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What Hoverboards Tell Us About Compatibility and the Need for Standards

By Steve Nunn, President and CEO, The Open Group

Every holiday season, there is always one gift everyone just has to have. This past year, that honor went to the hoverboard, a self-balancing scooter reminiscent of the skateboards many of us rode as kids, but with an electric motor and only two wheels—and even harder to master!

But, just as quickly as the hoverboards were flying off the shelves in December, sales for the scooters plummeted by mid-January when questions arose regarding the safety of the electrical components that make up the scooters’ drive train system. The toys became linked to a number of fires across the U.S. and, just between December and mid-February, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported receiving complaints about more than 52 hoverboard-related fires in 24 states, resulting in not only $2M in property damage, but the destruction of two homes and an automobile. In addition, many of the major retailers that had been carrying the product-–including Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart, have currently discontinued sales of the product over the fire concerns.

The self-balancing scooter industry is clearly hurting these days. How can a product that was the darling of the moment—featured on many Instagram, Vine and YouTube accounts, that gained the attention of celebrities from Jamie Foxx to Justin Bieber—so quickly turn into a pariah?

In short—a lack of compatible standards.

Although many hoverboards actually carry the UL seal and claim to conform to safety standards set by UL (Underwriters Laboratories), an independent product testing company that sets safety standards, what has come to light since the product fires is that, while many of the individual components being used in self-balancing scooters are indeed safety compliant, they are not certified to be used together, making the entire product potentially unsafe. One radio announcer may have said it best when he likened the issue to having a car that was safety approved, and a surfboard that was safety approved, but when you put the surfboard on top of the car, it doesn’t mean the car will float.

The hoverboard controversy serves as a painful lesson for makers and manufacturers about component compatibility, and the need for standards that address not just individual product components but also the product as a whole. The sad thing is that could have been avoided had makers taken the time to test the components together, or create a standard that certifies the components can work together safely.

By contrast, The Open Group certification of products that conforms to the UNIX® standard has taken this “components working together” approach for more than 20 years. The Single UNIX Specification was created, in part, to take care of just this type of problem. In 1993, when the standard was created, there were so many UNIX APIs being used in various segments of the technology industry.  The three leading standards bodies that were creating UNIX standards decided to come together to design one standard that would be comprised of a superset of the most widely used UNIX APIs. Even then, there were a large number of APIs that made up the first version of the standard. In fact, the original standard, SPEC 1170, was named thus because it included a set of 1,170 compatible UNIX APIs.

This level of compatibility has always been a critical part of the UNIX standard. Since many vendors across the industry have created their own APIs and flavors of UNIX over the years, compatibility across those systems has been the key to interoperability for UNIX systems throughout the industry. Whenever a product is certified under the Single UNIX specification, it is guaranteed to both conform to the standard, and also be interoperable with any other certified products and any of the APIs contained under the umbrella of the single specification.

Today, there are more than 2,000 separate APIs contained in the UNIX standard—all compatible with each other. To reach this level of compatibility, The Open Group, which administers the Single UNIX Specification, performs extensive testing on any product submitted for certification under the UNIX standards. Any system that is UNIX certified has gone through more than 40,000 tests to assure their compatibility and conformance to the standard.

Among the more unique attributes of the Single UNIX Specification is that the standard also contains a three-pronged guarantee for interoperability. Not only does UNIX certification guarantee a certified product conforms to the standard, but every vendor that certifies a product to the standard also agrees that its product will continue to conform to the standard while certified.  The vendor also guarantees to fix any problems with the product’s conformance within a prescribed amount of time, should the product fall out of compliance.

This type of warranty and level of rigor within the standard further guarantee that all the components are compatible and will work together. The high level of testing around the standard has worked extremely well throughout the years. In the entire history of UNIX certification by The Open Group, there has only been one challenge to a product’s conformance to the standard—and it was a very obscure calculation that was taken very seriously, and quickly fixed by, the vendor. Because every vendor who participates in the program relies on a guarantee that every other vendor’s products all conform to the standard, the system takes care of itself.

Of course, non-compliance to the Single UNIX Specification is unlikely to lead to house fires or spontaneously combusting skateboards. But there are a great many technologies that businesses and consumers rely on everyday that work together because of the compatibility that UNIX offers. If there were bugs in those systems, our desktops, mobile phones, our Internet-enabled devices—even the Internet itself—might not work together. Without the guaranteed component compatibility offered by common standards like the Single UNIX Specification, one thing is for sure—we would all be a lot less productive.

UL has announced that they are in the process of developing a standard for hoverboards. The new certification, UL 2272, will focus on the safety of the combined electrical drive train system, battery and charger combination for self-balancing scooters. It is not yet known when the standard will be available.

By Steve Nunn, President and CEO, The Open Group

Steve 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.

 

 

 

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Inaugural User Group Meeting Draws Out New Ways of Seeing TOGAF®

By The Open Group

The Open Group hosted the first TOGAF® User Group meeting on January 25, 2016 in San Francisco. With over 50,000 certified users in more than 120 countries, the intent of the TOGAF User Group was to better serve and reach the entire TOGAF user community, allowing them to network with other users, interact with TOGAF subject matter experts, brainstorm solutions for challenging situations and build an active user community.

