Highlights of 2021, Peek into 2022

By Steve Nunn, President and CEO, The Open Group

Happy New Year! I hope that, wherever you are reading this, 2022 has started well for you and yours. It is clearly a time of continued concern and caution due to the on-going global pandemic, and yet it also feels like a moment of hope and optimism that we might finally begin to regain some kind of normality in our lives. It seems COVID-19 will be with us for some time to come, but I’d like to think that the coming year will be one with far less devastation on a human, social, and economic level. What I can say with certainty is that 2022 will be a busy and significant year for The Open Group.

What follows is mostly a look at some of the highlights of 2021, with a few peeks into this coming year. There is so much going on in The Open Group nowadays that it is impossible to cover everything in a short blog. Across our community, our Members are working hard on open standards that are truly changing industry practice – and I’m talking about many different industries when I say that. Our standards and guides have never been more relevant than they are now, particularly given the universal need for digital transformation.  So, let’s have a quick look back over the last twelve months.

Firstly, In September 2021, The Open Group reached 25. In October we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of The Open Group. This achievement could not have been possible without the hard, dedicated work from our Members, Forums, Consortia, Work Groups and Staff. Thank you all.

The Open Group ended 2021 with over 870 Memberships from over 50 countries worldwide! On the subject of numbers, we’re proud to state that there are more than 115,000 individual certifications for the TOGAF® 9 certification program. We aim to continue the momentum into 2022 and beyond for all of our certifications. Despite having to host our quarterly events virtually once again, we have had a tremendous amount of participation throughout the year. It has been so humbling to see over 6,000 registered attendees tuning into our events from all over – it made our 25th Anniversary that much more special to see faces of old and new taking time out of their day to attend an event.

On the topic of events… A notable addition that has been well received and continues to get positive feedback in 2021 was the introduction of The Open Group Toolkit Tuesday Broadcast Series. There have been 10 episodes as of present, and the next episode is due to be live on January 18th, 2022, with Andrew Josey, VP Standards and Certifications, The Open Group. I’d like to take the time to thank the resident experts that have already featured in some of the aforementioned episodes. They are: Terry Blevins, Paul Homan, Chris Forde, Chris Frost, Andrew Josey, and Sonia Gonzalez.

In March 2021, The Open Group OSDU™ Forum celebrated a milestone for the energy industry: the launch of the OSDU™ Data Platform Mercury Release. The new Open Source, standards-based data platform represents a key achievement of the OSDU Forum in a very short space of time – illustrating the importance of cross-industry collaboration for supporting the world’s changing energy needs. 

The SOSA™ Consortium released – SOSA Technical Standard for Reference Architecture, Edition 1.0. Following on from several previously published snapshots. It will enable rapid, affordable, cross-platform capability advancements based upon fundamentals of system, software, hardware, and electrical and mechanical engineering best practices.

The Open Group FACE™ Consortium launched the accreditation training program. The New program to provide accreditation for training courses around the FACE Standard and FACE Conformance. The FACE Consortium hosted 2 Technical Interchange Meetings, one in March and a face-to-face meeting in September with over 1,000 attendees.

The work of The Open Group spreads proudly across the world – we are a truly global organization. Our regional offices in Brazil, China, and India all have their own highlights for the year.

In Brazil, there has been continued growth in both awareness and Membership numbers in a host of our Forums. Most notably there has been an increase in active participation amongst the Open Process Automation™ Forum (OPAF) and OSDU. The Open Group Brazil has hosted successful, well attended events in 2021, including the 25th Anniversary event.

Moving over to China, where a lot of effort has been focussed on the internationalization of many of our publications. We have an active and growing group of volunteer translators in China that are doing a great job of bringing Chinese language versions of our Standards to publication. We are excited to continue this work this year.

