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The Open Group Virtual Event Celebrates 25 Years of Open Technology Standards October 25-27, 2021- Highlights

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

Last week, The Open Group Open Digital Standards October 2021 brought together organizations and speakers from across the world to discuss how the cross-industry development of open standards is helping businesses become digital-first. The global event was hosted in Brazil, China, India, Japan, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the United States. The event commemorated The Open Group 25th anniversary – acknowledging and reminiscing the remarkable achievements in the technology standards arena. Over 2,600 attendees from more than 100 countries gathered virtually to share in the celebration and learn more about open technology standards.

The sessions centered around open standards and highlighted practical applications for businesses. Key speakers included experts from all around the globe in industry-leading organizations such as IBM Services, Capgemini, Fujitsu, Chevron, PwC Brazil, NASA, Real IRM, Huawei, and many more.

Day One

As the first stop of the event, China kicked off the celebration at 11:30 a.m. Beijing time. The Open Group President and CEO Steve Nunn, and Enterprise Architecture Vice President and General Manager of Asia Pacific Chris Forde highlighted the growing expert community of localization, and more local collaborations afoot in China. The global session unfolded in three chapters: “Future Digital Enterprise”, “Smart Future”, and “Digital Talent”, bringing together over a dozen leading industry experts. Informative speeches and discussions were delivered by high-level executives from Huawei, ICBC, Schneider Electric, SUPCON, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Wuhan University, IBM Consulting, BCG Consulting, Pearson VUE, among others. Together they discussed how open technology standards address common industry challenges and drive new models, channels, and strategies for enterprise digitization, sustainability, and digital governance, in a variety of sectors and business scenarios, including governance, IT, manufacturing, aviation, finance, and real estate.

The India section saw participation from Indian Technologists, Regulators, Chief Architects, thought leaders, and policy makers. Experts from multiple countries shared their insights, thoughts, experiences, and deliberated on futuristic technology topics such as why adoption of Zero Trust Technology is essential for organizations looking to address security challenges in the time of the pandemic where cyber attacks have seen a steep increase. Also discussed was Agile Governance for Society 5.0, and how Japan is taking the lead ahead of the rest of the world. The “Architecting Digital Governments of the Future” session brought in experiences and insights from India, New Zealand, Ireland, Serbia, and Taiwan. The Open Footprint Forum experts highlighted the need for having universal measurable carbon footprint metrics.

The closing remarks were offered by Mr. J Satyanarayana (Chief Advisor, C4IR India, World Economic Forum Member, Advisory Board, Global Forum on Cyber Expertise, Netherlands) on the role of standards in Data Economy and how governments and organizations globally can exploit the potential of the Data Economy. The International Telecommunication Union also bought in a global perspective with focus on sustainable development shaped by open standards and best practices.

Steve Nunn then welcomed attendees to the UK session: “We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary and we’re doing this global event over the course of 36 hours across all our locations”. He also introduced the day’s topics, the work of the TOGAF® Standard, and the impact of the UNIX® Standard. Throughout the day, experts from organizations such as Chevron, NGINX Inc., Capgemini, and National Air Traffic Services, joined TOGAF Standard Product Manager Sonia Gonzalez and Chair of The Open Group ArchiMate® Forum Jean-Baptiste Sarrodie to explore the changing role of Enterprise Architects (EA) and the evolution and impact of the ArchiMate Standard.

Presentations provided practical examples of how these standards are being applied within a range of industries to improve business efficiency.

Paul Homan, Distinguished Engineer and CTO Industrial at IBM Services led the conversation around the TOGAF Standard. In his 20-year experience with The Open Group he has tried to build what he learned into the adoption and development of the standard. He believes an important part of his journey with the TOGAF Standard was being part of the community, having a common language and a common way of looking at things. He also shared some observations on what is happening with the TOGAF Standard today and explained how he perceives the role of TOGAF Standard in the future. “A productive standard has to have a common review to have a much wider application and applicability. In the future, the TOGAF Standard will still be unifying albeit continuing to evolve.”