According to Terry Blevins, Fellow of The Open Group and consultant for Enterprise Wise, LLC, who facilitated the meeting, the goal for the inaugural event was to provide a venue were users could easily Share, get Enlightened and Express (SEE TOGAF) their needs as users. Blevins says those in attendance were engaged throughout the day and that users “found a useful balance between the three dimensions” of SEEing. In addition, the overall response to the event was positive, he says, with many attendees expressing a desire to hold additional events moving forward.

The User Group format consisted primarily of a full day of managed breakout sessions, each focused on trends that are affecting the use of Enterprise Architecture within organizations today. Facilitators led discussions with users on a variety of critical topics including:

  • TOGAF for Digital Transformation
  • TOGAF Business Scenarios
  • Security within TOGAF
  • The Role of People within TOGAF
  • TOGAF for eGovernment
  • TOGAF Hot Topics

During the session, TOGAF users provided significant viewpoints regarding potential enhancements that could be made to the standard throughout the day. Chief among them was the desire to have more concrete, practical use cases for TOGAF—particularly within specific industries. With many industries currently undergoing some radical shifts as they move toward greater digitalization, users are looking for increased guidance around how to use Architecture frameworks within industry verticals. Blevins states there was some expectation of this going into the User Meeting, but to have that validation directly from users was very important.

“The exciting thing was that we really thought that was going to happen—folks are asking for this and ready to use TOGAF across vertical industries,” he says.

Not only are users looking for more vertical industry examples, but they also expressed a need for additional horizontal use cases that can be used cross-functionally within organizations. Users would like to be able to use TOGAF, an Open Group standard, as a framework for making change within different departments and service parts of organizations such as HR, Finance or Operations. Current work in The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum is actually a perfect example of how the framework can be put to use across service functions, with the IT department leading the way in the form of the IT4IT Reference Architecture.

Guidance around how to do business or digital transformation was also mentioned as a potential enhancement. Blevins believes that with all the requests for templates, case studies and practical examples, there is an opportunity for developing a substantial series of “How to” articles and white papers that can be used in conjunction with TOGAF to provide users greater direction for specific use cases and examples.

“A lot of people really want to use TOGAF,” says Blevins. “They just need some help in applying it.”

Users also expressed a need for assistance in how to get buy-in for TOGAF and architecture from C-level executives within their organizations. This has long been a problem within the Architecture community and architects continue to struggle with how to better sell and market both themselves and what they can do.

Blevins says one suggestion that was made during the User Meeting was that Enterprise Architects stop trying to sell Architecture and instead focus on selling the outcomes or solutions they provide. It was suggested that perhaps architects spend too much time trying to sell their methods and frameworks and the “how” behind their work rather than just talking about solving the problem and how architecture will improve the business. Ultimately, the focus should be on that, not on how to apply Enterprise Architecture, he says.

Users in attendance were also struggling with how to integrate their Architecture efforts with Agile development trends and the need to bring increased innovation and speed to their projects. The need to develop more service- and customer-oriented delivery models to help transform businesses was also mentioned, as well as the need to include more guidance around Risk Management and Security within TOGAF.

The User Group meeting was very productive and provided excellent input on the standard. All feedback from the User Group is being delivered to The Open Group Architecture Forum for consideration in helping to enhance the standard and to provide feedback for TOGAF and trainers, as well to continue developing content that supports the standard and best practices for its use.

Please join us in London on April 27, 2016 for our upcoming TOGAF User Group meeting. The entire agenda for The Open Group London 2016 can be found here.

 

 

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Filed under Digital Transformation, EA, Enterprise Architecture, IT4IT, Standards, The Open Group, The Open Group London 2016, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

The New Generation IT Operating Model

By Yan Zhao, Ph.D, President, Chief Architect, ArchiTech Group LLC

  1. Introduction

The New Generation IT Operating Model is mostly associated with the current trend of service orientation. A service-oriented IT operating model should be based on service-oriented IT architecture. More precisely, a service-oriented IT operating model should be part of service-oriented IT architecture, also as a part of enterprise architecture. We know that models are what architecture creates, which include static models for the descriptions of components, structures and relationships; and dynamic models for the descriptions of operations and processes, where the dynamic models are built and operated on top of the static models. This new generation IT operating model is part of the “new paradigm” or “paradigm shift” in modern enterprise and IT, which should be part of enterprise architecture as well.

  1. Architecture and Service Oriented Architecture

First, I’d like to clarify the concept of Architecture and the Service Oriented Architecture in this context. The original definition of Architecture by Sir Henry Watton in The Elements of Architecture stated “In architecture as in all other operative arts, the end must direct the operation. The end is to build well. Well building has three conditions: Commodity, Firmness and Delight”. This definition is applicable to our context as well, where the position of architecture for IT is similar to the position of architecture for a building construction. The purpose of IT architecture is for the effective and efficient operations of IT. IT architecture should serve all its relevant audience and stakeholders, should be understandable by them via various views (commodity). The architectural products has to be solid and practicable for implementation (firmness), and it has to be well accepted and appreciated (delight) to be adopted and be effective in guiding IT operation.

The core of architecture is its vision, insight, concepts presented, and implementation guidance. It is a practical art, a result of creation, which is not a result of engineering or process in a mechanical manner, but it guides engineering process for implementation. IT is evolving to be a line of business by itself. Therefore, IT architecture is in a complex domain of people, systems, and culture; and in a constantly changing environment. It has the similar composition of enterprise architecture in this sense, with IT being one segment in an enterprise. For such architecture development, it is important to balance discipline and control with flexibility and freedom for organic growth, due to the limitation of human capability in predicting the changes and in handling complex matters.

