Showing posts with label Allen Brown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Allen Brown. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Gaining Dependability Across All Business Activities Requires Standard of Standards to Tame Dynamic Complexity, Says The Open Group CEO

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on the need to mitigate risk and compliance issues in a unpredictable world.

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

Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to a special BriefingsDirect Thought Leadership Interview series, coming to you in conjunction with The Open Group Conference on July 15, in Philadelphia.

I'm Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host and moderator throughout these discussions on enterprise transformation in the finance, government, and healthcare sector.

We're here now with the President and CEO of The Open Group, Allen Brown, to explore the increasingly essential role of standards, in an undependable, unpredictable world. [Disclosure: The Open Group is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Welcome back, Allen.

Allen Brown: It’s good to be here, Dana.

Gardner: What are the environmental variables that many companies are facing now as they try to improve their businesses and assess the level of risk and difficulty? It seems like so many moving targets.

Brown: Absolutely. There are a lot of moving targets. We're looking at a situation where organizations are having to put in increasingly complex systems. They're expected to make them highly available, highly safe, highly secure, and to do so faster and cheaper. That’s kind of tough.

Gardner: One of the ways that organizations have been working toward a solution is to have a standardized approach, perhaps some methodologies, because if all the different elements of their business approach this in a different way, we don’t get too far too quickly, and it can actually be more expensive.

Perhaps you could paint for us the vision of an organization like The Open Group in terms of helping organizations standardize and be a little bit more thoughtful and proactive toward these changed elements?

Brown: With the vision of The Open Group, the headline is "Boundaryless Information Flow." That was established back in 2002, at a time when organizations were breaking down the stovepipes or the silos within and between organizations and getting people to work together across functioning. They found, having done that, or having made some progress toward that, that the applications and systems were built for those silos. So how can we provide integrated information for all those people?

As we have moved forward, those boundaryless systems have become bigger and much more complex. Now, boundarylessness and complexity are giving everyone different types of challenges. Many of the forums or consortia that make up The Open Group are all tackling it from their own perspective, and it’s all coming together very well.

We have got something like the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Consortium, which is a managed consortium of The Open Group focused on federal aviation. In the federal aviation world they're dealing with issues like weapons systems.

New weapons

Over time, building similar weapons is going to be more expensive, inflation happens. But the changing nature of warfare is such that you've then got a situation where you’ve got to produce new weapons. You have to produce them quickly and you have to produce them inexpensively.

So how can we have standards that make for more plug and play? How can the avionics within a cockpit of whatever airborne vehicle be more interchangeable, so that they can be adapted more quickly and do things faster and at lower cost. After all, cost is a major pressure on government departments right now.

We've also got the challenges of the supply chain. Because of the pressure on costs, it’s critical that large, complex systems are developed using a global supply chain. It’s impossible to do it all domestically at a cost. Given that, countries around the world, including the US and China, are all concerned about what they're putting into their complex systems that may have tainted or malicious code or counterfeit products.

The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF) provides a standard that ensures that, at each stage along the supply chain, we know that what’s going into the products is clean, the process is clean, and what goes to the next link in the chain is clean. And we're working on an accreditation program all along the way.

We're also in a world, which when we mention security, everyone is concerned about being attacked, whether it’s cybersecurity or other areas of security, and we've got to concern ourselves with all of those as we go along the way.
The big thing about large, complex systems is that they're large and complex. If something goes wrong, how can you fix it in a prescribed time scale?

Our Security Forum is looking at how we build those things out. The big thing about large, complex systems is that they're large and complex. If something goes wrong, how can you fix it in a prescribed time scale? How can you establish what went wrong quickly and how can you address it quickly?

If you've got large, complex systems that fail, it can mean human life, as it did with the BP oil disaster at Deepwater Horizon or with Space Shuttle Challenger. Or it could be financial. In many organizations, when something goes wrong, you end up giving away service.

An example that we might use is at a railway station where, if the barriers don’t work, the only solution may be to open them up and give free access. That could be expensive. And you can use that analogy for many other industries, but how can we avoid that human or financial cost in any of those things?

A couple of years after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, a number of criteria were laid down for making sure you had dependable systems, you could assess risk, and you could know that you would mitigate against it.

What The Open Group members are doing is looking at how you can get dependability and assuredness through different systems. Our Security Forum has done a couple of standards that have got a real bearing on this. One is called Dependency Modeling, and you can model out all of the dependencies that you have in any system.

Simple analogy

A very simple analogy is that if you are going on a road trip in a car, you’ve got to have a competent driver, have enough gas in the tank, know where you're going, have a map, all of those things.

What can go wrong? You can assess the risks. You may run out of gas or you may not know where you're going, but you can mitigate those risks, and you can also assign accountability. If the gas gauge is going down, it's the driver's accountability to check the gauge and make sure that more gas is put in.

We're trying to get that same sort of thinking through to these large complex systems. What you're looking at doing, as you develop or evolve large, complex systems, is to build in this accountability and build in understanding of the dependencies, understanding of the assurance cases that you need, and having these ways of identifying anomalies early, preventing anything from failing. If it does fail, you want to minimize the stoppage and, at the same time, minimize the cost and the impact, and more importantly, making sure that that failure never happens again in that system.

The Security Forum has done the Dependency Modeling standard. They have also provided us with the Risk Taxonomy. That's a separate standard that helps us analyze risk and go through all of the different areas of risk.
You can't just dictate that someone is accountable. You have to have a negotiation.

Now, the Real-time & Embedded Systems Forum  has produced the Dependability through Assuredness, a standard of The Open Group, that brings all of these things together. We've had a wonderful international endeavor on this, bringing a lot of work from Japan, working with the folks in the US and other parts of the world. It's been a unique activity.

Dependability through Assuredness depends upon having two interlocked cycles. The first is a Change Management Cycle that says that, as you look at requirements, you build out the dependencies, you build out the assurance cases for those dependencies, and you update the architecture. Everything has to start with architecture now.

You build in accountability, and accountability, importantly, has to be accepted. You can't just dictate that someone is accountable. You have to have a negotiation. Then, through ordinary operation, you assess whether there are anomalies that can be detected and fix those anomalies by new requirements that lead to new dependabilities, new assurance cases, new architecture and so on.

The other cycle that’s critical in this, though, is the Failure Response Cycle. If there is a perceived failure or an actual failure, there is understanding of the cause, prevention of it ever happening again, and repair. That goes through the Change Accommodation Cycle as well, to make sure that we update the requirements, the assurance cases, the dependability, the architecture, and the accountability.

So the plan is that with a dependable system through that assuredness, we can manage these large, complex systems much more easily.

Gardner: Allen, many of The Open Group activities have been focused at the enterprise architect or business architect levels. Also with these risk and security issues, you're focusing at chief information security officers or governance, risk, and compliance (GRC), officials or administrators. It sounds as if the Dependability through Assuredness standard shoots a little higher. Is this something a board-level mentality or leadership should be thinking about, and is this something that reports to them?

Board-level issue

Brown: In an organization, risk is a board-level issue, security has become a board-level issue, and so has organization design and architecture. They're all up at that level. It's a matter of the fiscal responsibility of the board to make sure that the organization is sustainable, and to make sure that they've taken the right actions to protect their organization in the future, in the event of an attack or a failure in their activities.

