Category Archives: Digital Transformation

The Open Group San Francisco Day Two Highlights

By The Open Group

Day two of The Open Group San Francisco event was held Tuesday, January 31 on another sunny, winter day in San Francisco. Tuesday’s welcome address featured Steve Nunn, President & CEO, and Jim Hietala, VP Business Development and Security, both of The Open Group, greeting attendees for a morning of sessions centered around the theme of Making Standards Work®. Nunn kicked off the morning by reporting that the first day of the conference had been very well received with copious positive feedback on Monday’s speakers.

It was also announced that the first certification courses for ArchiMate® 3.0 , an Open Group standard, kicked off at the conference. In addition, the San Francisco event marked the launch of The Open Group Open Process Automation™ Forum, a Forum of The Open Group, which will address standards development for open, secure, interoperable process control architectures. The Forum will include end users, suppliers, systems integrators, integrated DCS vendors, standards organizations and academics from a variety of industries, including food and beverage, oil and gas, pulp and paper, petrochemical, pharmaceuticals, metals and mining, and utilities.  Hietala joined Nunn on stage to discuss the launch of the Forum, which came out of a vision from ExxonMobil. The Forum has already grown rapidly, with almost 100 members. Forum Members are also attending and holding events at the annual ARC Advisory Group Industry Forum in Orlando.

The morning plenary began with Dennis Stevens from Lockheed Martin discussing “The Influence of Open Architecture Standards on the Emergence of Advance Process Control Systems.” Stevens, who is involved in The Open Group FACE™ Consortium, will also be leading the Open Process Automation Forum. Stevens opened by saying that this is a particularly exciting time in industrial automation due to of the intersection of standards, technology and automation. According to Stevens, the work that has been done in the FACE Forum over the past few years has paved the way for what also needs to be done in process automation.

Stevens noted that many of the industrial systems in use today will be facing obsolescence in the next few years due to a variety of reasons, including a proliferation of proprietary and closed systems, a lack of sophisticated development tools and the high-cost of technology refreshes. Tech trends such as the Internet of Things, cybersecurity, open source and virtualization are also forcing a need for industrial manufacturers to change. In addition, the growth of complexity in software systems and the changeover from hardware dominant to software dominant systems is also compelling factors for automation change. However, Stevens says, by reusing existing and creating new standards, there are many opportunities for cost savings and reducing complexity.

According the Stevens, the goal is to standardize the interfaces that companies can use so there is interoperability across systems built atop a common framework. By standardizing the interface only, organizations can still differentiate themselves by bringing their own business processes and designs to those systems via hardware or software components. In addition, by bringing elements from the FACE standardization model to Open Process Automation, the new forum can also take advantage of proven processes that already take into account regulations around co-opetition and anti-trust. Stevens believes that Open Process Automation will ultimately enable new markets and suppliers for process automation as well as lower the cost of doing business in industrial automation.

Following the morning break, Chair of the Department of Economics at San Jose State University Dr. Lydia Ortega took stage for the second morning session, entitled “Innovative Communities.”  Ortega took a refreshing look at what The Open Group does and how it works by applying economic theory to illustrate how the organization is an “Innovative community.” Ortega began by providing what she called an “economist’s definition” of what open standards are, which she defined as a collection of dispersed knowledge that is a building block for innovation and is continually evolving. She also described open standards as a “public good,” due to the fact that they are knowledge-based, non-rivalrous, non-excludable and produced once and available to others at marginal cost. Teamwork, consensus, community are also characterizing features of what makes the organization work. Ortega plans to continue her research into what makes The Open Group work by examining competing standards bodies and the organization’s origins among other things.

Prior to introducing the next session, Steve Nunn presented an award to Steve Whitlock, a long-time Open Group member who recently retired from Boeing, for more than 20 years of leadership, contributions and service to The Open Group. Colleagues provided additional praise for Whitlock and his willingness to lead activities on behalf of The Open Group and its members, particularly in the area of security.

The morning’s third session featured Mike Jerbic, Principal Consultant for Trusted System Consulting Group, highlighting how the “Norwegian Regional Healthcare Project & Open FAIR” have been used to analyze the cost benefits of a home treatment program for dialysis patients in Norway. Currently, due to health and privacy regulations and security requirements, patients who receive home dialysis must physically transport data regarding their treatments to hospitals, which affects the quality of patient’s lives but protects the state from security issues related to transporting data online. Jerbic and a group of economics students at San Jose State University in California did an economic analysis to examine the costs vs. benefits of the program. Using The Open Group Open FAIR™ body of knowledge to analyze the potential threats to both patient privacy and information security, the group found it would make sense to pose the program risks as an engineering problem to be solved. However, they must do additional research to weigh the benefits of potential cost savings to the state vs. the benefits of quality of life for patients.

Concluding Tuesday’s plenary sessions was a panel entitled “Open FAIR in Practice,” which extended the conversation regarding the Norwegian healthcare project by taking questions from the audience about the program. Jerbic moderated the panel, which included Ortega; Eva Kuiper, ESS GRC Security Consultant, HPE; John Linford, Lecturer, Department of Economics, San Jose State University; and Sushmitha Kasturi, Undergraduate Researches, San Jose State University.

Jerbic also announced that a number of students from San Jose State, many of whom were in attendance, have recently either completed or begun their certification in Open FAIR.  He also talked about an Academic Program within The Open Group that is working with students on projects that are mutually beneficial, allowing The Open Group to get help with the work needed to create standards, while providing important practical work experience for students.

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by-the-open-group

San Jose State University Students

Following the plenary, Tuesday’s lunchtime partner presentation featured Sean Cleary, Senior Consultant, Orbus Software, presenting on “Architecture Roadmap Visualization with ArchiMate® 3.0.”

Afternoon sessions were split into two tracks, Cognitive Computing and EA in Practice.

  • EA in Practice – Hosted by Len Fehskens of the Association of Enterprise Architects, two sessions looked at maxims and folktales for architects, presented by Fehskens, and how to enable government and management with continuous audits with Robert Weisman, CEO/COO of Build the Vision.
  • Cognitive Computing – Chris Harding from The Open Group served as host for four sessions in the track:
    • Ali Arsanjani, CTO for Analytics and Emerging Technologies, IBM – Arsanjani provided an overview of different ways that data can be structured for cognitive computing applications. According to Arsanjani, cognitive systems are meant to augment, not replace, human systems and to be of service to us. By combining human interaction and curation with automated data analysis and machine learning, companies will be able to gain greater business advantages. However, we also must also always be aware of the implications of using artificial systems and the potential consequences of doing so, he said.
    • Jitendra Maan, Enterprise Architect and Center of Excellence Lead, Tata Consultancy Services – Maan says cognitive computing signals a shift in how machines interact with humans, other machines and the environment, with potential for new categories of business outcomes and disruption. The design of automated systems is critical to how cognitive systems are expected to evolve but unlike traditional computing, cognitive will rely on a combination of natural language processing, machine learning and data. Potential business applications already in progress include service support centers, contract management, risk assessment, intelligent chat bots and conversation work flows. Maan predicts bots will actually replace many service functions in the next few years.
    • Swaminathan Chandrsekaran, Industry Apps & Solutions, IBM Watson, both of IBM – Chandrsekaran’s talk took a deeper dive into cognitive computing and the make-up of cognitive systems. Understanding, reason, learning and interaction are key to teaching cognitive systems how to work, he said. Cognitive systems are also broadly categorized around language, speech, vision and data & insights, much like the human brain. Patterns can generally be created from cognitive conversations, discovery and application extensions. Chandreskaran also shared how to model a reference architecture for a cognitive conversation pattern.
    • The Cognitive Computing panel, moderated by Harding, included afternoon speakers Arsanjani, Maan and Chandrsekaran. The panel discussed how businesses can gain advantage from cognitive computing, learned personalization and contextualization via systems training, the time it takes to train a system (now days or weeks vs. months or years), making the systems more intelligent over time, and the need to aggregate and curate data from the beginning of a project and also focus on introducing domain-relevant data, as well as the importance of good data curation.