The shared service domain is actually a sub-domain inside IT. We cannot expect all functions in IT should be shared. Similar, the Service Oriented IT Architecture is in a sub-domain of IT architecture. The necessity of making a function to be a service only when it has potential to be shared and reused by multiple service consumers. The following figures illustrate the shared service domain inside IT domain and the service oriented IT architecture inside IT architecture domain.

By Yan Zhao, Ph.D, ArchiTech Group LLC

 

Figure 1. The shared service sub-domain in IT and the service oriented IT architecture sub-domain in IT architecture

  1. IT Operating Model with Service Orientation

The “Plan/Build/Run” is a typical and simple IT operating model, which is still valid if we apply lifecycle with it, and have service orientation content being embedded into all its operating stages. The lifecycle presented in ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) can be considered as its extension from IT service management prospective. ITIL has five stages instead of three: Service Strategy (plan), Service Design (build), Service Transition, Service Operation (run), Continual Service Improvement. We are going to discuss later here on ITIL as an integral part that fit into the Plan/Build/Run model, which focus on IT service portfolio management and IT service management lifecycle. The Broker/Integrate/Orchestrate model is one of the possibilities inside the content of Plan/Build/Run model, while there are other possibilities as well. A plan is still necessary, no matter the plan is to build something new or to act as a broker, to build something in-sourcing or out-sourcing, by brokerage or by integration. Usually, there are diversified elements based on circumstances. It usually needs more than just orchestration to run it. All these could be part of the “IT Operating Model”. It is dangerous to just assemble what services/products available in market without a future vision and a plan for long-term evolution. For a business to survive in a longer term, it has to know its own needs instead of being framed by what is available in market. It needs to create its unique product/service roadmap and pipeline, and not to be controlled by others.

In order to provide effective and efficient IT support and reduce complexity and cost, IT is evolving to provide commodity services that enable the separation of business functions from common shareable IT services. To operate IT as a service, it opens a new line of business, as identified in Federal Infrastructure Optimization Initiative. The IT Operation Reference Model illustrated in Figure 2 is based on such considerations. It provides a holistic view on what involved in operating IT as a line of business. IT is becoming one business segment inside an enterprise with its own mission and goals to achieve instead of being only in a supporting role as before. This Reference Model can help to organize and consolidate organizational core capabilities and to provide a simple and cohesive view.

By Yan Zhao, Ph.D, ArchiTech Group LLCFigure 2. IT Operation Reference Model

  1. IT Operation Reference Model

The IT Operation Reference Model, illustrated in Figure 2, consists of four pillars: Plan, Build, Run, and Stakeholders. It is an extension to the Plan/Build/Run model, and is constructed with considerations in service orientation, modularity, simplicity, and communicability. It operates in a lifecycle as illustrated in Figure 3. Security, as illustrated in Figure 2, is not only a technical solution, but also an integral part across the board. A security life cycle and process should be designed and associated with each stage in an IT operation lifecycle, with starting from the planning stage. Also, governance should be applied across the complete IT operation lifecycle as well.

The Service Portfolio Management is part of IT Service Management (in Run pillar of Figure 2), which is addressed in ITIL V3. ITIL provides a best practice reference for IT service management and operation, with current enhancement (in V3) in service portfolio management. Applying ITIL within an IT Operating Model enhances IT Operation with a service lifecycle management discipline. However, the specific architectures, models, service design, and ITIL adoption for each IT operation have to be based on each individual case, and an operating model should be built accordingly.

Plan: IT still needs strategy and plan to run even in service oriented IT operation paradigm, where the business model, service model, cost/funding model, implementation model, and operating model suitable for service orientation should be incorporated accordingly. In another words, the difference is in the content. The plan for new generation IT operation should be driven by business domain requirements, e.g. the external and internal drivers, so that to support business improvement goals and objectives. Architectures should be created accordingly. Also, a performance measurement model should be created to provide measurement guidance. The plan should well consider adaptability to changes in both business requirements and technology advancement, and be maintained as a live document with continuous improvement along IT operation Lifecycle.

Build: Business requirements drive technology decisions; and at the meantime, the new technologies will inspire business envisions and provide various possibilities for business being operated in a more effective and efficient way. It’s true that the IT product ownership implies slow change due to the cost associated with. The resource sharing and operated by some specialized service providers enable faster change due to cost sharing in nature. Also, the performance from such service providers can be enhanced by competition. The implementation mechanisms should be flexible enough for new services and devices to plug-in or to update. However, not everything can be handed out to others to operate. Enterprise data are likely still being managed inside enterprise for security reasons, with enterprise internal stewardship and ownership, though it can participate in shared services internally and externally. In this reference model, services and systems to be built are described in layers: business services, application and data services, infrastructure services, and physical services.

Run: This includes IT system and service management and operation during continuous performance and change. The system operation management includes the management of IT service systems, system hardware and software, as well as networks and data centers, either in-sourcing or out-sourcing. It also includes the management of applications and data that are resided and running on these systems. For IT service management, ITIL is a handy best practice reference to start with.

Stakeholders: The stakeholders should be identified across the three pillars or the three operating stages in a lifecycle. Clearly roles and responsibilities should be identified, and be aligned with the operation structure. The operation model, structure, and architecture should be defined independent of individual stakeholder, so that people changes will not affect organization structure, process, and operation. Typically, the stakeholders can include business decision makers, resource owners, service providers, service consumers, governance and regulatory bodies, industry associations and standards groups, etc.