The risks to an organization are financial and reputation, and those risks can be very real. So, yes, they should be up there. Interestingly, when we're looking at areas like business architecture, sometimes that might be part of the IT function, but very often now we're seeing as reporting through the business lines. Even in governments around the world, the business architects are very often reporting up to business heads.

Gardner: Here in Philadelphia, you're focused on some industry verticals, finance, government, health. We had a very interesting presentation this morning by Dr. David Nash, who is the Dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health, and he had some very interesting insights about what's going on in the United States vis-à-vis public policy and healthcare.

One of the things that jumped out at me was, at the end of his presentation, he was saying how important it was to have behavior modification as an element of not only individuals taking better care of themselves, but also how hospitals, providers, and even payers relate across those boundaries of their organization.
One of the things about The Open Group standards is that they're pragmatic and practical standards.

That brings me back to this notion that these standards are very powerful and useful, but without getting people to change, they don't have the impact that they should. So is there an element that you've learned and that perhaps we can borrow from Dr. Nash in terms of applying methods that actually provoke change, rather than react to change?

Brown: Yes, change is a challenge for many people. Getting people to change is like taking a horse to water, but will it drink? We've got to find methods of doing that.

One of the things about The Open Group standards is that they're pragmatic and practical standards. We've seen' in many of our standards' that where they apply to product or service, there is a procurement pull through. So the FACE Consortium, for example, a $30 billion procurement means that this is real and true.

In the case of healthcare, Dr. Nash was talking about the need for boundaryless information sharing across the organizations. This is a major change and it's a change to the culture of the organizations that are involved. It's also a change to the consumer, the patient, and the patient advocates.

All of those will change over time. Some of that will be social change, where the change is expected and it's a social norm. Some of that change will change as people, generations develop. The younger generations are more comfortable with authority that they perceive with the healthcare professionals, and also of modifying the behavior of the professionals.

The great thing about the healthcare service very often is that we have professionals who want to do a number of things. They want to improve the lives of their patients, and they also want to be able to do more with less.

Already a need

There's already a need. If you want to make any change, you have to create a need, but in the healthcare, there is already a pent-up need that people see that they want to change. We can provide them with the tools and the standards that enable it to do that, and standards are critically important, because you are using the same language across everyone.

It's much easier for people to apply the same standards if they are using the same language, and you get a multiplier effect on the rate of change that you can achieve by using those standards. But I believe that there is this pent-up demand. The need for change is there. If we can provide them with the appropriate usable standards, they will benefit more rapidly.

Gardner: Of course, measuring the progress with the standards approach helps as well. We can determine where we are along the path as either improvements are happening or not happening. It gives you a common way of measuring.

The other thing that was fascinating to me with Dr. Nash's discussion was that he was almost imploring the IT people in the crowd to come to the rescue. He's looking for a cavalry and he’d really seemed to feel that IT, the data, the applications, the sharing, the collaboration, and what can happen across various networks, all need to be brought into this.
Each department and each organization has its different culture, and bringing them together is a significant challenge.

How do we bring these worlds together? There is this policy, healthcare and population statisticians are doing great academic work, and then there is the whole IT world. Is this something that The Open Group can do -- bridge these large, seemingly unrelated worlds?

Brown: At the moment, we have the capability of providing the tools for them to do that and the processes for them to do that. Healthcare is a very complex world with the administrators and the healthcare professionals. You have different grades of those in different places. Each department and each organization has its different culture, and bringing them together is a significant challenge.

In some of that processes, certainly, you start with understanding what it is you're trying to address. You start with what are the pain points, what are the challenges, what are the blockages, and how can we overcome those blockages? It's a way of bringing people together in workshops. TOGAF, a standard of The Open Group, has the business scenario method, bringing people together, building business scenarios, and understanding what people's pain points are.

As long as we can then follow through with the solutions and not disappoint people, there is the opportunity for doing that. The reality is that you have to do that in small areas at a time. We're not going to take the entire population of the United States and get everyone in the workshop and work altogether.

But you can start in pockets and then generate evangelists, proof points, and successful case studies. The work will then start emanating out to all other areas.

Gardner: It seems too that, with a heightened focus on vertical industries, there are lessons that could be learned in one vertical industry and perhaps applied to another. That also came out in some of the discussions around big data here at the conference. The financial industry recognized the crucial role that data plays, made investments, and brought the constituencies of domain expertise in finance with the IT domain expertise in data and analysis, and came up with some very impressive results.

Do you see that what has been the case in something like finance is now making its way to healthcare? Is this an enterprise or business architect role that opens up more opportunity for those individuals as business and/or enterprise architects in healthcare? Why don't we see more enterprise architects in healthcare?

Good folks

Brown: I don't know. We haven't run the numbers to see how many there are. There are some very competent enterprise architects within the healthcare industry around the world. We've got some good folks there.

The focus of The Open Group for the last couple of decades or so has always been on horizontal standards, standards that are applicable to any industry. Our focus is always about pragmatic standards that can be implemented and touched and felt by end-user consumer organizations.

Now, we're seeing how we can make those even more pragmatic and relevant by addressing the verticals, but we're not going to lose the horizontal focus. We'll be looking at what lessons can be learned and what we can build on. Big data is a great example of the fact that the same kind of approach of gathering the data from different sources, whatever that is, and for mixing it up and being able to analyze it, can be applied anywhere.

The challenge with that, of course, is being able to capture it, store it, analyze it, and make some sense of it. You need the resources, the storage, and the capability of actually doing that. It's not just a case of, "I'll go and get some big data today."
The focus of The Open Group for the last couple of decades or so has always been on horizontal standards, standards that are applicable to any industry.

I do believe that there are lessons learned that we can move from one industry to another. I also believe that, since some geographic areas and some countries are ahead of others, there's also a cascading of knowledge and capability around the world in a given time scale as well.

Gardner: Well great. I'm afraid we'll have to leave it there. We've been talking about the increasingly essential role of standards in a complex world, where risk and dependability become even more essential. We have seen how The Open Group is evolving to meet these challenges through many of its activities and through many of the discussions here at the conference.

This special BriefingsDirect discussion comes to you in conjunction with The Open Group Conference 2013 in Philadelphia, and it is focused on Enterprise Transformation in the Finance, Government, and Healthcare sectors.

Please join me now in thanking our guest, Allen Brown, President and CEO of The Open Group. Thank you.

Brown: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Dana.

Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host and moderator through these thought leadership interviews. Thanks again for listening, and come back next time.

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

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on the need to mitigate risk and compliance issues in an unpredictable world. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2013. 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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Monday, September 14, 2009

Cloud and Security Join Boundaryless Information as Top-of-Mind Issues for The Open Group

Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast with Allen Brown, president and CEO of The Open Group, on the state of the organization. Recorded live at The Open Group's 23rd Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference in Toronto.

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

Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you’re listening to BriefingsDirect.

Today, we welcome our listeners to a sponsored podcast discussion coming to you from The Open Group’s 23rd Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference in Toronto.