The day concluded with a social event and dinner for attendees held at the Autodesk Gallery, a San Francisco destination that marries creativity, design and engineering in more than 20 exhibits sponsored by companies such as Lego and Mercedes Benz.

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Networking at the Autodesk Gallery

The following day, the event offered track sessions in areas including  Internet of Things (IoT) and Architecture.  The Open Group San Francisco drew to a close with Members Only Meetings on February 2.

@theopengroup #ogSFO

We are looking forward to seeing you at The Open Group Berlin April 24-27, 2017! #ogBER

 

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Filed under ArchiMate®, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Architecture (EA), FACE™, Internet of Things, IoT, O-BA Standard, Open Business Architecture (O-BA), Open FAIR, Open Process Automation, standards, Steve Nunn, The Open Group, The Open Group San Francisco 2016, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

Understanding the Customer Experience: A Conversation with Forrester Analysts David Cannon and David Wheable

By The Open Group

With more technology in the hands of consumers than ever before, customers have become increasingly demanding in terms of not only the service they receive from companies but also the experience they have with your company or brand. Today, companies must be aware of and respond to what customers are looking for in terms of what they get from a company and how they interact—or they risk losing those customers.

This is leaving many companies in a very vulnerable position, particularly when it comes to digital customer experiences. In advance of The Open Group San Francisco 2017, we spoke with David Cannon, Vice President and Group Director, and David Wheable, Vice President and Principle Consultant, both of Forrester Research, about what customer expectations look like today and what companies need to be aware of so that they can survive in an ever-changing digital landscape. Both will be keynote speakers at The Open Group event on January 30.

The customer experience is something that’s been talked about for many years. What’s different now about customers that make their experiences with companies an even more urgent matter than in the past?

David Cannon (DC): The single most important thing that’s changed is that customers have more choice and the ability to change suppliers within literally seconds. And this is not limited to individual consumers.  Enterprises can switch key systems with minimal disruption.  The key to retaining customers today is to make sure their experience with you is good—if not there’s no reason to stay.

David Wheable (DW): Building on that is the way we talk about digital business; many of those interactions occur digitally now. The role of technology in that experience now is key. If you don’t deliver a good digital customer experience, as Dave Cannon said, the next one in the line will get the business. I actually did that the other day—one site would not let me log in, so they lost my business and the next one got my business instantly.

DC: David’s right, with digitization, we’re not actually dealing with individuals and human beings, we’re dealing with simple, digital interfaces. This reduces any potential sense of loyalty—we just want what we want, when we want it and that’s it.

That takes away a huge part of how businesses have traditionally run—it’s that relationship they have with the customer that has often set businesses apart. Are there ways that companies can better personalize experience and counteract that loss of human interaction or do they need to also make sure they are continuing to work person-to-person?

DW: That’s an interesting question because particularly when I talk to technical people, they really don’t actually understand what the customer experience is. Forrester defines it in terms of three Es—ease, effectiveness and emotion. Technical people have generally dealt with the ease and effectiveness for many years, so that’s no problem, but what they’re really bad at thinking about is designing for emotion. So if you are trying to have a digital customer experience, digital touch points, and you still have to include the emotion side in it, that’s where the loyalty comes from. Where we see that driven is when organizations look at how the positive, painless, frictionless kinds of experiences drive that kind of loyalty. What we see now is that those companies that are thinking about this are moving away from thinking about products and services and moving toward thinking about the customer in terms of experiences, desires and outcomes, and they might only be a small part of an ecosystem that generates that experience or outcome.

DC: I’ll add to that. One of the secrets to understanding how you’re impacting that emotion is to be able to gather more information about what the customer is doing, how they’re doing it, when they’re doing it and why they’re doing it.  We have tools that can do this better than we’ve ever done it before—without even interviewing or surveying our customers.  We have to be able to infer from whatever they’re doing digitally whether that equates to a good emotion or a negative emotion. The whole area of analytics becomes more important than ever—but it’s also different than before.

To give an example, sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor, give you a history of people’s experiences with a restaurant or service provider.  But they don’t provide real time information if the thing that upset a customer two years ago is still there.  Unless the customer provides constructive feedback that’s visible to all, they don’t help the service provider understand what they can do to make the customer’s experience better. Customer satisfaction ratings are also limited, because they are just a snapshot of a customer at a moment.  They don’t always tell us why the customer was (dis)satisfied, or whether they would have the same rating with that service today.

We’re getting better at looking at real-time analytics that tell us, in real-time, what is the context, where are customers using this, why are they using this and how does that impact their experience at that time? Is there a way that we can detect a negative experience and determine exactly what’s causing it and how to change it immediately?

One technique we use is Touchpoint Analysis, which breaks down what a customer does in individual interactions and individual contexts and then figures out how to measure their experience with each touchpoint.  To identify each touchpoint and then instrument it for real time experience was a huge ask, but technology is making it possible.

Personalization and customization have been talked about for at least 20 years now. At this point are there still concerns about privacy and knowing too much about customers? And on the flip side, if companies are relying on data to determine customer interactions rather than personal contact or relationships—and granted large companies can’t rely on personal interactions with thousands of people—does that reliance on data continue the problem of taking away from the human interaction?

DC: It’s kind of a paradox. On the one hand, you’re inventing technology and you’re putting that technology in the hands of users and that distances them from you. At the same time, you’re making them more capable of engaging with you. The very technology that allows you to be more remote (work from home, etc.) is being used to create online communities, friends, go shopping, run a political campaign, etc.  So technology is not only changing patterns of customer behavior, it’s changing how society works.  This is neither good news nor bad (or perhaps it’s a bit of both)—it’s just what’s happening.

On the other hand, by participating in this online society, you are sacrificing privacy. Many people demand better customer experience, fully understanding that that means that companies know more about them.  We’re starting to see some awareness of how ‘creepy’ this can be (being stalked by advertisers in one app because you searched for something in a different app).  But at this stage the search for better customer experience is still more powerful than the need for privacy. Will the pendulum swing the other way?  Definitely, but it will take some time and a more serious revelation of how privacy has been abused than those that have already emerged.

DW:  I also thing that one of the drivers of loyalty that customers are looking for from a brand is that trust in that brand to look after their data appropriately and use it appropriately. What we see again is that is a business imperative to respect privacy, to use data appropriately and obscure data appropriately and if the customers of that organization feel that is happening, they will be more loyal to that organization or company than one that they don’t trust their approach to data.

DC: I totally agree with that. I’d say though that in some cases, the realization that a company has not dealt with my data appropriately comes too late. We’re starting to see a shift to companies being more proactive in communicating how they’re safeguarding your privacy so it becomes more of a selling point for the services they provide. Not only are they going to give you a better experience, they’re going to give you a safer experience as well. Up until now that need for customers to know that up front has not really been as urgent. I think based on what David just said, that’s changing.

With all the high profile security breaches over the past few years, that’s important. On the other hand, if companies have poor service and do things that anger people, it’s as simple as if you’re waiting too long at the airport for your flight and you start tweeting about it, then you’re helping to damage the reputation of the airline.

DC: And what we’ve seen is that some of these companies are monitoring that kind of traffic and recording who those users are that make those statements. Using social media to communicate your experience with a company can also act against your relationship with that company. Some customers have reported negative experiences after they tweet bad things and positive experiences after they tweet good things

I think the only thing that we can deduce from this is that every type of human interaction that existed before all this technology is now happening using the technology. Just as you were careful in the real world, you have to be careful in the online world. You have to be careful about what you say, about whom and to whom—and that goes for whether you’re a consumer or a company.

Technical people still have to catch up with this a bit. Some think as long as there’s anti-virus or intrusion control on our major systems, we’re OK. What they’re not looking at is the business risk associated with, for example, a privacy breach — we’re not talking about a technical threat here, we’re talking about your business being able to survive or not.

