Thursday, July 29, 2010

FACE Initiative Takes Aim at Improved Interoperability and Standards Among Future Military Avionics Platforms

Transcript of a sponsored podcast discussion on the US military's work with The Open Group to develop a computing environment that will smooth cost and schedule issues for new systems.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: The Open Group.

Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you're listening to BriefingsDirect. Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion, coming to you from The Open Group Conference last week in Boston.

We've assembled a panel to explore a new military aircraft systems interoperability consortium and effort, the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE), which aims to promote and better support interoperability and standardization among future military avionics platforms across several branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

We will 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 components' development agility is our panel. We are here with David Lounsbury, Vice President for Collaboration Services at The Open Group. Welcome.

David Lounsbury: Hi, Dana. How are you?

Gardner: I'm great. We're also here with Mike Williamson, Deputy Program Manager for Mission Systems with the Navy's Air Combat Electronics Program Office. Welcome to the show.

Mike Williamson: Dana, thanks, it’s good to be here.

Gardner: Mike, tell us a little bit about what FACE is, and the history that led up to it?

Williamson: 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.

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.

Gardner: In general terms, what are the problems that we need to solve here?

Cost and schedule

Williamson: The primary problems are cost and schedule. The costs of getting systems to the fleet today are going up. Primarily, it's driven by testing and by the fact that the systems that we have on aircraft today are not open.

As for schedule, it takes a minimum of two years, once a new capability is defined, to get it fielded on our aircraft today. We need to reduce that timeline.

Gardner: For the benefit of our listeners, we're talking about the avionic systems. Can you tell us a little bit more about the actual systems and some of the capabilities that we're addressing with this program?

Williamson: 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.

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.

Gardner: Dave, I think The Open Group has seen this issue before, right?

Lounsbury: Yeah. It’s very interesting. We've got 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.

I want to pick up on a thread that you mentioned about schedule, because there’s two sides to that coin. 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.

We really need that 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.

Gardner: So how did The Open Group become involved, and what do you expect to be doing vis-à-vis the FACE effort?

Similar areas

Lounsbury: 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.

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've got the proven process at The Open Group to make sure that we have that openness that's important for protecting all of the parties.

Gardner: Mike, tell me about milestones and timelines? How far into this effort are we, and what might the fruits of this labor be over time?

Williamson: This idea really started about a year ago in the Navy, within PMA-209, the program office that I represent here, the Combat Electronics Program Office, at the Naval Air Systems Command. 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.

Gardner: And for you, Dave, at The Open Group, what do you see as some of the existing efforts that have taken place that you could look to for some guidance? Are there processes, standards, or technologies that will already be available for FACE?

Lounsbury: It's very early, and we're just starting to learn the technical requirements. There are a few that we know that we are going to need. We've talked about the need for operating system kernels that keep the various levels of information to various levels of sensitivity separate. And, there's an active program in our Real-time and Embedded Systems Forum called MILS that's addressing that. I think there will be many that we will discover going forward.

There is also a good background. The Open Group has worked with some other government activities -- the Modular Open Systems Architecture folk. We've got quite a reservoir of expertise there. What we're going to be doing principally is marshaling, as always, the expertise of the members to address various parts of the problem.

Gardner: Let's look to some commonality, Mike, between the commercial world and the efforts for your avionics platforms, this notion of modular and the right balance between components, silos, and an overarching system. Tell us where you expect this to go, not only in terms of your agility, but into better architecture.

Getting beyond

Williamson: 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: I want to pick up on something you mentioned there about following the commercial world, and you articulated a few business drivers in there, like cost, time to market, and things like that. 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.

It's early on how we are going to do that, but it’s a very active topic inside the consortium.

Gardner: Do you see an extensibility that this effort with FACE might have some bearing on where you could go in other areas of either the military or government?

Lounsbury: Certainly. Obviously, we started FACE. The Navy came to The Open Group, but once the word got out, the Army and Air Force are on board. So, we've started to branch out into agencies.

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. Part of the vision is, in fact, how does this start to overlap with the commercial avionics practice that Mike mentioned earlier.

Gardner: And, we've got our timeline. We understand that there are going to be some improvements pretty rapidly. Is there anything about the standardization process, Mike, that is perhaps different than you expected? Is there any learning process so far?

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.

Gardner: We've been discussing a new military aircraft systems interoperability effort and consortium, the Future Airborne Capability Environment or FACE effort, and how it promises to improve costs, spur upgrades, flexibility, and accelerate avionics components' development agility.