Our topic for this podcast, part of a series from the conference, centers on The Open Group itself. We're going to be talking with Allen Brown, president and CEO of The Open Group, about the organization and its recent fast growth. Welcome back to the show, Allen.

Allen Brown: Hi, Dana. It’s good to be talking to you again.

Gardner: Well, the last time you and I spoke, you were just unveiling the TOGAF 9 Framework, and from all indications, this has really become quite popular.

Brown: There have been more than 30,000 downloads of TOGAF 9, since we launched it, bringing us to about 125,000 TOGAF downloads in total. We've sold more than 21,000 hard copies of the TOGAF book, and certification is continuing to grow. We've passed the 10,000 number milestone for TOGAF certified practitioners. It has just been growing and taking off. It's fantastic.

Gardner: Of course, this has been happening during a difficult economic environment. Do we have some larger takeaways about enterprise architecture (EA) in general from these results?

Brown: I sometimes just think that we're very fortunate to be where we are, but there must be something more than that, I guess. We've been working on TOGAF for many, many years.

We started off in a situation where organizations recognized that they needed to break down the boundaries between their organizations. They're now finding that they need to continue that, and that investing in EA is a solid investment developing for the future. You're not going to stop that just because there is a downturn.

In fact, some of our members who I've been speaking to see EA as critical to ready their organization for coming out of this economic downturn.

Gardner: We've also seen a great deal of interest in security issues. I noticed at the previous conference, as well as this one, a significant devotion to security issues. How important are enterprise architects to the general health of an organization when it comes to security?

Brown: We're seeing more and more of that come along. We're seeing the merger of the need for EA with security. We've got a number of security initiatives in areas of architecture, compliance, audit, risk management, trust, and so on. But the key is bringing those two things together, because we're seeing a lot of evidence that there are more concerns about security.

As one CIO of a major organization in the U.S. explained to me, "We're using EA. We're using TOGAF. We've modified it. We've pretty much got the integration stuff down, but the biggest concern that I have is security."

Gardner: I've noticed also from some of the presentations here at the conference a rather dramatic increase in the global uptake in EA, and TOGAF is an indication of that. Perhaps you could give us a sense of where this is welling up in terms of growth around the world.

International growth

Brown: Well, it’s been quite dramatic. We've entered into agreements with organizations to represent us, in a franchise kind of way, in different countries. We've had an agreement with Japan for many years. We then went into South Africa. But, in this last quarter, we launched The Open Group China. We had a fantastic launch event in Beijing in May.

We had the first conference of The Open Group France in this quarter, with some brilliant presentations by people like Air France, KLM, showing how EA is used to benefit their merger. We've also entered into an agreement with an organization that is going to represent us in the Arabic speaking countries, as well.

Gardner: One of the things that’s impressed me in tracking TOGAF and The Open Group for the past several years is the emphasis you’ve put on Boundaryless Information Flow. A few years ago, that played a great role in services orientation and the movements around that, but now its also playing quite a role in what’s being referred to in many cores as cloud computing.

In cloud, there are various sourcing options, different approaches to the economics that support IT, but in doing so perhaps are even making IT and business processes more agile. How do you see this vision that The Open Group has had around "boundarylessness" relate to cloud computing.

Brown: We looked again at boundaries, because each year we review our strategy, and we were

You’ve got to be able to deliver it not as data, but as information to those cross-functional groups -- those groups within your organization that may be partnering with their business partners.

wondering about whether the vision was still sustainable. Obviously it came from our Customer Council, our end-user organization members in the first place, and driven again by that need for information to be integrated, aggregated, and delivered to those that were entitled to it whenever they needed it.

You've got situations now where information can flow within organizations and it can flow between organization, and we're breaking down the silos within departments in organizations. We've always had this challenge of how do we breakdown the silos in the IT function. As we're moving towards areas like cloud, we're starting to see some federation of the way in which the IT infrastructure is assembled.

As far as the information, wherever it is, and what parts of it are as a service, you've still got to be able to integrate it, pull it together, and have it in a coherent manner. You’ve got to be able to deliver it not as data, but as information to those cross-functional groups -- those groups within your organization that may be partnering with their business partners. You've got to deliver that as information.

The whole concept of Boundaryless Information Flow, we found, was even more relevant in the world of cloud computing. I believe that cloud is part of an extension of the way that we're going to break down these stovepipes and silos in the IT infrastructure and enable Boundaryless Information Flow to extend.

Gardner: The role of the enterprise architect seems also be benefiting from this abstraction to a variety of sourcing options. To just focus on the solution architecture, a technological or platform architectural approach, or technology set doesn’t get to that higher value of the top-down look, and bringing what could be a series of services in a process to the betterment of the business itself, the outcomes that the business is seeking.

Do you think that there is also some relationship? Now that we have more sources of compute applications data and infrastructure, we expect more. There's a relationship between the uptake in your framework and the architectural view and this added layer of complexity?

Raising competence

Brown: Absolutely. As the layer of complexity increases, we need more capability from enterprise architects. That’s why we're concerned, and our members are concerned, about raising the level of professional competence amongst enterprise architects, because they actually have to have the skills, not only technical, but also the people skills, the softer skills, to be able to bring this together.

One of the things that we found internally in moving from the business side of what our architecture is that the stakeholders understand to where the developers can understand, is that you absolutely need that skill in being able to be the person that does the translation. You can deliver to the business guys what it is you're doing in ways that they understand, but you can also interpret it for the technical guys in ways that they can understand.

As this gets more complex, we've got to have the equivalent of city-plan type architects, we've got to have building regulation type architects, and we've got to have the actual solution architect.

Many of us are responding to business demands for where architecture needs to go. So, it’s not architecture for architecture's sake. We're not doing EA because it sounds cool. We're doing it because we have real business concerns. Some of them are developing new product, but a lot of them are reducing risk -- operational risk and security risk.

So, as the organization does this, we've got to ensure that we find ways of bringing it back together into some sort of coherent whole. The real skill of the architect is to bring that all together.

Gardner: I've also noticed, sticking with the cloud topic a bit, that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have been very interested in cloud. Perhaps they're early adopters even more so than large enterprises, and perhaps they've been getting used to cloud vis-à-vis their use of software-as-a-service (SaaS), certain applications coming across the Web. Is there a role for EA in these SMBs as well?

Brown: There absolutely is, because SMBs are becoming more complex themselves. They are

One of the reasons that SMBs go to the cloud is because it's more secure than they can do themselves.

looking at integrated applications and integrated solutions. So it is much more complex in a small organization than it used to be.

But, at the same time, you don't have the availability of the skills, and so one of the big challenges we have in serving SMBs effectively with EA is to provide ways of enabling them to get access to those skills.

Our members did a survey of Open Group Architecture Forum members, and one of the things that came out of that survey was that the average number of enterprise architects in an organization is between two and four percent of the IT organization. For small business, that's maybe two hours a week. Any more than that is not affordable, and it's out of scale with the large organizations. So we've got that challenge.

The other part is about outsourcing and using cloud effectively by small organization. I know that we've heard a lot about one of the issues with cloud being security. One of the reasons that SMBs go to the cloud is because it's more secure than they can do themselves. So, there is always that tradeoff.

