The Open Group 2022 Highlights, Including a Glance into 2023

Happy New Year! I hope that, wherever you are reading this, 2023 has started well for you and yours.

I believe that 2023 will be another busy and significant year for The Open Group, as was 2022. So much happened last year that I thought that I would take the opportunity to look back at some of the highlights of last year, and add a few peeks into this coming year.

The most eagerly-awaited development of 2022, was the release of the TOGAF® Standard 10th Edition, which represents a huge amount of work over several years by many members of our Architecture Forum. It also builds upon the significant input that we have received from outside our membership through surveys, TOGAF User Groups, and other vehicles for getting feedback on what people would like to see in an updated version of the world’s most widely used Enterprise Architecture Standard. The TOGAF Standard, 10th Edition is really focused on what the practitioners want most, which is more and improved topical guidance on how to deliver the best Enterprise Architecture that supports their stakeholders and their organization.

It also has an updated modular structure and extended content, as we have divided the Standard into what we call Fundamental Content, and TOGAF Series Guides. The former is intended to be stable and enduring, with the latter being dynamic, as they are providing the how to, or the specific guidance that practitioners need in their particular situation, whether that’s related to business architecture, working in an agile environment, building an EA team, etc., or whatever it may be. As of now, we have 20 TOGAF Series Guides and more in the works, with some of the existing ones being refreshed, along with new ones being added.

As well as the usual PDF version and printed versions, we have also made available, for the first time, a Digital Edition which provides a vehicle for approaching the Standard from whatever your particular area of interest is. You can also now provide feedback on the Digital Edition directly to us, so that we can take that feedback into account in evolving that Standard in the future. All this new material is just part of a great deal of Enterprise Architecture content that is in The Open Group TOGAF library.

On the topic of the TOGAF Standard, we also announced in October the new TOGAF Certification Portfolio, which provides certifications and credentials that are built on both TOGAF version 9.2 and the 10th Edition. We have introduced three more certifications, which are TOGAF Business Architecture Foundation, TOGAF Enterprise Architecture Foundation, and TOGAF Enterprise Architecture Practitioner. Our thinking behind the new program was to try to link it more directly to learning paths and career paths for practitioners, although it is important to stress that the TOGAF 9.2 certification will continue for as long as there is a demand for it – we are not going to deprecate it in any way. Furthermore, anyone who is in the process of studying for a TOGAF 9.2 certification should proceed to obtain this certification,  because a key part of the new program is a bridge from TOGAF 9 certification to the new certifications. We already have more than 126,000 TOGAF® Certifications, across 169countries, and we expect this number to rise considerably thanks to the new program, and the continued availability of our existing program.

Talking of updated versions of valuable standards, another top highlight of 2022 was the publication of the IT4IT™ Standard Version 3.0. The updated standard changes the focus of the IT4IT Standard from being about running the business of IT, to being a reference architecture that helps to deliver a consolidated, modern, and automated digital delivery model that accelerates flow, and lowers the cost and risks involved in managed digital products and services.

Like the update to the TOGAF Standard, the new version of the IT4IT Standard represents years’ worth of work from a lot of our members. The CTO of Microfocus, and Chair of The Open Group Governing Board, Lars Rossen, who has been the architect of the IT4IT Standard since its inception, said that, with the launch of Version 3.0 of the Standard, we have finally achieved his original vision of what the standard could do.

Coming next for the IT4IT Standard will be the Magnificent 7 Use Cases, which look at different individual personas, what they might be interested in, and how the IT4IT Standard can help them. They are currently in the final stages of preparation, and we expect to publish them early this year. We will also be developing and launching a new IT4IT Certification program in 2023.

Switching to the topic of The Open Group Events, a definite highlight was being able to hold our first in-person meeting for over 2 years. It was great to see some familiar faces and meet new ones. The in-person meetings were a reminder to all of us that, while we can share a lot of information and glean a lot of knowledge from virtual events, there is no substitute for the interaction that happens at an in-person event, and the depth of the participation experience. Indeed, this was highlighted at our Edinburgh event last October. Anyone who was there will not forget for some time, the off-site dinner at Edinburgh Castle! It felt just like old times.

In 2023, we will be trying out some different things with our events. We will again have a mix of virtual and in-person events over the course of the year and, for the first time, we will be trying a summit approach, where we will try to gather as many Forums and Work Groups as we can to co-locate their meetings. Watch out for more information in the coming months.

Toolkit Tuesday has been running throughout 2022, and has become a very popular broadcast series – so much so, that we continued into “Season 2”, and we will be continuing into 2023. Toolkit Tuesday is a 30-minute broadcast every two weeks, focused on a particular area of interest to architects and, like our other events, we get participation from all around the world. A lot of you, I know, are watching the broadcasts either live, or on-demand at a time to suit you.

One of the measures of success for an organization such as The Open Group is the size of its membership. Well, 2022 continued the trend of recent years by seeing us grow our membership considerably. In fact, The Open Group ended 2022 with just over 900 Memberships from over 50 countries worldwide! This is really quite something when we reflect on the fact that it took us 18 years to get to 500, and 7 years to add another 400.