I'd like to thank our guests. We've been joined by David Lounsbury, Vice President of Collaboration Services at The Open Group. Thanks, Dave.

Lounsbury: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: And, we've been joined by Mike Williamson, Deputy Program Manager for Mission Systems, with the Navy’s Air Combat Electronics Program Office. Thank you.

Williamson: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: This sponsored podcast discussion is coming to you from The Open Group Conference in Boston the week of July 19, 2010.

This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. You've been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast. Thanks for joining, and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: The Open Group.

Transcript of a sponsored podcast discussion on the US military's work with The Open Group to develop a computing environment that will smooth cost and schedule issues for new systems. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2010. All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Analysts Define Business Value and Imperatives for Cloud-Based B2B Ecommerce

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on the value of building and exploiting cloud-based communities for advanced ecommerce business processes.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: Ariba.

Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to a special sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast, coming to you on location from the Ariba LIVE 2010 conference in Orlando, Fla. I’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. We’re here with a group of IT industry analysts and Ariba executives to explore the business implications for ecommerce in the cloud-computing era.

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 should businesses best respond?

Please join me in welcoming our distinguished panel to help answer these and other top ecommerce and cloud questions. We’re here with Robert Mahowald, Research Vice President at IDC. Welcome to the show.

Robert Mahowald: Thanks very much, Dana.

Gardner: We’re also here with Mickey North Rizza, Research Director at AMR Research, a Gartner company.

Mickey North Rizza: Hi, Dana.

Gardner: Tim Minahan, Chief Marketing Officer at Ariba.

Tim Minahan: Hey, Dana.

Gardner: Also, Chris Sawchuk, Managing Director at The Hackett Group.

Chris Sawchuk: Hi, Dana.

Gardner: Let me go to you first if you wouldn’t mind, Robert. I posed the question as to whether it is the technology that has made cloud computing possible, and now businesses are adapting to that. Or, is it the other way around? Are the business demands, in fact, making cloud computing more attractive? And why?

Mahowald: It’s a little bit of both. Actually, 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.

So, it’s a little bit of both. 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.

Gardner: Okay, Mickey, from your perspective, what’s going on with the IT enablement versus the needs and requirements in the field? As we’ve heard at this conference, wouldn't the notion of boundarylessness, the cross-organizational commerce, perhaps be better adapted to a cloud model?

Looking at the cloud

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.

The next bucket is 41 percent around the private cloud. That’s really around the aspect of just optimizing across IT with technology only from the cloud application standpoint, not putting those services in. The reality is that we’re actually missing the standpoint that could take it to the next step. We think there are some great opportunities here for companies to move forward.

Gardner: Tim Minahan, you've announced at Ariba LIVE the Ariba Commerce Cloud. Clearly, the technology is allowing new and different things, but I suspect there are some significant business drivers. What do you see as the business drivers enabling these cloud models for not just the IT people, but also the business side of the house?

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."

Gardner: Chris Sawchuk, some of your research has pointed up the need for doing things differently. Do you see these cloud models as repaving the cow paths, or are we entering into something that's a bit more transformative in terms of both how IT responds to business and also how business conducts itself?

Sawchuk: There are a couple of things. You said something about the repaving of cow paths. I think we are moving into an era where processes are becoming more and more commoditized. If you look at what's happening with process redesign, we're not where we need to be yet. But, if you look at the needs of where we're going, what the cloud does is provide an environment for more collaboration and more visibility.

Gardner: Let's look at this now from the perspective of how business applications are adapting. We're very much aware the business process has become an emphasis, but how does that change the notion of installing a business application versus subscribing to a service? What is different now between a business application and the business process, and aren't the business processes the more important of the two?

Different services

Mahowald: We're seeing a couple of different kinds of services develop around SaaS services. We're seeing tactical services that enable the application service to be delivered, and then domain services that actually consume the services and bring it to buying companies.

You might think of an accounting service that provides human capital skills on top of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) service. We call that software within a service, and it provides expertise that doesn't exist in the application. It helps some user companies actually offload and outsource that capability. It's a big dynamic and we see the combination of those people skills and the SaaS service coming together in a way that's very impactful for business.

Gardner: Mickey?

North Rizza: Let me just add something else. If you look back at the way business typically has been done, it's been across functions. You see functional areas coming together across an enterprise, and that's typically where the business processes have stopped.