But, we do need to provide ways in which they can have more available expertise on hand to help them with EA.

Sourcing issues

Gardner: For these SMBs and enterprises that are looking to the cloud to improve their productivity in general, perhaps by reducing costs and offloading some capital expenditures, that security issue seems to be coming up all the more often, as they really pursue these issues around sourcing and cloud.

What do you have in store for security? I know there are several activities out there. There is Jericho and the Cloud Alliance. I'm wondering what the next shoe to fall might be in terms of The Open Group and cloud security.

Brown: IT security continues to be a problem area for enterprise IT organizations. It's an area where our members have asked us to focus more. Besides the obvious issues, the move to cloud does introduce some more security concerns, especially for the large organizations, and it continues to be seen as an obstacle.

On the vendor side, the cloud community recognizes they've got to get security, compliance, risk, and audit sorted out. That's the sort of thing our Security Forum will be working on. That provides more opportunity on the vendor side for cloud services.

On the customer side, there is widespread recognition that getting security requirements expressed now is critical, so that the cloud-service vendors develop the right controls and processes to meet enterprise security requirements.

Gardner: Are there any working groups or activities that you're devoting specifically to cloud to ameliorate some of these security concerns, so that we get the best of both worlds?

Brown: We're working on a number of areas. One of the things that we've always done in The Open Group is to look to our customer members, the end user organizations that are our

On the customer side, there is widespread recognition that getting security requirements expressed now is critical, so that the cloud-service vendors develop the right controls and processes to meet enterprise security requirements.

members. We always look to them first. They were the people who came along 15 or 16 years ago and said, "We have to have standards for how to do EA." These are the people who came along and said, "We need access to integrated information and we need a Boundaryless Information Flow."

Right now, we're looking to them. On Wednesday morning, here in Toronto, we will be conducting what we call a "business scenario." Business scenarios are a method within TOGAF, which is itself a method.

We'll be conducting a business scenario to look at the customer requirements, pain points, challenges, and concerns with cloud computing. That's really an absolute catalyst for us, looking at what the customers actually want, because that drives the market.

We've also got activity within the Security Forum itself. They're focused on that security in Jericho. They're both focused on cloud activities. We're looking to announce -- tomorrow, I believe -- a cloud work group within The Open Group.

Working collaboratively

As with everything, The Open Group never believes that we have all of the answers or that we're going to solve everything. We have to work collaboratively with other standards organizations, other consortia, with the vendors and the customers, and we will define what we believe our role is to be. It's never the center of the universe. It's always a contributor to these part, and that's what we're going to be talking about on Tuesday.

On Wednesday evening, we're hosting a cloud camp, just trying to support that area of activity. Since we're in Toronto, we thought that was a good idea.

Gardner: As we work through the evolution of security for cloud activities and a comfort level develops around that, I think the next part of the discussion will be around neutrality or portability for data applications, run time environments, just general intellectual property. I know it's a bit early in the evolution of this, but is there any sense of what role The Open Group might play in terms of this portability and neutrality issue?

Brown: That takes me back a while. When I first joined The Open Group, too many years ago to remember, portability was what we were doing. We did the X/Open Portability Guide -- XPG4 was the one that really took off -- unifying the Unix operating platform.

We can see that there are concerns. We've come full circle. Now there are concerns about portability around the cloud platform opportunities. It's too early to know how deep the concern is and what the challenges are, but obviously it's something that we're well used to -- looking at how we adopt, adapt, and integrate standards in that area, and how we would look for establishing the best practices.

Gardner: We've been discussing the role of The Open Group since the beginning of the year. They had a very big roll out with TOGAF 9, and there are several prominent issues -- security and xloud not the least among them -- that are top of mind for architects moving forward. I want to thank our guest Allen Brown, president and CEO of The Open Group.

Brown: Well, thanks for talking to us, Dana.

Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions. You've been listening to a special BriefingsDirect podcast coming from The Open Group's 23rd Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference in Toronto. We're here the week of July 20, 2009. Thanks for listening, and come back next time.

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

Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast with Allen Brown, president and CEO of The Open Group, on the state of the organization. Recorded live at The Open Group's 23rd Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference in Toronto. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2009. All rights reserved.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Role and Perception of Enterprise Architects Needs to Align Better with Business Goals, Panel Discovers

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on enterprise architecture and its role and value in the face of the current economic downturn.

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

Announcer: Hello, and welcome to a special BriefingsDirect production, a sponsored podcast discussion coming to you from The Open Group's 22nd annual Enterprise Architecture Practitioner's Conference in London, England on April 22, 2009. Please welcome The Open Group's President and CEO Allen Brown, as he introduces the moderator and panelists for our discussion.

Allen Brown: This panel is about "Resisting Short-term Thinking: Rationalizing Investments in Enterprise Architecture During a Recession."

I'm glad there's not a recession in enterprise architecture (EA). We've got quite a full room, haven't we? The panel is going to be moderated by Kevin White, contributing editor to Computer Business Review in the UK. In that role, he closely monitors the infrastructure and enterprise management markets, consulting and writing about both the technology details and the business strategies of the major vendors and user corporations in these domains.

He also regularly writes about IT economics and business case analysis for Technology Investment. He was formerly editor-director for the CIO Connect Network of FTSE-level chief CIOs. Kevin also works as research director for Datamonitor Technology, and before that, headed the Computerwire IT news service.

I'm going to introduce Kevin. He's going to introduce his panel. Please give a big, warm welcome to Kevin White.

Kevin White: Thank you, and good afternoon everyone. So resisting short-term thinking, how does EA thrive and survive in recession? It's a tough subject, and I can't do it without some expert witnesses.

I would like to invite Henry Peyret from Forrester Research. He has focused for 25 years on the concepts, techniques, and tools used in EA.

We also have Phil Pavitt, the group chief information officer (CIO) for Transport for London. Phil is the man who is responsible for all the technology behind London buses, Underground, the Light, Docklands Railway. Phil admits to being responsible in part for the Central London Congestion Charging Scheme. So, a very warm welcome to Phil.

Next, we have Thomas Obitz, a principal architect at Infosys. Thomas's key areas of interest are the potential versus the perceived benefits of EA. It's very relevant.

Mike Turner, enterprise architect at Capgemini is a very familiar figure in this room. He's one of the core team that developed the SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework, which was a joint initiative between Capgemini and SAP. [More from Mike Turner on BriefingsDirect.]

Finally, we have Terry Blevins, a senior principal information systems engineer at MITRE and Customer Council Board member of The Open Group. Terry has been involved with architecture discipline since the late 1980s, and he currently heads a team of 40 enterprise architects. As his accent will show, he is based in the US. So welcome, panelists.

Talk about business

We've talked today about frameworks. We've talked about certification. We've talked about software tools. I just want to raise our heads somewhat and talk about business, because that's what we're all in. You don't need to look very far to realize that we live in very interesting times. The challenge for EA is to be able to balance the long-term goals against the pressing short-term needs of the business.

There are intense commercial pressures right now to reduce costs at a time when capital expenditure is severely constrained. Operational efficiency has become an imperative, but agility and speed to market are equally as important.

