Friday, July 30, 2010

FACE initiative takes aim at improved interoperability and standards among future military avionics platforms

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Read a full transcript or download a copy. Sponsor: The Open Group.

Coming to you from The Open Group Conference in Boston, we've assembled a panel to explore a new military aircraft systems interoperability consortium and effort, the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE).

FACE aims to promote and better support interoperability and standardization among future military avionics platforms across several branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. We define FACE, how it came about, and examine the consortium's basic goals under the tutelage of The Open Group.

Here to help better understand the promise and potential for FACE to improve costs, spur upgrades, flexibility, and accelerate the avionics components' development agility are our panelists, David Lounsbury, Vice President for Collaboration Services at The Open Group, and Mike Williamson, Deputy Program Manager for Mission Systems with the Navy's Air Combat Electronics Program Office. The conversation is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Here are some excerpts from last week's discussion:
Williamson: FACE started out as a Navy program. As we started looking around to see what other services were doing, we found that the Army and the Air Force were also doing similar things and trying to go down that same path.

The Army had a program called Integrated Data Modem (IDM). The Air Force was doing a program called Universal Network Interface (UNI). We got together with them and are now teaming up to put this consortium together and go forward to define standards for what FACE will be.

We're really addressing all of the capabilities and all of the systems onboard the aircraft. In the past, we identified a requirement and usually developed a system to meet that requirement.

Sometimes it’s easier to describe a program by saying what it’s not. FACE is not a program. FACE is not a computer. FACE is not a software package. FACE is an environment, and it’s specifically set up as an environment. It was an idea that came about to try to reduce costs, improve interoperability across naval aircraft, and to get capabilities out to the fleet faster and quicker, as best we can.

What we are trying to do with FACE now is to develop a computer environment that’s on the aircraft already. As we define new capabilities and new things that we want to put out into the fleet, we can host software in the computer environment that’s already there, rather than building a brand new box, software, or program for every single capability that we put out there.

Lounsbury: We really need modularity within the necessary structures of testing for things that are going to be used, and be able to get those new capabilities in the cycle quickly and get them out to the war fighters.

The testing and deployment schedule is a real issue for agility for our forces. The one thing we know is that threats change all of the time, and we need the ability to field new capabilities quickly, both as the mission changes and also as the technology evolves.

The Open Group has a couple of areas similar to this. We've got our Real-time and Embedded Systems Forum for some of the fundamental standards.

We've been running a consortium called DirectNet, which is very similar to FACE in the sense that it is principally focused on a defense need, but in the context of open systems. Through connections developed there, Mike found us and we talked about what we can do to organize.

We have a number of activities that are on this government-industry boundary, where some of the lessons that industry learned about how open standards can bring agility and help control your cost can benefit military systems like this.

Williamson: The idea for FACE really started about a year ago in the Navy... . We started looking at what we could do and what we needed to do.

What we're going to be doing principally is marshaling, as always, the expertise of the members to address various parts of the problem.

The timeline is very, very tight. We're looking at having some kind of standards defined by first quarter of calendar year 2011 -- next year. By the end of March, we're looking to have defined a set of standards on what the FACE environment will look like, because we have procurements coming out at that time that we intend to have FACE be part of those requests for proposals (RFPs) that are going to be coming out.

One of the things that we have looked at is the fact that commercial industry is doing this. Commercial aviation is already doing a lot of this. We've not been able to do that within naval aviation to date, and primarily that's been driven by safety-of-flight issues, issues within our operability, and issues with how we contract for things. We need to get beyond that.

We're actually using the model of what commercial aviation has done, with open systems, open source software, licensed software, and those kinds of things, to ask how we can bring that into our platforms. We need to have an environment that we can have a library of software applications that can be used across multiple platforms in the same environment.

That solves two problems for us. One, it gets capabilities to the fleet cheaper and faster. And two, it solves the interoperability issues that we have today, where even sometimes when we have the same standards, two different platforms implement the same standards in two different ways and they can't talk to each other. They are not interoperable. Those are the things that we are trying to solve with this.