You'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.

Gardner: When we saw SaaS becoming popular, it was really taking a business application and putting it up on the Web. But now with cloud, we're thinking about ecosystems, multiple partners, looking at supply chains. So it seems to me, Tim, that the business process ecosystem is perhaps the killer application, if you will, of cloud computing. Why does that fit so well into the procurement function?

Minahan: That's absolutely right, Dana. Robert and Mickey hit on it 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.

Finally, the really interesting thing as you blur the lines between applications and community, is the ability to drive capabilities, the ability to drive the right business process. When you register and log on to Amazon to place an order, you don’t think about the buying process. The buying process is already optimized for you end-to-end, from discovery and qualification, through getting feedback from community and expert opinion to make sure you’re making the right buying decision and then being able to actually execute the transaction. That's the same dynamic that's beginning to occur in the business world, as you look about these networked or cloud-based business process models.

Gardner: Another thing we see in the market is that when the social networks gravitate to the cloud, suddenly collaboration takes on almost in accelerated pace, perhaps even a multiplier effect.

The collaboration aspect

North Rizza: What we’re finding from the AMR side of the equation is that we started looking at this from both the suppliers and the customer aspect and putting the clients where they actually sit within this collaboration aspect.

First, many of them are focused just on the transaction. They're looking at the order-to-cash cycle. They understand what the transactions are. They use their ERP system. They understand how the bills get paid.

There’s still paper process. A lot of money is sitting in there on the paper side of the equation, and they really aren’t connecting the dots. What they are recognizing, specifically over the last couple of years, is that they need to do a better job on managing order-to-cash.

They get a couple of things out of that. They actually get acceleration of working capital. They're able to work better with their trading partners and they start connecting the dots to say, "Gee, it isn’t just all about the transaction but also how we are managing that cash, the terms that we have with our particular suppliers and what that trading partner network looks like."

If they start to get that piece underway, they start looking at. "Wow. We’ve got other aspects we’re really doing business." From a sourcing aspect, we’ve got bidding events, auctions, performance, and score cards and we’re exchanging information and looking at 360-degree views.

It's all about, "This is win-win. This is how we’re going to get there. This is how we’re going to change the market."

We’re also sharing demand forecasts. We’re looking at contract manufacturers. We’re understanding the issues around them, and we become much more integrated and much more collaborative to share those pieces of information. So, we start building relationships with our trading partners.

It's not all about just collaborative practices, as we call it, in a transactional value, and "do as I say, not as I do." It's all about, "This is win-win. This is how we’re going to get there. This is how we’re going to change the market. And, this is what we need you to do as part of our extended enterprise and our trading partners to help us get to the next segment."

The reality is that the call-based applications are bringing that extended enterprise to the table, and companies are starting to rethink and refocus around those business processes.

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.

And, there's some of the stuff that Mickey was talking about. 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.

Gardner: When you say democratization, do you mean we can be more inclusive? Are we talking about bringing small and medium businesses (SMBs) or maybe even smaller companies across the board? What do you mean by democratization?

Much more involvement

Sawchuk: It's much more involvement across the board, whether it's the small business, medium businesses, large enterprise, etc. We all now have the ability to collaborate in a new way. We’re moving from sort of the haves and have-nots type of world, from a technology standpoint, to a world where everyone has access. Now, we can all collaborate in this new community-type of environment.

Gardner: Robert, it seems like we’re moving from collaboration to community. How does community, perhaps with some social and discovery aspects, become transformative? This is something that's greater than the sum of the parts that we’ve had in the past?

Mahowald: It's a good point. As Mickey points out, what we really have when we have the element of community injected into commerce is that there is a tremendous amount of transparency. It means that partners know who they can work together with and optimize both sides of the equation, so that it suits the end result very, very well.

It also means that you can source new providers. You can actually change the terms of the contract and some of the ways in which you deal with certain suppliers in a way that's transparent to others, bring them in on the deal, and drive that transparency at a greater value for both organizations.

The idea of a community means that each can bring potentially the best terms, the best offer, and the best product to the table, so that at the end of the day, the buyer gets the most value. That means repeat business, and that helps everybody.

There is a massive movement afoot in the enterprise space that's beginning to blur the line between enterprise applications and the community.

Gardner: Tim Minahan, we have extended enterprise, business processes empowered by community and collaboration. Is there a name for that?