In a downturn, there is a natural tendency to accentuate the tactical, short-term initiatives, and EA arguably is inherently long-term. This is a crucial issue of how you balance that long-term architectural goal against the short-term needs of the business.

So let's explore that. To kick off, it would be interesting to understand what business is like at the top. Phil, perhaps you could share with us some of the challenges, some of the pressures, some of the dynamics currently in the CIO's office as it relates to this flex between short-term and long-term goals.

Phil Pavitt: Thank you. It's an interesting issue, because although this talk is entitled around recession, I'm not sure that pressures of the CIO's office have ever changed. Certainly the role I have, looking after an enormous organization that spends almost $2 billion a year through my team on technology, I don't remember having any other conversation around cost cutting, efficiency, or speed to market, that's particularly changed this week from this time last year.

What has changed though is that suddenly those business units that had two choices -- do we use the internal teams or do we do our own thing? Perhaps two or three years ago, in most business units, they felt strong enough to do their own thing and then once they've got it, or a third party has given it to them, come to the center and say, "Is there any chance you can run it?"

Now, perhaps that money is not so readily available to them. Suddenly, I can see where EA actually become a critical part. Taking our standards and designs, because they're common across the business, becomes a very efficient way to operate and to run.

Having sat here for the last hour, I'm worried about some of the "business speak" interface between the architects and the business, but I'm sure once you move away from your internal conversations to the external ones, it's much more business-focused.

Most businesses, and certainly the businesses I operate and am responsible for, want to talk about standards and designs that produce speed-to-market, save money, help with maintenance, do actually give longevity to application development, application maintenance. They wouldn't necessarily recognize the tools to do that, but they recognize the people and the business partner to supply those tools.

Demonstrate added value

So my role as CIO, it is to demonstrate to the business that we can add value, and that value is primarily helping them with their business needs, as it ever was, but now helping them in a way that's cost-effective and frees up cash on other things.

In this last year, the project meetings I've been to, where the respective project director says, "And that will be $X million over 12 years, etc.," all those conversations have gone. It's much shorter values over much shorter times. The day of the big program is dead. The day of the big outsource is dead.

The understanding of our architectural process that's going to apply to that is a critical interpretation that CIO and his office will do for the business. Otherwise, they will go for "short-termism," because they'd go for what they see in front of them. So, that's some of the pressures we face.

White: Thanks, Phil. I think you're suggesting, perhaps, that time-to-value is probably more important now than a big return on investment (ROI). Is that the case?

Pavitt: I work in the government sector, which has an interesting history of major programs, some of which is true and some of which is hype. At the end of the day, IT is judged by what a business can take and use tomorrow. It's no good to have some of my strategy team and my business relationship team sitting with customers and saying, "Look, we can do stuff that will change your world tomorrow," and they say, "But, my printer doesn't work."

I know as architecture, you don't want to talk about that. You want to talk about the big world-changing, world-challenging processes. Sometimes, our most simple architectures do not serve the customer and help them do their stuff today. The more we can learn to do that today, then the more we get long-term support.

Therefore, if you find in my organization a program or a project -- even things like the Congestion Charging, for which I'm responsible -- has programs that go over 12 months, we have to sit. If the ROI is acceptable, we have to seriously consider whether it's actually the right thing to do. Can we do these small parcels? Can we architect something that does now and is then put on the shelf to re-brought down or reused again and again and again or built on again and again?

Each one of those small components must be successful in terms of their hurdles, whatever their hurdles may be. That's the biggest challenge we currently face. It doesn't change the overall theme or the overall process. It's a repositioning of that relationship with the business.

White: Thanks, Phil. Thomas, EA needs to prove value. Infosys did some interesting research late last year and early this year. Perhaps you could pick up on some of those key themes and explore some of those issues.

Thomas Obitz: There are a couple of things that we found that closely relate to what you've been saying.

First of all, EA clearly becomes a tool for strategic business transformation. That is visible from a couple of indicators. One of them is that 42 percent of the organizations have their enterprise architects actively involved in the strategic planning process.

Another indicator is that 16 percent of all organizations have the EA report outside IT. That means to the head of strategic planning, to the CFO, to the COO, and to the CEO. So, enterprise architects are changing their positioning, and that means that the value that the organizations are expecting out of them is changing, and also, the way they are talking about value and how they are proving value.

I don't fully agree with this view that EA is strategic, and strategic is short-term. What is strategy? Strategy is, "I am here. I have a vision of being here. I need to take this and this steps, when I do a starting step. I start tomorrow, not in two years." The best way of making large transformation programs fail is actually to have something that does the tactical thing and another program that does the long-term strategic thing, because the tactical thing solves the problem.

What is EA good for? It's an approach for solving the problems of an organization. As we say, the problems are here and now. You need to make out the places where you have current issues. You need to identify architectural approaches to solve them. And, you need to start gradual change right now. So, yes, you are capable of demonstrating a long-term path, but you are creating value in the short-term.

Basically, as enterprise architects what we need to change in our overall approach is that we need to go away completely from this architectural approach, which is about, "We build a big picture of how we could imagine things work and then implement that over a long time," to "What's an approach that's issue-driven." We need to identify where the issues of the organizations are today, identify what needs to change, and then consolidate that into the big picture.

Uniquely positioned

Architects are uniquely positioned for that, because our key capability, which basically constitutes what we call architecture, is that we work out solutions from the standpoint of a multitude of stakeholders, but then we consolidate against a common set of models. Instead of having marketing do something, finance do something, and human resources (HR) do something, which then don't go together, we can come up with holistic solutions. This is the unique strength of architects.

That also means that we need to change the way we are talking about our solutions, as you rightly said. I often hear that architects need to talk business, but it takes it a bit short. The problem is not business in the sense of what the organization is doing. It's not sufficient that an enterprise architect understands banking.

The point is that an enterprise architect needs to understand the mechanics of management. He needs to understand how decisions are made at the top level, and he needs to have an approach of presenting what he's doing and what he suggests in a way that is understandable and traceable for the most senior decision makers in the organization. We're basically moving towards management consulting.

White: Terry, you had a large group. You just heard about the requirements of the group to have an understanding of management skills and the mechanics of management. Do you think the typical EA group now has the right sort of skills to be able to face off to clients within the business in that sort of fashion?

Terry Blevins: EA, architecting, and the architects themselves are much different than maybe domain-specific, technology-specific architectures, architects, and architecting. This is where the soft skills really come into play.

I've seen more than one CIO get pretty angry to the point of you're not invited back if you come in and just start talking about technology and architecture speed. In the DoD, if you start throwing out OV1 and SV1 and stuff like that, that doesn't make it.

You certainly do need to approach the decision makers with a mind toward the business. I don't think it hurts to speak "business speak" to them. But, the point is to show a true appreciation that you're there to help them, help them make decisions, help them implement what they need implemented, help them be responsive, and think about the day to day. It's not 5 or 10 years out anymore. It's the day to day.

White: Let's change tack slightly, Mike. EA has to make an impact, a business impact. What other ways can we accelerate fast impact programs, where there is a necessary focus on operational efficiency, productivity, and cost reduction?

