Open Group Enterprise Architecture San Francisco Conference 2014 Recap

Mike The Architect Blog: Mike Walker Open Group Conference San Francisco Recap Keynote Business Architecture TOGAF

The other week, The Open Group kicked off their signature Enterprise Architecture Conference in San Francisco. I always enjoy these conferences as it allows me to connect with seasoned and high caliber peers in the Enterprise Architecture community. However, these events aren’t just fun and games for me it’s an opportunity to make an impact on the profession. I had an action packed week that included the following:

  • Presentations. I had the privilege of co-presenting the morning keynote [abstract here] with one of my clients and a thought leader in the area of Business Architecture. Wrapping up the morning the AM keynote presenters got on a panel to discuss future trends and technologies.
  • Standards. I spent a half day on the overall next version of TOGAF and then another two full days leading the Business Architecture workshops to advance Business Architecture within TOGAF.
  • Lots and lots of conversations. Great dialogs with EA’s. I have to say, I learn something new every time I go to one of these conferences. 

Like others in the recent past the Open Group has taken on an industry focus for these quarterly conferences. The goal here is to provide a much tailored experience to EA’s in those specific industries. This time around it was Healthcare. Like most of these conferences there was a broad international representations from nations such as: UK, US, Columbia, Philippines, Australia, Japan, Netherlands, Germany, South Africa and many others.

The Open Group has posted two summaries are well, I would suggest taking a look at them. I wasn’t going to duplicate much of what they covered since they did such a good job. See below:

Conference Announcements

Even though there was a vertical focus the Open Group did cover additional areas around the profession of EA, forward looking views on the industry and architecture topics like big data and cloud.

Included in that were a series of announcements:

 

My Presentations

Mike The Architect Blog: Mike Walker Business Architecture Keynote Open Group Conference San Francisco Recap

I had two presentations both of which were recorded and available for on-demand viewing.

  1. Business Architecture the Key to Enterprise Transformation
  2. Future Technologies Panel

Business Architecture the Key to Enterprise Transformation

With enterprises being bombarded with emerging and disruptive technologies such as cloud, mobile, social and information, it can be difficult for organizations to really understand how leverage these new opportunities that present themselves. To do this, Business Architecture is the key to setting the right strategy for these new opportunities. By leveraging this discipline with Enterprise Architecture we can better quantify and qualify these opportunities to ensure we are maximizing value for our companies. In this session, we will explore the current landscape along with proven and leading practices in Business Architecture. The session will be concluded with how P&G leverages Business Architecture in their Enterprise Architecture practice.

 

Mike The Architect Blog: Mike Walker Business Architecture Keynote Open Group Conference San Francisco Recap

On Demand Video

Mike The Architect Blog: Mike Walker Business Architecture Keynote Open Group Conference San Francisco Recap

Presentation Available

 

Useful Links

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Texas Association of Enterprise Architects February Meeting

Mike The Architect Blog: Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA

SAVE THE DATE: Next Meeting is Thursday February 27th 5:30 – 8:30 at Abel’s North

Our First Event Was a Hit, Thank You!

Mike The Architect Blog: Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA

Wow… I am humbled and inspired by the amazing turnout by all of you. This is truly amazing. Through talking with most of you I was inspired by your passion for wanting to build out a professional organization. What even furthered that commitment was one forth, yes a forth of you came from other cities in Texas. What commitment for our local EA community!

Mike The Architect Blog: Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA Mike The Architect Blog: Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA Mike The Architect Blog: Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA

For more photos of the event see our Flickr site here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/116214383@N04/sets/72157640513193715/

 

February 27th: Monthly Meeting

The meeting will take place on Thursday, February 27th, 5:30 – 8:00 at Abel’s North. This meeting will be a great opportunity for you to get plugged into the local architecture community along with an introduction to the Texas AEA Chapter.

Agenda

  1. Welcome
  2. Updates and Announcements – Mike Walker
  3. Open Group Conference Recap – Mike Walker
  4. Special Interest Groups – Dave Gibson and Venkat Nambiyur
  5. Social

To join RSVP here.

Mike The Architect Blog: Texas Association of Enterprise Architects AEA

Abel’s North Austin

4001 West Parmer Lane

Austin, Texas 78727

(512) 835-0010

Note: Abel’s used to previously occupied by Cool River and is behind other buildings and you should look for It’s a Grind coffee shop and turn into that small shopping plaza to find Abel’s.

So Many Different Views, So Much Business Architecture Confusion

Mike The Archtiect Blog: Business Architecture There certainly is no shortage of opinions in the industry around business architecture. This spans from what it is the definition of Business Architecture to how one would implement followed by the skills and competencies needed to successfully execute.

It can be overwhelming for anyone that is new to this space. Wrapping your mind around the fact and fiction is lengthy and sometimes down right frustrating. This is mainly due to where the Business Architecture discipline is at. I discuss this further in my post, “Business Architecture Ready For Prime Time”.

The second largest contributor to this is all the different views and opinions coming from the marketplace at large. From vendors to consultancies to analysts and even people like myself that blog about such topics and all of these positions are coming at the problem from a different angle.