Those of you who have attended one or more of our events over the last year, or have kept up through our newsletters, will have heard mention of our Portfolio of Digital Open Standards. Let me explain a little more about this exciting initiative. The Open Group has many standards useful in their own right, but increasingly we are aware of the benefits and demand for using our standards together. What the Portfolio of Digital Open Standards does is make the standards in the portfolio easily accessible, discoverable, searchable, and cross-linked. There has been great progress in 2022 towards realizing this goal, including live demonstrations, and we will be making continuous improvements over the course of this year.

I’d like now to summarize briefly what great work has been going on and, of course, continues in our Forums and Work Groups. As I have covered already, The Architecture Forum has published updates to its primary standard in 2022, as has The ArchiMate Forum. Likewise, The Open Group Open Process Automation™ Forum (OPAF) is continuing to evolve the versions of its standards, and is maintaining its high-participation levels, particularly now that in-person meetings have resumed.

Our Healthcare Forum has continued its focus on the ZIRA standard (a Dutch Hospital Reference Architecture Standard), and is working with its creators to evolve it further. A good summary of this work recently published on The Open Group blog.

Over the past year, our most active Forum – in terms of participation – has been The OSDU™ Forum. Its members have also made great strides in 2022, balancing the focus on open source software development of the OSDU Data Platform with adopting existing industry standards, developing new standards, and creating the foundations of a certification program for commercial products and services. The OSDU Forum Leadership has concentrated on the governance and organizational enhancements to align the development of the OSDU Data Platform with the needs of the end users, and has restructured the Working Groups to focus on Standards for both legacy subsurface and emerging renewable energy data types.

The OSDU Forum plans for 2023 include the adoption of a Reference Implementation for the OSDU Data Platform, which will be made freely available for end users to analyze data, application developers to test their products, academia for basic research, and verification test providers for use in verifying products for certification. Additional functionality for the OSDU Data Platform is under discussion to support renewable energy, carbon capture and utilization and storage, and real-time streaming of production data. The OSDU Forum will be increasing the frequency of in-person meetings in 2023, after considerable positive member feedback from the fall 2022 meeting held in Houston, TX.

Our newest Forum is Open Footprint™ Forum, whose members are addressing an important gap in the standards world – the fact that there is no common, standard approach to the gathering and reporting of energy emissions data. What that means is that we cannot make a like-for-like comparison of one company’s emissions reports with another. This is a very topical subject area, and the Forum has divided its work into various streams of activity. We can expect the first work products to be published in 2023. Something to stress about the Forum is that it is not just focused on the energy industry, but relevant to all industries, and I would encourage you all to take a look at what the Forum is doing and to get involved.

Turning now to the key topic of security. The Security Forum continues to do valuable work on Zero Trust Architecture, and is also in the process of updating our two standards which make up the Open FAIR Body of Knowledge – Open Risk Taxonomy (O-RT) and Open Risk Analysis (O-RA). Since security is such an important topic across every discipline, the Forum is also increasingly working with other Forums of The Open Group to provide specific expertise in those Forums as well.

Looking more into the security area, our Open Trusted Technology Forum has been working on revisions and updates to Open Trusted Technology Provider Standard (O-TTPS) and, in 2023 will continue to ensure that the revised Standard is accepted by ISO/IEC in order to maintain technical equivalency. The Forum is also considering expanding its scope beyond maliciously tainted and counterfeit products to consider the primary threats of concern and best practices around supply-chain business continuity and cyber supply-chain risks.

The Open Group Future Airbourne Capability Environment (FACE) Consortium continues to make great progress, and we had a significant development towards the end of this year when the Consortium opened up participation to organizations from the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, as well as the existing members from the United States. We hope in the future that the ability to participate will be expanded further, but this recent expansion is a very significant step in itself. Of course the standards produced by the FACE and the Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) Consortium are freely available to all to implement wherever you are in the world, it is just direct participation that has been limited geographically. There was also another highly successful in-person joint Technical Interchange Meeting (TIM), with over 700 attendees.

The Open Group prides itself on its global nature and participation, and we have seen significant activity in the geographies where we have staff teams. India continues to be a key territory for The Open Group with high levels of interest in our certification programs, and great levels of Member participation. We also had a successful Awards event (in July), The Open Group India Awards, which generated several valuable case studies on using standards of The Open Group. We will be consolidating these case studies into a compendium publication sometime soon, and stay tuned for The India Awards in 2023. Also run by our India team, we have the Government EA Workgroup which is a collaboration with the International Communications Union (ITU), part of the United Nations. This group is focused on the use and value of Enterprise Architecture in the Government, and Public Sector. It has produced some very high-quality whitepapers so far, and I look forward to its work products in 2023.

A lot of our focus in China has been on making sure our standards, guides, whitepapers, and other publications are available in local language. To this end, our China Team has established a very active team of volunteer translators from our membership who have translated many of our documents into Chinese. We are also seeing in China, increased interest in some of our Forums outside of those directly related to Enterprise Architecture, namely the OSDU, Open Footprint, and Open Process Automation Forums.

As for Brazil, we have maintained our core membership and training ecosystem around our Enterprise Architecture standards but, as in China, we have been adding members in other areas of activity. One of the most recent highlights for me was attending our very successful in-person event in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

I will close by thanking you for your continued interest in, and contributions to, The Open Group. Together we have achieved a lot in 2022, and I look forward to working with you all in 2023. 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 year ahead.

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.