The Open Group ‘Digital-First’ Virtual July Event – Highlights Blog

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

As an organization that is known for its world-class events and prides itself on bringing people together globally, last week The Open Group hosted its second virtual event following the success of the first ever #ogVIRTUAL in April.

It was fantastic to have over 2,100 attendees from 107 countries come together virtually to explore the topic of ‘Digital-First’. Sessions and workshops were hosted by a plethora of industry experts and centered on the security, trust, and architectural issues which need to be considered when becoming a “Digital-First” organization.

Day One

Steve Nunn, President and CEO, The Open Group, opened the event and welcomed Andras Szakal, VP and CTO, IBM Federal, and Chairman of The Open Group Governing Board, to virtually kick off things with a presentation on Open Trusted Technology, which ensures product integrity and global supply chain security so that industry can “build with integrity and buy with confidence”.

Monday morning’s sessions continued to focus on the role of security in a digital enterprise, which is even more pertinent in light of the recent pandemic. As architects, project managers, engineers, and other professionals design and implement with great agility their automated, digital-first enterprises, what is missing is the improbable but high impact adverse events architects never foresaw to defend against, COVID-19. As Mike Jerbic, Risk Management Consultant, Trusted Systems Consulting quite rightly pointed out: “hostile actors are taking advantage of an opportunity-rich environment to capitalize on a once in a lifetime event”.

With this in mind, leading experts from companies such as Microsoft, MITRE Corporation, Bold Business, Cryptopon, Citihub Consulting, Woyzbun Advisory, and Security Compass provided an introduction to the core principles of Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) and The Open FAIR™ Body of Knowledge, which practitioners can utilize to understand, analyze, and measure information risk.

Key highlights from Monday afternoon included:

  • Origins of Zero Trust: Need for Identity and Data Protection with Jim Hietala, VP, Business Development and Security, The Open Group and Steve Whitlock, Cybersecurity Consultant
  • Open FAIR™, Risk Analysis, and Zero Trust Architecture hosted by John Linford, Forum Director, Security Forum and Open Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF), The Open Group

A diagram from Mark Simos, Lead Architect for the Microsoft Cybersecurity Solutions Group, to visually highlight how the digitized world is interconnected and dynamic

Day Two

Plenary sessions on Tuesday morning looked at the emerging technologies that are driving Digital Transformation projects, such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT), with speakers from Intel and Fruition Partners exploring how business and IT leaders can ensure these are a success to accelerate their company’s transition to a digital enterprise.

“Solutions are not a single technology, meaning smart projects require a combination of technologies and vendors” – Dr Irene Petrick, Sr. Director of Industrial Innovation Internet of Things Group, Intel shared insight from 193 technologists

Did you know that many organizations lack an #IT management vision and Architecture?
Rob Akershoek, IT Architect, Fruition Partners

Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from Michael Fulton, Associate VP, IT Strategy & Innovation, Nationwide Mutual Assurance, and Dr. Aravind Chandrasekaran, Professor in Management Sciences, The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business, on how The Digital Leadership Academy (DLA) – which is an Executive Education program at The Ohio State University inspired by The Open Group Digital Portfolio – is transforming technology education and helping to reskill IT professionals for the digital age.

Another excellent session included the Guided Tour of The Open Process Automation™ Standard (O-PAS), which was hosted by a panel of Member organizations including ExxonMobil, Intel, ABB, DuPont, Shell, Wind River, and, and explored the vision, goals, activities, and progress made by the Forum since its inception in 2017.

This was followed by numerous talk tracks covering topics related to Open Process Automation, including:

  • Digital Factory: Concept to Reality with Shailesh Agaskar, Senior Enterprise Solutions Architect, Capgemini
  • Energy Transformation with Blockchain with Ajay Verma, Senior Director, Capgemini Global Energy & Utilities Practice

Day Three

Wednesday’s sessions highlighted the importance of Enterprise Architecture in today’s Digital Age, with a particular focus on how Agile teams can drive digital transformation by inventing new business models, delivering superior customer experience, developing digital products, and architecting highly-automated operating systems.

Delving into this topic in greater detail, expert panelists – from MEGA International, Groupe Michelin, Latitude Financial Services, and IBM Watson Health and moderated by Frederic Le, Directeur Associé, Corporate Technology Office, DXC Technology – took to the ‘virtual stage’ to provide an introduction to The Open Agile Architecture Framework™, including how it will empower enterprises to succeed with their Digital-Agile transformations.

Further highlights included:

  • Enterprise Architects: The New Champions of IT During Tough Times with Hylton Southey, Managing Director, LeanIX
    • Per Hylton, “There is a huge opportunity for Enterprise Architects to help people make sense of complex environments.”
  • Architecting for Adaptability and Agility with Gordon Cooper, Director of North America Consulting and Customer Success, MEGA International

On Wednesday, attendees also had the chance to attend two interactive sessions. Up first and taking place all morning was The Data Science Virtual Workshop, ‘An Experiential Journey with Data to Inspire Your Work’. Facilitated by experts from IBM – including Maureen Norton, Chief Analytics Officer & Marketing Intelligence Professional, Neeraj Madan, Data Scientist, and Upkar Lidder, Data Science and AI Developer Advocate – attendees were introduced to new ways to think about and apply data to solve key challenges within their own organizations. Fortunately, the team repeated the workshop on Thursday for those who missed out on attending!

The day concluded with the TOGAF® User Group, which brought together key stakeholders to share best practices and learn about how the TOGAF framework can be used in a digital-first environment. Andrew Josey, VP Standards & Certification, The Open Group, kicked off the session with a deep dive into TOGAF virtual training resources. This was followed by a range of insightful presentations, including a discussion on ‘Why We Still need Open Standards for Enterprise Architecture’ from Paul Homan, Distinguished Engineer, IBM and Architecture Forum co-chair. Rounding off the session, Chris Frost, Deputy Head IT Systems Technology Division, and CTO Global Technology Group, Fujitsu, took us through the latest developments for the TOGAF Standard and Agile, and explained how the two fit together within an overall framework for Digital Transformation.

Further highlights from the TOGAF® User group included:

  • The New Role of the Architect with Mick Adams, Associate Partner EY, Architecture Forum co-chair
  • The Open Group Architecture Portfolio for the New Age with Sonia Gonzalez, Architecture Forum Director, The Open Group

Paul Homan, Distinguished Engineer IBM, Architecture Forum Co-chair – ‘Architecture Winters’ 

If you haven’t seen it already, please check out this blog on the TOGAF certifications milestone. Lino Elias, Project Management Office, Orlando Health, received the 100,000th certification and was honored with a special certificate during the event.

Both the Data Science workshop and the TOGAF® User Group had great participation and engagement with attendees logging in from countries across the globe, such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Norway, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa – to name a few!

And that’s a wrap for The Open Group ‘Digital-First’ July event! Many thanks to our wonderful sponsors; MEGA International, AEA, Van Haren Publishing, and Avolution.

Thank you also to all of our terrific speakers and attendees. Proceedings and recordings will be published July 29th for all Members and attendees.

Our next quarterly event will be virtual as well – October 26-29, 2020. Stay tuned for the agenda and we hope you’ll join us. We’re hoping our Members, customers, presenters, partners, and staff – and their loved ones – around the world take care and are healthy.

@TheOpenGroup #ogVIRTUAL

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.


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