Can it be more difficult?  Hopefully I can help.

How Do I Better Understand Business Architecture

Before we get into the weeds it important to understand a few things.

There isn’t necessarily a who’s right and who’s wrong solution here. I think of the problem of understanding Business Architecture positioning as a matter of perspective. Let’s assume all have the best intentions but have a certain set of biases, constraints, incentives and motivations. While there is more drivers, these are the major ones.

So to better deal with these dynamics I suggest using a mental frame for thinking about these contrasting and or conflicting opinions. When I look at the this market, I segment where the opinions or positions are coming from. I then look to understand the motivations for their opinion and start to form a classification mechanism so it’s easier to understand their perspectives.

Mike The Architect Blog: Business Architecture Vendor COnsultant Analyst Standards Persectives Mental Framework

As shown above you will find such an activity. What you see below is how slice and dice the major voices in the business architecture world. I carve off 4 major perspectives that include:

  • Analysts
  • Standards Bodies
  • Vendors
  • Consultancies

There is a problem with the model…

You will notice a very key source missing. That would be the actual end organizations accountable and responsible for this effort. While there are pockets where this perspective is represented, this voice is largely missing. I would assume this is due to the fact that they are too busy adding value in their organizations rather than just talking about it at conference or on a blog.

 

Walking the Model

The image above is a high-level representation of how to split the different perspectives that you may encounter using the model that I’ve created.

 

Analysts

This perspective is interesting as it does have some very unique qualities to it. It’s important to really understand the drivers behind the position asserted here. Analysts got through a very rigorous vetting process and they are very good at what they do, analyze the market space. They are not practitioners(anymore) and have very little “skin in the game” when it comes to actual results with end customers. However, they have one very strong attribute that trumps other perspectives, their rich data and hypothesis or predictions they make with that data. This data is a vital aspect to the decision making process.

  • Time Horizon of Guidance: Past 1 year to 5 years in the future
  • Perspective: Broad Industry Thought Leading 
  • Context of Guidance: Prediction Based
  • Can be used for: evidence of a position, understanding the market landscape, understanding your peers in the industry and general advisory

 

Standards Bodies

Often times when looking at the perspectives of a standards body you are looking at one in which is the most grounded in the day to day reality. The goal of most standards bodies is to articulate practices that are proven in the industry. This is what I refer to as the “safety net”. As an example, The Open Group currently has 465 company memberships that represent HQs in 38 countries! Each one of these companies has a say and a vote on what gets ratified as a standard. That is one great vetting process.

  • Time Horizon of Guidance: Past 5 years to 1 year future
  • Perspective: Broad Industry Proven Practice
  • Context of Guidance: Evidence Based
  • Can be used for: practical implementation, provides a safety net or "insurance policy" for making decision on what has worked for customers world-wide, faster time to market on standards and reference architectures

 

Vendors

Another unique perspective here is that of our vendors. While this isn’t always true, most times it is, vendors base their opinions on the ability to drive services and products. After all that’s their business. I find that this perspective isn’t bad or wrong it’s actually a very good one as it can connect the broader more ethereal perspectives back down to reality with implementable tooling.

  • Time Horizon of Guidance: Past 1 year to 3-5 years in the future
  • Perspective: Thought Leading based on enabling a capability. Usually technical in nature.
  • Context of Guidance: Immediate and Near Future Market Needs
  • Can be used for: advice and tools for automation, deep coverage of a functional or capability area

 

Consultancies

Consultancies are similar to vendors in many regards with one small tweak, I usually find that services companies don’t share their opinions in detail. This is largely to their business model. They monetize their knowledge (intellectual property) and services. So if you do hire a services / consultancy firm I personally find extremely high quality material but you have to purchase it to get a hold of it.

  • Time Horizon of Guidance: Past 5 years to 2 years in the future
  • Perspective: Proven practice and some leading practice (largely depends on the type of consultancy)
  • Context of Guidance: Evidence based in the context of a specific offering by the firm
  • Can be used for: evidence of a position, understanding the market landscape, understanding your peers in the industry and general advisory

 

Conclusion

Hopefully with this mental frame it helps reduce
the confusion in the marketplace. You probably noticed that I didn’t give you my personal opinions on specific perspective areas or sources, I don’t think that is productive as each of those sources has it own set of drivers for making those assertions. Rather than doing that I would rather arm you with the tools I use to form my opinions so that you can do the same. 

I find that it helps me in the following ways:

  1. Keeps me Calibrated. Keeps me a sanity check when I’m reading material so that I can properly consume the information I am reading.
  2. Go Deeper. I know what questions I need to ask myself or to the perspective that is sending messages my way. That allows me to ask the right questions to form my own opinion.
  3. Ability to Rationalize. I can better classify information and thus use it more effectively
  4. Effective Communication. I can more effectually use the information in my communication to my peers, customers or partners
  5. More Effective Decision Making. By understanding these perspectives I can leverage the information in a fit-for-purpose way thus reducing the risks of mistakes and mishaps.