Additionally, Jean-Baptiste Sarrodie, Enterprise Architect at BNP Paribas, debunked myths and misconceptions in his session on the ArchiMate Modeling Language, “The key issue that ArchiMate tries to solve is mutual understanding. Often, we use the same words, but without a shared meaning.” He continued: “ArchiMate is a modeling language, which means you need a modeling tool, but is it something you really need? Essentially, there are different complexities of models. Your model could be a simple drawing made with pen on paper.”

He explained the key benefits and values that the ArchiMate modeling language offers to non-architects. “Using a modeling tool is only useful if it adds value to you and the people you work with. The ArchiMate Specification allows better and succinct communication.”

The event then moved around the globe to Brazil. There, speakers from PwC Brazil, Centus, SERPRO, and many more covered everything from Enterprise Architecture to Security. There were sessions on environmental – Open Footprint™, Security – Open FAIR™ , and Open Process Automation™ – OPAF. The Brazilian IT agency, SERPRO, also demonstrated how they are improving Digital Transformation in the public sector.

The Open Group moved to the North America West Coast to round off the first day of the event. This section of the event began with The Open Group CEO Steve Nunn, in conversation with Allen Brown, former CEO & President of The Open Group. Within this conversation, the two reflected on the journey they have both experienced with The Open Group over the last 25 years. Presentations from Members Richard Gornitsky, Dave Hornford, Sri Dumpala, Jaisinh Dhembre & Kartik Ravel focused on digital transformation, enterprise architecture (EA) and The TOGAF Standard. Later on, Sonia Gonzalez, TOGAF® Standard Product Manager, The Open Group moderated an insightful Q&A Panel with the aforementioned speakers.

After the break, the event switched lanes and presentations had other focuses, from The OSDU™ Data Platform, the UNIX® Standard and Open Agile Architecture™ Specification. Steve Nunn brought a close to a very eventful first day at The Open Group event, thanking attendees and speakers for their time and contribution and outlining what day two had in store.

Day Two

The Open Group 25th Anniversary event on the second day started in Japan, with an introduction from Mr. Junkyo Fujieda, Representative and Chairman, The Open Group Japan, and President and CEO of ReGIS (Research Environment of Global Information Society) Inc.

During Junkyo’s introduction, he highlighted the number of TOGAF Certifications within the Global Fortune Top 500 Organizations as noted in the picture below:

(1) Top 1~500th (All global Fortune 500); 45% of the Top 500 have TOGAF Certifications, up 3% from 2017

(2) Top 1 to 250th (Upper half of 500 – 2020); 55% of them have TOGAF9 Certified architects, up 4% from 2017

(3) Top 1 to 100th (Top 100 Fortune 500- 2020); 66% of them have TOGAF9 Certified architects, up 2% from 2017

(4) Top 1 to 50th (Top 50th Fortune 500 – 2020); 74% of them have TOGAF9 Certified architects

(5) Top 1 to 20th (Top 20th Fortune 500 – 2020); 80% of them have TOGAF9 Certified architects up 5% from 2017

That means, all global top enterprises are very sensitively educating their architects in a real upward sequence in dramatically simple and clearer messages.

Most of the sessions in Japan were focused on Open Transformation using CX direction & DX technology. A notable mention within the agenda was a presentation by Mr. Masatoshi Nishi, INPEX Co. Ltd. on OSDU™ Focusing on Initiatives for a Decarbonized Society and the Changes in the Energy Industry.  

Within the session, attendees were shown a video from Hedonori Furuta, Fujitsu providing a Case Study on Fujitsu’s initiatives with The Open Group and how they apply the TOGAF Standard to their customers. A statistic to highlight is that they have 449 staff members certified with the TOGAF Standard.”

The second portion of the day’s sessions were held in South Africa and included expert speakers from Real IRM, NTT Limited, South African Reserve Bank, and Standard Bank Group. Enterprise Architecture was a key focus for the event, and speakers from different industries discussed their uses of architecture and the TOGAF Standard.

