Monday, February 2, 2009

Open Group debuts TOGAF 9, a free IT architecture framework milestone that allows easier ramp-up, clearer business benefits

As part of the 21st Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference here in San Diego this week, The Open Group has delivered TOGAF version 9, a significant upgrade to the enterprise IT architecture framework that adds modularity, business benefits, deeper support via the Architecture Development Method (ADM) for SOA and cloud, and a meta-model that makes managing IT and business resources easier and more coordinated.

One of my favorite sayings is: "Architecture is destiny." This is more true than ever, but the recession and complexity in enterprise IT departments make the discipline needed to approach IT from the architecture level even more daunting to muster and achieve. Oh, and slashed budgets have a challenging aspect of their own.

Yet, at the same time, more enterprise architects are being certified than ever. More qualified IT managers and planners are available for hire. And more dictates such as ITIL are making architecture central, where it belongs, not peripheral. The increased use of SOA, beginnings of cloud use, and need for pervasive security also auger well for enterprise architecture (EA) to blossom even in tough times.

TOGAF 9 aims to remove the daunting aspects of EA adoption while heightening both the IT and business value from achieving good methods for applying a defined IT architecture. With a free download and a new modular format to foster EA framework use from a variety of entry points, TOGAF 9 is designed to move. It also begins to form an uber EA framework by working well with other established EA frameworks, for a federated architectural framework benefit. [Disclosure: The Open Group is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

I'll be blogging and creating some sponsored podcasts here in San Diego this week at the Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference, so look for updates on keynotes, panel discussions and interviews.

I'm especially interested in how architecture and the use of repositories help manage change. This may end up the biggest financial and productivity payback from those approaching IT from a systemic and managed via policies and governance approach.

Well-structured EA repositories of both IT and business meta-model descriptions solves complexity, adds agility, saves puts organizations in future-proof position. They can more readily accept and adapt to change -- both planned for an unplanned. Highly unpredictable and dynamic business environments benefit from EA and repository approach, clearly.

TOGAF 9 is showing the maturity for much wider adoption. The Architecture Development Method (ADM) can be applied to SOA, security, cloud, hybrids, and federated services ecologies. There is ease in migration from earlier TOGAFs, or from a start fresh across multiple paths of elements of EA. Indeed, TOGAF 9's modular structure now allows all kinds of organizations and cultures to adapt TOGAF in ways that suit specific situations and IT landscapes.

The Open Group is a vendor-neutral and technology-neutral consortium, and some 7,500 individuals are TOGAF certified. So far, 90,000 copies of the TOGAF framework have been downloaded from The Open Group’s website and more than 20,000 hard copies of the TOGAF series have been sold.

If architecture is destiny, that TOGAF is a philosophy on taking control of your IT destiny. Better for you to take control of your destiny, than the other way around, I always say.