The Open Group ‘Open Digital Standards’ Virtual Event January 25-27, 2021 – Highlights

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

Last week, we kicked off 2021 in style by hosting our first virtual event of the year, ‘Open Digital Standards’ January 25-27. Bringing together experts from across the globe, we explored the key role of Open Standards in driving and guiding enterprises and governments through digital change.

The transition to Digital First has become a necessity for the survival of private and public sector organizations in a post-pandemic world. It was therefore fantastic to see attendees gather virtually over the course of three days to discuss tangible solutions for navigating the challenges we face today. Sessions and workshops were hosted by a plethora of leading industry experts and centered on the development and implementation of open digital standards to address issues critical to the success of a Digital First enterprise.

Day One

Steve Nunn, President and CEO of The Open Group kicked things off by welcoming Tom Fishburne, Creator of Marketoonist and Author of Your Ad Ignored Here to the virtual stage to host a keynote session looking at “The Funny Side of Digital Transformation”. Using his famous cartoons and case studies, Tom ensured that the day began with laughter – helping attendees to better understand, through a comedic lens, the ways in which they can adopt new technologies and drive organizational change in uncertain times.

Monday morning’s sessions continued to focus on the challenges that have arisen during the accelerated shift to Digital First. Our Chief Digital Officer, David Lounsbury discussed the ‘dual crises’ of digital transformation, highlighting the urgent need for organizations to become an Agile, digital enterprise coupled with the growing technology skills gap. As David highlighted, by 2025 half of all employees will need to be reskilled, with a growing demand in areas such as Data Science, AI and Machine Learning, and Big Data. He looked at how digital standards can help businesses upskill and reskill the workforce, mapping the standards of The Open Group to critical job roles.

Speakers throughout the day explored this topic from the perspective of Enterprise Architecture, which is a critical field for driving change within organizations. Andy Ruth, Managing Director at Sustainable Evolution outlined why we should ‘say hello’ to Agile upskilling and shared organizational best practices to help create a continuous learning environment.

Expanding on this theme, Heidi Hasz, a TOGAF® Trainer and Enterprise Architect at HaszNet, delved into the evolving skill-set Architect’s need in this super charged era of digital transformation. Meanwhile, our own Sonia Gonzalez provided an overview of The Open Group standards that have been designed to help Enterprise Architects apply Agile Architecture processes.  

The day was rounded off by our new Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Andras Szakal and John Linford, Forum Director for Security & OTTF at The Open Group, who provided a deep dive into supply chain security. Both John and Andras walked us through applying The Open Group Open Trusted Technology Provider™ Standard (O-TTPS) to help organizations secure supply chains and protect against maliciously tainted and counterfeit products.

Day Two

Key sessions on Tuesday looked at the different ways in which open digital standards can be implemented to support global climate change and healthcare initiatives. Speakers took us through the vision and mission of The Open Group Open Footprint Forum, explaining how open digital standards can be applied to meet some of the world’s most urgent environmental data challenges.

The first session hosted by Johan Krebbers, GM Emerging Digital Technologies / VP IT Innovation at Shell outlined the vision and mission of The Open Group Open Footprint™ Forum, which was recently launched in September 2020. Specifically, he explained how the Forum will work to address the significant challenges organizations face when it comes to managing and reporting on their environmental footprints. As Johan observed: “There’s currently great effort focusing on how to collect environmental data, but reporting is still in its early days”.

Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from Geert-Willem Haasjes, Client Architect of the Royal Dutch Shell Account at IBM, who focused on the advantages of open architecture for developing sustainable ecosystems. To demonstrate the benefits of open source technology, Geert-Willem shared real-life examples of his work on the Open Footprint Forum. This was followed by a hugely insightful Q&A panel session hosted by Steve Nunn, with Johan, Geert-Willem, and Heidi Karlsson, Director of the Open Footprint Forum.

In the afternoon, attention turned to how open standards can be applied to help enable digital healthcare initiatives. The sharing of accurate, meaningful, and secure health information among many diverse public and private sector organizations will be vital for enabling countries to navigate urgent healthcare challenges over the next year. With this in mind, Jason Lee, Director of The Open Group Healthcare Forum, explained the work that is currently being done by the Forum to develop a Guide that supports the creation and availability of COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Plans globally.

This was followed by a fascinating presentation from Fabio Rebecchi, Senior Researcher and Data Scientist at Eustema SpA, who explored the adoption of AI in medical imaging. Fabio looked at how Machine Learning can be used make this technique widely available and demonstrated how it can be applied to the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders.

Day Three

On Wednesday, Steve Nunn began the day by reflecting on digital transformation, reminding attendees that “you’re never done, it’s a journey”, before introducing a range of relevant and interesting case studies.

Attendees then heard from Anders Skovbo Christensen, who explained how The Danish Business Authority successfully drove Agile transformation by implementing complementary standards of The Open Group, including the IT4IT™ Standard and the ArchiMate® visual notation.

Highlights across the day also included the presentation by Martin Owen, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy at erwin, on the “Future of Enterprise Architecture”, during which he focused on the importance of the role and its future direction. We were also fortunate enough to hear from Anna Thomas, Program Manager at Teck Resources, including her key learnings and best practices gleaned from undertaking the process of digital transformation.

Anna Thomas at Teck Resources demystified certain terminologies and illustrated how you can connect organizational dots for your stakeholders

Alongside the presentations, attendees had the chance to attend an interactive Data Science 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.

And that’s a wrap for another hugely successful event of The Open Group! Many thanks to our wonderful sponsors; MEGA International, AEA, Van Haren Publishing, and Erwin.

Thank you also to all of our terrific speakers and attendees. Proceedings and recordings of the ‘Open Digital Standards’ virtual event are soon forthcoming to all Members and attendees.

Our next quarterly event will be virtual as well – April 26-29 2021. Stay tuned for the agenda and we hope you’ll join us. Until then, we’re hoping our Members, customers, presenters, partners, and staff around the world stay safe and healthy!

@TheOpenGroup #ogVIRTUAL #ogDigitalFirst

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.