We’re really exploring very new ethical and legislative ground here and the whole customer experience is really going to test that in the coming years. Just how much information is too much? Just what constitutes private information? Different countries have different views of what constitutes private information and my ability as a company to place my base of operation in one of those countries that is less responsible is that I can do more, but it makes me less responsible to my customers—how is that going to impact my business? These questions are still being tested.

When David and I will be talking in San Francisco, we’re not just talking about how do you get more friendly with your customers and get better service, what we’re really talking about is how do you survive as business in a changing world where the rules are changing every day? That’s a much bigger conversation than how technical people give better customer service—which is what the discussion was before.

You mention that there’s been gap among companies between those that “look” digital and those that are actually “being” digital. What does that gap look like and how can companies bridge that gap?

DW: Effectively, the way that I try to describe it to people is that a lot of the work on digital up to now has been really about automation. It’s been taking the same approach to business and just using technology to make that more efficient. Whether that’s faster or cheaper, that’s the fundamental role that technology has driven in those organizations. But now the technology has hit the point where it’s fundamentally changing the business, so those organizations that are looking digital are the ones that are putting this thin veneer over their existing business structure. Quite often if you dig beneath the scenes, what you’ll find is there are still bits of paper going on, there are still people looking at a form that was entered on a website and doing something with it.

Those companies that are truly digital are actually using those digital capabilities to change the way that they do the business. If you look at some of the examples that we use—like John Deere or Burberry—all of them have really gone back to their roots, looked at what their business actually is and then figured out how they can use digital technology to change their interactions with customers, change their outcome and restructure their business completely. You see that with companies like GE standing up and saying ‘we may have been a manufacturing company but now we’re a software and analytics company.’ That whole understanding of what the change means is significant. Those that are looking digital are the ones that are saying ‘we have an e-commerce site, therefore we’re digital.’ That’s not the story.

Why has it traditionally been so difficult for IT departments to execute on technology strategies?

DW: Dave and I spend a lot of time talking to these organizations. The majority of organizations feel stuck in a very operational frame of mind. Very few of them really have a strong ability to understand the context of technology strategy within the business. They tend to think of technology as this abstract and separate item rather than something that’s used to deliver most business results.

That sounds like a case for Enterprise Architecture and for architects to be that bridge between IT and the business.

DW: The challenge is it shouldn’t be a bridge, the idea is that it should be a fundamental part of the business strategy not a joining up, not something that you have to interpret. How does that technology deliver the business? It’s not how to back up the business. That’s where we see the real challenge of being digital—those business people who actually understand the digital part and can execute and come up with a digital strategy not necessarily having Enterprise Architects (EA) who try to interpret that and come up with technology.

DC: This is correct only when architects were ‘enterprise’ architects rather than solution or technology architects. We find that many organizations limit their architects to simply translating from the enterprise strategy to the technical solutions.  As long as this remains the case, architects will continue to be focused on operational issues, by reacting to business demands instead of working with business to jointly architect the strategy. Enterprise architecture has started to change into something being called “Business Architecture” where an EA looks at both sides of the fence at the same time (and in fact doesn’t see it as two sides) and asks what we have to all do together to make the organization successful—whether it’s operational or strategic.

To put it slightly more bluntly, the traditional IT model is when the business says ‘we need this,’ and IT builds and delivers it. That mindset has to change. IT is part of the business, and it has to be embedded in those frontline customer-facing parts of the business, not just be a technical service provider that just does whatever it’s told. To be honest, we’re in a situation now where the new technology that’s emerging is not really understood. If IT is buried in the basement somewhere, it’s going to be more difficult to make that technology work for the company. They really need to be on the frontline. What that means is that IT people have to become more business-like and more strategic.

How can technologists, customers and business work together to help solve their mutual problems?

DW: This is an interesting question, and it’s something we get asked all the time. We deal a lot with those companies being challenged with that. A lot of it comes down to culture—it comes down to understanding the difference between how a business will look at prod ops and how IT still looks at projects for example. This is why Dave says that DevOps is a start but it needs to go further. We’re constantly talking about how to start applying the similar techniques that people use for product development into the IT, technology and digital solutions as well. Design thinking, doing ethnographic work up front, doing actual feedback with customers, AB testing—you create those strong testing and feedback mechanisms, what works, what doesn’t work, and not just assume that everything’s understood and you can just write a system that does everything it can. What we see now is those techniques—DevOps, Agile, customer mapping experience, personas—all started coming together and really are creating that overall structure of how you understand the customer, how you understand employees and how you start delivering those solutions that actually give the right outcome and right experience to achieve what they want.

Is there a role for standards in all of this and what would that be?

DW: Very much so. One of the points we want to make is that now when you have effectively a digitally connected ecosystem and businesses form parts of that ecosystem, all the services that consumed are not under your control. In the old days of IT, you’d buy the hardware, you’d buy the software licenses, you’d build it and put it in a building and that would be your interaction, even in the old web days, with your customers. Now your customers link together with services or other businesses electronically. So in terms of the levels of connection, trust and understanding, that has now become very important in terms of the technical communications standards but equally the skills and how you approach that from a business standpoint. Looking at what IT4IT does, for example, is important because you need ways to talk about how the organizations should be constructed, what competencies you need and how they’re put together. Without some form of structure, you just get chaos. The idea of standards from my point of view is to try to find that chaos and give some sense of order to what’s going on.

DC: I agree with David. I would say also that we’re still going to see the importance of best practices as well as standards. To put it bluntly:  Standards are established and agreed ways of doing something.  But much of the technology emerging today is testing the relevance of standards.  Best practices (not the best name, they should be called Tested Practices or Good Practices) are those emerging practices that have been shown to work somewhere in the industry. What may be an appropriate standard for what you did five years ago may not be appropriate for what’s going to emerge next year. There’s always going to be this tension between the established standard, what we know to be true, and the emerging standard or best practice—the things that are working that aren’t necessarily in the standard or are beyond where it is today.

I think the industry has to become a little better at understanding the differences between standards and best practices and using them appropriately. I think what we’ve also seen is a lack of investment in best practices. We’re seeing a lot of people in the industry coming up with suggested best practices and frameworks. But it’s been awhile since we’ve seen a truly independent best practice. IT4IT, is a really good ramping point for some new best practices to emerge.  But just like any proposed practice, it will have its limitations.  Instead of following it blindly, we should keep monitoring it to figure out what those limitations are and how to overcome them.

Standards will continue to be really important to keep the Wild West at bay, but at the same time you’ve got to be pushing things forward and best practices (sponsored by independent organizations) are a good way to do that.

@theopengroup #ogSFO

by-the-open-groupDavid WheableVice President and Principal Consultant, Forrester Research Inc.
David provides research-based consulting services to BT Professionals, helping them leverage Forrester’s proprietary research and expertise to meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of their stakeholders.

David specializes in helping clients create effective and efficient strategies for their IT Service Management challenges including integrating cloud services, bring your own device (BYOD), and mobility.

Prior to joining Forrester, David worked at HP, where he served as the professional services innovation lead for the software and professional services organization, as worldwide solution lead, and as a consulting manager.

by-the-open-groupDavid CannonVice President and Group Director, Forrester Research Inc.
David serves Infrastructure & Operations Professionals. He is a leader in the fields of IT and service strategy and has led consulting practices for BMC Software and Hewlett-Packard. He is the coauthor of the ITIL 2007 service operation book and author of the ITIL 2011 service strategy book. He is also a founder and past chairman of both itSMF South Africa and itSMF International and a past president of itSMF USA.

Prior to joining Forrester, David led the IT service management (ITSM) practice of BMC Software Global Services and led the ITSM consulting practice at Hewlett-Packard. He has educated and consulted within a broad range of organizations in the private and public sectors over the past 20 years. He has consulted in virtually every area of IT management, but he specializes in the integration of business and technology management.