Lounsbury: One of the explicit goals of FACE, and we performed a business work group to address these, is to talk about the business-model issues. What does open licensing mean in a government context? What would be appropriate ways of sharing intellectual property rights (IPR) in the run up to this?

These are all things that commercial people are familiar with through years of standards activity, but it's kind of new to some of the players in the government space. So, we're going to make sure that those things are explicitly addressed. It’s not just the technological solution, though that’s the critical part, but the fact that people can actually buy -- and that we will have a marketplace of -- components that can be licensed and reused.

The government is a complex place, and there are lot of programs, so principal growth will be different programs inside the government. But, we do envision that some of the things that will be developed here may be applicable to other systems.

Typically, what The Open Group does is provide a structure. Members come in, they bring their business expertise, their subject matter expertise, and operate. What we provide is the framework, where we can have an open consortium that has a balance of interest between the suppliers of components, all government agency programs doing procurement, and the integrators who put it all together. We have the proven process at The Open Group to make sure that we have that openness that's important for protecting all of the parties.

Williamson: There have been a lot of things that I've learned, having The Open Group come along and take a lead on all of this and developing the standards. The Navy and the Department of Defense (DoD) aren't real good at developing standards ourselves. We've tried to do it in the past and we've failed miserably with some of the attempts that we have had. Having The Open Group come and join us, and then bringing industry in, was the right thing to do.

Having this consortium with industry, Navy, Army, and Air Force acquisition teams, and fleet participation, has been the right way to go. It’s the only way we can really define the standards and get in place the standards that we really need to get at, with all those inputs coming together.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Analysts define business value and imperatives for cloud-based B2B ecommerce trading communities

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Read a full transcript or download a copy. Sponsor: Ariba.

As more services, applications, and data are developed for -- and delivered via -- cloud models, how do business to business (B2B) commerce and procurement adapt?

Or, perhaps we have the cart in front of the horse. Are the new requirements and expectations of modern, global business processes, in fact, driving the demand for IT solutions that can be best delivered via cloud models?

Either way, the promise of cloud aligns very well with the sophistication of modern B2B ecommerce and the pressing need for speed, agility, discovery, efficiency, and adaptability. Ecosystems of services are swiftly organizing around cloud models. How then should businesses best respond?

To answer these questions, BriefingsDirect assembled a group of IT industry analysts and executives at the recent Ariba LIVE 2010 conference in Orlando, Fla. to explore the business implications for ecommerce in the cloud-computing era.

Panelists include Robert Mahowald, Research Vice President at IDC; Mickey North Rizza, Research Director at AMR Research, a Gartner company; Tim Minahan, Chief Marketing Officer at Ariba, and Chris Sawchuk, Managing Director at The Hackett Group. The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Here are some excerpts:
Minahan: What we're seeing now is that we’ve really entered the state of new normal. We’ve just gone through a major recession. Companies have taken a lot of cost out of their operations. It's cost reduction in the form of laying off employees, and reducing infrastructure cost, including IT cost.

If you look at most of the studies out there, the CEOs, CFOs, and COs, are saying, "We're not hiring that back. We are looking for a new level of productivity, and more agility. To do so we're going to rely much more on external trading partners, which means we're going to need to collaborate with them much more.

"We're also going to look at alternative IT models to help support that collaboration outside of our enterprise, because our ERP investments do very well at automating information and process within the four walls. It stops at the edge of the enterprise and, at the end of the day, we do business. We buy, sell, and manage cash with our external trading partners and we need to automate and streamline those processes as well."

SaaS was all about a new delivery model for an existing business process. When you move into cloud, when you move into some of these collaborative processes around supply chain, and procurement, and the financial supply chain, it really involves multiple parties. It's really about business process transformation, a business process that's shared among multiple trading partners.

To do that, it’s not just the ability for everyone to share a common technology platform upon which they can collaborate around the process, but rather everyone needs to be digitally connected in a community, so that they can add new trading partners or remove old trading partners, as their needs change.

North Rizza: We’re actually finding companies are spending more time looking at the cloud. What happens is that you have your trading partners specifically around the sale side and the supply side of the organization. If you start looking just across your own businesses and internal stakeholders, you realize they can actually work together, get the information they need, and spend a lot of time on their business process, using just basic technology and automation components.