  1. The Relationship of the IT Operation Reference Model with ITIL

As a best practice reference, ITIL provides guidance on how to manage IT operation with service lifecycle. The relationship of ITIL Lifecycle with IT Operation Reference Model is illustrated in Figure 3. The IT service management lifecycle and its associated best practice reference based on ITIL v3 is the core for running an IT operation, as illustrated in the IT Operation Reference Model in Figure 2. The different focuses of the two can be summarized as:

  • Objective: The IT Operation Reference Model intends to provide a simple and cohesive view on IT operation domain structure, components and relationships; while ITIL focuses on providing guidance and reference details for IT service management and operation.
  • Components: The IT Operation Reference Model focuses on IT functional components; while ITIL focuses on IT operational components.
  • Structure: The IT Operation Reference Model is structured into categorized and layered components in each stage of IT operation; while ITIL is structured around IT service management and operation lifecycle to provide its associated best practice references.

In Figure 3, the middle section illustrates the relationships among the four pillars in the IT Operation Reference Model. The stakeholders play the central operating roles. They should be the driving force and active players in IT operation lifecycle. The stages of ITIL service lifecycle can be linked to the stages in Plan/Build/Run IT operation lifecycle. The lifecycles of both reflect iterative processes during IT operation. A well architected service lifecycle and management processes can maximize operational efficiency and productivity, as well as reduce the costs.

 

By Yan Zhao, Ph.D, ArchiTech Group LLCFigure 3. Apply ITIL to the IT Operating Model based on the IT Operation Reference Framework

In conclusion: A Service Oriented IT Operating Model should be rooted on a Service Oriented IT Architecture, which has to be custom built for each individual IT organization based on its service requirements, responsibilities, and operating environment, though best practice reference can be helpful. Each IT operation is forming an ecosystem of its own, which needs insight, creativity, and systematic discipline to figure out the best operating model and to clear the way for its execution.

By Yan Zhao, Ph.D, ArchiTech Group LLCDr. Yan Zhao, President, ArchiTech Group LLC, is an enterprise level chief architect, strategist, thought leader, and innovator; was also an executive for Fortune 500 companies and a professor. She has over 20 years work experience across academia, corporate research, software industry, and consulting service, where she demonstrated strength in insight, vision, creativity, and discipline. She is a positive thinker and a motivational leader with experience in leading R&D, capability and intellectual property development, and consulting practice. She received a Ph.D in computer science and a master in mathematics from Arizona State University, has 6 patents granted, 4 patents pending, a number of invention disclosures and publications.

yan.zhao@architechllc.com

@theopengroup

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The Open Group San Francisco 2016 Day Two Highlights

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

The Open Group CEO & President Steve Nunn kicked off the second day of The Open Group San Francisco event, “Enabling Boundaryless Information Flow™”, with a warm greeting and quick update on activities in The Open Group Forums.

Of note were updates regarding progress on harmonizing ArchiMate® and TOGAF® within the ArchiMate and Architecture Forums, as well as joint work between the Architecture and Open Platform 3.0™ Forum on digitalization and customer experience. In addition, the FACE™ Forum will be launching a certification program later this year, the Healthcare Forum recently published a whitepaper on healthcare focus and the OTTF Standard is currently being translated into Chinese. And in the Security Forum, work is being done around Risk Management, as well as building a more robust approach to security planning into TOGAF. Steve also presented long-time Open Group member Kirk Hansen with an award for his work in the Architecture Forum.

Tuesday’s morning plenary session focused on IT4IT™ and managing the business of IT.

The first session of the morning was given jointly by Ryan Schmierer, Business & Enterprise Architect, and Kathleen Wilson, Enterprise Architect for Data Center & Cloud Services, from Microsoft presenting on “The Case for Change: How Lessons Learned by Microsoft Align with IT4IT.”

According to Wilson, today DevOps are driving the cadence of the Cloud. With the largest technology companies now deploying new capabilities anywhere from a few times a week to thousands of times a day, IT must focus more on delivering business value and brokering services. This new model will require a high level of automation and heavy emphasis on systems monitoring within IT to deliver services and manage failures. With the drastic changes in how IT works, Wilson believes the cloud will make the role of traditional IT pros obsolete within the next five years.

To avoid IT becoming irrelevant, Schmierer says IT will need to shift its role to focus more on being a service broker, business enabler and steward of enterprise data while ensuring security throughout the enterprise. However, this will require change. IT organizations will need to reexamine definitions of success to focus more on business outcomes rather than IT metrics, experimentation and learning and use a more outside-in orientation to solve problems. By fully integrating IT management systems, companies will be able to better manage the IT value stream and create end-to-end systems that can provide a true services model and provide better decision-making in organizations.

Microsoft’s presentation was followed by a brief update on progress within the IT4IT Forum by Chris Davis, IT4IT Forum Director and Professor of Information Systems, University of South Florida. Two years ago, a group of folks from various organizations first met to discuss the possibility of an IT4IT standards. In the short time since, not only has the group launched the IT4IT Forum within The Open Group, but it has recently published its first Reference Architecture, which already has more than 5,000 downloads worldwide and is being used by more than 3,000 individuals from approximately 800 organizations. The Forum has also published a management guide and hopes to launch its first IT4IT people certification in April of this year.

