19th Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference: Day 1 Highlights

For those who didn’t get the updates. Here is a summary of the activates at the Open Group Conference in Chicago.

The Open Group’s 19th Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference kicked off on Monday, July 21st in Chicago.  Industry leaders from near and far convened at the historic InterContinental Chicago Hotel to share their insights on the latest enterprise architecture trends, challenges and opportunities facing federal government organizations as well as global businesses.  Below, please find highlights from Day One.

Allen Brown, President and CEO, The Open Group, kicked off the Day One “Frameworks for Federated Architectures” plenary session with open remarks. Mr. Brown welcomed several hundred attendees from around the globe.

Following Mr. Brown’s opening remarks Wing Commander Shaun Harvey, Department Director, United Kingdom SAF/XCPA, delivered his presentation, “Architecting for Interoperability using Fit For Federation Criteria.” Wing Commander Harvey prefaced that much like complex, highly distributed businesses, the Department of Defense (DoD) is comprised of many interdependent components. These include the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marines, each of which shares common integration and interoperation issues. While the DoD and the Air Force use Architecture Federation to help address integration, the Wing Commander explained the Air Force’s development of an Architecture Federation approach called “Fit For Federation” to specifically support interoperation.

Next, Marc Othersen, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research, delivered his presentation “Compliance Frameworks: The Foundation of IT-GRC.” According to Othersen, business imperatives, increased regulatory pressure, and customer demands are forcing many CIOs to adopt a structured, enterprise wide approach to deal with IT governance, risk, and compliance (GRC). Because IT GRC initiatives have traditionally been scattered across organizations without much coordination, many companies are looking for solutions that can help them create a unified approach to managing information risk and IT compliance requirements while ensuring good governance at the same time. Marc outlined Forrester’s view on IT GRC and gave recommendations for developing a robust IT GRC program.
To access additional information on Marc’s presentation, including a free report from Forrester, entitled “Defining IT GRC”, please visit: www.forrester.com/opengroup2008.

Ron Schuldt, Senior Staff Systems Architect, Lockheed Martin Enterprise Business Services
, next presented on “An Open Group Standard for Building Your Controlled Vocabulary.” Mr. Schuldt began his address by explaining that TOGAF™ does a great job of identifying the processes necessary for defining an enterprise architecture, but it does not assure “Boundaryless Information Flow” across organizations. The Open Group standard that provides the foundation framework for a controlled vocabulary, known as the Universal Data Element Framework (UDEF) is part of the solution, argued Schuldt. His presentation provided a detailed demonstration on UDEF and highlighted the role of this critical standard within the enterprise. For more information on the UDEF standard, visit: http://www.opengroup.org/udefinfo/.
An in-depth UDEF Training is open to all conference attendees on Wednesday, July 23rd at 9:00am.
The day’s last plenary presentation, “Standardize Architecture Delivery in a Federated Architecture using TOGAF,” was given by Peter Van Hoof, Principal Enterprise Architect, Sasol, South Africa. Sasol, South Africa’s largest industrial company, has a strongly entrenched federated business model and utilizes a deeply embedded business project methodology across its many diverse business units, called the Business Development and Implementation Model (BD&IM). Mr. Van Hoof’s presentation covered how Sasol aligned TOGAF with the BD&IM – a great example of how to standardize architecture delivery in a federated architecture environment using TOGAF.
Kicking off the afternoon’s Government Enterprise Architecture Track was Robert Weisman, Partner & Executive Consultant, Global Enterprise Architecture Practice Leader, CGI, with “TOGAF Case Studies in Government.” Mr. Weisman highlighted several applications of TOGAF in selected US State and Canadian Federal Government engagements. The presentation provided recommendations for future use of TOGAF within a government environment and also discussed how TOGAF works in conjunction with other EA frameworks, including Zachman, EA Tool, Australian Government Outcome Based Planning and Australian Government Architecture.

In the TOGAF Track, Matt Vandenbush, Enterprise Architect, Brady Corporation, presented a case study “Preparing the Enterprise for a Successful Architecture Program Based on TOFAF.” Mr. Vandenbush began his presentation with a poignant statement, “Almost half of EA groups are dissolved within two years and many more do not meet stakeholder expectations.” This is more often the outcome of poor internal advocacy- architects within their organizations need to prove the value of EA as a tool for making better decisions; and TOGAF has served as Brady Corporation’s guide to achieve this level of success. Mr. Vandenbush made recommendations on the three most important activities to make EA matter within any organization: getting your governance processes under control; prepare to use the TOGAF architecture development method (ADM); and focus on “delivery”.

Later in the Government Enterprise Architecture Track, Eduardo Castro, Architect, Grupo Asesor en Informatica, Costa Rica, presented on “Digital Government Strategy in Costa Rica.” He covered the strategy followed by Costa Rica to implement a massive EA initiative in order to bring better services to the public institutions, providers and citizens.
In the SOA Track, Pinaki Ghosh, Lead Architect Specialist, The Dow Chemical Company, delivered a lively presentation on “Developing Enterprise Business Object Libraries to Support SOA.” Mr. Ghosh began his session arguing that the main competitive advantage in information architecture comes down to a well constructed information footprint model within an EA framework, such as TOGAF, Zachman or DoDAF. During the transition from legacy architecture to SOA, however, one of the critical things most companies neglect is the preparation of an Enterprise Object Library. Such a library contains both business and IT objects categorized by international standards, unique artifact numbers and database identities. Pinaki’s presentation delved into The Dow Chemical Company’s use of a business object library to better align IT services with the business.

Chang Peng, Enterprise Architect, MoneyGram International, closed out Day One’s EA Best Practice Management Track with his presentation “Enterprise Architecture in Support of Business Strategy.” The goal of Mr. Peng’s presentation was to extend enterprise architecture beyond the IT walls to support corporate business strategy. Chang’s presentation demonstrated how MoneyGram International re-aligned their traditional EA model to encompass deep rooted business logic and link with several tangible business strategies. As a result “enterprise architecture” is now a part of the common vocabulary among MoneyGram’s senior executive management team.



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