But, when they start looking at that extended network, into their trading partners, they realize we’re not getting everything we need. We need to pull everything together and we need to do it more quickly than what we’re doing. We can’t wait for on-premise, behind-the-firewall type applications. We need something that’s going to give us both the service and the technology and allow us to work in that trading-partner community in a collaborative environment.

In a recent study we just did, we found that 96 percent of the companies in that study are, or will be, using cloud applications. Within that, we see 46 percent are using hybrid cloud solution. That solution is really around the cloud technology, optimizing across their IT investment and on-premise, typically around enterprise resource planning (ERP), but there are many other instances as well. And then, they're tying that back in to the cloud services, where it’s actually extending the capabilities from their IT standpoint. And, that’s 46 percent out of the 96 percent within that.

... We think there are some great opportunities here for companies to move forward.

Mahowald: There is a lot more possibility now for collaborative commerce, when business applications have built a scenario where a lot of our data and application functionality exists outside of your organization. In that situation, it becomes far easier to source new partners and customers, leverage and trust data that lives in the cloud, and invite authenticated partners to enter into that kind of exchange.

It’s easy to see the way that the cloud has grown up and become more capable to support some of the business requirements that we have. At the same time, many of our business requirements are changing to adapt to a growing wealth of solutions in the cloud.

North Rizza: We've also seen the applications come out even from the ERP standpoint in the different pieces that come together to marry that entire ERP system. What you see happen is that every function has a piece of that. You see the various markets that have developed supplier relationship management (SRM), customer relationship management (CRM), and what not, out there in the marketplace.

What's now evolved is that those business processes really go end to end into that trading partner network. What you are finding is that you can use those applications, but you don't necessarily have to use those applications. You can use the services that go with it.

What you're doing is driving value. At the end of the day, all you want to do is deliver a value, and that's what's happening.

The point is that you're actually making some cost-value trade-offs, lowering your overall cost and extending some of this into your partnerships and your trading partner community. What you're doing is driving value. At the end of the day, all you want to do is deliver a value, and that's what's happening.

Sawchuk: One benefit that we didn’t touch on during our discussion here is a benefit I call the democratization of collaboration. When you think about the past, it has always been the big companies who could collaborate. They had the tools, they had the investments, they had the dollars.

What you're now had seeing is an environment where anybody can participate. Small, large, etc. all become connected in this world. That just takes things to a different level than what we’ve experienced. Just economically, everyone is now connected across the board in a much more equal and level playing field.

Focus on process agility

We now have the opportunity, the focus on agility, and the focus on where we’re going. It's a much more volatile world. We’ve got to build more agility and more variabilization into our business models, not only our staffing, our people, the way we do business, and our technology tools, but also the more extended value chain. Where we draw the lines between what we do becomes much more transparent and it's easier to make those decisions than we have in the past.

Minahan: There is a massive movement afoot in the enterprise space that's beginning to blur the line between enterprise applications and the community. What got in the way of business-to-business collaboration before was that there was no transparency. There was no efficient way to discover, qualify, and connect with your trading partners, before you could even collaborate with them.

There was a level of un-trust, a higher transaction cost that artificially inflated prices and costs that went around things. The ability to get rid of all the paper, connect digitally with everyone, and then open this up in a community environment, where you can collaborate in a host of different ways and not just around the transaction really is transformative.

As companies begin to look at particularly "extraprise" type applications, the community is going to become more and more important, whether that's the community of you and your trading partners, or a community of you and your peers, that can help you design the better process.

Sawchuk: What's going to be key over time is think about the lives we live today and the informational overload that we have. As you can rate these communities, there is going to be all kinds of information intelligence created. How do we dissect that and make it smart, relevant, timely, and in bite-sized chunks that we can deal with?

So the question is whether we're going to create all this community, all of this collaboration, all of this information in services, and then be able to dissect that and make it relevant for what we are trying to achieve. It's going to be a key differentiator.