Minahan: There is a massive movement afoot in the enterprise space that's beginning to blur the line between enterprise applications and the community. As Robert and Mickey just said, 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.

Gardner: Are these self-defining communities? It seems to me that we've broken down silos, and therefore have entered a more human and potentially innovative and creative way to construct relationships. Does that make sense, Chris?

Process enrichment

Sawchuk: Certainly, there's this whole collaboration that's occurring. What's interesting is that they made a comment earlier about the fact that processes become more commoditized over time, and where we really move from is this world of process enablement, which is where technology started, to a world of process enrichment.

When you think about these communities, over time, the communities themselves and the connections become more commoditized. The differentiation is that services and the intelligence is actually built within those communities themselves. The real question is how do you deal with all that, all of the various types of intelligence, because it becomes self-learning types of communities over time.

These clouds learn about the different behaviors. Look at what Google has been doing in terms of learning about the behaviors in the social media world. As you can learn more about that, you can provide that as services back to all the participants within that network.

Gardner: Perhaps the flip-side of that is also the ability to gather metadata about what's going on within the process, who the participants are, what works, and what doesn't work. There seems to be an opportunity to bring a higher level of analytics to bear on these extended processes in a cloud environment than you would be able to get in the traditional enterprise packaged-business applications approach. What do you think of that?

North Rizza: I'd agree with you. In fact, I'll tell you that there are some analysts within the Gartner community who are actually looking at pattern-based recognition strategies and helping companies understand what they're really getting using those analytical tools to understand how they then drive the right trends.

So, when you start looking at that community from a business aspect, power just keeps increasing, increasing, and increasing.

At AMR, we actually look at it from a demand-sensing, a demand shaping ability. So, what's going on? What are we sensing? Where do we need to shape it? If you look at, what you're seeing is the power of many coming together, versus single processes and single entities.

If you just think of the consumer side where you are trying to bring that in and change the way we're doing business, think of eBay. It used be that you go and sell something from your garage outside at a yard sale, or a tag sale depending on where you are.

The secondary aspect now is that I can sell it on eBay and have more individuals bidding on it. Maybe it's important to them, and I might hit those individuals with something that everybody else might have thrown out in the trash. It would only have meaning to a certain group of clientele. And, that particular clientele is going to come together in that community. Hopefully, you just raised the dollar that you're going to get from that.

So, when you start looking at that community from a business aspect, power just keeps increasing, increasing, and increasing.

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?

Today, my wife uses Facebook. I don’t. I just don’t have the time. 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.

Gardner: I suppose that’s one of the tasks of business intelligence (BI) then, to sift through all of the voluminous data and find the real gems. Back to you, Tim. How does BI, from your perspective, have a role to play in these extended commerce cloud activities?

Minahan: There are three aspects of it. If you have the community, you have the network or transactional environment where businesses are actually doing business. So, you have the transactional information in aggregate that can be a bellwether for economic indicators or even around particular commodities -- what folks are doing, whether it's a good time to buy or not a good time to buy. Or, if it is a good time to buy, if you are a seller, how aggressive should you be in that bidding? That’s the transactional information.

Then, there is the community information that you mentioned before. We've used a lot of consumer examples here today, but what makes eBay so great and make these examples earlier is the fact that I am a seller and I have no idea who that buyer is. But, I now gain a degree of confidence, thanks to the community that has rated that buyer.

I know that they pay on time and that they’ve done business with 20 other sellers on there. So, I get a degree of confidence. On top of that, it provides utility that allows me to secure a payment, even if the buyer turns out to be not so good.

The third component, which is important, 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.

Gardner: And, that’s where we move to intelligent sourcing, rather than perhaps just accelerated sourcing?

Minahan: Yes.

Gardner: Robert, we've talked about how a vibrant, collaborative environment can be very rich and rewarding. We've talked of how BI in a sea of data can be exploited for analytic insights. And, we've talked about how extended applications as business processes could be very rich.

One of the things we haven’t talked about is how to keep a lid on this. If we have too much collaboration, too much data, too many processes, then the folks who are very comfortable in a locked-down ERP environment might have their way again.

So, how do we prevent falling back into old patterns of being a bit risk-averse, but at the same time, applying the right security, governance, and management that enterprises insist on?

Managing governance

Mahowald: It's a good question. One of the things we're going to see in the next handful of years, and we're already starting to see at the largest organizations that are using SaaS services, is essentially a czar to manage governance across multiple locations.

