The Open Group ‘Open Digital Standards’ Virtual Event April 26 – 28, 2021 – Highlights Blog

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

As organizations across all industries strive to become Digital First, open standards are more important than ever for providing the necessary frameworks and career development tools to drive transformation progress.

This week, our ‘Open Digital Standards’ Virtual Event April 26-28 brought together experts from across the globe to provide guidance for the creation and implementation of open digital standards. It was fantastic to see 1,300 attendees from more than 85 countries gather virtually to discuss various approaches and best practices for making sense of the evolving business landscape and delivering digital products and services.

Sessions centered on the open standards and skills needed in today’s digital age, and were hosted by a plethora of industry leaders from organizations such as Shell, Forrester, IBM, and DXC Technology – to name a few!

Day One

Steve Nunn, President and CEO, The Open Group and James De Raeve, Vice President & General Manager, The Open Group India kicked off the event by introducing the theme of the day: ‘Open Digital Standards and the Open Professions Program’. They began by delving into The Open Group Professional Certification Program (Open Professions), a globally recognized credential to enhance an individual’s value and visibility, while enabling organizations to adopt best career practices.

Expanding on this topic, Scott Knupp, Program Director, Global CTL Education & IBM Architect Profession Leader, IBM Global Technical Sales took to the virtual stage to share his first-hand account of the program, taking attendees through the skills and progression he acquired from participating. During his presentation, he highlighted the importance of certifications for building digital skillsets, rightfully stating, “certifications define the professional journey and the experiences that should be prioritized”.  

What are the benefits of Open Certification for individuals? Scott Knupp,
Program Director Global CTL Education & IBM Architect Profession Leader, IBM highlights a few.

Monday’s sessions continued with an insightful presentation from our VP and Chief Technology Officer, Andras Szakal, exploring how digital transformation is influencing professional credentialing programs. Addressing key questions around how an ever-changing digital environment has influenced how we learn, obtain, and apply skills, Andras reflected on the need for continuous education to be “embedded into professional development.” With this, he took us through the main elements of the Open Professions Certification process and the advantages of taking a “milestone-based approach”, detailing what each badge from The Open Group represents.

Our VP & Chief Technology Officer, Andras Szakal, talks us through Open Professions Certification process,
and the advantage of taking a “milestone-based approach”.

A number of speakers throughout the day shared their experiences of the Open Professions Program. Describing his session as “very much a user story of what the Open Certified Architect means to me”, Paul Homan, CTO for Industrial Sector, IBM Services UK & Ireland, took a riveting look at his career journey so far and why “returning the gift” is so critical for skills development. Meanwhile, Remy Alexander, Director Global Digital Practice, Philips walked attendees through how her organization works with The Open Group Open Certified Technical Specialist (Open CTS) Certification. 

Remy Alexander, Director Global Digital Practice, Philips looks at creating “T-shaped” professionals live on #ogVIRTUAL

A key highlight of the day was Maureen Norton, Chief Analytics Officer & Marketing Intelligence Professional, IBM’s account of the Open Certified Data Scientist Certification. She reflected on the impressive achievements of the certification so far, making CIO’s top 15 data science certifications list every year since it was launched. Excitingly, Maureen also announced The Open Group Data Science Community of Interest, which is open to Members and non-Members who have an interest in data science – sign up today!

Maureen Norton, Chief Analytics Officer & Marketing Intelligence Professional, IBM shares the
tremendous achievements of The Open Group Data Scientist Certification.

The day was rounded off with a lively panel discussion featuring speakers from organizations such as DXC Technology, IBM, and The Open Group.

Day Two

On Tuesday, attendees had the opportunity to attend the TOGAF® Standard User Group, which explored how the TOGAF Standard supports the digital enterprise and Agile practices within organizations.

Richard Gornitsky, President, Full Stack Architecture International focused on how the TOGAF Standard complements Agile, showing how it can be applied to fulfil a number of use cases. Ben Heideveld, Data Architect, Shell then demonstrated how Agile projects can be mapped to the TOGAF Standard, drawing on his work within his own organization. 

The TOGAF Standard is not waterfall! Richard Gornitsky, President, Full Stack Architecture International highlights
how the Standard can be used to support a number of different use cases.

Later in the day, attention turned to how the TOGAF Standard is being used within public sector initiatives, exploring two illuminating government case studies. Firstly, Hani Eskandar, Senior Coordinator Digital Services, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Pallab Saha Chief Architect, The Open Group India illustrated how the organizations worked together to enable government architecture in low-resource settings. As Hani noted, “We should see this as an opportunity to help low-resource countries to adopt architecture practices from the outset and avoid some of the mistakes other countries have made.”

This was followed by a fascinating session from Juan Pablo Revello, Chief Solutions Architect, AGESIC, who took us through how Uruguay developed a reference architecture for digital services based on the TOGAF Standard.

Day Three

Presentations on Wednesday, ‘Digital Professions Day’, revolved around the skills and roles that are required for a digital future. Charles Betz, Principal Analyst, Forrester kicked us off by outlining the key trends that make up today’s Digital First operating model, including the rapid acceleration of Agile and DevOps capabilities. Focusing on product teams, Charles explained the core concern of product management: “We can say that product teams are autonomous, but nobody is truly autonomous. Ultimately, you need to have a supporting infrastructure.”

‘The New Value Chain’, as illustrated by Charles Betz, Principal Analyst, Forrester at #ogVIRTUAL

Over the course of the day, attendees also had the chance to hear from a range of IT leaders on the emerging roles needed for this new operating model. Highlights included Rob Akershoek, IT Management Architect, Fruition Partners’ presentation on ‘Emerging Roles in the Digital Operating Model’, during which he provided advice for delivering high value products.

The numerous roles that make up the digital operating model, explained by Rob Akershoek,
IT Management Architect, Fruition Partners at #ogVIRTUAL

We were also fortunate enough to hear from Corinna Clements, Consultant, Avolution and Stephanie Ramsay, Senior Manager, Architecture Portfolio & Processes, Raytheon Technologies who explained the core frameworks for digital transformation and how to build a solid foundation for becoming Digital-First respectively.  

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, Avolution, 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 – July 19-21 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 #OpenDigitalStandards

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.