Overload of information

We’ve always been in a time, where we try to get access to more information, more knowledge, and more intelligence. We're quickly moving into a period of time where it's going to be an overload of that kind of information.

Minahan: An important component, and which Chris is talking about, is taking that intelligence and putting in context of the business process. The reason we have information overload today, or one of the reasons, is because of the information that’s out there. We’ve aggregated all this information. I'm doing business process over here, and, oh God, I go over there to get that information. It's the ability to aggregate information and put it right within context with other business process.

The reason we have information overload today, or one of the reasons, is because of the information that’s out there.

So, I've gone out and aggregated my spend. I know where my spend leverage is. Guess what! I now have this market intelligence on what's going on, pricing in the season that I'm supplying the market, and what other buyers are experiencing in the market.

It might not be such a good time to go out and source that, so maybe I will go my second largest category of spend and source that first. That’s the type of the analytic that you need, which is in context with the business process.

Mahowald: It's important, as we start to put more-and-more business activities into these communities -- and more-and-more of our data and transactions happen outside the organization on SaaS services -- that we understand exactly what that means for organizations, where customer data and our own data actually resides and how we can find it during an audit in a way that guarantees that we've met our business requirements.

We don’t want to restrict ourselves and say don’t participate in this community. I think it's healthy and it ultimately drives tremendous value for us. What we do want to say is that we have to apply the same kind of governance and rules that help us manage our processes that are now onsite in this new world, where we are participating in communities and SaaS services. The same thing should apply.

The bottom line is that if you don’t do it, there isn’t even a ton of money on the table. You’re not able to take out the cost that you want to take out.

North Rizza: Basically, what we see the best companies doing [around cloud computing] is that they start to understand what their overall business objectives are. Then, they peel that back and say, "What am I looking at in my different functions across the business and what does that mean, if I want to improve the process and I want to get those end results."

As they starting peeling that back, they soon discover that it’s usually around revenue cost savings. It’s also about improving the business process and reducing cycle time. When you put all those together and you look at a recent study that we just did, you recognize that there are very large gaps between those that have already deployed cloud-based technologies and solutions.

Then, you step back to those that are even considering or using them as part of their overall extended enterprise. What we’re finding is that the gap is so large and its benefits are so great that there is no reason you wouldn’t want to take all that and put it in there.

The bottom line is that if you don’t do it, there isn’t even a ton of money on the table. You’re not able to take out the cost that you want to take out. You can’t get the products in there and teach the individuals the business process and cut down your cycle time that you’re going for. And most importantly, you’re not getting your revenue. You’re leaving it on the table.
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Three new Open Group white papers help make for a peaceful leap to cloud computing

This guest blog comes courtesy of Dr. Chris Harding, who leads the Cloud Computing Working Group at The Open Group. He can be reached at

By Chris Harding

History has many examples of invaders wielding steel swords, repeating rifles, or whatever the latest weapon may be, driving out people who are less well-equipped. Corporate IT departments are starting to go the same way, at the hands of people equipped with cloud computing.

Last week I was at The Open Group Conference in Boston. The Open Group is neutral territory with a good view of the IT landscape: An ideal place to watch the conflict develop.

The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group has been focused on the business reasons why companies should use cloud computing. The Work Group released three free white papers at the Boston conference, which I think are worth a closer look: “Strengthening your Business Case for Using Cloud,” “Cloud Buyers Requirements Questionnaire,” and “Cloud Buyers Decision Tree.” Three Work Group members, Penelope Gordon of 1Plug, Pam Isom of IBM, and Mark Skilton of Capgemini, presented the ideas from these papers in the conference’s Cloud Computing stream.

"Strengthening your Business Case for Using Cloud" features business use cases based on real-world experience that exemplify the situations, where companies are turning to cloud computing to meet their own needs. This is followed by an analysis intended to equip you with the necessary business insights to justify your path for using cloud.

My prediction: Over time, cloud will be able to occupy the fertile valleys, and corporate IT will be forced to take to the hills.