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.

Gardner: Mickey, this idea of finding a balance between openness, innovation -- and on the other hand -- control and governance -- are you familiar with any examples of people who are already practicing this balance well?

North Rizza: What we’re finding, to the point that Robert just made, is that the bulk of the companies we work with are spending more time around the governance structure. But, they’re also spending more time around master data management (MDM), understanding what that really means and how those pieces come together.

What are the pieces of information you need to actually do your job, and then what does that job look like?

This comes back to the point that both Tim and Chris had made around what you need to really worry about, what does that mean to the business processes, and what’s important.

Because we’re on this information overload, you have data everywhere. What are the pieces of information you need to actually do your job, and then what does that job look like? What is the business process that you need to do within a certain parameter and timeframe that you need to get done, and where does that go? Where does it stop and start?

And then supply chain: Does it go out into the extended partner network? What do the collaboration aspects look like and what are the rules around that?

So, from the aspects of the types of the companies we’re seeing and supply chain companies we look at that are using these, anywhere from sourcing and procurement, all the way into supply chain execution, supply chain planning -- we see some even in the inventory -- they're having some issues around this. It's really about putting the focus and the emphasis on those areas and understanding what that means as my business changes.

Gardner: Tim, we have more members in the network. It seems to me that Metcalfe’s Law says the network then gets more valuable that way. Is that how you all see it?

New ways to collaborate

Minahan: Yeah. It’s absolutely true. First, going back to earlier comments, you need to connect folks. Then, you need to provide new ways for them to collaborate. In fact, in appropriate network, they will force new ways to collaborate. They’ll discover new ways to not just execute transactions with known trading partners, but discover new trading partners, and leverage the network by the community information to qualify those trading partners, so they can be more secure.

They want to collaborate on new business processes, well beyond the transaction too. Should we establish supply chain financing programs or receivables financing programs, or should we work to out-task a certain portion of the process to someone else in the value chain?

Gardner: Let’s go to the question about getting started, but without getting overloaded and overwhelmed. To you, Robert, what’s your advice to folks as to how to approach this in a manageable way?

Mahowald: If I’m an IT organization, one of the first things I want to understand is my constituency. The organization I want to serve are my internal users. I want to understand what their requirements are and how they may or may not be using staff services now to get the job done, and for what reasons.

I want to build a strategy based on the recognition that substantial number of organizations do have business units that use SaaS services, and I want to find a way to build it into my long-term IT strategy, because at the end of the day my goal was not to be a cost center at the organization. My goal is to be a service center and that’s a transformation I need to build into my business plan.

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.

Gardner: Mickey, closing thoughts on getting started?

North Rizza: Basically, what we see the best companies doing 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.

Gardner: I’m afraid we have to leave it there. Thanks for joining us for this special sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast. We’re coming to you on-location from the Ariba LIVE 2010 conference in Orlando on May 25, 2010. We’ve been discussing the business implications and multiplier effects for value in using cloud computing to conduct ecommerce.

Please join me in thanking our panel. We’ve been here by Robert Mahowald, Research Vice President at IDC. Thanks.

Mahowald: Thanks very much, Dana.

Gardner: We’ve also been joined by Mickey North Rizza, Research Director at AMR Research, a Gartner company. Thank you.

North Rizza: Thank you.

Gardner: And Tim Minahan, Chief Marketing Officer at Ariba.

Minahan: Thanks, Dana. It’s been a pleasure.

Gardner: And last, Chris Sawchuk, Managing Director at The Hackett Group. Thank you.

Sawchuk: Thanks, Dana.

Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. Thanks for listening to this BriefingsDirect podcast, and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: Ariba.

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on the value of building and exploiting cloud-based communities for advanced ecommerce business processes. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2010. All rights reserved.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Business Trends in Global IT Markets Provide New Traction and Value for Enterprise Architecture

Transcript of a sponsored podcast discussion on the global adoption of enterprise architecture in response to regional business trends.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: The Open Group.

Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you're listening to BriefingsDirect. Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion, coming to you from The Open Group Conference in Boston, the week of July 19, 2010.

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.

Our guests will 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 is our panel. Please join me in welcoming Allen Brown, President and CEO of The Open Group. Welcome, Allen.

Allen Brown: Thank you.

Gardner: We're also here with Eric Boulay, president and CEO of Arismore and also CEO of The Open Group, France. Welcome, Eric.

