By Sonia Gonzalez, Digital Portfolio Manager, The Open Group, and Michelle Horrobin, Digital Portfolio Forum Director, The Open Group
The modern world runs on open standards. It does not matter if you are running a small firm or the most complex organization, Digital Transformation endeavors apply open standards to ensure that things that need to work together do work together.
One of the key benefits of open standards is that, when frameworks from different disciplines and practices are well-defined and well-understood, the interactions between them can also be clearly modeled. When different open standards are used in concert, their collective value is much greater than that of the sum of their parts.
That’s why The Open Group recently created the Portfolio of Digital Open Standards. Bringing together existing standards managed by The Open Group with structured guidance, the Portfolio of Digital Open Standards offers a set of principles through which organizations can find synergy between different practices and deliver effective digital innovation.
To better understand how and why organizations are using the standards in the Portfolio – and identify where further work and support might be needed – The Open Group conducted a survey between practitioners on their Digital Transformation journeys.
With respondents from a wide variety of sectors, from every continent, the results of the survey are also a unique window into how businesses are approaching digitalization, where benefits are being realized, and where the opportunity lies ahead. We hope you will find the key results interesting and enlightening.
Progress and motivation
It is perhaps unsurprising that Digital Transformation is, on average, something that businesses have already made significant progress on. While nearly a third of our respondents report having always been digital-first, a further 40% say that their first stage of Digital Transformation will be complete within the next year, and just 10% have not yet started on becoming more digital.
Thinking about their motivations for Digital Transformation, just over two-thirds of our respondents stated that their number one priority is the need to adapt faster in order to compete in a continuously changing environment. After this, stand-out motivations included innovation, efficiency, and resiliency. The fact that more granular goals such as faster development cycles and improved customer value lagged in importance suggests that our respondents do view Digital Transformation as a holistic, wide-ranging proposition.
When considering the importance of different practices for a successful Digital Transformation project, some might assume that IT topics like digital technology integration and data management integration would top the list. In fact, our respondents placed these fourth and fifth, respectively; the overwhelming number one need, identified as being of ‘very high’ importance by 75% of respondents, was strategic planning. This, of course, it is a clear indicator that an architecture-led approach, as we’ll see later, is widely practiced by the community.
It’s interesting to note, however, that when presented with a list of twenty different practices in Digital Transformation, every single one was identified as being of ‘Very High’ importance by at least a fifth of our respondents – underlining how varied and wide-ranging initiatives can be at different organizations.
Of course, while the motivation for Digital Transformation exercises might be holistically-minded, a wide variety of challenges can emerge in the process. The top issue identified as a blocker to initiatives was a lack of central coordination and high-level sponsorship, chosen by 41% of respondents, followed by transformation not being pervasive across the whole organization. This picture too was diverse, however, with cultural resistance to change, organizational silos, difficulty building necessary capabilities, and legacy technology all scoring highly.
Finally, we asked about which elements of the Portfolio of Digital Open Standards are most widely used. The TOGAF® Standard, a standard of The Open Group, scored well in this regard: just 12% of our respondents reported that they do not use it, while 83% stated that it is important or very important for delivering Digital Transformation.
Data on other standards shows room for precisely the kind of growth which the Portfolio of Digital Open Standards is intended to support. IT4IT™, for example, was identified as important or very important by 40% of respondents, but is currently in use amongst just 21%. DPBoK™ showed a similar pattern, with 32% acknowledging its importance and 13% using it. Only ArchiMate® displayed a similar pattern to the TOGAF Standard, with 38% of respondents both seeing its importance and utilizing it.
It is encouraging to note that 97% of respondents agreed that The Open Group Standards can be used together and are consistent. By providing guidance and principles for finding synergy in the TOGAF Standard, IT4IT™ Reference Architecture, DPBoK™, ArchiMate® Modeling Language, O-AA™, Open FAIR™, and O-TTPS™, the Portfolio of Digital Open Standards will support organizations ranging from digital-first start-ups to global enterprises in delivering valuable and sustainable change.
Sonia Gonzalez, Digital Portfolio Manager, The Open Group
Sonia Gonzalez Paredes is the Digital Portfolio Manager for The Open Group. Prior to this, Sonia was the TOGAF® Product Manager. Sonia has 30 years of experience as a Business and Enterprise Architecture consultant in different fields and industry verticals. Sonia’s professional experience as a project manager includes leading highly effective teams, and applying different frameworks, best practices, and tools. Academic Degrees: Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Universidad de Costa Rica. Computer Engineer, Universidad de Costa Rica.Professional Training and Certifications: TOGAF® 9.2 Certification, ArchiMate® 3.1 Certification,COBIT 5 Foundations Certification, training in BPMN, and Certified SAFe® 4 PractitionerCertified Product Manager – Association of International Product Marketing and Management.
Michelle Horrobin, Digital Portfolio Forum Director, The Open Group
Michelle is the Digital Portfolio Forum Director, The Open Group. and leads the Member group who develops and publishes many digital products of The Open Group, such as standards, white papers, reference architectures, and web initiatives. Michelle also supports the leaders and participants of the Member-led IT4IT™ Forum. Prior to working at The Open Group, she was head of various departments within the fleet industry, and comes from a background of working with certifying bodies both in the UK and internationally.
Michelle has extensive experience in leadership, digital product development, compliance, data protection, and strategy across various sectors including further education and IT professional certification. She is also trained in areas of diversity, inclusion, risk, and business continuity management, and has been a speaker for both business and education events.