect, DXC Technology, whose presentation on ‘Why Do I Need an Enterprise Architect in the 21st Century?’ explored the need for architecture in an agile, DevOps, digital world. He showed how an EA can map the journey of an architecture using Wardley Mapping (into pioneers, settlers, and town planners). The mapping describes how, as the architecture evolves, the need for more detailed architectural guidance emerges over time and moves from chaotic to transactional to linear/stable. He concluded by describing how architecture in the 21st century needs to evolve into continuous architecture with just enough design, where architects are part of a team not a tower, where everyone is an agilist, and where projects start small with prototypes, then progress to minimum viable product, then scale.

The plenary session continued with John Stough, Chief Architecture Officer, JHNA, whose talk on ‘A Holistic Approach to Open Systems Architecture for Army Aviation’ described the US Army Program Executive Office (PEO) Aviation’s approach to developing open systems architectures supporting its 21st century goals and requirements for interoperability and portability. A key point John made was that the opportunity for agility occurs in the software and component realms. PEO Aviation’s architecture strategy relies on standard methods and processes, key artifacts, standards and guidance (including the FACE™ Technical Standard), organizational practice areas, and core asset management.

Next to present was Jim Doss, Managing Director, IT Management & Governance, LLC and member of the Digital Practitioners Work Group (DPWG), who spoke on the topic of Finally—A Body of Knowledge and Standard for Digital Practitioners!’ He reviewed how the industry got to where it is with respect to Agile, Lean, DevOps, and the need for a new digital practitioner body of knowledge. Agile, Lean, and DevOps have changed not just the software development world, but also the IT and product development worlds, generally. The Open Group formed the DPWG to address the needs that digital practitioners have for development of a body of knowledge. The group used the emergence model, with four contexts describing individual/founder, team, team of teams, and enduring enterprise, to develop a standard.

Wrapping up the morning, Dave Lounsbury, Chief Technical Officer, The Open Group, had the honor—after two years of dedicated work from members of the DPWG—of making the formal announcement of the new Digital Practitioner Body of Knowledge™ (DPBoK) Standard. Dave reviewed the steps leading to the announcement, then moderated an informative panel on the topic of ‘Building a Body of Knowledge for Digital Practitioners’, with panel members Carl Kinson, John Stough, and Jim Doss.

On Monday afternoon, attendees had their choice of track topics covering Digital in Practice and Data Architecture. Sessions on Digital in Practice included:

  • Digital Transformation Case Study with Ken Schuelke, Division Information Officer, Toyota Financial Services, and Slobodan Sipcic, Executive Digital Solution Architect, Cloud Application Innovation Sector, IBM
  • EA as a Key Support of an Effective Implementation of DevOps with Romero Oliveira, Head of Infrastructure and Operation, Firjan
  • Forgetting IOT, Infrastructure as a Big Re-Programmable Robot with Caleb Eastman, VP of Systems Engineering, Kelvin Inc.
  • The Role of the Enterprise Architect in Robotic Process Automation with Rafi Mohammed, Enterprise Architect, Opteamix

Sessions on Data Architecture included:

  • Strict Standards for Agile Architecture with Michael van der Haven, Director Consulting Expert, Oil & Gas and New Energy, CGI
  • Lessons Learnt Designing a Successful Modern Data Analytics Platform in a Large Enterprise with Mano Bashyam, CTO, Chief Data Office, IBM
  • A Game Changer for the Energy (Subsurface) Industry with Phillip Jong, Manager Data Foundation Design, Shell
  • Open, Integrated, and “Agile” in the Land of Giants with Aaron Close, Geoscientist, Welllogdata

Capping off the day was an evening networking reception held at the hotel, where attendees could meet with speakers, IT/OT professionals, industry experts, and exhibitors. During the reception, the Open Process Automation™ Forum conducted an Interoperability Showcase highlighting their recent interoperability event for Forum Members that was held on June 10 – 14, 2019, in Raleigh, North Carolina, and hosted by the International Society of Automation. The goal was to verify interoperability to Version 1 of the Open Process Automation™ Standard. In attendance in Raleigh were 32 people from 16 member companies who tested 25 different products or prototypes. Over 300 test cases were exercised, and vendors successfully interoperated with one another. Attendees deemed the event a great success, with a high level of vendor interaction occurring.  Future interoperability events are being planned by the Forum.