Additionally, the TOGAF Standard was discussed in the context of some of South Africa’s largest banks by Paul van der Merwe, Head of Enterprise Architecture at Standard Bank, in his presentation “TOGAF for Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”. With a different view of the TOGAF Standard, Anneke Thorburn and Raymond Wessels, presented on “Applying TOGAF in the Public Sector” and included a look at use of the GWEA Framework. Enterprise Architecture for Central Banks was discussed by South African Reserve Bank Enterprise Architecture Lead, James Thomas, who used an analogy of city planning in his presentation. The merits of applying Enterprise Architecture were presented by Mark Van Bavel, Executive Vice President, Digital Platform Architecture – Global CTO Office at NTT Limited, in his presentation “Global Merger combined with Digital Transformation using Enterprise Architecture as Strategy”.

Adriaan Vorster concluded the South Africa session with his systems engineering view of “Architecture, the Language of Complexity” with a look at evolving complexity and communication.

During the North America East Coast event, attendees had the opportunity to hear from The Open Group CDO Dave Lounsbury and Dr. Lars Rossen, Micro Focus CTO and The Open Group Chair of the Governing Board, about open standards for the digital enterprise and agile world.

Opening the discussion was Dave Lounsbury: “The Open Group exists to solve business problems, which are given by the rapid change in technology that is happening.” He continued to explain that the standards have always been thought of as digital products but that the delivery platform is also a digital product, so it’s a combination of a digital product and delivery platforms that needs to be guided by market feedback.”

Dave Lounsbury shared a sneak peek of the new Digital Enterprise Framework platform: “We believe this will help us drive consistency, speed of implementation, and visualization.”

Dr. Lars Rossen discussed the more-than-ever relevancy of the standards in an agile world: “A typical digital enterprise has many teams who all need to be quick and agile, but they might be working in very different ways.” He also explored how transforming the way standards are developed to align to the speed and agility needed in the digital world. And they should be looked at as code, so they can be developed at the same speed as the market evolves.

In the afternoon, sessions featured speakers from L3Harris and Lockheed Martin and explored the implications of open technical standards applicable to military and commercial sensor systems including the FACE™ Consortium and SOSA™ Consortium and the recent launch of the Technical Standard for SOSA™ Reference Architecture, Edition 1.0.

Publication of these standards was a critical first step in modernizing defense acquisition and providing rapid, competitive, affordable, and modular acquisition of previously monolithic systems.  Bob Matthews, Advanced Concepts Engineers at L3Harris, and Kirk Avery, Lockheed Martin Fellow discussed how businesses and technical aspects have kickstarted this new market. He also highlighted some of the next steps needed to accelerate adoption and achieve the full benefit of the DoD’s MOSA vision. Kirk Avery added on implanting standards: “The Open Group really drove us to make sure what we were putting out was really high quality.”

Continuing in the afternoon, Dr. Jack Freund, Head of Cyber Risk Methodology at VisibleRisk, spoke about why expressing cybersecurity through the lens of risk is a differentiator in making Board Directors and company executives understand the importance of security. “We are still trying to rationalize how to spend money on cybersecurity.”

Dr. Freund discussed the value of risk analysis and provided practical guidance on the Open FAIR™ approach, a model and taxonomy for understanding, analyzing, and measuring information risk.

That’s a wrap for The Open Group 25th Anniversary global event!

Thank you to our fantastic sponsors; Association of Enterprise Architects, Avolution Abacus, Real IRM, MEGA, and Van Haren Publishing.

Many thanks to our incredible speakers, Members, partners, attendees, and staff. Proceedings and recordings of The Open Group 25th Anniversary event are available on November 3rd to all Members and attendees.

Our next quarterly event will be a hybid event (virtual globally and locally in London) – January 31- February 2, 2022. Stay tuned for the agenda and please join us. As always, we’re hoping our Members, customers, presenters, partners, and staff around the world stay safe and healthy!

#TheOpenGroup25 #ogVIRTUAL25 #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.