David has degrees in industrial sociology and psychology from the University of South Africa and holds the ITIL Expert certificate. He is also a fellow of service management and double recipient of the itSMF Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

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Filed under Digital Customer Experience, digital technologies, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Architecture (EA), Forrester, IT4IT, Standards, The Open Group, The Open Group San Francisco 2017, Uncategorized

Gaining Executive Buy-In for IT4IT™: A Conversation with Mark Bodman

By The Open Group

With many organizations undergoing digital transformation, IT departments everywhere are taking serious hits. And although technology is at the heart of many business transformations, IT has traditionally had a reputation as a cost center rather than an innovation center.

As such, executives are often skeptical when presented with yet another new IT plan or architecture for their organizations that will be better than the last. Due to the role Enterprise Architects play in bridging the gap between the business and IT, it’s often incumbent on them to make the case for big changes when needed.

Mark Bodman, Senior Product Manager at ServiceNow and formerly at HPE, has been working with and presenting the IT4IT standard, an Open Group standard, to executives for a number of years. At The Open Group San Francisco 2017 event on January 30, Bodman will offer advice on how to present IT4IT in order to gain executive buy-in. We spoke with him in advance of the conference to get a sneak peek before his session.

What are Enterprise Architects up against these days when dealing with executives and trying to promote IT-related initiatives?

The one big change that I’ve seen is the commoditization of IT. With the cloud-based economy and the ability to rent cheap compute, storage and networking, being able to effectively leveraging commodity IT is a key differentiator that will make or break an organization. At the end of the day, the people who can exploit cheaper technology to do unique things faster are those companies who will come out ahead long-term. Companies based on legacy technologies that don’t evolve will stall out and die.

Uber and Netflix are great case studies for this trend. It’s happening everyday around us—and it’s reaching a tipping point. Enterprise Architects are faced with communicating these scenarios within their own organizations—use cases like going digital, streamlining for costs, sourcing more in the cloud—all strategies required to move the needle. Enterprise Architects are the senior most technical people within IT. They bridge the gap between business and technology at the highest level—and have to figure out ‘How do I communicate and plan for these disruptions here so that we can, survive in the digital era?’

It’s a Herculean task, not an easy thing to do. I’ve found there’s varying degrees of success for Enterprise Architects. Sometimes by no fault of their own, because they are dealing with politics, they can’t move the right agenda forward.  Or the EA may be dealing with a Board that just wants to see financial results the next quarter, and doesn’t care about the long-term transformations. These are the massive challenges that Enterprise Architects deal with every day.

Why is it important to properly present a framework like IT4IT to executives right now?

It’s as important as the changes in accounting rules have impacted organizations.  How those new rules and regulations changed in response to Enron and the other big financial failures within recent memory was quite impactful. When an IT shop is implementing services and running the IT organization as a whole, what is the operating model they use? Why is one IT shop so much different from another when we’re all facing similar challenges, using similar resources? I think it’s critically important to have a vetted industry standard to answer these questions.

Throughout my career, I’ve seen many different models for running IT from many different sources. From technology companies like HPE and IBM, to consulting companies like Deloitte, Accenture and Bain; each has their own way of doing things.  I refer this to the ‘IT flavor of the month.’  One framework is chosen over another depending on what leadership decides for their playbook—they get tired of one model, or a new leader imposes the model they are familiar with, so they adopt a new model and change the entire IT operating model, quite disruptive.                                                                                                                        

The IT4IT standard takes that whole answer to ‘how to run IT as a business’ out of the hands of any one source. That’s why a diverse set of contributors is important, like PWC and Accenture–they both have consulting practices for running IT shops. Seeing them contribute to an open standard that aggregates this know-how allows IT to evolve faster. When large IT vendors like ServiceNow, IBM, Microsoft and HPE are all participating and agreeing upon the model, we can start creating solutions that are compatible with one another. The reason we have Wi-Fi in every single corner of the planet or cellular service that you can use from any phone is because we standardized. We need to take a similar approach to running IT shops—renting commoditized services, plugging them in, and managing them with standard software. You can’t do that unless you agree on the fundamentals, the IT4IT standard provides much of this guidance.

When Enterprise Architects are thinking about presenting a framework like IT4IT, what considerations should they make as they’re preparing to present it to executives?

I like to use the word ‘contextualize,’ and the way I view the challenge is that if I contextualize our current operating model against IT4IT, how are we the same or different? What you’ll mostly find is that IT shops are somewhat aligned. A lot of the work that I’ve done with the standard over the past three years is to create material that shows IT4IT in multiple contexts. The one that I prefer to start with for an executive audience is showing how the de-facto plan-build-run IT organizational model, which is how most IT shops are structured, maps to the IT4IT structure. Once you make that correlation, it’s a lot easier to understand how IT4IT then fits across your particular organization filling some glaring gaps in plan-build-run.

Recently I’ve created a video blog series on YouTube called IT4IT Insights to share these contextual views. I’ve posted two videos so far, and plan to post a new video per month. I have posted one video on how Gartner’s Bi-Modal concept maps to IT4IT concepts, and another on the disruptive value that the Request to Fulfill value stream provides IT shops.

Why have executives been dismissive of frameworks like this in the past and how can that be combatted with a new approach such as IT4IT?

IT4IT is different than anything I have seen before.  I think it’s the first time we have seen a comprehensive business-oriented framework created for IT as an open standard. There are some IT frameworks specific to vertical industries out there, but IT4IT is really generic and addresses everything that any CIO would worry about on a daily basis. Of course they don’t teach CIOs IT4IT in school yet—it’s brand new. Many IT execs come from consulting firms where they have grown very familiar with a particular IT operating model, or they were promoted through the years establishing their own unique playbook along the way.  When a new standard framework like IT4IT comes along and an Enterprise Architect shows them how different it might be from what the executive currently knows, it’s very disruptive. IT executives got to that position through growth and experience using what works, it’s a tough pill to swallow to adopting something new like IT4IT.

To overcome this problem it’s import to contextualize the IT4IT concepts.  I’m finding many of the large consulting organizations are just now starting to learn IT4IT—some are ahead of others. The danger is that IT4IT takes some that unique IP away, and that’s a little risky to them, but I think it’s an advantage if they get on the bandwagon first and can contextually map what they do now against IT4IT. One other thing that’s important is that since IT4IT is an open standard, organizations may contribute intellectual property to the standard and be recognized as the key contributor for that content. You see some of this already with Accenture’s and PWC’s contributions.  At the same time, each consulting organization will hold some of their IP back in to differentiate themselves where applicable. That’s why I think it’s important for people presenting IT4IT to contextualize to their particular organization and practice.  If they don’t, it’s just going to be a much harder discussion.

Like with any new concept—eventually you find the first few who will get it, then latch on to it to become the ‘IT4IT champion.’ It’s very important to have at least one IT4IT champion to really evangelize the IT4IT standard and drive adoption.  That champion might not be in an executive position able to change things in their organization, but it’s an important job to educate and evangelize a better way of managing IT.

What lessons have you learned in presenting IT4IT to executives? Can you offer some tips and tricks for gaining mindshare?

I have many that I’ll talk about in January, but one thing that seems to work well is that I take a few IT4IT books into an executive briefing, the printed standard and pocket guide usually.  I’ll pass them around the room while I present the IT4IT standard. (I’m usually presenting the IT4IT standard as part of a broader executive briefing agenda.) I usually find that the books get stuck with someone in the room who has cracked open the book and recognized something of value.  They will usually want to keep the book after that, and at that point I know who my champion is.  I then gauge how passionate they are by making them twist my arm to keep the book.  This usually works well to generate discussion of what they found valuable, in the context of their own IT organization and in front of the other executives in the room. I recently presented to the CIO of a major insurance company performing this trick.  I passed the books around during my presentation and found them back in front of me.  I was thinking that was it, no takers. But the CIO decided to ask for them back once I concluded the IT4IT presentation.  The CIO was my new champion and everyone in the room knew it.

What about measurement and results? Is there enough evidence out there yet on the standard and the difference it’s making in IT departments to bring measurement into your argument to get buy in from executives?