The “Cloud Buyers' Decision Tree” can help you discover where cloud opportunities and solutions might fit in your organization. And the "Cloud Buyers' Requirements Questionnaire" will help you identify your requirements for cloud computing in a structured way, so that you can more easily reach the best solution. These two papers contain ideas that will help you assess the potential the cloud has for your organization, and they will be refined as practical decision tools through use out in the field.

Deciding whether, and where, to use cloud computing can be difficult. Trying it out is easy. You can set up a small-scale trial quickly, and the cost is low. You can probably pay by credit card.

Assessing the financial implications for a particular application is relatively straightforward, although there can be unseen pitfalls. But, assessing the risks is more of a problem, particularly because cloud is so new, and the dangers -- where they are known -- may not be understood. And, integrating cloud solutions with each other and with in-house systems can present significant problems. Best practices in these areas are still evolving.

The white papers will help you reach these decisions, and understand where cloud is a good fit for businesses. Today, it is often a good fit, but there are many situations where it is not the best solution. These situations will become less common as cloud computing matures and enterprise architectures evolve to be more cloud-compatible. But there will always be cases where computer capacity should be retained in-house.

So perhaps the data center isn't quite dead, but cloud computing is certainly making headway. My prediction: Over time, cloud will be able to occupy the fertile valleys, and corporate IT will be forced to take to the hills.

This guest blog comes courtesy of Dr. Chris Harding, who leads the Cloud Computing Working Group at The Open Group. He can be reached at

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Business trends in global IT markets provide new traction and value for enterprise architecture

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Read a full transcript or download a copy. Sponsor: The Open Group.

We've assembled a panel to examine the key market trends impacting enterprise architecture (EA) in different regions of the world. We'll evaluate how the use and value of EA is emerging and progressing worldwide, and how the expanding use of EA offers a unique window into global business trends as well.

Coming to you from last week's The Open Group Conference in Boston, the experts here share their knowledge on several developing and mature markets, as well as present a focus on China. We'll hear about the cultural barriers and/or accelerants for EA adoption from region to region.

Here to help better understand the role of EA as it bestrides the globe, please welcome Allen Brown, President and CEO of The Open Group; Eric Boulay, president and CEO of Arismore and also CEO of The Open Group, France; Chris Forde, vice president of Enterprise Architecture & Membership Capabilities of The Open Group; Mats Gejnevall, a Certified Enterprise Architect with Capgemini, Sweden, and Stuart Macgregor, CEO of Real IRM and CEO of The Open Group, South Africa. The panel is moderated by Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Here are some excerpts:
Brown: Enterprise Architecture (EA) is an umbrella term that relates to an awful lot of activity that flows further down, whether it's business IT architecture, data architecture, and so on. There are many things, but the driving force in many organizations is this need to integrate and share information.

A trend over a number of years now is that the barriers within enterprises; the silos, the departments, the stovepipes, have been broken down.

Organizations are working cross-functionally. They're bringing people together. They're working with their business partners, and they have their IT infrastructure integrated with their business partners. That has caused a requirement for people to be able to look across the entire organization and think about how IT impacts different parts of the organization and how it integrates together.

Many parts of the organization have had applications built for the stovepipes that now need to work together in ways that they were never intended, when those legacy applications were put in, because we never intended those legacy applications to last this long. But, they did, and you can't just replace them.

What's happened with what we call boundaryless information flow, or the requirement for access to integrated information under security issues, is that we're now having to deal with something called "EA" on a number of different levels.

Different aspects

Many people have tried to define EA, and I don't think anyone has come up with a satisfactory overarching definition yet. But, there are a number of different aspects to it. At the moment, EA is focused on the IT element, although it has ambition to look at the architecture of an entire enterprise at some stage.

We're seeing continued growth in the adoption of EA in general and TOGAF in particular -- and it's continuing to grow. There are organizations that are saying that EA isn’t delivering near-term to the bottom lines, so they're going to cut the cost.

There are more organizations that are saying that this is the time to invest, to rationalize, and to really drive out value from their IT investment. It varies from enterprise to enterprise. So, you're starting to see a mix of things. But, generally speaking, my experience in the developed or struggling economies is that there are more people focused on EA than not.