Following the morning coffee break, Rabobank Business Architect Toine Jenniskens presented a case study on “How IT4IT Helps Rabobank Navigate the DevOps Journey.” Like Microsoft, Rabobank is looking to automate and monitor as many IT processes as possible and create a modular IT model so the department can focus more on business priorities. To do this, the bank is taking a value-stream based approach based on the IT4IT Value Chain and Reference Architecture to manage its IT processes and breakdown silos across the organization. Thus far, the bank has begun to consolidate tools across functions, increase IT automation and fully automate incident management. Although their transformation is still underway, Rabobank has been able to automate delivery, increase time to market, lower costs and create greater continuity in services and delivery as a result.

The final morning session was a panel discussion on IT4IT in Practice led by Interarbor Solutions IT Analyst Dana Gardner. The vendor panel featured IT4IT Forum Chair Chris Davis; Lars Rossen, Distinguished Technologist, HP Enterprise; David Wright, Chief Strategy Officer, ServiceNow; and Ryan Schmierer, who presented earlier in the plenary.

The panel discussed a number of critical issues around how IT management is changing and how IT4IT can ease that transition IT including how and why IT4IT was developed by and for IT managers, the possibility of using an IT framework to model services across other parts of the business and how to get traction for and start using IT4IT within IT departments. According to Wright, industry traction for a more holistic view of IT seems to be coming first from financial services and pharmaceutical sectors. Schmierer says that he believes there will be early adoption for IT4IT among companies that have large legacy IT systems, typical technology early adopters and those under the most pressure for cost performance. One way to know early on whether IT4IT is working within organizations, Rossen says, is that they’ll see a difference in areas for multi-services. Davis added that although the changes IT4IT will bring will likely be difficult to measure, but it will be sensed within organizations. However, Wright suggests organizations put together ways to measure success prior to beginning projects so departments can benchmark against them after projects are completed.

Tuesday’s afternoon tracks followed three different threads—a continuation of the morning’s discussions around IT4IT; EA topics around business transformation and value; and Open Platform topics including mobile computing and data analytics. In the IT4IT track, attendees were treated to a number of deep dives into the IT4IT Value Chain, providing a peek under the covers of each stream within the chain. The EA track featured practical examples of EA transformation in practice including an energy industry case study, a look at how SOA is maturing and advice on getting practical value from architectures.

In the Open Platform 3.0 Mobile Computing track, Russ Gibfried, Enterprise Architect for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, gave an interesting talk on the use of mobile platforms in the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) entitled “Probation Officers Online and On the Streets in San Diego.” The SDPD has implemented a system using smartphones and smart watches as technology hubs for the county’s probation officers. Using a mobile app, officers are now able to managing their caseloads and contact notes in the field, as well as use location services and search capabilities to keep tabs on clients.

Afterward, Modi Ronen an IT/Business Enterprise Architect from Salesforce, spoke on enterprise mobile strategies for cloud architectures. We now live in a primarily mobile world. However, most mobile apps are still abandoned, forgotten or deleted. As such, those designing for mobile must begin to prepare for Mobile 3.0 user experiences—usability, value, adoptability and desirability, as well as personalization—that better marry form and function for users, particularly as the Internet of Things and wearables become more ubiquitous.

In the late afternoon tracks, Don Brancato, Chief Enterprise Architect for HPE First, and Myles Suer, Chief Platform Evangelist, Informatica, hosted a talk on “Removing Science from Big Data Programs.” Brancato and Suer posit that science and looking for nebulous information is holding up the progress of Big Data to the detriment of gaining business value. What companies are finding is that Big Data is not a cure-all for the problems associated with traditional Business Intelligence. Rather than getting stuck with scientists digging around through masses of data, Brancato and Suer advocate for automated Big Data services that will allow for more easily repeatable analyses that deliver the actionable information businesses really need and get users involved in the process as early as possible.

Also in the late afternoon, Michael Fulton, Principal Architect, CC&C Solutions held a discussion providing details on the upcoming IT4IT Certification and Training Program followed by another panel discussion on IT4IT, again moderated by Dana Gardner.

The afternoon panelists included Fulton; Philippe Geneste, Partner at Accenture; Sue Desiderio, IT Enablement Process Leader, for PWC; Dwight David, Enterprise Architect for HPE; and Rob Akershoek, Solution Architect for Shell. To wrap up the day, the panel discussed the state of the IT4IT Reference Architecture today, where it needs to continue to evolve and the value of automation for IT organizations. The panel strongly encouraged attendees to try out the standard so they can see what’s working well and where tweaks may need to be made.

The day ended with a dinner and wine tasting event at San Francisco’s famous Presidio, a park and former military base, with beautiful views overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

On Wednesday and Thursday, work sessions and member meetings were held.

A special ‘thank you’ goes to our sponsors and exhibitors: Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA), BiZZdesign,  Good e-Learning, HPE, Orbus Software, Signavio, SNA Technologies, Van Haren Publishing.

Other content, photos and highlights can be found via #ogSFO on Twitter.  Select videos are on The Open Group YouTube channel. For full agenda and speakers, please visit The Open Group San Francisco 2016.

By Loren K. Baynes

Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, joined The Open Group in 2013 and spearheads corporate marketing initiatives, primarily the website, blog, media relations and social media. Loren has over 20 years experience in brand marketing and public relations and, prior to The Open Group, was with The Walt Disney Company for over 10 years. Loren holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University. She is based in the US.