The Open Group continues to get recognition from the Indian Government for our standards. Notably in the second quarter of 2021 – Bureau of Indian Standards’ New Reference Architecture for Smart Cities Adopted The Open Group ArchiMate Specification. This is a huge step forward. In addition, The TOGAF Standard was cited as a government tech solution by the World Bank Group, largely thanks to the efforts of the India team. Talking of the India team, they have been spearheading the revived government Enterprise Architecture (EA) workgroup which has been focussed on work in collaboration with ITU.

In order to have such successful events, membership numbers and certifications – we have a vast array of dedicated, hardworking Forums that cover a whole range of topics and industries. It is so good to see so many active Members contributing towards something they all believe in.

Early in 2021, The ArchiMate® Forum hosted the first open call for feedback on the ArchiMate 3.1 Specification through the ArchiMate User Community. This allowed members and non-members to submit and potentially influence change in the next minor release, to be delivered mid-2022. For 2022 and beyond, the Forum will be focusing on maintaining the Specification and continuing to grow the ArchiMate User Community. If you are unfamiliar with the community space, please be sure to check it out.

The Architecture Forum have been working on creating The TOGAF® Series Guides which focus on how to use the TOGAF Standard. This is a key part of the ongoing restructuring of the TOGAF Standard as we work towards the next version of the Standard.

Very relevant to the global pandemic, on February 19, 2021, The Open Group Healthcare Forum published its best practice Guide for stakeholders involved in planning and conducting COVID-19 mass vaccination campaigns.

The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum have released Snapshot 3.0, and we’re looking forward to the release of the coming standard. Another point to note is the release of “The Turning Point: A Novel About Agile Architects Building a Digital Foundation”. It’s a very approachable book, and a great demonstration of how different standards of The Open Group can be used together as part of the digital transformation journey.

The Open Footprint™ Forum has been reorganizing efforts to better achieve their goals. The Forum has been seeing steady traction, and is homing in on increasing awareness and actively searching for new Member organizations that share the same values as them. Not only that, in for the coming year we can expect to see more focus on achieving real deliverables such as Reference Implementations members can use.

The Open Group Open Process Automation™ Forum (OPAF) are continuing to evolve the versions of the Standards. During this year we’ve seen the first of the demonstrations of products that have been built to utilize the OPAF Standard.

2021 has been a year of increased cybersecurity awareness, of all kinds. Fortunately, The Open Group has two Forums actively devoted to enhancing and improving both cybersecurity and supply chain security: the Security Forum and the Open Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF). Today, The Open Group Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) Working Group, which is a collaboration between the Security Forum and the Architecture Forum, is leading the initiative to establish standards and best practices for Zero Trust as the overarching information security approach for the Digital Age.

In June 2021, the Open FAIR™ Certification Program officially reached more than 1000 certified people. This milestone represents tremendous growth around Open FAIR and indicates widespread acceptance of the standard and approach of Open FAIR. This, as well as the increase in The Open Trusted Technology Provider™ Standard (O-TTPS) certifications, is due in no small part to the sterling efforts of Joanne Woytek and her team at NASA SEWP.

As we look forward to 2022, we’ll have a concentrated effort on the digital portfolio of standards, where we focus on bringing together various standards of The Open Group into a useful portfolio for use in the digital enterprise

Well, I’d better leave it at that – or risk extending this considerably. Thanks so much to all our Members and other customers for your continued support, and amazing levels of contribution and participation over the last year, and thanks in advance for all your efforts in this coming year. All that remains for me, personally, and on behalf of The Open Group staff, is to wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Steve Nunn is President and CEO of The Open Group – a global consortium that enables the achievement of business objectives through technology standards. He is also President of the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA).

Steve joined The Open Group in 1993, spending the majority of his time as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel.   He was also CEO of the AEA from 2010 until 2015.

Steve is a lawyer by training, has an L.L.B. (Hons) in Law with French and retains a current legal practicing certificate.  Having spent most of his life in the UK, Steve has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2007. He enjoys spending time with his family, walking, playing golf, 80s music, and is a lifelong West Ham United fan.