Mike Turner: If organizations have been doing EA in the past, then now is a really good time to demonstrate the value of that in the world that's happening. A lot of the talk has been about using EA as a tool to increase the agility of your organization. Organizations that have understood their EA and understood their operating model and how their organization functions should be well placed to make significant strategic, cross-silo decisions to respond to new market situations.

One of the real opportunity areas that EA is uniquely placed to deal with is working across silos. IT could be one of those silos, but there's any number of other silos within the business, across HR, finance, and different parts of operations.

EA is a fantastic tool to be able to consult a wide variety of stakeholders about a particular market change, get a consensus viewpoint about that, and really have to define the responses across the whole organization. Also, to look for ways that traditional silos can work together more effectively. Most silos, when considered in isolation, in the majority of organizations, are quite efficiently run. There isn't a huge amount of extra value that can be driven from those silos or extra costs that can be taken out. The opportunities really span across those multiple silos.

In order to react quickly, you really need those essentials in place, and you need to understand your operating model and your stakeholders. You have a mechanism in which you can articulate how you're going to respond to a need to change, and then you really have the tools in place to be able to quickly make changes and have a coordinated response.

The worst thing you could do in any crisis situation is to allow fragmentation and different parts of the business to go and try different strategies. You may be cutting cost in one area and trying to increase value in a different area. You end up conflicting with each other and ultimately creating more tension and having a destructive impact on the business.

White: There are some strong communication and influencing skills that are required.

Turner: Absolutely.

White: You mentioned three keywords for me there: speed, response, and agility. Henry, I know you've got a real interest in agility and you consider it almost a benchmark that needs to be melded somehow into the EA group. Can you talk us through how that might develop?

Henry Peyret: At Forrester, we think that there is probably a breakthrough for the EA job currently. We are launching something we call EA 2.0, a renewal of the EA world. Take agility, for example. We think that we should now move the agility at the business level and say what type of agility we can provide for the business to deliver new products, to deliver new capabilities, and to transform the enterprise.

A new metric for EA is coming -- key agility indicators at the business level, but also key agility indicators for architects.

We talked a lot today about the strategy angle that enterprise architects are taking currently. We've seen lot of changes with service-oriented architecture (SOA), which brings a new iterative manner to more principles about driving different changes.

You talked about the fact that we need to adapt to different geographical zones, different constraints and compliance, different type of architectures. The big picture is not valuable enough for the enterprise architect. We think that brings a new way of doing EA, and we call that EA 2.0.

White: I want to introduce a question from the audience. This is from Colin Wheeler. Phil, you might want to take this one. How can big EA providers and consultancies demonstrate the cost benefit of EA to board-level management in today's climate?

Pavitt: Stay away really. That's just a small joke. You've got to remember that at the board level there's massive frustration with most IT departments. A CEO, or a principal in charge of an organization, has poured millions and even billions over the years into its IT department. Someone said, "Just a few million more, and I would have architected the right agile, fast-to-market, cheapest benchmark thing in the world. Just a few million more."

They've heard this so many times. I can tell you from the organizations I have led as an IT person, that is the single biggest source of frustration. Yet, and I think the conversation is totally valid, we to go back to the question of how you actually demonstrate value?

We see here an assumption that most organizations work with each other for the common good. Perhaps you work in a more perfect world than I do, and you're lucky in your company. With all respect, most business units in most companies are looking after their own horizontal profit and loss statement (P&L), their own horizontal income, or dealing with their own horizontal challenges. IT among two or three other project functions is the only one that goes horizontally.

The idea that the whole business can say, "Shall I chuck in my bit of my application, my bit of infrastructure, my bit of data center, and my bit of technology, so the common good can happen" -- those conversations don't happen very often, or perhaps they happen when I'm never in the room.

Some people I know in the businesses are so wedded to their application and their architecture, they think the threat of losing it is the threat of their job.

Common good vs. individual good

So to answer the question, fundamentally we have to demonstrate not just the common good, but the individual unit good, because although everybody says at the boardroom, "Yes, of course, we're here for the common good," how they all bonus and objectivize isn't the reality.

An enterprise architect who says, "I've decided that the good thing to do is to bid on this architecture, on this infrastructure, on this, or whatever, because we over the next few years would get a overall pound in the pocket for the business," will not get listened to, although they may well be right.

We have to understand that, whether it comes from a third party, an organization, a consultancy or whatever -- internally or externally -- is irrelevant. It's someone who can scratch where the business itches, not necessarily for the overall common good, but within the unique good that feeds the overall common good. Otherwise businesses are going to say it's more money in what is, in their view, almost a failing department.

Peyret: It is becoming very important to contractualize better, including internally. The more we become a shared service as an IT department, servicing different business unit with their own profit and loss, with their own requirements, the more we would be required to contractualize.

That's what we call the contractualization trend that's internal for the IT relationship with the business unit and also for the business unit relationship between themselves and between business units and also partners.

As you say, if we do not reflect those contract aspects, including the key agility indicators I talked about previously, within our personal incentives within each group, we will not obtain that contractualization in a wide manner.

At the same time, when we talk about contractualization, very often we talk about something that is more constrained, a way to get more money, and other things like that. There is something that is changing dramatically about that too, which is flexible contract.

That's a different type of relationship, but that's where EA should play a big, big role to obtain a wide level of contractualization. You cannot contractualize everything, particularly internally. At the same time, you should define an effective way to negotiate or at least discuss with the CEO and the business unit. That's a key requirement to make that happen as a shared serviced is different business units with different requirements.

White: Another question from the audience here, How can EA be positioned in this scenario? One of the key focuses of EA is business transformation.

The key for enterprise architecture, in either a business transformation scenario or maintaining operations, is really to understand the decisions that do get made.

Well, in the current climate, I'm not interested in transformation. I'm not interested in making major changes, because major changes are disruptive at any cost. They just want to run the business [well]. Terry, where does EA live in that scenario?

Blevins: Decisions are made every day. Some of those decisions are about transformation, and some of those decisions are about operational day-to-day things. The key for enterprise architecture, in either a business transformation scenario or maintaining operations, is really to understand the decisions that do get made. It's key to understand who is making those decisions, understand the information they need to make those decisions, and build your enterprise architecting or do your enterprise architecting and build your EA to support that decision making. ... To me, that's absolutely critical.

We're not here to go to the boardroom and say, "Here is an EA or here is our architecture anything. We're here to support decision makers. We're the back. We help them and empower them. We give generals more stars and give CIOs the CEO positions.

Turner: Being realistic, though, there is a fairly clear relationship between the amount of change that's happening within an organization and the demand for EA. If an organization is completely static, then there is little value to be had from having an EA.

Two-dimensional question

I guess the question is two-dimensional. One is about the amount of change that's happening, and the other dimension is the horizon on which that change comes into effect.

If you're seeing an organization that is taking its change budget and employing the same amount of money into very short-term change activity, then, absolutely, there is a need for EA there. You would probably expect that doing that would actually completely disrupt the business. If an organization is really just pulling back on the amount of change that it is doing, that, by consequence, has to have an affect on the requirement for EA.

White: In terms of understanding what your comment is, you really need to understand the business criteria that the business is trying to address. Is it the cash cycle that's an issue? Do you think that the EA group thinks out of the box departmentally? Does it think like a CFO? Does it understand the financial flows that are impacting the business? And, how important are they considered in the boardroom? How do you accelerate that or enhance that process?