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The Open Group San Francisco 2016 Day One Highlights

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

On Monday, January 25, The Open Group kicked off its first event of 2016, focused on Enabling Boundaryless Information Flow™, at the Marriott Union Square in the city by the bay, San Francisco, California.

President and CEO Steve Nunn gave a warm welcome to over 250 attendees from 18 countries, including Botswana, China and The Netherlands. He introduced the morning’s plenary, which centered on Digital Business and the Customer Experience. This year also marks a major milestone for The Open Group, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2016.

The Open Group Director of Interoperability Dr. Chris Harding kicked off the morning’s event speaking on “Doing Digital Business.”

Digital technology is transforming business today. As such, how Enterprise Architects can architect for and deliver better customer experience is a more critical factor for businesses today than ever before. For thousands of years, most business transactions happened face-to-face with human interaction at the heart of them. The Internet has changed that, largely taking humans out of the equation in favor of “intelligent” programs that provide customer service. As Enterprise Architects, the challenge now is to create corporate systems and personas that mimic human interaction to provide better service levels. To achieve that, Harding says, currently companies are looking at a number of improved models including providing microservices, Cloud architectures and data lakes.

To better enable the transformation toward digital customer experiences, The Open Group Open Platform 3.0™ Forum is currently working on an interoperability standard to support a variety of services that run on digital platforms. In addition, the Digital Business and Customer Experience Work Group—a joint work group of Open Platform 3.0 and the Architecture Forums—is currently working on customer-based architectures, as well as a whitepaper geared toward enabling better customer experiences for digital business.

In the second session of the morning, Mark Skilton of PA Consulting addressed the issue of “The Battle for Owning the Digital Spaces”. Skilton says that in this era of unprecedented digital information, we need to better understand all of that information in order to create business opportunities—however, much of that information is contained in the “gray” spaces in between interactions. Accessing that kind of data provides opportunities for businesses to get a better handle on how to provide digital experiences that will draw customers. It also requires “ecosystem” thinking where what is happening on both the micro and macro levels should be considered.

As such, companies must reconsider what it means to be an enterprise, platform or even a service. This requires a new way of looking at architectures that combines both physical and virtual environments to take advantage of those “gray” spaces in people’s lives. By interconnecting or “flattening” out people’s experiences, such as their work, living, commercial or social spaces, they will be allowed to take their digital experiences with them throughout their lives. To enable these things moving forward, architects will need to change their mindsets to think differently and consider experience more rather than just architectures. Behavior, interactivity, psychology, usability—the human factors—of advanced customer experience will need to be considered in the architecture development process more to create more connected spaces to meet people’s needs.

Trevor Cheung, Vice President Strategy & Architecture Practice for Huawei Global Services, spoke next on “Architecting for Customer Experience.” Cheung introduced the concept of the ROADS Experience, a principle for designing customer-driven architectures. According to Cheung, ROADS (Real-time, On-demand, All-online, DIY and Social) is critical for companies that want to become digital service providers. As organizations digitalize, they should think more holistically about customer experiences—including both internal (employees) and external audiences (customers, partners, etc.)—moving from an inside-out IT perspective to one that also considers outside-in constituencies.

For example, to provide omni-channel experiences, business architectures must focus on the values of stakeholders across the ecosystem—from buyers and their interests, to partners and suppliers or operations. By applying the ROADS principle, each stakeholder, or persona, can be considered along the way to develop an architecture blue print that covers all channels and experiences, mapping the needs back to the technologies needed to provide specific capabilities. Currently two whitepapers are being developed in the Digital Business and Customer Experience Work Group that explore these issues, including a new reference model for customer architectures.

In the last morning session Jeff Matthews, Director of Venture Strategy and Research, Space Frontier Foundation, presented “The Journey to Mars is Powered by Data: Enabling Boundaryless Information Flow™ within NASA.” Currently, NASA’s programs, particularly its endeavors to send people to Mars, are being enabled by complex Enterprise Architectures that govern each of the agency’s projects.

According to Matthews, nothing goes through NASA’s planning without touching Enterprise Architecture. Although the agency has a relatively mature architecture, they are continually working to breakdown silos within the agency to make their architectures more boundaryless.

Ideally, NASA believes, removing boundaries will give them better access to the data they need, allowing the agency to evolve to a more modular architecture. In addition, they are looking at a new decision-making operating model that will help them grapple with the need to buy technologies and setting up architectures now for programs that are being planned for 10-30 years in the future. To help them do this, Matthews encouraged audience members and vendors to reach out to him to talk about architectural strategies.

In addition to the event proceedings, The Open Group also hosted the inaugural meeting of the TOGAF® User Group on Monday. Aimed at bringing together TOGAF users and stakeholders in order to share information, best practices and learning, the day-long meeting featured topics relative to how to better use TOGAF in practicality. Attendees participated in a number of breakout sessions regarding the standard, intended to provide opportunities to share experiences and enlighten others on how to best use TOGAF as well as provide suggestions as to how the standard can be improved upon in the future.

Allen Brown, current interim CEO of the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA), and former CEO of The Open Group, also introduced the AEA Open Badges Program for Professional Development. Much like badge programs for the Boy or Girl Scouts, the Open Badge program lets people demonstrate their professional achievements via digital badges that provide credentials for skills or achievements learned. Moving forward, the AEA will be providing digital badges, each of which will include embedded information showing the information learned to earn the badge. Attendees can earn badges for attending this conference. For more information, email OpenBadges@GlobalAEA.org.

