The Open Group ‘Open Digital Standards’ Virtual Event July 19 – 21, 2021 – Highlights

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

Last week, our Open Digital Standards July 2021 event brought together vendors and end-user organizations from across the globe to discuss how the cross-industry development of open standards is helping businesses become digital-first. It was fantastic to have over 1,040 attendees from more than 90 countries gather virtually to discuss this critical roadmap to digital transformation.

Sessions centered on the open standards and highlighted the key milestones and skills needed in today’s digital age, and were hosted by an expert line-up of industry leaders from organizations such as Microsoft, Schneider Electric and MEGA International.

Day One

Steve Nunn, President and CEO of The Open Group, kicked things off by introducing the days focus; the work of The Open Group Open Process Automation™ Forum (OPAF). Throughout the day, speakers from organizations such as CPLANEai, Schneider Electric, and ExxonMobil, joined OPAF Director, Aneil Ali, to explore the recent launch of the O-PAS™ Version 2.1 Preliminary Standard – a release that represents a key milestone towards testing and field trials of the O-PAS Standard.

All sessions provided practical examples of how the Standard is being applied within a range of industries to enable greater interoperability and portability in manufacturing control systems.

Leading the conversation through digital transformation was Brandon Williams, Co-Founder of CPLANEai. Highlighting his first-hand experience in the power of open systems and what a critical part they play in digital transformation strategies. After outlining his “Four Keys to Digital Transformation Success”, he rightly stated that digital transformation is often compared to Industry 4.0 as “it creates new efficiencies, and perhaps even sources of revenue”, however also stated that “revolutions are unpredictable.” Brandon claimed that Industry 4.0 is basically the equivalent of open control systems, and said that “open systems are going to equalize OT and IT, which is what O-PAS helps with.”

Continuing the conversation under this critical theme, Gene Tung, Executive Director of Manufacturing IT, Merck discussed the “Value of Open Standards for Vaccine Manufacturing”, by delving into how the adoption of open, standards-based process control architecture can help companies ramp up production, increase throughput, and reduce the cost of vaccines. His talk covered the critical point that “Manufacturing in the past was rigid, there were specific machines for specific products. Nowadays we focus on modular plant designs, focusing on equipment designed by suppliers, as opposed to built in-house.”

Gene explained that there are numerous standards that help the industry develop flexible automation for flexible equipment, but “OPAS is the standard of standards.”

Day Two

On Tuesday, attendees had the opportunity to hear more about The Open Group Zero Trust Security Architecture (ZTA) Working Group, an industry-wide initiative to establish standards and best practices for taking a Zero Trust approach to security.

First up, John Linford, Director, Security and The Open Group Trusted Technology (OTTF) Forums, discussed how the ZTA Working Group aims to provide clarity and business guidance for organizations looking to implement Zero Trust, and the role of open vendor – and technology neutral – standards for driving the process.

Expanding on this topic, Mark Simos, Lead Cybersecurity Architect, Microsoft took a closer look at how the Working Group is evolving the Zero Trust Core Principles into Commandments, making it easier for organizations to put Zero Trust into practice. Having discussed many industry insights, Mark claimed that “the purpose of the commandments is to get rid of ambiguity, help companies understand where to start and accelerate the ability to implement Zero Trust.”

Additionally, Nikhil Kumar President & Founder, Applied Technology Solutions (ApTSi) walked attendees through an example of Zero Trust in practice, illustrating the key drivers for taking this approach, how one applies it, and its business, technical and cultural implications. Nikhil stated that “Data centricity allows us to protect data across its life cycle and share it with minimal impact. You can replace high value information with low value information and make assets granular enough that you can protect individual assets.”

Continuing on the theme of security, sessions in the afternoon provided further practical guidance on the “Open FAIR™ Approach.” John Linford, Forum Director, Security & OTTF, The Open Group, provided an introduction to Open FAIR™ Body of Knowledge, explaining that “Open FAIR provides a consistent taxonomy and framework for discussing and analyzing information risk.”

Speakers from organizations such as Modelo Security and HealthGuard explored a number of issues including how to measure cyber risk in economic terms and improving risk governance in healthcare.

Day Three

Wednesday’s sessions looked at “Enterprise Architecture and the Digital Enterprise”, delving into the role of Enterprise Architects (EA) for driving Agile digital transformation. Speakers will discuss this theme from a range of angles, including how the position of EAs will change in an ever-evolving SaaS world and the ways that EAs can use composability to help their businesses pivot quickly and increase resiliency.

The day started with Sello Makhubela, Founder and Managing Director, SMATMASS, who explained the business reference model for digital, clearly outlining the four key pillars; Digital Domain, Strategy Domain, Structural Domain, and Operational Domain.

Evolving the theme for the day, Chris Frost, Principal Enterprise Architecture, Global Delivery Unit, Fujitsu, explained the powerful partnership between Enterprise Architecture and Agile. Outlining the origins of both, he explained “We do Enterprise Architecture because it is a precursor for producing useful business solutions.”

Joe Geary, VP of Customer Value, BiZZdesign, critically outlined how the pandemic has created a compelling call to action for Enterprise Architecture groups to create meaningful value for their organizations. He stated that the winning formula is a superior EA Platform, paired with prebuilt solutions, which ultimately creates organizational value.

And that’s a wrap for another hugely successful event of The Open Group! Many thanks to our wonderful sponsors: AEA, BiZZdesign, LeanIX, Mega, and VanHaren Publishing

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 – October 25 – 27, 2021. We will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of The Open Group! Stay tuned for the agenda, and please 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.