Eric Boulay: Good morning, Dana.

Gardner: Chris Forde, vice president of Enterprise Architecture & Membership Capabilities of The Open Group, also joins us. Welcome, Chris.

Chris Forde: Good afternoon.

Gardner: And Mats Gejnevall, a Certified Enterprise Architect with Capgemini, Sweden. Welcome.

Mats Gejnevall: Thank you very much.

Gardner: We are also here with Stuart Macgregor, CEO of Real IRM and CEO of The Open Group, South Africa. Welcome, Stuart.

Stuart Macgregor: Good afternoon. Glad to be here.

Gardner: Allen, let's start with you. Tell us a little bit about what's happening globally. Why is EA so popular now? We'll get into the regions in a moment, about why it's happening here and there, but are there any general perceptions as to why EA is such an important aspect of IT and business development at this time?

Brown: Thank you, Dana. 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.

People are looking at the entire enterprise from an IT perspective, like a city planner would. So you've got that kind of EA. Then you have got other folks that are more focused on specific solutions, and that's also EA.

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.

In governments, you're seeing joined-up government and citizen-centric government. To deliver those services, and to do so economically, requires this boundaryless information flow concept, and that requires the discipline of EA.

Gardner: Of course we are in an environment where not only are the technology trends unfolding at different rates, but we have a different economic environment from region to region. Some regions are struggling, and others are growing quite well.

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.

Being based in the UK, being familiar with Europe and North America where the economies are still struggling, do you see anything about the economy and the position of budget pressures that is accelerating or having impact on the adoption of EA?

Brown: It varies from enterprise to enterprise. 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 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. 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.

Gardner: Eric Boulay in France, tell me what the market for EA is there, and what are some of the drivers?

Boulay: Key drivers 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.

Huge opportunity

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.

Gardner: Mats, based in Sweden with experience in Northern Europe, is transformation a real driver here regardless of the economy?

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.

Gardner: Do you perceive any difference between the public sector and private sector in terms of the adoptions markets are familiar with?

Gejnevall: 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.

Gardner: Stuart Macgregor in South Africa, are there certain trends afoot that you can identify that are prominent in your market, but might also represent other emerging markets?

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. So, we are probably the opposite.

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.

Key focus area

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.

Across the natural resources sector, for example, we have an Open Group Standard called EMMMv, which stands for Exploration Mining Metals and Minerals, where we're working on putting together reference architectures for the sector, and that’s also driving global adoption of TOGAF. So, it really differs across sectors and across organizations. There's no one size fits all.

Gardner: It seems a credit to TOGAF, Allen Brown, that it can be playing a role in so many different markets with so many different variables at work. Perhaps you could, from your perch, tell us about certain markets in the world that have seen the most impact, adoption, or uptake of TOGAF and/or enterprise architecture.

Brown: We're seeing it 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.

Gardner: Let's go to the Asia-Pac region and Chris Forde in China. What are some of the elements of TOGAF’s growth and adoption that you can identify that might be specific to China?

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.

Gardner: I’m going to guess that in some of the more mature markets they wished they had had an opportunity to invoke some of these practices, before there was a problem. Is there an opportunity in China for them to gain a lesson from the rest of the world?

Body of knowledge

Forde: I think there is, and this is one of the things for the emerging markets, similar to cellphones. 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.

Gardner: Is it your understanding -- or anybody else's on our panel -- that the other so-called BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia and India, are facing similar situation as China?

Forde: I wouldn’t comment directly on the other BRIC countries. I have a sense that that’s the case, but I don’t have any specific information of those markets.

Gardner: Another set of variables we can bring to this picture are some of the technology trends: mobile, cloud, data explosion, complexity, and then, of course, due to the economy in most regions, an emphasis on efficiency. Can we look to any of these trends and find a relationship between EA adoption in a particular market? Why don’t we try with you, Mats, in Swede?.

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.

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.

Gardner: How about Eric Boulay in France? Are there some technology trends or adoption trends in business that are spurring some of this adoption of an EA perspective?

Boulay: Sometimes, it makes sense to have an engineer's analysis of the situation. We used to consider what is behind the word, and sometimes we have many questions about hype words, such as cloud. What is cloud? I've heard that many of CIOs here in France used to say that we have been doing cloud computing for a while. What’s the difference between private cloud and internal data centers with shared services application or infrastructure?