I will present some use cases that have some very crystal clear results, though I can’t communicate financials. The more tangible measurements are around the use cases where we leveraged the IT4IT standard to rationalize the current IT organization and tools to identify any redundancies. One of the things I learned 10 years ago, well before the IT4IT standard was around, was how to rationalize applications for an entire organization that have gotten out of hand from a rash of M&A activity. Think about the redundancies created when two businesses merge. You’re usually merging because of a product or market that you are after, there’s some business need driving that acquisition. But all the common functions, like HR and finance are redundant.  This includes IT technologies and applications to manage IT, too. You don’t need two HR systems, or two IT helpdesk systems; you’ve got to consolidate this to a reasonable number of applications to do the work. I have tackled the IT rationalization by using the IT4IT standard, going through an evaluation process to identify redundancies per functional component.  In some cases we have found more 300 tools that perform the same IT function, like monitoring. You shouldn’t need to have 300 different monitoring tools—that’s ridiculous. This is just one clear use case where we’ve applied IT4IT to identify similar tools and processes that exist within IT specifically, a very compelling business case to eliminate massive redundancy.

Does the role of standards also help in being able to make a case for IT4IT with executives? Does that lend credence to what you’re proposing and do standards matter to them?

They do in a way because like accounting rules, if you have non-standard accounting rules today, it might land your executives in jail. It won’t land you in jail if you have a non-standard IT shop however, but being non-standard will increase the cost of everything you do and increase risks because you’re going against the grain for something that should be a commodity. At the executive level, you need to contextualize the problem of being non-standard and show them how adopting the IT4IT standard may be similar to the accounting rule standardization.

Another benefit of standards I use is to show how the standard is open, and the result of vetting good ideas from many different organizations vs. trying to make it up as you go.  The man-years of experience that went into the standard, and elegance of the result becomes a compelling argument for adoption that shouldn’t be overlooked.

What else should EAs take into consideration when presenting something like IT4IT to executives?

I think the primary thing to remember is to contextualize your conversation to your executives and organization. Some executives in IT may have zero technology background, some may have come up through the ranks and still know how to program, so you’ve got to tell the story based on the audience and tailor it. I presented recently to 50 CIOs in Washington D.C., so I had to contextualize the standard to show how IT4IT relates to the major changes happening in the federal market, such as the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), and how it supports the Federal Enterprise Architecture framework. These unique requirement changes had to be contextualized against the IT4IT standard so the audience understood exactly how IT4IT relates to the big challenges they are dealing with unique to the market.

Any last comments?

The next phase of the IT4IT standard is just taking off.  The initial group of people who were certified are now using IT4IT for training and to certify the next wave of adopters. We’re at a point now where the growth is going to take off exponentially. It takes a little time to get comfortable with something new and I’m seeing this happen more quickly in every new engagement. Enterprise Architects need to know that there’s a wealth of material out there, and folks who have been working with the IT4IT standard for a long time. There’s something new being published almost every day now.

It can take a while sometimes from first contact to reaching critical mass adoption, but it’s happening.  In my short three weeks at ServiceNow so far I have already had two customer conversations on IT4IT, it’s clearly relevant here too—and I have been able to show relevance to every other IT shop and vendor in the last three years.  This new IT4IT paradigm does need to soak in a bit, so don’t get frustrated about the pace of adoption and understanding.  One day you might come across a need and pull out the IT4IT standard to help in some way that’s not apparent right now.  It’s exciting to see people who worked with initial phases of the standard development now working on their next gig.  It’s encouraging to see folks in their second and even their third job leveraging the IT4IT standard.  This is a great indicator that the IT4IT standard is being accepted and starting to become mainstream.

@theopengroup #ogSFO

by-the-open-groupMark Bodman is an experienced, results-oriented IT4IT™ strategist with an Enterprise Architecture background, executive adviser, thought leader and mentor. He previously worked on cross-portfolio strategies to shape HPE’s products and services within HPE to include service multi-source service brokering, and IT4IT adoption. Mark has recently joined ServiceNow as the outbound Application Portfolio Management Product Manager.

Hands-on experience from years of interaction with multiple organizations has given Mark a unique foundation of experience and IT domain knowledge. Mark is well versed in industry standards such as TOGAF®, an Open Group standard, COBIT, and ITIL, has implemented portfolio management and EA practices, chaired governance boards within Dell, managed products at Troux, and helped HPE customers adopt strategic transformation planning practices using reference architectures and rationalization techniques.

 

 

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Digital Transformation and Disruption – A Conversation with Sriram Sabesan

By The Open Group

The term “disruption” has been the de rigueur description for what’s been going on in the technology industry for a number of years now. But with the pressures of a digital economy facing all industries now, each is being disrupted in numerous ways.

Although disruption is leading to new and better ways of doing things, it can also be devastating for businesses and industries if they choose to ignore the advances that digitalization is bringing. Companies that don’t want to be left behind have to adapt more quickly than ever—or learn to disrupt themselves.

Sriram Sabesan, a partner with Conexiam, believes that a certain amount of disruption, or mitigations to disruptions, can indeed by architected by an enterprise—if they have the foresight to do so. We spoke with him in advance of his session at The Open Group San Francisco 2017 event to learn more about how enterprises can architect their own disruptions.

We’ve been hearing a lot about disruption over the past few years. How do you define disruption and what is the disruption curve?

Disruption normally happens when you don’t anticipate something and the change suddenly occurs on you.  In fact, the changes have been happening, but no one has taken the time to connect the dots. To give an example, let us consider an individual holding a mutual fund, which has significant stakes in property and casualty (P&C) insurance businesses.  The impact of a shared economy (Uber, Lyft, Airbnb) is that the number of ‘owners’ is likely to stay flat or see marginal increase.  This cascades into a smaller number of insured people, hence diminished revenue for the insurance provider.  This impacts the stock valuation of the P&C companies, finally, impacting the individual owning the mutual fund with interest in P&C sector.  And that’s a foresight people might not have. This is not about crying ‘wolf,’ but about mitigating potential risk to an asset—at every step of the chain.

Let us take another example. Most manufacturing businesses hold reasonable stock of spare parts to their machinery.  Even at home, we hold metallic clips, nails, etc.  With 3D printing, one may be able to reuse the raw materials—sheet metal or plastic or whatever they’re trying to manufacture for the main product to create the spare-parts.  At home, we don’t have to stock clips, pins or nails—but raw material.  3D printing impacts the businesses that are producing these products todays.  Some positively (example e-Nable – http://enablingthefuture.org/) and some in unknown ways.

It is about walking the chain.  The company adopting a new technology or approach may not be the one getting impacted.  It may not be about the industry vertical that is adopting a new model.  It’s mostly likely the cascading effect of people taking part in the diluted chain that are impacted. It’s a system of systems game.

The Disruption Curve is based on product maturity ‘S-curve.’  Familiarity breeds contempt and raises expectations.  As people get used to do something in a certain way, some start to notice the little annoyances, and others want to do things differently or better.  For businesses, it is the necessity to create a new revenue model.  The next S-curve is born when the old S-curve approaches its top end.  The best definition is given by Prof. Clayton Christensen from Harvard Business School. However, the simplest interpretation could be ‘an unexpected change to the way one does things or when someone is unseated.’  For this topic, I think everyone is trying to improve their personal productivity, including better disposable income, a dose of vacation or a personal moment for themselves.  Any and all of these will cause a disruption.

In your opinion, what have been the biggest industry disruptions to occur in the past 10 years?

Most of the changes happened in isolation in the past.  There was no significant combinatorial effect that could transcend multiple industry verticals like today.

Google disrupted search; Amazon disrupted in-store purchase models; Netflix  the DVD rental market.  They all leveraged the internet. Google was able to capture and connect contents of websites, scanned copies of books, triggering the birth of  ‘big data’.  And Amazon on the other side, when they started having too many products, they couldn’t have an ecosystem that could support the enterprise across the globe and they came up with the AWS system. What they made internally, they also made a commercial, external facing product. Skype changed telephony; Paypal changed money exchange. 