Monday’s afternoon tracks were split into two tracks centered on Open Platform 3.0™ and Risk, Dependability and Trusted Technology. The Open Platform 3.0 track continued in the same vein as the morning’s sessions looking at how Enterprise Architectures must adapt to the changes due to digitalization and growing customer expectations. Accenture Enterprise Architect Syed Husain gave an insightful presentation on enabling contextual architectures and increased personalization using artificial intelligence. As both consumers and technology become increasingly sophisticated, demands for individualized preferences tailored to individuals are growing. Companies that want to keep up will need to take these demands into account as they evolve their infrastructures. In the Security track, sessions centered on privacy governance, best practices for adopting the Open FAIR Risk Management standard and dealing with cyber security risks as well as how to navigate the matrix of data classification to maximize data protection practices.

Concluding the day was an evening reception where event and TOGAF User Group attendees mixed, mingled and networked. The reception featured The Open Group Partner Pavilion, as well as short presentations from The Open Group Architecture, IT4IT™ and Open Platform 3.0 Forums.

@theopengroup #ogSFO

By Loren K. BaynesLoren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, joined The Open Group in 2013 and spearheads corporate marketing initiatives, primarily the website, blog, media relations and social media. Loren has over 20 years experience in brand marketing and public relations and, prior to The Open Group, was with The Walt Disney Company for over 10 years. Loren holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University. She is based in the US.

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Transitioning to Customer-Driven Architectures: A Conversation with Trevor Cheung

By The Open Group

Digitalization is driving massive changes across the IT landscape. To adapt to the changes brought about by new technologies, organizations are beginning to move away from traditional IT-centric architectures to new customer-driven ones. By aligning business needs with a more “outside-in” perspective, companies can evolve their Enterprise Architectures to adapt to customer, employee and partner needs across the entire business ecosystem.

In advance of the The Open Group San Francisco 2016, we spoke with plenary speaker Trevor Cheung, Vice President of Strategy and Architecture Practice from Huawei Global Technical Services, about the importance of taking a more customer-driven approach to architectures and how organizations can transition their technical infrastructures to adapt more rapidly to business changes. That conversation follows here.

Why is a customer-driven approach so important for getting the transformation to digitalization correct?

One thing I’ve realized is that many architects take a very inside-out approach to IT. We are now facing a very competitive environment and things are changing very fast so architects must be able to support the business. Many people say IT must change at the speed of business change, but change in terms of what? One thing we need to understand is that the stakeholder experience is very important—we need to understand the consumer, enterprise workforce, management and the public. What do they need? When do they need it? How would they like their demands met? That’s why we believe architecture can’t just be inside out. It must consider both the outside-in and inside-out perspectives.

How would you describe a customer-driven architecture? How does that differ from traditional architectures?

Traditional architectures focus a lot on business process and work flow. With a customer-driven architecture, the key terms would be personas and the customer journey. Those should drive or influence the revenue stream and business processes—that may be the best way to understand it. Outside-in is about designing and delivering customer journeys and experiences, tailored for each persona. Whereas with the inside-out, traditional approach, revenue streams are value propositions that you map back to the supporting business processes.

How can companies ensure that their architectures are more customer-driven?

First of all, adopting this architectural approach is very important. To apply this business architecture approach, you employ the value stream technique to map to external customer journeys. This is the technique I think people should apply. With customer experience, in the market there are very well written architectures for IT staff. Huawei and PA Consulting are part of The Open Group Digital Business and Customer Experience Work Group. What we’ve tried to do is get the architects and IT people to understand the customer experience better and speak the same language.

At Huawei, we believe in an experience principle called ROADS—this experience principle will be adopted whenever we try to design a service or application for consumers, the internal workforce and even for partners. It stands for Real-time, On-demand, All-Online, DIY and Social. This is what we believe; this is our fundamental driving tenet.

How is ROADS different from what most customers experience today and what can companies do to position themselves to offer the ROADS experience?

The business motivation and technologies should be matched in a way that enables digital transformation. For example, in The Open Group, there is the Open Platform 3.0Forum that talks about the Cloud, analytics and also integration middleware. In order to be successful, we need to deploy new technologies so we can understand what people want and then perform the application development for integration, using the data we store in the Cloud. In traditional IT, data was spread across different data servers so that analytics, and the resulting insights, were not possible to achieve.

However, having the core technology on the IT side is not sufficient. We must also consider the network side because now people would like to use applications on different devices, like notebooks and smartphones, so connectivity issues are very important. Now we are talking about mobile 2K and 4K videos coming, especially in Korea, where video is getting very popular. Connectivity and the quality of services to the home, office or hotels must be assured as well.

So not just on the architecture side, but also the technology side, we need to not only be looking at the Cloud, data analytics, and the way to have integration middleware, but also connectivity as well.

Will customer-driven architectures affect every industry moving forward? Which are being most affected now?

I had a conversation with a Forrester principal analyst. We find in China, Ali Baba has been acting on this experience-driven architecture very successfully. Because they’ve applied this customer experience architecture approach, they know what kind of capabilities they need, and how different applications connect with each other so they can react to business changes in a very orderly and timely manner. Another company we talked about was Merchant Bank—they are widely considered to deliver the best experience in the Chinese market. Of course, Huawei, is acting on this in our design as well.