Turner: If it wants to be relevant, it absolutely should do it. What you would aspire to and what you observe in organizations is not necessarily the case. Certainly, there's been a tendency in the past to focus on technology, elegance, and large theoretical exercises that look beyond the horizon of where the rest of the organization is thinking. That type of activity is really irrelevant to most people within an organization.

To really attain relevance is to focus on the problems that the business has, and grouping them in terms of agility. You could characterize that as agility on two different levels, because there is an agility that you can gain from having very flexible systems that can change based on unknown requirements. There's a lot of thinking around things like SOA, Agile Development, and those types of techniques, which are really looking to build open-ended systems that can address many different types of requirements.

I think another area of agility that is often slightly overlooked is the end-to-end business agility, which can often be derived from having static fixed systems that go end-to-end. Re-looking at the ERP platform that you have and how that can help increase time to market, supply chain visibility, or the usage of capital within the organization is something that shouldn't be overlooked, because it's not considered to be interesting from a technical standpoint.

White: Henry, earlier you mentioned earlier development in application portfolio management of EA. Does that pick up on Mike's point?

Peyret: Currently, there is a trend to rationalize everywhere, to try to decrease the cost. Obviously, it's the right time to score applications and be able to say, "Okay, I would like to cancel and kill some of those systems that are expensive, that cost a lot, are not maintainable, are not sustainable for the long-term, and many other things like that."

At the same time, I also see some industries in which IT is becoming more important, and where some of the business will be done with IT involvement.

I worked in some pharmaceuticals, for example. To decrease the risks of taking drugs, they're bringing now a bundle of IT testing machines. That's completely changing the business. That's becoming part of the pharmaceutical business. It's not something that's a sideline that's there to support a process.

I see some innovation, and one of the roles obviously of EA is to help businesses bring that innovation in at a right time. We have seen some of those mistakes in the past. We had client-server, which was adopted. Finally, it was not scalable or deployable, or whatever you want. That's the sort of thing where EA is playing different types of roles, which are more on the strategic side.

I agree with you on the rationalization and standardization. That really is the right place to come back with some recommendation you made in the past and say, "Okay, we can kill that application because the business is ready to save."

The issue of value

White: One of our participants has rightly brought us back to the issue of value, and it's actually addressed to you, Phil. Do you have an EA group? How did you form the group, and how do you demonstrate value to the individual business units of that group? Perhaps you can lead into the discussion of value generally?

Pavitt: Do I have an EA group? It's very small compared to the overall organizational size. Each of the groups in my team lives or dies by their contribution and the value the business perceives. The EA team now is a fifth of what it was when I first started. It will get smaller, if it doesn't continue to show value.

Despite all the conversation, we carry 12 million people a day in our transport systems. If we don't know where the buses or where the tube train is, if we cannot produce the countdown data which helps you to tell when the next underground train or bus comes along, you can have as much TOGAF design as you like, but at the end of the day, "Where is the damn bus" would be the obvious question from the business.

So value is not value necessarily, but not exclusively in monetary terms. I do agree with the sentiment that's been expressed here: get to know your customers. I've been frustrated with my own EA team time and time again. They are politically naive. As a CIO, I meant to be one of the sharpest political operators in my business, not because my business is particularly more political than anybody else's, but I'm the one who operates horizontally.

I'm the one who can be used as an excuse for every other department's failure, whether I've caused it or not. I'm the one in my company who is measured 1.7 million times every hour when someone presses the Enter button. We're the only department that's measured that often in real time of any other team in the company.

Our EA team turns up with the best thing since sliced bread that they have been working on in a hothouse environment for the last three months, which will feed all known starving people across the world.

It doesn't help me select the business in terms of value. Recognizing value in terms of what the customer, in our case the actual user, wants is critical. EA should be much more physical, politically savvy, and much closer to their customers. This is not a visit once a month.

Most of my EAs -- I think they have just stepped out, so I can say it now -- most of my EAs will end up in the business in the next six months, not in IT. I'll force them to be in the business, because I've asked them to do it nicely. Then they'll judge even more the value they can contribute. Of course, if the business then doesn't value them, they would do something about it.

So, value is a very important thing, but you have to get close physically to your customer to turn what value really means to them in terms of what they're trying to deliver.

White: So the way that EA group can create meaningful propositions with stakeholders is by working alongside them, by being fused in the business?

Thomas, surely everyone appreciates the value of EA. The business can see it. It's just that we're using the wrong measures, isn't it?

The need for rigor

Obitz: Well, that's an interesting thing. What enterprise architects think is a good explanation of the value of EA, may not be something that is even worth looking at for a CEO. Enterprise architects need to put rigor into how they justify and explain the value of what they are doing.

As part of our annual EA survey, we're asking enterprise architects if they feel capable of justifying the expenditure for the EA department. In our first survey, in 2005-2006, 76 percent felt capable of doing that. Then, 18 months later, only 68 percent felt capable of doing it, and in our last survey, in August last year, it went down to 61 percent.

Organizations are putting much more rigor into the metrics that people are reporting, and they want to get real numbers. We found that there are massive differences between architecture teams. If organizations are not collecting any metrics, only 42 percent of them feel capable of justifying the work of the EA group.

If they are very rigorous and are collecting data about what they're doing, collecting data about the business value they're influencing and enabling for the whole organization, and if they are collecting data on how they're accepted and involved with the work of the remaining organization, then 85 percent are capable of justifying the work of the EA team.

You need to put in this work. It's extra work, admin work, and it's boring. Enterprise architects don't want to do that. They need to talk about it. If an EA team doesn't report metrics on a regular basis, they're not recognized as a value source in the organization. Only 35 percent of those organizations that do not report metrics feel capable of explaining their value, versus 77 percent, where you have a periodic reporting of EA KPIs into the IT and business function.

Enterprise architects need to do something. They can do it. It's just that you need to take a different approach. The typical IT architect approach, "I do this because I think this is best practice," is something that nobody outside a team has ever accepted as a measure that is presentable.

White: Terry, another notion of perceived value of EA is that it delivers a value at the end of a very long process. How can we kill that notion off completely?

Blevins: Yeah, that's a bad thing. Is it true that 99 percent of the statistics are made up on the fly?

White: 87 percent.

Getting on the same timeline

Blevins: We have to get enterprise architecting -- I'm going to focus on the verb -- on the same timeline as the decision-making process in an organization. Decisions are being made every day in the organization. I couldn't agree more with Phil's comment about getting architects where the stakeholders are, getting them out of the back room, getting, at least part of them, very close to whatever process is being made.

One of the things we haven't talked a lot about today is the importance of connecting the architects to the governance process within the organization. Architecture is not there to build a solution. Architecture is not the solution. Architecture represents a resource base, where people can analyze to help others make decisions, and those decisions need to be made on a daily basis.

The key thing is for the enterprise architecting projects to be very closely aligned with whatever governance process happens to be there and then create deliverables to meet the timelines of those processes. It's essential to connect with those decision-making stakeholders, understand what their information needs are, and make sure that you package your enterprise architecting with no more than has to be there to support a given decision. That could be a decision about a process improvement. That could be a decision about an ERP buy. That could be a decision about the deployment of a business rule or an information standard. It doesn't matter.