Growth in metallurgy and medical sciences evolved from the foundations laid in the later half of last century.  Growing human body parts in lab, implantable devices, etc. The last decade made remote, continuous monitoring of human behavior and health possible.

But the biggest change is that all these companies discovered that they actually depend on each other.  Netflix on AWS, AWS on fiber optic cable owners, both of them on the last mile internet service providers, etc.  That realization, and the resultant collaboration via open standards is the biggest of all.

All of them changed some of the fundamentals of human-to-human interaction and human-to-machine interaction.  The new model made any individual able to provide a solution rather than waiting for large enterprises to initiate changes.

Who have been the most influential disruptors—is it just the usual suspects like Uber or Airbnb or are there others disruptors that are having a greater influence on industries that people are less aware of?

It depends on the vertical. As I said before, the past decade has been limited to a single vertical.

If you think about tax filing, Intuit has been the most influential in that area with Turbo Tax. They made a lot of things easier. Now you can take a picture of your W2 and 80% of your filing work is completed. Using another product, Mint.com, they became a personal finance advisor in a non-intrusive way—working with your banks, investment accounts and credit card accounts.  PayPal and Square are disruptors in the ecommerce and money movement sectors.

Each vertical had its own set of disruptors, not everyone came together. But now more and more people are coming together because the services are so interdependent. Apple with its iTunes changed the whole music industry. Amazon Kindle for books.  IBM with its Watson is changing multiple verticals.

Medical devices are also undergoing a lot of change in terms of things that could be planted in human beings and monitored wirelessly so it can give real-time information to doctors. The most common human behavior is to visit doctors when we are not healthy. Doctors don’t have data points on the transition from a healthy state to an unhealthy state, what happened, why it happened. Now they can monitor a person and behavior continuously. I recently read about an emergency room operation that used the data from a FitBit to figure out what happened to a patient and treat the patient very quickly. They saw the transition and the data points stored in the device and were able to diagnose the patient because the patient wasn’t conscious.

So, I guess, there are more unusual suspects and players.  To name a few: Khan Academy and Open Courseware in education, e-Nable for exoskeletal structures, derivatives of military’s ‘ready-to-eat-meals’.  There are also new products like ‘Ok Google,’ ‘Alexa’ and ‘x.ai’ which combines several aspects.

Your talk at The Open Group San Francisco advocates for an “architected approach” to disruption. Can disruption be architected or is there a certain amount of happenstance involved in having that kind of impact on an industry?

There is some element of happenstance.  However, most of the disruptions are architected.

An enterprise invariably architects for disruption or reacts rapidly to mitigate disruptive threats to sustain a business.  There are some good examples that go unnoticed or written off as the natural evolution of an industry.

I believe Qantas airlines was the first to realize that replacing seat mounted inflight entertainment (IFE) units with iPads saved at least 15 pounds per seat.  Even after adding 40% more seats, eliminating these devices reduced the overall weight of a Boeing 777 by 7%.  Simply by observing inflight human behavior and running test flights without IFEs, airlines architected this change.  The moment the savings was realized, almost every airline followed.  This is an example of architected change.  As regulators started accepting use of wifi devices at any altitude, compliance work done at the gate, by the pilot and maintenance crew also switched to hand-held devices.  Less paper and faster turnaround times.  Savings in weight resulted in lower overall operating cost per flight, contributing to either lower prices or more cargo revenue for the airline.

Every enterprise can anticipate changes in human behavior or nudge a new behavior, build a new business model around such behaviors.  Apple’s introduction of touch devices and natural interfaces is another example of well-architected and executed change.

There are parts of a business that need significant effort to change due to cascading impacts, say an ERP system or CRM or SCM system.  Even shifting them from on-premise to cloud would appear daunting.  However, the industry has started to chip away the periphery of these solutions that can be moved to cloud.  The issue is not technical feasibility or availability of new solutions.  It is more about recognizing what to change and when to change.  The economics of the current way of doing things balanced against cost of change and post change operations will simplify decision making.  The architect has to look outside the enterprise for inspiration, identify the points of friction within the enterprise, and simply perform a techno-economic analysis to architect a solution.

Sometimes a group of architects or industries realize a need for a change.  They collectively guide the change.  For example, consider The Open Group’s new Open Process Automation Forum.  What would normally appear to be disconnected verticals – Oil and Gas, Food Processing, Pharmaceuticals, Fabric and Cable manufacturers have come together to solve process management problems.  Current equipment suppliers to such companies are also part of the forum.  The way the forum works will lead to incremental changes. The results will appear to be natural evolution of the industry but the fact that these folks have come together can be called a disruption to an otherwise normal way of operations.  With this, there is the possibility of collaboration and mutual learning between operations technology and information technology.

I know of car companies, insurance companies and highway management companies who started silent collaboration to explore solar panels embedded on the road and live charging of automobiles.  An extended ‘what if’ scenario is the use of GPS to identify the availability of solar panel embedded roads matched with driving behavior of the car owner to make a decision whether the charge on the car’s battery can be used as source of power to reduce the burden on the electric grid.  Last month I read an article that the first solar panel road is a reality.  For metering and charging of power consumption, this may not be much of a disruption.  But other adjoining areas like regulations, parking privileges, toll charges will be impacted.  It is a question of how soon the players are going to react to make the transition gradual or suddenly wake up to call them disruptions.

Is it possible for established enterprises to be the arbiters of disruption or is that really something that has to come out of a start-up environment? Can an architected approach to disruption help established companies keep their edge?

Yes and no. The way most companies have grown is to protect what they’ve already established. A good number of organizations operate under the philosophy that failure is not an option, which implies that taking risks has to be reduced which in turn stifles innovation. They will innovate within the boundaries and allowances for failures. Start-ups have a mindset that failure is an option because they have nothing else to lose. They are looking for the right fit.

To be an arbiter, start-up or established enterprise, take a page from the research on Design Thinking and Service Blueprinting by Stanford University.  It provides a framework for innovation and possibly disruptions by any organization – not just the start-ups.  Progressive’s telemetry device is just the beginning.  Once the customers understand the limits of privacy management, all insurance companies will change the way they rate premiums.  Just learn from the rapid changes the TSA made for full-body scanners.  Scanned images rapidly changed from close to real body shape to a template outline.  Customer outrage forced that change.

Some big enterprises are actually working with start-ups to figure out what changes the start-ups want to do, what kind of pain points they’re offsetting. There are companies who work with an agenda to change the operating model of the whole industry. 

In the U.S., one can look at CaptialOne, Amazon (the retail business, not AWS), MegaBus, and Old Navy for creating new business models, if not a complete disruption.  Expedia created GlassDoor, and Zillow; Expedia was founded on making search, comparison of competitive offers and decision-making simple. The bottom line is whether the philosophy with which an enterprise was created has become its DNA, resulting in new verticals and value creation in the eyes of the investors.

It is possible to have an architected disruption approach moving forward but it comes from a place where the company defines the level of risk and change they’re willing to bring. At the end of the day, public companies are under constant pressure for quarterly results so big changes may not be possible; but they may be doing small incremental things that morph into something else that we cannot easily see.

Is architected disruption a potential new direction that Enterprise Architects can take as either a career path or as a way to show their continued relevance within the enterprise?

Yes. Let me qualify that. As things stand today, there are three kinds of architects.

Architects who guide and oversee implementation—people who have to make sure that what has been planned goes according to plan. These architects are not chartered to create or mitigate disruptions.  It is the task that is given to them that distances them from effecting big changes.

The second kind of architects focus on integrating things across businesses or departments and execute with the strategy leaders of the company.  These architects are probably on the periphery of enabling disruption or mitigating impacts of a disruption using an architected approach. These architects often react to disruptions or changes.

