A Year of Growth and Opportunity: 2019 and a Look Ahead to 2020

By Steve Nunn, President and CEO, The Open Group

As we usher in the new decade, I would like to express my sincerest wishes for you – our valued Members, The Open Group global community, and staff – to enjoy much happiness and great success in 2020.

What a year it has been here at The Open Group! As I reflect on 2019 and consider what is to come in 2020, one thing is very clear – The Open Group is doing even more of what it does best – helping to solve real business problems through technology standards.

We ended 2019 with over 740 Memberships. That’s an astounding increase of 92 new Memberships – our biggest ever growth in Membership in a single year. Just as pleasing was to see these new Members joining and participating across many different countries, Forums, and Work Groups.

While on the topic of numbers, we had over 20,000 attendees at our physical and virtual (webinars and podcasts) events held throughout the year. The Open Group published 117 publications in 2019 – a mix of standards, guides, whitepapers, exams, study materials, case studies, and more. Our website maintained an average of 1.5 million visits each quarter, and we saw an increase in social media activity across all platforms, as well.

The single biggest area of Member growth last year was in the Open Subsurface Data Universe™ (OSDU) Forum. This Forum is working toward creating a standard data platform that will bring together exploration, development, and wells data for the oil and gas industry. The platform will be cloud-based, so it’s pleasing that Google, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft have joined to participate in this Forum.

Many other Forums also made great progress last year. The Open Process Automation™ Forum (OPAF) published the O-PAS™ Standard, Version 1.0, (Preliminary Standard) at the start of the year. In June, they held an Interoperability Workshop, at which the participants successfully demonstrated interoperability among 25 of their products or prototypes in accordance with the Standard – more evidence of The Open Group tagline – “Making Standards Work”. Additional Interoperability Workshops are planned for 2020, and  we have just published Version 1 of the full standard, with version 2.0 following in the next month. Continued work on evolving the Standard, on a new certification program, and on an updated Business Guide are all on the Forum’s roadmap for 2020.

The Architecture Forum continues to maintain and update our flagship TOGAF® Standard, a standard of The Open Group. An important focus is the industry’s current need for Agile and Digital approaches. Forum thought leaders are busy at work defining the questions, What is Digital Architecture? and How do you do Architecture in an agile way? Some people argue that Architecture and Agile are incompatible, but we say that’s absolutely not the case. You certainly can do Architecture in an agile way, and, in fact, the TOGAF® standard was always intended to help people do exactly that. In 2020, we will develop more guidance clarifying how this can be done.

Also in the agile architecture area, the Agile Architecture Framework Work Group published a Snapshot of the Agile Architecture Framework in July 2019, seeking comments on the general direction in which the standard was evolving. They are currently working to deliver the full standard in the first half of 2020.

Also in our Architecture portfolio, the ArchiMate® Forum published a new version of the visual modeling notation standard, the ArchiMate® 3.1 Specification, last October. This version added a new Value Stream strategy element to the language that was very well received.

Digital, and digital transformation are top of mind for many organization leaders. Members of The Open Group Digital Practitioners Work Group were very busy in 2019. In January, they published Snapshot 2 of the Digital Practitioner Body of Knowledge™ (DPBoK). The publication of the full DPBoK™ Standard was announced in July, which addresses what it means to practice in the IT space in the digital world in which we live. In October, we were proud to launch a certification program for Digital Practitioners – a program in which we expect to see significant growth in the coming months.

Last summer, The Open Group Healthcare Forum was chosen by the U.S. Government to be the official steward of the Federated Health Information Model, or FHIM, which has been used by various U.S. Government departments and agencies for some time now. Finding its new home at The Open Group in September, the FHIM is being evolved into a standard by the Forum, with a goal of making the standard more easily adoptable, and more useable by an international audience. For more information, please take a look at the new website at www.fhim.org.

Our two US-only consortia experienced good Membership growth and activity last year. The Open Group Sensor Open Architecture System™ (SOSA) Consortium continues to work hard on creating a full standard, and The Open Group Future Airborne Capability Environment™ (FACE) Consortium continues to invest great effort in the adoption of The Open Group FACE Standard. In September 2019, The Open Group FACE and SOSA Consortiums held a Joint Exposition and Technical Interchange Meeting in Dayton, Ohio, hosted by the U.S. Airforce, which included interoperability demonstrations of FACE-conformant products. The meetings drew over 500 people from government, industry, and academia.

One of my great hopes for 2020 is that we will open up the FACE Consortium to international participation. Although the Standard is available to be used anywhere, participation in the creation of the standard is limited to U.S. organizations. We have been working on this for a long time, and we are edging closer to getting that restriction removed.

The Real-time & Embedded Systems Forum formed a Work Group last year to develop a new version of the Open Dependability through Assuredness™ Framework (O-DA), and this work will continue in 2020, led mainly by several of our Members from Japan. Long-time contributor to The Open Group, Jack Fujieda, has put together an active Work Group, and would welcome additional participation – particularly, from those in the U.S. and Europe.