To go back to EA, 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.

So, it’s not a big deal. Once more, it’s obvious that EA is a way to transform, so you can transform the business, but you also can transform the way to consume IT.

Gardner: Very good. Does anyone else have any perspectives on technology? How about South Africa from your perspective, Stuart?

Modeling and defining

Macgregor: Not technology, specifically, but it's probably more in the domain of information architecture that 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.

Gardner: Now, because we’re in such a globally connected environment, I’m wondering if there isn’t a benefit down the road, as more of these regions and more of the large organizations -- public and private -- standardize and adopt enterprise and architecture?

Doesn’t it offer more of a opportunity for these disparate markets to work more in concert, reduce the friction of trade, reduce the friction of services, goods, even perhaps as cloud computing unfolds? We don’t know how it’s going to happen, the opportunities to share cloud computing resources across great distances and boundaries.

Back to you Allen Brown. Is there an opportunity for us to consider a unifying influence of EA that would have a growth and/or efficiency benefit, as more and more markets start approaching their business problems in a similar fashion architecturally?

Brown: Absolutely. I think it’s worth also bringing in Chris to see his experiences, but 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.

Gardner: Chris Forde, your perspective on that, the notion that the more EA adoption around the world, then perhaps the more easily business can be conducted at a global scale?

Forde: I'd say that the long-term point around that is valid. I'd also say that there is a certain learning curve to be gotten up in terms of EA, and 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.

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.

Gardner: Fair enough. As we think about the tactical, and the potential strategic benefits, people who are engaged, understanding what they need to do, but not sure how to start, can we point them in any specific directions? Where do you go to get started on learning more about EA, learning more about TOGAF, finding the tactical, and then perhaps ultimately the strategic values? Chris?

Architecture Forum

Forde: There are a number of places. 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.

Gardner: Mats?

Gejnevall: In the past, we as consultants used to go out and do architectures with companies. We came out and we delivered a folder saying, "Here’s your EA. Go ahead and implement it." Of course, that didn’t work.

These days, we actually encourage companies to work with us, to work with experts in the field, and teach them and work and produce these EAs together, because EA is not just a project. It’s got a lifecycle and it needs to be maintained. If companies don’t get that knowledge themselves, the EA will die.

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.

Gardner: Any thoughts, Stuart Macgregor, on this journey of beginning it, perhaps regardless of where you’re starting from?

Macgregor: I certainly support what Mats and Chris have just said. 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.

Gardner: And, Eric Boulay?

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.

Gardner: Allen, the last word to you. Do you have any thoughts about getting started and how companies and/or countries and regions that haven’t taken this journey too deeply could avail themselves of the many years' worth of experience that others have traveled through?

Brown: Yes, the first one is, if 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.

There are examination centers everywhere. Working through that gives you a good understanding of TOGAF. It doesn’t necessarily make you an enterprise architect. You’ve got to have the abilities to go with that, and you’ve got to have the experience.

Again, you can work with some of the folks either at conferences or local chapters. We've got chapters in many different countries now. You can share with them, correspond with them or our other members. This is the way that you actually get the experience of how to do it, what people have done, and what pitfalls there are.

Gardner: Great, thank you. We’ve been discussing key market trends impacting EA in different regions of the world and how folks are using EA and gaining value from it, in both emerging and more mature markets.

This sponsored podcast discussion is coming to you from The Open Group Conference in Boston, the week of July 19, 2010. I’d like to thank our guests; we’ve been here with Allen Brown, president and CEO of The Open Group, thank you, Allen.

Brown: Thank you very much, Dana.

Gardner: We also have here Eric Boulay, president and CEO of Arismore and also CEO of The Open Group, France.

Boulay: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: Mats Gejnevall, Certified Enterprise Architect at Capgemini, Sweden. Thank you.

Gejnevall: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: We’re also been joined by Chris Forde, Vice President of Enterprise Architecture and Membership Capabilities of The Open Group, based in Shanghai. Thank you.

Forde: It’s been a pleasure, thanks.

Gardner: And last, Stuart Macgregor, the CEO of Real IRM in South Africa, as well as the CEO of The Open Group in South Africa. Thank you.

Macgregor: Thank you very much, Dana.

Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. You've been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect Podcast. Thanks for joining, and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: The Open Group.

Transcript of a sponsored podcast discussion on the global adoption of enterprise architecture in response to regional business trends. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2010. All rights reserved.

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