The third set of architects are trying to provide the strategy for the company’s success—creating roadmaps, operating at the edges of corporate charter or philosophy, thinking about every moving part within and outside the enterprise. They are on the watch out for what’s happening in human behavior, what’s happening in machine behavior and what’s happening in automation and trying to modify the portfolio quarter by quarter, if not sooner.  It is tricky for these architects to keep track of everything happening around them, so it is normal to get lost in the noise.

With the right attitude and opportunity, an architect can create a career path to move from the first kind to the third kind.  Having said that, let me be clear, all three kinds of architects are relevant and required for an enterprise to function.

Is there a role for standards in architected disruption?  

Yes.  The standards provide a buffer zone to limit the impact of disruption.  It also provides a transition path to adopt a new way of doing things.

The standards help in a couple ways—The Open Group sets standards for Boundaryless Information Flow™.  At the end of the day, no business is an island. So when a payment or financial e-commerce transaction changes from a bank to a PayPal account to a mobile wallet or a phone number, you need to have certain communications protocols, certain exchange standards to be defined. What kind of failure mitigation one needs to have in place needs to be defined—that’s one.

Second is supporting management decision makers—CEOs, COOs. We have to provide them the information that says ‘if you do this within this confine, the possibilities of failures go down.’ It’s about making it easier for them to decide and take on a change effort.

The standards provide a framework for adopting the change as well as a framework for helping management decisions mitigate risk and for making an ecosystem work well together.

Are there any other ways that disruption can be planned for?

One way is to look at the business patterns, the economic indicators that come along with these patterns.

Would Uber have survived in the mid-to-late 1990s? Probably not, because of the growing and more affluent economy. The economic pressure of the late 2000s diminished total disposal income so people were open to certain changes in their habits. Not only were they open in their thinking about socializing, they were open to penny-pinching as well.

There are parts of businesses that are hard to change, like the logistics management and ERP systems of an airline; clearing house operations of banking systems; cross-border, high-value sales.  There are parts of the business that can change with minimal impact.  Gartner calls this concept Pace-Layering.  We have to look for such layered patterns and make it easier to solve.  And the growth part will be complemented by what’s going on outside the enterprise.

There are a lot of examples of products that were way ahead of their time and for users to imagine / accept the change, and hence failed.  Uber or Ford, despite following different approach to deliver their product to the market, focused on the problem of mobility, the economic and social climate, and were willing to innovate and iterate. Oxo products, for example, though they cannot be technically classified as disruptors, changed the way we look at kitchen tools.  Oxo focused on user research and product fit.

So the winning formula is to focus on market and customer needs.  Start with accepting failure, test like there is no tomorrow. And at the hint of a tipping point, scale.

@theopengroup #ogSFO
by-the-open-groupSriram Sabesan leads the Digital Transformation practice at Conexiam.  He is responsible for developing best practice and standards in the areas of Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud and IoT (SMACIT), Customer Experience Management and governance.

Over the past 20 years, Sriram has led teams specializing in system engineering, process engineering and architecture development across federal, technology, manufacturing, telecommunication, and financial services verticals. Managing and leading large geographically distributed teams, Sriram has enabled clients develop and execute strategies in response to shifts technology or economic conditions.

Sriram has been an active member of The Open Group since 2010 and is on The Open Group Governing Board.  He has contributed to the development of Open Group standards, snapshots and white papers. He is an Open Group Certified Distinguished Architect and is certified in TOGAF® v8, Scrum Practice and Project Management.

Sriram holds a Bachelor of Science degree Mechanical Engineering and Master of Science (Tech) in Power and Energy.  Sriram also received his Diplomas in Financial and Operations Management in 1998.

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Looking Forward to a New Year

By Steve Nunn, President & CEO, The Open Group

As another new year begins, I would like to wish our members and The Open Group community a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017! It’s been nearly 15 months since I transitioned into my new role as the CEO of The Open Group, and I can’t believe how quickly that time has gone.

As I look back, it was at The Open Group Edinburgh event in October 2015 that we launched the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture, Version 2.0. In just the short time since then, I’m pleased to report that IT4IT has garnered attention worldwide. The IT4IT Certification for People program that we launched last January—one of the first things I had the pleasure of doing as CEO—has also gained momentum quickly. Wherever I have traveled over the past year, IT4IT has been a topic of great interest, particularly in countries like India and Brazil. There is a lot of potential for the standard globally, and we can look forward to various new IT4IT guides and whitepapers as well as an update to the technical standard in the first few months of this year.

Looking back more at 2016, there were a number of events that stood out throughout the course of the year. We were excited to welcome back Fujitsu as a Platinum member in April. The Open Group global reach and continued work creating standards relevant to how technology is impacting the worldwide business climate were key factors in Fujitsu’s decision to rejoin, and it’s great to have them back.

In addition to Fujitsu, we welcomed 86 new members in 2016. Our membership has been increasingly steadily over the past several years—we now have more than 511 members in 42 countries. Our own footprint continues to expand, with staff and local partners now in 12 countries. We have now reached a point where not a month goes by without The Open Group hosting an event somewhere in the world. In fact, more than 66,000 people attended an Open Group event either online or in-person last year. That’s a big number, and it is a reflection on the interest in the work that is going on inside The Open Group.

I believe this tremendous growth in membership and participation in our activities is due to a number of factors, including our focus on Enterprise Architecture and the continued take up of TOGAF® and ArchiMate® – Open Group standards – and the ecosystems around them.  In 2016, we successfully held the first TOGAF User Group meetings worldwide, and we also released the first part of the Open Business Architecture standard. Members can look forward to additions to that standard this year, as well as updates to the ArchiMate certifications, to reflect the latest version of the standard – ArchiMate® 3.0.

In addition, our work with The Open Group FACE™ Consortium has had a significant impact on growth—the consortium added 13 members last year, and it is literally setting the standard for how government customers buy from suppliers in the avionics market. Indeed, such has the success of The Open Group FACE Consortium been that it will be spinning out its own new consortium later this year, SOSA, or the Sensor Open Systems Architecture. The FACE Consortium was also nominated for the 2017 Aviation Week Awards in Innovation for assuming that software conforming to the FACE technical standard is open, portable and reusable. Watch this space for more information on that in the coming months.

2017 will bring new work from our Security and Open Platform 3.0™ Forums as well. The Security and Architecture Forums are working together to integrate security architectures into TOGAF, and we can expect updates to the O-ISM3 security, and OpenFair Risk Analysis and Taxonomy standards later in the year. The Open Platform 3.0 Forum has been hard at work developing materials that they can contribute to the vast topic of convergence, including the areas of Cloud Governance, Data Lakes, and Digital Business Strategy and Customer Experience. Look for new developments in those areas throughout the course of this year.

As the ever-growing need for businesses to transform for the digital world continues to disrupt industries and governments worldwide, we expect The Open Group influence to reach far and wide. Standards can help enterprises navigate these rapid changes. I believe The Open Group vision of Boundaryless Information Flow™ is coming to fruition through the work our Forums and Working Groups are doing. Look for us to take Boundaryless Information Flow one step further in January when we announce our latest Forum, the Open Process Automation™ Forum, at our upcoming San Francisco event. This promises to be a real cross-industry activity, bringing together industries as disparate as oil and gas, mining and metals, food and beverage, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, utilities, and others. Stay tuned at the end of January to learn more about what some prominent companies in these industries have in common, in addition to being members of The Open Group!

With all of these activities to look forward to in 2017—and undoubtedly many more we have yet to see—all signs point to an active, productive and fulfilling year. I look forward to working with all of you throughout the next 12 months.

Happy New Year!

by-steve-nunn-president-and-ceo

by-steve-nunn-president-and-ceoSteve Nunn is President and CEO of The Open Group – a global consortium that enables the achievement of business objectives through IT 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.