We're seeing EA and TOGAF adoption pretty broadly across the planet, really. Obviously the US and UK were leading, but the amount of uptake in the Asia-Pacific region right now is quite dramatic and we're starting to see that take off. But, it's really difficult to isolate any particular region.

We’ve now got something like 15,000 members of our professional body, the Association of The Open Group Enterprise Architects. They are, in some way or another, connected with TOGAF for our IT architect certification. Those people are distributed across 116 different countries. So, it's really quite difficult to say which is growing the most.

Boulay: Key drivers for EA in France are the necessity to move forward for big and small enterprises. Because of the downturn, the future of the enterprise is to roll out in an international, standard view. In order to roll out -- for example, for big banks on a European or worldwide basis -- they have to welcome big transformation, and this kind of big transformation can be helped by EA.

It's an architecture issue to transform local enterprise to a worldwide or a European enterprise. This is a huge opportunity for enterprise architects and for EA to help in this big change. So, there is no downturn for EA, because if we use it and build a new EA practice in order to better address this kind of job, it's a huge opportunity for us. There is no downturn for us. It's only a matter of finding the right skills in order to help enterprise go abroad.

We spent a lot of time to move from IT EA to real EA. Now, I think we're mature enough to take the new capability brought by the new technologies. Cloud should be one of them. And now, once more we're ready to move from the old-fashioned way of sharing resources to better practices brought by new technology. You can transform the business, but you also can transform the way to consume IT.

Forde: The Chinese market is really very interesting. There's an opportunity there for the EA practice to grow massively. For the most part, larger enterprises in the China region are relying on the brand name western companies to do strategy and planning, and there is very limited internal capability, knowledge, and experience around EA.

I've been hearing from folks in various organizations, both state-owned companies and others, that they're reluctant to step away from these brand-name companies, because there is a certain degree of security around the planning and activities that go on there, but there is also a degree of dissatisfaction that they aren’t feeling in control of their own fate.

Over the next several years, I anticipate the development of internal architecture practices and an up-scaling of staff. The universities already have in place CIO forums and executive MBA activities that explicitly deal with EA as a set of concepts. Over time, I think that it's going to find it's place in the Chinese organizations.

At the moment, they're still continuing with this kind of organic growth of the IT approach to things, which is something that the Western markets dealt with 15 years ago, and found the need for a more planful approach to doing things.

This is the opportunity for us in EA in that particular market. The issue is that at the leadership level in these companies there isn’t a perception that they need to do anything, because the problem hasn’t actually arrived broadly inside China, from what I’m seeing.

Gejnevall: Transformation has always been a big driver in the enterprise Architecture Forum, but what we see these days is that getting your IT under control has been a major factor for going into the EA side of things. Slowly the companies now are connecting the IT structures they have with the business.

It was a struggle in the beginning, and most of the EA projects were IT-based projects, but now, business is starting to understand the full impact and understand that the IT solutions that we create should really be aligned with the long-term strategies and objectives of the organizations.

In the past, public sector has been pretty slow on the uptake, but recently we're doing a lot of business with healthcare services and so on. They're really large organizations, with 30,000, 40,000, or 50,000 people, and they have lots of different divisions. They need to work together in a collaborative fashion and fulfill the long term goals that the politicians have set up for them.

Macgregor: South Africa is slightly different, because EA is from the business side, rather than from technology. A lot of organizations have spent a lot of money working on business processes, and that business process architecture across the business domain is now being linked to the technology domains.

In fact, we're coming from the top down, instead of from the technology side upward. South Africa currently has roughly 10 percent of the Architecture Forum membership, all South Africans, and there is a big adoption of TOGAF in South Africa. If you look at our GDP in comparison, it’s quite exceptional.

That’s really been because of The Open Group's presence in South Africa, organizing events, a lot of TOGAF training, a lot of certification, a lot of press articles, and really driving the business value and the business understanding of what EA is about.

We have had for example, SASOL which is one of the larger petrochemical organizations, adopt TOGAF, working it into their governance standard. What their enterprise architect did, is he bought Enterprise Architecture as Strategy, the Jeanne Ross book, and distributed to senior executives. Given that it is written in business-speak, it really led to the adoption and understanding of what EA is about, and was quite serious for the uptake within the business.

