The Open Group Event Highlights  – January 31-February 2, 2022

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

Last week’s global virtual event brought together over a thousand attendees from around the world to discuss how open digital standards can help push forward the state of play around data science, the digital enterprise, and environmental footprint reduction.

Speakers from organizations including IBM, Capgemini, PwC, Fujitsu, and AXA made for a lively and informative three days, with virtual attendees tuning in to learn about everything from human-centered AI, through digital product lifecycles, to tracking carbon emissions with satellites.

Day One

Steve Nunn, President and CEO, The Open Group, began proceedings by outlining the first day’s topic of ‘Open Standards and Platforms for Operationalizing COP26’. The Open Group has been working since August 2020 on creating an open standard for tracking environmental footprint data to give organizations real-time, actionable insight into their impact. Following last year’s COP26, is also working with member organizations to progress towards clearer, more collaborative initiatives.

Setting the scene was Celine Lescop, Lead Digital Sustainability & Data Architect, AXA Group Operations, who underlined that “we need more consistency” in carbon footprint measurement. At AXA, she explained, a program has been established using tools like TOGAF Series Guide to ensure that they “measure the positive impact” of IT as well as its negative externalities.

This was followed by an insightful presentation from Gunnar Menzel, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, Capgemini, on how design thinking can be utilized in sustainability work. With a pragmatic eye, Gunnar argued that, while IT generates a sizable footprint which is invisible to most consumers, we are “architects and our main job is to design solutions”, treating CO2 as an NFR alongside qualities like security and usability.

Putting the day’s discussions into dramatic perspective was Gavin McCormick, Co-Founder and Executive Director, WattTime. Speaking as a participant in Climate TRACE, a coalition of scientists, activists, and companies using technology to report emissions, Gavin explained how our reliance on country-level self-reporting of emissions is prone to error and manipulation and how we can respond by using satellite imagery, big data, and AI to automate transparent reporting on a global scale. As an example, he discussed the astonishing fact that, for power plants which cool themselves by sucking in sea water, “you can actually see the ripples in the water from space”.

Day Two

For its second day, the event focused on how Digital Practitioners can combine open standards to deliver cohesive Digital-First Enterprises.

Following an opening session with Dave Lounsbury, Consultant, Digital Business Strategy, TD Consulting, setting the scene for how changing business needs demand a flexible approach to standards, Paddy Fagan, STSM & Chief Architect, IBM Watson Health, joined us to talk about what he sees as a vital ‘co-linkage’ between the Digital Enterprise and Agile Enterprise. He, echoing the first day’s conversation, gave an insightful look at how the Digital Enterprise feeds into “greening by IT, which drives more efficient resource use in real life”.

Bringing a security perspective to proceedings, Altaz Valani, Director of insights Research, Security Compass, and Rob Akershoek, IT Management Architect, Fruition Partners, discussed how intersecting open standards can help close security gaps in a digital product lifecycle.

After a break, Justin Mann, Managing Partner, Digital Business Consulting, then gave us an exciting early view of the Product-Centric Reference Operating Model for Digital currently being developed by several members of The Open Group. Challenging traditional technology management models, Justin argued for the need for IT to take on a new role with a new set of priorities, saying that ‘we need a more business-minded, general business manager mindset’.

Closing out the day, Jan Stobbe, Managing Enterprise Architect, Capgemini, and Andy Platt, Fujitsu Distinguished Engineer and Managing Consultant, Fujitsu, took us through a thorough exploration of the value that the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture Standard can deliver. Armed with seven real world use cases, they demonstrated the depth of detail that the standard supplies and the inspiring ways that it can be applied.

Day Three

On the final day, we turned our attention to the growing value and importance of data science. Following a keynote from Jim Hietala, Vice President Business Development & Security, The Open Group, about how The Open Group has established an open Data Science Community of Interest, we were joined by Seth Dobrin, VP Data & AI, Chief Data Officer Cloud & Cognitive Software, IBM, to discuss human-centered AI.

In an inspiring and stimulating presentation, Seth deepened our thinking about AI and the purposes we apply it to, saying that ‘we need to remember its main purpose, which is solving human issues, as AI is only a means to an end’.

Seth’s suggestion that AI can be seen as ‘a scientific method for business value’ was unpacked further in our next sessions with Wouter Oosterbosch, Chief Data Scientist Europe, IBM, Advanced Analytics Center of Competence, and Beth Rudden Data Science & Analytics Executive, IBM. Data science, Wouter argued, is ‘as much about understanding the business and consulting as it is about inputting data into a database and selecting a model. In an impressive tour of best practice, Beth then took us through some real-world examples of how data science draws in a broad range of specialist domain knowledge – and how we need tools to track and manage that diverse expertise.

To close the day, and the event, we were then treated to a live data science virtual workshop with Neeraj Madan, Data Scientist, IBM, Maureen Norton, Chief Analytics Officer & Marketing Intelligence Professional, IBM, and Upkar Lidder, Data Scientist, IBM. With an example project around applying real-time analysis to customer experience data, the session inspired us to think differently about how data can solve real world problems.

And with that, we wrapped a hugely successful and consistently fascinating virtual event. Huge thanks got to our sponsors –  the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA) and Van Haren Publishing for partnering with The Open Group. Also, huge thanks to our speakers, Members, event attendees, and staff!

Our next event will be hybrid, in London and online, taking place on the April 25-27, 2022. Stay tuned for details of the topics, speakers, and how to register. We’re excited to see you there!

#ogVIRTUAL #OpenDigitalStandards #COP26 #Sustainability

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.