@theopengroup @stevenunn

 

 

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Digital Transformation and Business Architecture (Part 3 of 3) – Presented by Dr. Giovanni Traverso, Huawei

At The Open Group Shanghai 2016 summit, we invited Dr. Giovanni Traverso, Chief Business Architect of HUAWEI Service Strategy and Architecture Practice, to give a keynote speech “New Open Business Architecture (O-BA) to Support the Construction of Digital Business and Smart Government”.

Huawei was a Diamond Sponsor of this summit, is a Platinum Member of The Open Group and is participating in the creation of the O-BA standard, whose first part was launched in July 2016 as a Preliminary Standard.

Giovanni, who is leading this effort within Huawei, presented Huawei’s perspectives on Business Architecture coming from best practices.

This is part three in a three-part series.

Part #3 – Business Architecture Answers the Business Questions

When undertaking our transformation efforts we need to answer, in a structured way, the inherent business questions, such as:

How to ensure a common understanding of the transformation within the organization? How to align an organization and its constituents towards the goal? Do we have the necessary skills and what changes should we drive, even in our organization’s culture? How to unleash technology-driven innovation to lead business model innovation, as well as the other way round? How processes and organization are going to be impacted? How to identify priorities? What about dependencies and risks?

More importantly: how to focus investments and ensure that the desired business outcomes will be achieved?

How our partners and channels are going to be impacted? How our customers/users’ experience is going to be impacted?

The O-BA standard reflects industry best practices addressing the business view of a transformation.

There are several techniques to uncover the capabilities that a business requires. Any of them will try to combine the business stakeholders’ views in a holistic picture.

For a digital business sake, as discussed in my first post, we want to start from the intended customer experience and make it our baseline.

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The relevant customer journeys – tailored to customer personas – represent the main value stream which is the backbone of the whole story.

Along with the customer’s perspective, we will align the relevant value streams of the other stakeholders, including their pursued goals.

Then we will analyze them and uncover the capabilities that enable each stage of the value streams and their respective relationships (e.g. information exchanges).

Capabilities will be mapped to organization and then we will identify respective enablers such as technology, application, process, information, skills.

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Business Architecture builds the overall picture and connects the dots in a logical a traceable framework, generating blueprints that represent the current state, future state and possible intermediate steps of a transformation. In this way we can find answers to our business questions.

O-BA describes a typical transformation lifecycle providing a framework for two dimensions of traceability: vertical (from strategy to competitive assessment to investment to implementation and outcomes) and horizontal (across different domains of the organization/ecosystem).

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While O-BA is meant to be the overarching framework for a transformation, technology, data and application architectures complete the view according to TOGAF®, an Open Group standard.

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Diagrams like the one reported below show the overall transformation and traceability across business objectives (customer’s being on top), capabilities and their interconnections allowing to achieve the objectives, metrics that audit capabilities, applications and relevant investments enabling the desired capabilities. In a closed loop, business architecture provides a framework to control the return on investment from a complex transformation.

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More details on this example are given in the linked whitepaper produced by Huawei and published by The Open Group: https://www2.opengroup.org/ogsys/catalog/W166

The O-BA is an initiative in the Architecture Forum of The Open Group, driven by six Platinum Members (Capgemini, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, IBM, Oracle, Philips) It intends to standardize a common understanding of Business Architecture, reflecting the best practices in the industry (most notably with a contribution by the Business Architecture Guild).

Members of The Open Group can download this presentation at http://www.opengroup.org/public/member/proceedings/Shanghai-2016-08/Presentations/Giovanni%20Traverso-Keynote4.pdf

The Open Group Shanghai 2016 event proceedings are available for members here.

@theopengroup

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Giovanni Traverso
• 28 years in telecom business, Product Management, R&D Management, Business Unit GM and Transformation Management
• Now leading the Enterprise Architecture team at Huawei Global Services, Standard and Industry Development Dept.
• Certified Business Architect (CBA)
• Contributor to The Open Group Open Business Architecture (O-BA) Standard and the Business Architecture Body of Knowledge (BizBOK)

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Digital Transformation and Business Architecture (Part 2 of 3) – Presented by Dr. Giovanni Traverso, Huawei

At The Open Group Shanghai 2016 summit, we invited Dr. Giovanni Traverso, Chief Business Architect of HUAWEI Service Strategy and Architecture Practice, to give a keynote speech “New Open Business Architecture (O-BA) to Support the Construction of Digital Business and Smart Government”.

Huawei was a Diamond Sponsor of this summit, is a Platinum Member of The Open Group and is participating in the creation of the O-BA standard, whose first part was launched in July 2016 as a Preliminary Standard.

Giovanni, who is leading this effort within Huawei, presented Huawei’s perspectives on Business Architecture coming from best practices.

This is part two in a three-part series.

Part 2 – Business Architecture Enables the Digital Transformation

 

So how to approach such complexity of changes without losing sight of the business intents? How to answer the business questions about investment, risk and assurance, responsibilities, relationships, impacts?

In order to answer our business questions we need a discipline that identifies the components of a business and their relationship. Components and their relationships define architecture, so here comes the “Business Architecture”.

Digital business requires the Business Architecture practice to be open and agile. Open means that it should look beyond our organization’s boundaries, be centered on customer experience and projected towards its industry ecosystem, besides internal focus. Agile means that it should decompose the business into loosely coupled and highly cohesive components, so that the architecture is modular and changes can follow business opportunities incrementally, quickly, limiting risks and mastering dependencies.

The O-BA standard, reflecting industry’s best practices, fulfills these requirements being based on Value Streams and Capabilities.

Capabilities represent the modular components of a business, while Value Streams represent the value creation mechanism that delivers value to the business stakeholders, enabled by those Capabilities. On a macroscopic level the whole thing determines the organization’s unique characteristics that in the O-BA are called “competences”.

How do we apply Business Architecture?

In my previous post, we discussed how digital transformation regards Experience / Operations / ICT Infrastructure. This implies that changes have to happen consistently on three fields: Offering (products/services own and in partnership), Business Practice (processes, skills, organization, information), ICT.

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According to this view, technology evolution sustains capability increments, which sustain product and services evolution along with the interactions with ecosystem and customers (determining the customer experience).

This structure unleashes digital business innovation.

In a top-down way, a new business model can be decomposed into required capabilities that will be developed, pulling-in certain technologies.

In a bottom-up way, technology evolution can enable/automate new capabilities that will be made available for business. So we have a bidirectional channel that connects and catalyzes innovation however it is originated.

On the other hand, this structure fits with agile delivery.

The digital ICT branch of an organization can build microservices (reflecting a shared capability map) exposed through APIs, while the Lines of Business (or partners) can rapidly consume them creating service chains that realize a business service or automate some process.

For example, a digital service operator can leverage geo-location technology (already built-in) to create an analytic app that, combined with other existing capabilities, allows to send customized ads to users, generating quickly incremental revenues at marginal cost.

Building upon existing capabilities that are well identified allows to generate new services dynamically “on-demand”, thus enabling the business to set the pace, as opposite to traditional monolithic ICT constructions.

Modern business architecture, based on capability maps, is essential to guarantee coordination so that the benefits of DevOps techniques and the API economy can be applied at scale. That is, without losing sight of the business sense and priorities because capabilities are defined by the business, shared in business language, translated systematically into application, information, technology, process, organization and skills.

Members of The Open Group can download this presentation at http://www.opengroup.org/public/member/proceedings/Shanghai-2016-08/Presentations/Giovanni%20Traverso-Keynote4.pdf

The Open Group Shanghai 2016 event proceedings are available for members here.

@theopengroup

by-the-open-group

Giovanni Traverso
• 28 years in telecom business, Product Management, R&D Management, Business Unit GM and Transformation Management
• Now leading the Enterprise Architecture team at Huawei Global Services, Standard and Industry Development Dept.
• Certified Business Architect (CBA)
• Contributor to The Open Group Open Business Architecture (O-BA) Standard and the Business Architecture Body of Knowledge (BizBOK)

 

 

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Filed under Business Architecture, Digital Transformation, Open Business Architecture (O-BA), The Open Group, The Open Group China, Uncategorized