What are companies like that doing well in terms of the customer driven experience?

If you use the applications that we call over-the-top, when you try to use them and something is not working well, we see that these OTT companies are very quick to act. Working with ecosystem partners and using techniques such as AB testing, they can quickly test the markets or user preferences. How can they do that? Primarily, they are customer-driven, they know what customers want and what they are looking for, and they use the power of data analytics to do this.

Let’s look at Amazon – Amazon has AWS. They do a very good job of offering Cloud computing services, both PaaS and IaaS. They can offer people services to build applications or buy storage, you can do it any time you like, online and on-demand, whatever you want, no matter the development, testing or integration environment. They also have a good social forum so users can learn from each other, and they have virtual machines for real-time installations. Whereas the old, traditional IT approach is slow, we’re now applying application middleware so people can do these things very fast and with a good experience. Huawei now has its own public cloud—Huawei Enterprise Cloud Service—which we’ve built in a similar fashion, and we’ve really focused on the customer experience.

How can standards help in driving a more customer-driven architecture and experience?

First of all, standards can help to get people speaking the same language. When one person calls something an ‘apple’ and another calls it by a different name, this becomes a serious roadblock or obstacle to getting things adopted. Second, once communication is there, discipline experts can work together to try to deliver what the business or customer would like in terms of the outcomes. We should also define corresponding metrics—what are the correct and important metrics that will impact business performance and need to be defined and benchmarked. Huawei has been leading this aspect in the communications industry, performing business outcome calculations for the past four years and leading the way to understand and adopt personal experience management.

Digital transformation is now—the technologies are ready. There are lots of technologies that are becoming mature enough to be deployed, but the important thing is how can we bring business and technology together to deliver the business outcomes? The Digital and Customer Experience Work Group will be publishing two whitepapers that will provide guidance for Enterprise and Business Architects, Business Operations Managers, Customer Experience and Marketing professionals that will help them move toward a more customer-based digital transformation.

By The Open Group

Trevor Cheung is Vice President of Strategy and Architecture Practice within Huawei Global Services. In this role, Trevor has a broad focus, including digital transformation,  customer experience management, Cloud, Enterprise Architecture, platform strategy, IT4IT™, Internet of Things and Design Thinking. Trevor is also founder of Huawei’s Customer Experience Transformation Center (CETC), which now has centers in Shenzhen and London.

Trevor has 20-years experience in technology and business leadership, specializing in providing thought leadership, creation of best practices and ecosystem development.

Prior to joining Huawei, Trevor served at Motorola between 1996 and 2011, successfully leading strategy, product management and engineering functions, culminating in his role as the Global Head of Services Strategy Alliance and Product Management.

Trevor has a B.Eng. from University College London, and M.B.A. from China Europe International Business School. He has attended Executive Education courses and seminars from Harvard Business School, Boston University and MIT Sloan. Trevor is a Certified Net Promoter Associate.

 

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The Open Group to Hold Next Event in San Francisco

The Open Group, the vendor-neutral IT consortium, is hosting its next event in San Francisco January 25-28. The Open Group San Francisco 2016 will focus on how Enterprise Architecture is empowering companies to build better systems by architecting for digital business strategies. The event will go into depth on this topic through various individual sessions and keynotes.

Some of the many topics of discussion at the event include Business Architecture; how to architect systems using tools and frameworks such as TOGAF® and ArchiMate® (both Open Group standards); Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC); Risk Management and Cybersecurity; Business Transformation; Professional Development, and improving the security and dependability of IT, including the global supply chain on which they rely.

Key speakers at the event, taking place at San Francisco’s Marriott Union Square, include:

  • Steve Nunn,  President & CEO, The Open Group
  • Trevor Cheung, VP Strategy and Architecture Practice, Huawei Global Services
  • Jeff Matthews, Director of Venture Strategy and Research, Space Frontier Foundation
  • Ajit Gaddam, Chief Security Architect, Visa
  • Eric Cohen, Chief Enterprise Architect, Thales
  • Heather Kreger, Distinguished Engineer, CTO International Standards, IBM

Full details on the range of track speakers at the event can be found here.

There will also be the inaugural TOGAF® User Group meeting taking place on January 25. Facilitated breakout sessions will bring together key stakeholders and users to share best practices, information and learn from each other.

Other subject areas at the three day event will include:

  • Open Platform 3.0™ – The Customer Experience and Digital Business
  • IT4IT – Managing the Business of IT. Case study presentations and a vendor panel to discuss the release of The Open Group IT4IT Reference Architecture Version 2.0 standard
    • Plus deep dive presentations into the four streams of the IT Value Chain along with the latest information on the IT4IT training and certification program.
  • EA & Business Transformation – Understand what role EA, as currently practiced, plays in Business Transformation, especially transformations driven by emerging and disruptive technologies.
  • Risk, Dependability & Trusted Technology – The cybersecurity connection – securing the global supply chain.
  • Enabling Healthcare
  • TOGAF® 9 and ArchiMate® – Case studies and the harmonization of the standards.
  • Understand how to develop better interoperability & communication across organizational boundaries and pursue global standards for Enterprise Architecture that are highly relevant to all industries.

Registration for The Open Group San Francisco is open now, is available to members and non-members, and can be found here.

Join the conversation @theopengroup #ogSFO

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