Day two of the event, Tuesday, began with an orientation for first-time attendees and new members. We were thrilled to welcome 15 organizations!

Steve Nunn opened Tuesday morning’s plenary session with an overview of The Open Group activities, key outputs, and Forum highlights. He welcomed two speakers from Sparx Services North America: Chris Armstrong, President and Chief Architect, and Ryan Schmierer, Director of Marketing and Operations, who led a discussion on ‘Doing Enterprise Architecture in the Digital Age’. Their presentation explored how Digital Transformation and modern technology innovations are fundamentally changing the way companies operate and changing the nature of their relationship with technology and data. The session explored the important role that architects play in modern organizations, the skillset and mindset changes needed to transform architects into true digital practitioners, and how industry standards support the role of a modern architect.

Steve Nunn, Ryan Schmierer, and Chris Armstrong

Next to speak from The Open Group were Sonia Gonzalez Paredes, Forum Director of the Architecture Forum and the ArchiMate® Forum, and Walters Obenson, Director of the Agile Architecture Framework™ Work Group, who presented a talk on ‘Agile Architecture for Business Innovation and Digital Transformation’. Sonia and Walters discussed how an architecture approach supported by the TOGAF® Standard, a standard of The Open Group, can be used to deliver digital architecture solutions and product development solutions in an Agile manner. They also provided guidance on how Agile practitioners can benefit from an architecture approach supported by the TOGAF Standard to provide strategic alignment and support for the continuous delivery of valuable products. They showed how Enterprise Architecture (EA) governance and Agile governance can happily coexist to guide and support Agile product delivery.

Sonia Gonzales Paredes

Continuing the plenary session, David Hornford, Managing Partner, Conexiam, presented an ‘Agile EA Field Report’, which bridged theoretical concepts with the practice of actually doing the work. Effective EA teams delivery is continuous and incremental, supporting the decision or action at hand. Effective EA teams use Agile methods to create these work products. Epics, stories, and minimum viable products are simply techniques used to understand what is needed, what must be produced, and what must be consumed for the decision at hand. Architecting for enterprise agility requires understanding the five aspects of enterprise agility.

Rounding out the morning, speakers Junkyo (Jack) Fujieda, CEO, ReGIS Inc.; Yoshio Kawakami, Chief Architect, Tata Consultancy Services Japan, Ltd.; and Ed Roberts, Owner, Elparazim, presented a talk on ‘Dependability through Assuredness™ (O-DA) Framework and the TOGAF® Standard’. Ed spoke about the history of systems assurance, the relationships among dependability, assurance, and trust in systems, as well as the role of the Open Dependability through Assurance Framework (O-DA) in addressing dependability requirements. Jack described the current status of the O-DA extension project and invited others to join in. Yoshio provided a case study of O-DA, the conclusion of which showed that early detection of software defects could greatly reduce costs to fix software errors.

After breaking for lunch, the afternoon began with a partner presentation by Myles Suer, Industry Solutions Marketing Manager, Dell Boomi, on the topic of ‘Eliminating the Tech Debt That Limits Digital Transformation’, followed by a choice of track topics covering Agile Enterprise Architecture and Open Process Automation. Sessions on Agile Enterprise Architecture included:

  • The Transformative Enterprise Architect with Chris Larsen, Enterprise Architecture Practice Lead, Dell Boomi and Myles Suer, Industry Solutions Marketing Manager, Dell Boomi
  • Enterprise Architecture in an Agile World with Gideon Slifkin, Specialist Leader, Technology Strategy & Architecture Practice, Deloitte
  • Agile Architecture and Its Implications for Next Generation EA with Hari Krishnan, Enterprise Architecture Leader, Nationwide
  • Enterprise Capability Management with Hussam Juma, Director-Service Innovation, Dubai Customs

Sessions on Open Process Automation included:

  • Open Source Software as an Accelerant to Industry 4.0 with Shane Dewing, Senior Director, IOT Ecosystem and Market Development, Intel
  • Portable Applications at All Layers of the Software Stack with Dennis Brandl, Chief Consultant, BR&L Consulting
  • Interoperable Automation Systems for the Biopharmaceutical Industry with Eugene Tung, Executive Director of Manufacturing IT, Merck & Co.
  • Digital Transformation of Control Systems Integrationwith Shebin Jalal, Global Solution Architect, Oil & Gas Technology Center, Schneider Electric

The day ended with The Open Group hosting a private networking dinner at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, at the former Lowry Airforce Base, Denver, where guests brushed up on aviation history and their pilot skills while touring over 50 iconic aircraft, sitting in cockpits, and engaging with realistic flight simulators. A grand time was had by all!

Day three, Wednesday, began with The Open Group Security Forum hosting a Risk Management Symposium, providing education around risk analysis and the Open FAIR™ Body of Knowledge. John Linford, Security Forum Director, introduced the following speakers and topics: Mike Jerbic, Lecturer, San Jose State University, gave an overview of the Open FAIR™ Standards and how and why to use them; Chris Carlson, President, C T Carlson, LLC, and Mike Jerbic delivered an overview of planned changes coming to the Open FAIR™ Standards; John Linford gave an overview of the Open FAIR Process Guide, which provides “how-to” guidance on the use of Open FAIR; Jim Hietala, VP Business Development and Security, The Open Group, gave a presentation exploring the use of Open FAIR™ outside the cybersecurity domain in supply chain and operational technology areas; and Michael Makstman, City Chief Information Security Officer, City and County of San Francisco, provided a very interesting case study on the use of Open FAIR in the City of San Francisco. The symposium concluded with a panel discussion by the symposium’s speakers on various cyber risk topics.

Following the Risk Management Symposium, The Open Group hosted a meeting of the new Colorado Chapter of the FAIR Institute. Jim Hietala presented a case study analyzing the risks presented by Distributed Denial of Service attacks.

In the afternoon, a TOGAF User Group meeting was held. David Hornford, Conexiam, walked attendees through a hands-on workshop on how to deliberately configure your Agile Enterprise Architecture using a best-practice approach. For Agile, you need to be clear whether you are thinking about linking EA delivery to Agile development teams, using Agile methods for the EA team, or architecting an Agile organization. David described the design of the EA team, including staffing, skills, process integration, delivery tempo, tooling, and staff and skill development.

Also during the TOGAF User Group meeting, the new Association of Enterprise Architects® (AEA) Colorado Chapter was launched. Chris Forde, CEO of the Global AEA, led a panel discussion with three representatives of the Colorado AEA chapter: Reggie Cole, Chief Enterprise Application Architect, Lockheed Martin; Ram Ramalingam, Group Manager Solution Architecture, Autodesk; and Ravi Devarasetti, Enterprise Architect, Tata Consultancy Services. The panel was very informative and brought real-world experiences from Colorado EAs and their organizations who are dealing with Agile and EA, as well as specific reactions to the Agile Architecture Framework.

Continuing the afternoon was a first for The Open Group: an IBM-sponsored ‘Code-a-thon: Hands-On AI Training’. The event was a success with over 30 attendees, providing developers with complimentary access into IBM cloud services and into Watson AI services, with the objective of learning about AI and developing simple AI models and examples.

Members-only meetings were also held throughout the week by the Architecture Forum, IT4IT™ Forum, the Open Trusted Technology Forum, Open Process Automation™ Forum, Digital Practitioners Work Group, and Security Forum. In addition, a members-only workshop was held on the topic of Standards as Code.

We would like to thank our amazing sponsors and exhibitors: Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA), BRM Institute, and Van Haren Publishing, as well as premium sponsors Dell Boomi and MEGA International.

Many thanks to our dedicated and insightful speakers and attendees! We hope to see you at our next quarterly event – The Open Group Amsterdam 2019, November 4 – 7, 2019.  @theopengroup  #og_DEN

Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, joined The Open Group in 2013 and spearheads corporate marketing initiatives, primarily the website, blog, media relations, and social media. Loren has over 25 years experience in brand marketing and public relations and, prior to The Open Group, was with The Walt Disney Company for over 10 years. Loren holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University. She is based in the US.