Who would have thought Legos® would steal the show at The Open Group Amsterdam event? A city, built entirely out of Lego® pieces by our colleagues from Micro Focus, demonstrated the value of the IT4IT™ Standard in a fun, but informative, way. The Forum continues to work on a new version of the IT4IT Standard, and on an update to their certification program.

We also celebrated 50 years of the UNIX® operating system last year. Our “50 Years Uptime” badges were much sought-after, as we celebrated the continuing relevance and reliability of the UNIX operating system – still a very important part of The Open Group, and the industry at large.

At our upcoming January event in San Antonio, Texas, the Open Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF) looks forward to announcing a new certification for supply chain professionals under our Open Professions Certification Program, called the Open Certified Trusted Technology Practitioner (Open CTTP) program. This, against a backdrop of steady growth in the number of companies achieving certification to the Open Trusted Technology Provider™ Standard (O-TTPS) for their products, with 28 companies certified as of the end of 2019.

In further developments in the security area, the Security Forum has just initiated a new project on Zero Trust Architecture, which builds upon prior work done in the Jericho® Forum. Zero Trust Architecture is expected to be a significant area of work in the Security Forum going forward. Additionally, the Forum’s Open FAIR™ risk standards saw strong growth in certifications and adoption in 2019. Looking forward in 2020, we expect to complete updated versions of these standards.

On the topic of certifications, we are pleased to report that at the end of 2019, there were more than 115,000 individuals certified by The Open Group, in our knowledge-based programs as well as our skills- and experience-based certification programs. The number of individuals certified to TOGAF® 9 and subsequent versions is now over 95,000 people around the world and is continuing at a rate of about 1,000 per month on average. During the first half of this year, we should see that number exceed 100,000 individuals globally certified to the TOGAF® standard, with the number of actual users far, far exceeding that.

Talking of our Professions Program, at the beginning of 2019, we announced the Open Certified Data Scientist (Open CDS) certification program, which addresses the need for a professional certification in this rapidly growing field. The program experienced some traction over the last year, and we have more data science talks and a data science workshop lined up at our quarterly event in San Antonio, Texas, at the end of this month.

Speaking of events, our January 2019 event in Scottsdale, Arizona, saw us co-locating with the NASA SEWP program, as well as The Open Group FACE Consortium. This successful event attracted over 500 attendees, with a great buzz and good synergies among the various groups in attendance. In addition to our regular quarterly events and Member meetings, we again held successful events in Brazil, China, and India, all of which were well-attended gatherings, with consistently high-quality speakers and content.

Looking ahead in 2020, for the first time we are holding a quarterly event in Mumbai, India, in April. We have experienced a lot of interest in our activities in India, notably from the Indian national government and various Indian state governments, as well as Indian companies. So it feels like the right time to go there. I encourage everyone to join us for what should be a very exciting event.

I’ll also get an early plug in for our Edinburgh event in October. Those of you who know me will know that I am an enthusiastic (if not particularly talented!) golfer. We can’t go to Scotland without honoring the local customs, so look out for a golf day on the Sunday before the event commences. A great opportunity to network on the course!

It is difficult to predict all that’s in store for 2020, but if I’m getting out my crystal ball, I think we will see a lot more interest and focus on Agile, and The Open Group is well-positioned here with the Agile Architecture Framework activity.

Digital and Data Science will continue to be areas of great interest going forward. People are wondering about what skills they need in the Digital Age. Do they need to reskill? Do they need career changes? The DPBoK™ Standard and Data Science programs address exactly those types of questions. Additionally, a high priority for every organization will be to embrace new technologies and new ways of working as their customers increasingly expect service offerings to be available online and on mobile devices.

Another area of continued growth will be standards activities for specific vertical industries. We’ve seen this now in the oil and gas world, and the Open Process Automation Forum industries. Additionally, we’ve started the Commercial Aviation Work Group, which is working on a standard for that industry. Traditionally, many of our standards have been broadly applicable across multiple industries, but we can really add some value by getting to the next level down on specific requirements and business needs within a particular industry.

We obviously have many promising opportunities and much work to do in 2020. I want to close as I started – by thanking our Members, other customers, partners, and staff for your dedication and contributions to The Open Group community. Together, we are helping to solve real business problems and transforming industries through the use of technology standards. You are tremendously appreciated, and I look forward to seeing many of you in the months ahead.

All the very best for 2020 and beyond.

@www.opengroup.org    @theopengroup

Steve Nunn is President and CEO of The Open Group – a global consortium that enables the achievement of business objectives through technology standards. He is also President of the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA).

Steve joined The Open Group in 1993, spending the majority of his time as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel.   He was also CEO of the AEA from 2010 until 2015.

Steve is a lawyer by training, has an L.L.B. (Hons) 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. He enjoys spending time with his family, walking, playing golf, 80s music, and is a lifelong West Ham United fan.


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