White: There's a very relevant question from the floor. A key frustration for our CEO is that implementing the new solutions is constantly delayed by the business lines demanding new development, which can only be done by developing the very things you're trying to replace. So you're building an even bigger legacy. How would you deal with this within the EA?

Turner: One of the things that really helps in that context is simply the act of defining where you're trying to get to. If that target is not really defined in any detail and there aren't aspirational statements that say, "We'd like to do this," it doesn't really hit home with something that's real and in the here and now.

If you can say, "We want to be here. This is what it looks like in a bit more detail, and this is roughly how we're going to get there," and then put that in place within the governance processes that applies to those tactical decisions that are being made, you can then start to build the negative side of the equation for those changes. You can impact and assess those changes against, "This is taking me away from where I want to be rather than toward it."

There's a cross-implication to put this change in, but there is also a cross-implication to take this change out, and then start to look at alternatives of where you can maybe do it in a slightly different way that would take you closer to where you want to be.

A lot of organizations are simply making the commitment through a target state. Describing what it looks like in a way that people can understand means that they will almost instinctively make those decisions in a way that takes them towards where they want to go rather than away. They can start to factor that into their own decision making process.

Good to great

White: Thank you. One of the key drivers to any EA group right now is focusing on getting things done and getting done very well. Phil, you mentioned a book Jim Collins wrote, Good to Great. I think one essence of that is that in the soul of every great company, there is a sense of discipline. Do you see an EA group having any influence on enterprise discipline to keep the business going in the right direction?

Pavitt: The book Good to Great describes how companies can be pretty good, but there are quite big steps in making them great. There are lots of business principles in there that applies to IT in particular.

IT can really help any organization become great in a number of ways, particularly around architecture. As you sell to the business what architecture can do for them, I think they begin to get it. I guess they understand what the actual personal implications are, both positive and negative, but they also begin to build this sense of, "Well, if we do this, then we have a platform to launch on to something else."

What I find quite challenging, as any IT support organization would, is anticipating what the business needs. I enjoy the business planning around any organization, because the IT department says, "We'll set our strategy and our plan once the business has set their strategy and their plan."

I don't know if really good businesses always have those things. I've clearly made mistakes in my 25 years. I have not met one really. Most business plans are around survival or around getting to the next stage of a market. IT can't wait for that, but we can lead and guide business in a positive way to make those right choices.

In my organization, when I took responsibility, we had 63 data centers. We also had an architectural team of around 40 people. I could have put those two things together and made a very obvious conclusion. They both tried to separate themselves from the other, the physical reality. Someone had to persuade the business that to have 60 plus data centers was the wrong answer.

Now, we're down to three. Is that because of personality? Is that because of business case? Is that because of any of those? All of them have played a part, but the biggest thing was an architectural-type role. I'll use it as loosely as that.

Let's pick something the business is very bad at -- resilience. That might not be true for many companies, but in our company it was an issue. Disaster recovery is an issue, resilience, because politically we were savvy with the business.

We said 63 to 3 gives resilience, and suddenly everybody was on board. It wasn't because they saw having less was better, because nothing improved in their daily lives. It didn't get faster. It didn't get quicker. In fact, they didn't particularly save a lot of money individually, because those things are charged centrally.

But, the idea of resilience and disaster recovery, which has been a critical part of an operation of running a transport system, became very important to them. Suddenly, the architects could guide the business to make what in the background is an obviously right decision. A critical part that enterprise architects can play is the political part of helping the business make the right choices.

I'm not saying it should be self-diffusion or manipulation, although I think both things are perfectly legitimate tools in the IT world, but nevertheless, ultimately, you're doing the right thing for the business.

Survival without EA?

White: Thank you. Two questions from the floor, and I want to direct this to Henry. This is probably the most straightforward question, Henry. How can enterprises survive without EA? Another question, if the EA group can't produce a positive contribution to the business, is there any reason to keep it? That's addressing the current status of EA. I want to ask you what you think the future of the EA group is.

Peyret: I think that there is more EA. First, more enterprise are adapting EA. To answer some of your remarks, at the moment, EA is sharing some measurements, which are not addressing the complete enterprise, typically in travel and transportation. That's one industry that has four typical key performance indicators that they should share.

One is productivity. I fully agree with that approach. Second is quality, and third is risk. There are lots of risks transporting people without a level of security, which will bring them to the right place. The fourth one is about agility.

When we try to assess those metrics on each of the industries, some in finance should have cared a little bit more on the risk aspects. Also, subprime was a bad risk assessment. That was not sharing the key risk indicators with not only their buyers, but also their customers and many others.

So, to come back to your point, first, there are more enterprise architect groups within the enterprise. EA groups may not mean more people on the EA team. That means that we are seeing more federated, more virtual EA, and more EA involving business unit architects and business analyst architects -- the EA team. That's where the soft skills I talked about previously are becoming more and more important -- to involve the right person, to talk to the right person, to politically find the right way to bring the right message to the right person.

That's also why the enterprise architect role is changing currently. Now, we see different people jumping in as an enterprise architect, and not only people with a huge background in IT. Yes, they should have, but more and more, we see additional people coming to the business. It's a good way of muddling the business, muddling the architecture as a process, and many other things like that. What does that mean to the business?

White: Perhaps we could go to Thomas?

Obitz: Regarding your question what to do with an EA team that doesn't add value to the business, that's a difficult question. You can interpret business in two ways, and its commonly interpreted in two ways in the world of EA. One is, everything which is outside IT, and the second is the organization as a whole.

The last one is easy, if the EA team doesn't add any value to the organization in any shape or form, well, then it probably should be gone. If it doesn't add value to the organization outside IT, that's a different animal.

Basically, you have three value levers that you can use in an organization as an EA team. One is IT cost and risk, cost internal to IT. The second is cost and risk of the organization as a whole, and the third one is the top line -- revenue and opportunities.

An EA team may not be at a level of maturity to influence the organization's top and bottom line directly, but it may help running the business of IT more effectively. If you're looking at the research of Ross, Weill, and Robertson, just standardizing technology reduces the cost of running the IT by 15 percent. So, there are certain value levers inside IT that EA can address without going outside the IT department.

White: Thank you. So, "Resisting short-term thinking: Rationalizing investments in Enterprise Architecture during recession." We haven't begun to start discussing this, but thank you very much indeed.

I thank the panelists again. Henry Peyret from Forrester. Phil Pavitt from Transport for London. Thomas Obitz from Infosys. Mike Turner from Capgemini. Terry Blevins from MITRE. Thank you all.

Brown: And our thanks to Kevin White for moderating so beautifully.

Announcer: Thanks to you Allen Brown, president and CEO of The Open Group. You've been enjoying a special BriefingsDirect podcast discussion coming to you from the Open Group's 22nd annual EA practitioner's conference in London. This production was underwritten and supported by The Open Group. Thanks for listening and come back next time.

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Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on enterprise architecture and its role and value in the face of the current economic downturn. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2009. All rights reserved.