Business Architecture Ready For Prime Time

image

It’s probably no surprise to all of you that there has been a significant amount of talk about Business Architecture in recent years. Just coming back from the Open Group Conference in San Francisco it was one of the key topics for practitioners. However, with all the buzz, is Business Architecture really ready for prime time? This is a real and very legitimate question.

Separating fact, fiction and pure buzz is an important data point for Enterprise Architects. We all but learned our lesson from similar buzz worthy topics like SOA and Cloud. So needless to say, diverting energy into unproven spaces or trends is a very risky business. EA’s must continually add value back to the company and must be very judicious with their time. Most EA departments if not all that I talk to, just don’t have time to experiment on trends or fads.

 

So what does this mean for Business Architecture?

Mike The Architect Blog: Mike Walker Defining Business Architecture. TOGAF 7 Illistration of Business FocusI believe that business architecture has been one of those topics that has always been here but has gotten very little attention until now. Seemingly  Business Architecture seems like a new discipline but it isn’t. In a previous post titled, Defining Business Architecture  I talked not only about what is business architecture but also some history around it. What I talk about is how Business Architecture is actually been here for quite some time. You can find evidence of it in the beginnings of the EA frameworks. While “true” EA was in its infancy so was Business Architecture component of it. During that time most things that occurred in the technology space were mostly just that, technology focused. I believe that for many reasons that was the correct thing to do based on where we were at in our industry, limited maturity of our discipline, our capabilities that we could offer and the rudimentary and basic profile of the technology landscape. Simply put…

Crawl, Walk and Run.

 

Enterprise Architecture Evolution… How do we get to Running?

Times have certainly changed and so has IT and along with it EA. This industry has matured and along with that maturity comes more sophistication. Up-leveling what we do has a goal of bringing more value to our customers.  What we have found is that delivering context-less technology widgets are just not delivering the right level of value to add to the capabilities of our businesses.

With all this said, I believe that Business Architecture is still at the beginning of its journey. I do think that we have come a long way with establishing the need and the value but there is still a great deal of work to be done to get Business Architecture formed as a fully standard practice. We see this be just looking back, from largely ignoring it in 2000’s to shifting that in the 2010’s and  addressing it as a key focal point of EA.

So if we look at some common mental frames for calibrating where we are at out where things are at in the industry we could use Geoffrey Moore’s, Crossing the Chasm as a way to gauge where we at. And if I look at that model I would say you were still in the chasm however we are quickly coming out of it.

 

image

 

So what is that me, it means that we are seeing evidence of organizations outside of early adopters and innovators actually using Business Architecture to solve real-world problems in the next class of individuals and organizations are for two as the early majority. We’re starting to see a lot of this in the industry.

But also let’s talk a look outside my anecdotal points with the customers and look at what we see from the analyst community as well. We see strong evidence of this as well. As an example,  Gartner conducted a double blind 2011 worldwide survey and a 2012 survey of EA summit attendees in the US and Europe, Gartner finds that the vast majority of organizations are focusing their EA efforts on how they can drive business value (including IT), not just on driving IT decisions.

image

Source: Gartner (2012): Gartner Hype Cycle 2012

Based in the above shows that Gartner finds that 67% of organizations are either: starting (39%), restarting (7%) or renewing(21%) their EA efforts. By the way, they also note that they know that many of the organizations that state that they are "starting EA for the first time" are actually "restarting" because we have talked to them in the past – it is just that the current EA leaders don’t know that there previous efforts.

The analyst are the only ones reporting on this activity. We have independent bodies of knowledge that have sprung up that are continuing to try to crack this business architecture did not. A couple of the most popular ones include:

  • BABoK
  • BizBoK

 

And of course behind that comes vendor practices and boutique consulting practices.

With this flurry of activity from real customers, vendors, analysts and standards bodies alike, Business Architecture is very real and is a discipline within Enterprise Architecture that needs some serious focus.

Come see the Business Architecture Keynote from Mike Walker Keynote at the Open Group Conference

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Myself and Mark Dorfmueller from P&G will be discussing the world of business architecture at the Open Group Enterprise Architecture Conference in San Francisco [event program]. This will be followed by a panel discussion of industry experts that Mark and I will be on. The panel will discuss future technologies.

 

Business Architecture the Key to Enterprise Transformation

Mike Walker, Enterprise Architect, Hewlett Packard
Mark Dorfmueller, Associate Director Global Business Services, P&G

With enterprises being bombarded with emerging and disruptive technologies such as cloud, mobile, social and information, it can be difficult for organizations to really understand how leverage these new opportunities that present themselves. To do this, Business Architecture is the key to setting the right strategy for these new opportunities. By leveraging this discipline with Enterprise Architecture we can better quantify and qualify these opportunities to ensure we are maximizing value for our companies. In this session, we will explore the current landscape along with proven and leading practices in Business Architecture. The session will be concluded with how P&G leverages Business Architecture in their Enterprise Architecture practice.

 

If you can’t attend you can still tune into the Live Stream [here]