We differ across business sectors as well, in that our financial services sector -- again, a big focus on the business process area -- are lagging in the technology domain, and that’s now a key focus area bringing that up to speed.

We’re seeing greater focus on modeling and defining information architecture. We're understanding the difference between information architecture and data architecture and using that as a way of bridging the gap between business and technology, while tackling the information architecture domain.

Body of knowledge

Forde: The learning that has occurred in the Western markets have produced a body of knowledge in TOGAF that can accelerate for other companies the way they adopt and improve their ability to deliver on strategy, planning, and execution.

Once the recognition is there inside companies, when the need arrives, those companies in that market that have planned for this will start to really accelerate in terms of their global position.

Gejnevall: Capgemini has put together a number of service offerings worldwide that we are adapting to the conditions of each one of the countries. We can see that things like boundaryless information -- being able to use information in new ways -- is something that every company wants to do.

In cloud, it always comes into the discussion, even though people don’t quite know how to use it yet. I think The Open Group’s effort around cloud computing can actually help that to a large extent. The ROI paper on cloud computing, for instance, will be a tremendous help for a lot of companies to have a look at and see what can they do. But, everything is moving very, very slowly. In countries like Sweden, the bigger companies might try these out, but the smaller ones are not ready yet.

Brown: Everything I hear says that organizations that are involved in EA in general, and TOGAF in particular, are finding it much easier to integrate with business partners. Mergers and acquisitions are enabled more effectively. So, in working with other organizations, as we get more and more connected, EA is a positive force in that.

Depending on the maturity of the company and of the region, you might be talking anywhere from six-month payback on an EA activity to a three-year payback.

You can get to one of the conferences and share experiences with other members. That's the key area to start. But, if you can’t do that, then there is an awful lot of available information. At the minimum, TOGAF itself is available freely online for people to read, look at, and use within their own organization.

You can buy the book, if it’s easier to have that. If you want to go to the next state, there are many trainee organizations that can train your people in TOGAF. If you can’t avail yourself of that -- there are some countries where that’s not possible -- then there is a study guide that you can get from The Open Group to work your way through.

The body of work that we have available to us in TOGAF is that, if you look at it as a tool in the context of the problem you’re trying to solve, you can drive immediate value. If you look at it as some sort of massive program that you’re going to implement, you’re looking at a longer term payback.

So, it’s very important for individuals and companies to approach EA with a specific problem in mind, not just some sort of generic goodness thing that they’re looking at.

There are a number of places [to get started]. The first and foremost one will be the membership of The Open Group, and particularly the Architecture Forum. You’ve got people sitting around this microphone right now that can help, and you’ve got people out at the conference who have an enormous background and this capability.

Then, in the member companies, either on the supplier side, on the customer side, or in academia, you also have resources available. Those are the places to go to find out what you need to do, and what the approaches can be used, and in a practical sense, what the barriers and the pitfalls are in the approaches. People here have been there, done that, and that’s where you need to go, to the experience.

Macgregor: To me organization change leadership is an absolute essential component of getting EA to work, the mechanics of modeling etc. It’s not really that difficult. It's the stuff that we have mastered and we’ve been doing for years. It’s how to drive positive business-appropriate and sustainable EA practices that are run like businesses with a very clearly defined offering that understands who the customers are, and can really deliver more value than they cost.

Boulay: In France, we had a long journey to capture EA practice. Right now, we consider that we moved from IT EA to enterprise, to real business EA, and this is a big shift. Now, CxOs aren't chasing enterprise architects. They're trying to educate enterprise architects inside their company. They understand that they need these kind of people in order to make the company be successful and to move forward.

So, it’s a big challenge and a big recognition for us. They need our body of knowledge as TOGAF and the EA body of knowledge. They need us to train, coach, and to help their inside employees to become leaders. Enterprise architects are definitely, as many of you mentioned, people who are ready to talk with different groups in order to ensure there are no more stovepipe in these companies.
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